Under legislation enacted this spring, Maryland’s largest utilities and state housing officials must cut peak energy demand by 2% annually through 2020. As housing advocate Todd Nedwick writes, the Public Service Commission can and should take concrete steps to bolster the state’s efforts to improve energy efficiency in the homes and buildings of low-income Marylanders. Along with the other advantages, the growing trade in residential weatherization rehab will get a further boost.Read more
In the Weekly Memo for Dec. 11-18:
Top of the ticket: Our statewide meeting Dec. 21, plus chapter meetings for Progressive Prince George’s (Thursday, Dec. 14) and Progressive Howard (Thursday, Dec. 21); Baltimore chapter Listening Session with the movie “13th” (Wednesday, Dec. 13) and PMD Montgomery happy hour Dec. 20… details for all below.Read more
"Smart Growth is the antithesis of sprawl, which is development outside areas planned and built for growth. It gobbles open space, increases air and water pollution, and costs more in new services than it ever offsets with taxes from new residents," Tom Horton recounts in this Bay Journal article.
"Sprawl, or Dumb Growth, [he continues] can work politically, though, at least for a while — you just call it Economic Growth, or GROWTH, which sounds all right to many people, especially bankers and developers and pavers and home builders, who are good at electing candidates who’ll butter their bread." But just for a while. Frederick County is now "toting up the cost of progress" and it's not pretty.Read more
There are many evils in the GOP’s tax bills, as Adam Pagnucco enumerates here: redistribution to the one percent, big tax breaks for multi-nationals who ship jobs overseas, losses of insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act and more. But for Marylanders, the additional slap in the face is that the bills shift the federal tax burden away from states like Texas, South Dakota, Alaska and Mississippi and onto residents of the Free State. All Marylanders, including Republicans, should oppose that.
It is more important than ever to pay for a government that is solely accountable to the everyday community members they are elected to represent. Eventually, everyone expects to “get what you pay for.”
Find out more at Prince George's County Fair Elections Town Hall Meeting 6:30-8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6) Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex, 7007 Bock Road in Fort Washington, MD 20744 -- Join Fair Elections Maryland and Councilmembers Obie Patterson (D-8), Mary Lehman (D-1) and Mel Franklin (D-9) and guest experts for a Prince George's County Town Hall! RSVP here.Read more
The GOP tax plan definitely puts our health care at risk, along with much else in the lives of working families. Fat cats get fatter.Read more
A state commission on improving K-12 education – a new and different version of the Thornton Commission that mandated more state spending to equalize rich and poor school districts – is also going to propose big bucks spent on education. They don’t know how much, and have already said they won’t have that part of the job finished by their year-end deadline. But keeping Maryland students competitive – and well-educated – is clearly not going to get cheaper.Read more
The bad news about increased carbon emissions, a MoCo activist reports, is somewhat balanced by good news about the fight against them. Local governments like Montgomery County are taking action; at a recent conference in Bonn, US officials including state governors were pitching in to cut emissions even though the Administration is in opposition to the Paris Accord.Read more
The UCMP Diamondback here outlines the proposed Small Donor program for limited public financing of Prince George's County's local elections. Fair Elections Maryland — a coalition of organizations including Progressive Maryland, Common Cause Maryland, Every Voice and MaryPIRG — will hold a town hall in Fort Washington on Dec. 7. The coalition will announce the other council members who sponsor the bill at the meeting.Read more
Apologies for the lateness of the Memo; some problem on the website slowed us down.
As we enter December, more and more interplay between national, state and local issues emerges. Chaos at the consumer finance protection agency -- supposed to be independent; local pushback on tax changes; slippery slope on repealing the individual mandate. Plus a productive session on criminal justice in Baltimore and much more; read on...