• A New Way To Save State Money! Take Away Local Control !

    March 24, 2024
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    In the 2024 Maryland legislature, the recent move is to solve the State's huge budget deficit.

    Maryland’s got a math problem: How will it fill a $3B structural deficit? - WTOP News

    As they tried everything from taxing all services which are not taxed now, there was a huge backlash reminiscent of the clamor caused by Martin O'Malley's "rain tax" during his term as governor. From WTOP:

    Mike O’Halloran, with the National Federation of Independent Business, told lawmakers the federation opposed the bill.

    “There is not a single aspect of Marylanders’ lives this tax hike wouldn’t touch,” O’Halloran said. “Things like cutting grass, cutting hair, even the clown sculpting balloon animals at the county fair is getting hit by this.”

    They backed off most of those ideas and have now turned toward taxing such things as the trade in you get on your car:

    Maryland House OKs budget bill with tax, fee, increases (msn.com)

    None of these ideas favor the working class. And of course they don't want to cut spending on frivolous, non-productive programs that most citizens don't want.

    These tax hikes coincide with bills in the legislature to remove local control of school systems from counties. Laws that dictate curriculum, which employees can be fired and why, etc. are being voted on as we speak. It's clear that autocratic Progressive legislators wish local control would just go away.

    In light of that, I have an idea that will help the Dems with both of their problems.

    Let's reduce our expenses by getting rid of ALL LOCAL GOVERNANCE. You heard me.

    Think about it. In our Maryland Legislature, we have 47 Senators and 141 Delegates. Those legislators must cost a TON of money with all the offices, staff, and expenses they cost the State of Maryland.

    Operating Budget Summary Fiscal 2023 Budget Increases $3.5 Million, or 3.3%, to $109.7 Million ($ in Millions)


    This doesn't even include all the money spent on elections every time they have to be re-elected. If we could get rid of this first line of local representation, we could save hundreds of millions.

    Let's go to the county governments, starting with County Councils/Commissioners or in the case of Baltimore City, City Council. Every local government is different, but the estimate we could find is that local governments in Maryland cost approximately 2.6 billion a year. That's another huge savings if we can eliminate local elected government. We're not sure if this figure includes ALL elected government bodies or not, but even so, that is a huge number.

    As we go to the local Boards of Education and Superintendents, whose authority and decision-making rights are being whittled away to nothing year by year, it's much harder to figure out how much these two sets of local government officials cost. However, even if we just remove the cost of hosting Board of Educations, having meetings and focus on the Superintendents, it's easy to see how we could save money if we didn't have either of these.

    A recent analysis by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) found that the average Maryland superintendent earns $240,000 per year, excluding benefits

    Maryland superintendent salaries are another reason to embrace vouchers (baltimoresun.com)

    If we just do the average salary times 23 counties and the City of Baltimore, we come up with almost $6 million dollars a year. Granted, Superintendents are not elected, but they are hired by the elected school boards. Without either of those local officials, we could save so much money.

    Altogether, eliminating local decision making could save us....

    Two hundred six billion one hundred fifteen million seven hundred thousand to be exact.

    Wow. What we could buy with that.

    Of course, we would only be left with maybe one person and some bureaucrats in charge of EVERYTHING. And, we would violate the idea of representative government. BUT, do any but a few of our local officials listen to us anyway? What's worse, no voice at all at much lest cost or a minimal say in decisions at a huge cost? I guess everyone needs to figure that out for themselves.

    Sadly, it appears that our legislature is taking control away from us little by little, denying local school boards, county councils, etc. the right to adapt curriculum for their schools, discipline students in their schools and even hire needed staff for their schools. County councils are being told who they can fire regardless of the offenses employees might have committed.

    Think I'm wrong? Look at these two bills working their way through the Legislature this year:

    2024 Regular Session - House Bill 785 Third Reader (maryland.gov)

    2024 Regular Session - House Bill 558 Third Reader (maryland.gov)

    These two bills are being heard this week. Go to Home Page (maryland.gov) to sign up to testify in person, virtually or in writing. You will have to create an account.

    And these are just TWO of the bills that threaten local control. HB 558 is so bad that the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the Public Schools Superintendents Association of Maryland ALL OPPOSE THE BILL on those grounds. This is the second year that it has been presented.

    There are more. Locals are being told what they can and cannot do regardless of what their voting constituents want.

    So, if we are going to be taxed to death to support a governmental structure that costs billions and gives us not control over our lives, why not get rid of the farce?

    Yes, this is satire. Sort of.


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    Jan Greenhawk

    Jan Greenhawk is a former teacher and school administrator for over thirty years. She has two grown children and lives with her husband in Maryland. She also spent over twenty-five years coaching/judging gymnastics and coaching women’s softball.
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