Maryland House Republican Caucus Announces Priorities

The House Republican Caucus announced its legislative priorities last week which includes a state income tax cut, a registry for violent repeat offenders, and single-member districts in the General Assembly.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the four priorities of the House GOP leadership are:

  • The “Murder and Repeat Violent Offender Registry Act of 2019,” which would establish a searchable, public registry of violent offenders, modeled after Maryland’s Sex Offender Registry. It would require people convicted of murder to register for a period of 10 years following the completion of their sentence. In addition, defendants convicted of multiple violent crimes would be required to register for a 10-year period. “These are folks who’ve done really bad things to others,” Kipke said.

  • The “Commonsense Tax Cut Act of 2019,” which would lower the Maryland income tax rate by a quarter percentage point. House Republicans say that would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in lower taxes for state residents. Szeliga said the amount lost to the state budget from the cut would be covered through increasing revenue.

  • The “Special Police Officers Act of 2019,” which would expand existing law to allow government bodies, such as a school system or a sheriff’s department, to establish a special police officer program within their jurisdiction. In reaction to school shootings across the country, House Republicans say the act would allow school officials more flexibility to hire officers to patrol school buildings and grounds.

  • The “One Person One Vote Act of 2019,” which is a constitutional amendment requiring single-member state legislative districts. Currently, most House of Delegates districts are represented by multiple delegates. There are 141 members in the House of Delegates. The Republicans argue that multi-member districts allow lawmakers to hide from voter accountability, and said their proposal would create smaller districts in which residents would know their representative better.

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