New Frederick County Legislators Offer Their Perspectives on Issues

A January 11 Frederick News-Post article previews the challenges facing newly elected General Assembly members as they convene for the 2011 Session.  Besides discussing the perspectives new Frederick County members would bring, the article also examines their positions on the budget deficit, increasing the State alcohol and gas taxes, new environmental regulations of farms,  wine shipping, and same-sex marriage.

Of the [General Assembly] members, 30 delegates and 10 senators will be sworn in as new members — all are going into a new term, following November’s elections. …

In Frederick County, five of eight lawmakers are new. Several said they will head to Annapolis without any preconceived notions.

“I truly feel I need to go down and listen to everything before I vote on any particular issue, because I think that’s what’s expected of us,” said Delegate-elect Kelly Schulz, a Frederick County Republican. … 

Delegate-elect Michael Hough, a Frederick County Republican, will serve on the House Appropriations Committee, which also deals with the budget. …

His perspective going into Appropriations is to look at everything with an open mind. The legislature can only cut, not add to the governor’s budget. …

Senator-elect Ron Young, a Frederick Democrat, predicts the legislature will not raise either [the alcohol or gas] tax. Instead, he said the legislature will make difficult, controversial spending cuts.

“The governor has pledged not to increase taxes this year,” Young said. “There is support for raising them in the legislature, but I do not believe it will happen this year.”  …

“When people talk to me, they look like I’m heading to a funeral or the guillotine or something,” said Frederick County Delegate-elect Kathy Afzali, a Republican. “I’m trying to go in with a positive attitude that we can somehow pull the state out of this mess.”  …

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