This week, three more of Senator Bailey’s bills passed the Senate. These include Senate Bill 117 and Senate Bill 132, two bills which would provide additional tax relief to volunteer police auxiliary and reserve officers and expand the ability of local governments to provide property tax credits to public safety officers. These passed as part of a package of Senate bills intended to provide tax relief to Maryland’s first responders. The third bill, Senate Bill 913, provides for operating grants to Historic Sotterley in St. Mary’s County for each of the next three years.
Tax Relief Package Passes
As part of this year’s budget negotiations, the Governor and legislative leaders have announced an agreement to provide $1.86 billion in tax relief for Marylanders over the next five years. This includes a tax credit for Marylanders over 65 who make less than $100,000 per year individually or less than $150,000 if filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit will be $1,000 for an individual or if only one of the individuals filing a joint return is eligible for the credit and $1,750 if married filing jointly and both individuals are at least 65. Senator Bailey has strongly supported delivering tax relief to all of our State’s retirees during his time in the Senate and he was proud to vote for and co-sponsor this legislation.
This tax relief package also included several bills that expand sales tax exemptions for child care and health care items. The Senator is very pleased to see this tax relief agreement and vote for these bills to allow Marylanders to keep more of their hard earned money, and he will continue to support efforts to lower taxes in Maryland.
Last Friday, a judge in Anne Arundel County ruled that Maryland’s Congressional District maps were unconstitutional. As part of the judge’s order, the General Assembly was given until this Wednesday to submit a new map. As a result, earlier this week, the legislature passed a bill establishing new Congressional districts. Senator Bailey opposed this legislation as it continues to politically gerrymander Maryland. However, this bill passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is now awaiting action from the Governor.
As part of this new map, which would only go into effect if an appeal to reinstate the original map is unsuccessful, Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties would remain in Congressional District 5, along with Charles County and parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties.
Operating Budget Passes
Today, the Senate unanimously gave final approval to the State’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2023. This balanced budget includes funding for a number of legislative priorities. As one example, the budget includes $500,000 for a microloan program for Maryland watermen which would be established by a bill that Senator Bailey co-sponsored.