More than 250 people packed the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel Jan. 23 among the early-morning smog to hear four representatives from Maryland government tackle tough topics being brought before the legislator this session.
Comments from Senator Ed Kasemeyer, Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin, House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell and House Speaker Michael Busch were followed by questions and answers initiated by moderator Jeff Salkin from Maryland Public Television. Though various subjects were touched on throughout the forum, the leading topic of discussion was the gas tax.
It was a 50-50 split among legislative leaders over an increase in the gas tax, an issue important to many of the attendees who represented organizations from CSX Transportation and Vehicles for Change to Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund and Maryland Department of Transportation. Greater Baltimore Committee has been an outspoken supporter of increasing revenue to the Transportation Trust Fund, for which the gas tax is the largest single source of revenue.
Democrats Busch and Kasemeyer expressed support for increasing the gas tax, while Republicans Pipkin and O’Donnell expressed opposition.
Read Baltimore Business Journal‘s article on the forum, written by James Briggs, which details each candidates’ position on the matter.
Anita Jackson from BGE and Mark McCurdy from Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund also shared their reactions from the legislative forum with the GBC.