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Reznik Report 2010 Session Week 2

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Published on Jan 22, 2010

Hi. I'm Delegate Kirill Reznik. Welcome back to my weekly video blog updating you on what is happening here, in Annapolis, during the 2010 General Assembly Session.

This week, Governor OMalley has submitted his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011. As expected, we are anticipating some unsavory cuts to plug our $1.9 billion dollar deficit. In keeping with the financial realities we are facing, the Governor has responsibly presented a Fiscal Year 2011 budget that calls for negative growth and brings the budget to the same size as Fiscal Year 2007.

However, there are some positives to note from the budget. The Governor has ensured that we balance the budget while preserving funding for some of our core priorities as a state.

I am especially proud of our public schools being ranked #1 in the country, so I was particularly heartened to see that K thru 12 education will be fully funded with an additional $189 million increase for Fiscal Year 2011.

The States Rainy Day Fund will be maintained at 5% of the General Fund. This is extremely important because it will allow Maryland to remain one of 7 states to have a triple-A bond rating, which has very important long term financial ramifications for the state.

This budget funds healthcare for 820,000 low-income children and adults. 200,000 more Marylanders now have access to healthcare this term. We should all be proud that Maryland was the only state in the country to actually increase the number of people who are able to access healthcare coverage since this recession began.

We will continue to keep tuition levels at state colleges and university stable. While unfortunately we were not able to continue our 3-year run of zero increase in tuition, the proposed increase will be relatively small.

Now that the Governor has presented us with the budget, the General Assembly will begin to scrutinize the proposed budget and pass a final version.

Also this week, there is some important news from my office, as I have introduced two bills in the last couple of days.

The first piece of legislation is House Bill 142, which creates an aftercare plan for inmates in our prisons who are receiving substance abuse treatment. This piece of legislation will allow them to continue receiving treatment once they are released from prison so that they do not relapse and keep them on the right path.

The other bill is House Bill 175, which I believe is particularly timely in our current economic climate. The bill would prohibit employers in the state of Maryland from using a persons credit history or credit report when making hiring and retention decisions. In this current economic environment where people are being laid off and having trouble finding a new job, their credit scores suffer, creating a vicious cycle in trying to find a new job.

As always, please feel free to contact my office if you have questions, concerns, or need my help in dealing with a community issue.

Thank you for tuning in and I look forward to briefing you again next week.

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