Md. State Senator Paul Corderman talks budget and overridden vetoes

February 9 – If the package passes, it looks like Maryland will be spending $1.5 billion in COVID-19 relief. Senator Paul Corderman pointed out that’s “billion with a B” and he believes that the House will strip away some of the additional funding, but there should be a compromise by the end of the week. Corderman was a guest on First News (6am-9am on 103.7FM) with Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen

It’s an effort to get money into people’s hands immediately and it will have to be spent by the end of the fiscal year, but it is a “large, large price tag,” the Senator said.

Michele Jansen asked with the federal stimulus package likely on the way, would the state money be subtracted or is it all doubled-up?

The Senator said it would be “extra on top” and there were no plans to subtract any money.

“This is where you get into does the state need to get involved in the stimulus business?” Corderman said.

Another part of the state’s plan includes earned income tax credits, but the challenge to that is how many people will actually be reached.

“That’s a very small population of the people in the state,” Corderman noted. “The counterargument could be made that there are a large number of folks that won’t be affected by that.”

Talk then turned to State Comptroller Peter Franchot’s plan to give $2,000 checks to everyone from the state of Maryland.

Corderman said “that’s just not feasible. It’s just messaging. There’s no real substance there because it’s not even practical that you can do it.”

Another issue discussed were the number of overrides of Governor Larry Hogan’s vetoes that are likely in the works.

One of the biggest ones would be the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Act, created by the Kirwan Commission, to improve Maryland’s education system. Governor Hogan vetoed the act in May 2020.

Just the “sheer number the majority have here in Maryland, it will be overridden,” Cordernman said. “That’s the biggest fiscal price tag.” Corderman noted that Maryland spent more on education each year that Hogan’s been the governor and it’s “something we can be proud of.”

Maryland schools are fourth in the country and it would take $40 billion to potentially move to first and the Kirwan Commission’s plans involve a lot of money. “Is it really going to equate to success in the classroom?” Corderman wondered. “We’re told spend money, spend money you’re going to get better results, but it doesn’t always work that way.”

Maryland is also looking into a possible digital tax on Netflix and Hulu that would go to the state.

“The more you tax folks, the more you regulate folks, the more you’re going to drive people away,” Corderman warned.

Rifle and shotgun transfers will likely be overturned as well.

Senate Bill 91 is also in the works to make it a bigger crime for attacking transit workers.

Jansen said initially lawmakers insisted deterrence doesn’t work, but now with this new bill, apparently it does.

Corderman said the word is “ironic. Nothing against our transit workers, we have great appreciation for all the things our transit workers do, but what about our first responders? What about our police officers, our firefighters? The brave men and women who go out each and every day to support and keep our communities safe.”

Corderman has a bill he plans to introduce to protect first responders. “I know we want to protect our transit workers and I’m not really opposed to that, per se, but if we’re going to do that, we damn well sure better protect our first responders.”

He noted that at the end of the day, we should all be protected.

“If there’s violent offenses that are committed, it doesn’t matter if you’re a transit worker, first responder or a citizen, we should be protected and those people that do those things should be paying the penalties for doing those heinous crimes,” Corderman said.