By now most of you have heard that a Special Session is likely to be called today during the Governor's press conference at 10:00 am. Rumors abound as to whether or not there are enough votes to add a sixth casino site in Maryland. Added into the discussion is whether or not the legislature will reduce the tax burden on the casino owners as a "trade-off" for supposedly losing money with the added site. Also, whether table games will be included.
Also on the table is the possibility that it will not be a one issue special session, that they will take up the issue of pit-bulls and 2nd amendment permit requirements. Both of these could be handled during regular session, but I know that pit bull owners are very concerned over the recent court opinion addressing liability. Should there be a special session, this issue should be addressed.
Many have asked whether I will attend session or join the call for a boycott. I will be there. Voters in District 33 elected me to represent them. With talk of special gaming commissions, tax breaks and back door deals, there is no way that a responsible legislator would boycott. There are not enough Republicans to prevent session, and although there are many Democrats who are also against adding a 6th site, it is doubtful that there would be enough to prevent a vote.
As an elected official, I feel that we have a responsibility to be present when called upon, to vote and to in many cases, be the opposition position. I find many times that the opportunity to present an alternate position or view point can help make a bad bill better. If we don't show up, we have no right to complain.
See you in Annapolis!