Posted by: Ann Corcoran | January 29, 2012

Plan Maryland Update: Hearings in Annapolis this week, more to come

It’s a busy week for conservatives in Annapolis.   Just a reminder that proponents of traditional marriage meet in Lawyer’s Mall tomorrow evening in protest of the O’Malley gay marriage initiative, here.

The Hagerstown Herald Mail today reports on where the Plan Maryland controversy stands:

At the heart of a battle over a new state planning initiative is whether anything in it is new.

On Thursday, another round played out, as legislators from rural areas insisted PlanMaryland will mean a significant shift toward centralized control, while the state’s planning secretary assured that criticism is misguided and exaggerated.

The fight is expected to intensify as opponents recruit more lawmakers to their cause and try to combat the plan through legislation. A hearing on one bill is scheduled for Thursday.

O’Malley administration: go to sleep, go to sleep…there is nothing to worry about!

Many legislators and local governments aren’t convinced by the state’s assurances.

Four dissatisfied counties — Washington, Frederick, Carroll and Allegany — have formed a Maryland Rural Counties Coalition and hired lobbyists Bruce C. Bereano and William R. Miles to represent them.

Bereano said Friday that opponents have made a good deal of progress with their plans to file legislation and testify at bill hearings.

[….]

Even though Hall told the Environmental Matters Committee that PlanMaryland doesn’t create any new regulations or laws, Bereano said there’s “a very strong feeling” it should go through the legislature for review. Opponents have filed bills that would make that requirement explicit.

Del. Michael D. Smigiel Sr., R-Caroline/Cecil/Kent/Queen Anne’s, and Del. Galen R. Clagett, D-Frederick, filed separate bills in October that would require the General Assembly to approved a state development plan.

Two Republicans in the Washington County delegation — Dels. Michael J. Hough and Neil C. Parrott — co-sponsored Smigiel’s bill.

Clagett’s bill is scheduled for a hearing before the Environmental Matters Committee on Thursday.

There is more, read it all.


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