By Jessica Campisi
Capital News Service
During the opening prayer in the Maryland House of Delegates, Curtis Stovall “Curt” Anderson, D-Baltimore, mimicked a verse to reflect the day’s agenda.
“Where there is veto, override,” he said.
Anderson’s sentiments proved true, as the House voted Wednesday to override three of Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes, including legislation that would give voting rights to ex-felons.
A three-fifths majority is needed in the House for an override, and 85 votes — just enough — were cast to override the voting rights veto, with 56 opposed, including all 50 Republican delegates.
Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery, voiced strong opposition to the veto and urged his fellow delegates to follow suit.
“Voting is not just a right. It is a fundamental right,” he said. “(Ex-felons) get jobs and they pay taxes, but they should not be taxed without representation.”
The House also faced opposition to the override from many delegates, including Jason Buckel, R-Allegany, who said “there should be consequences” for those convicted of a felony.
These overrides mark the first legislative clash between the majority-Democratic House and the Republican governor during the 2016 General Assembly session. All Republicans voted not
Before discussing the voting rights bill, the House voted 90-51 to require hotel room vendors to collect sales tax and pay the full amount to the state for hotel rooms in Howard County.
The House also voted 92-49 to override Hogan’s veto of a bill that would have allocated $2 million to a performing arts center in Annapolis.
The Senate, which also holds a Democratic majority, is expected to attempt to override the voting rights bill Thursday, as two members were absent Wednesday for medical reasons. Twenty-nine votes are needed in the Senate to override a veto.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on three additional vetoes Thursday, including legislation that would decriminalize drug paraphernalia; a bill that would prevent police from taking assets worth less than $300; and a bill that would require hotel booking agencies to pay the same sales tax as hotels.
Since smoking pot in public will be “legitimized” and approved.. Will cigarette smoking be treated the same by repealing various ordinances against it ?
And we really need people to be “stoned” and hallucinatory in public, don’t we, Maryland ? / sarc
( BTW, I have never smoked…)
Gov. Hogan was right to veto this bill, and here’s hoping
that the Senate votes to sustain that veto. If you aren’t willing to follow the
law yourself, then you can’t demand a role in making the law for everyone else,
which is what you do when you vote. The right to vote can be restored to
felons, but it should be done carefully, on a case-by-case basis after a person
has shown that he or she has really turned over a new leaf, not automatically
on the day someone walks out of prison — let alone when parole and probation
haven’t even been served! After all, the unfortunate truth is that most people
who walk out of prison will be walking back in. Read more about this issue
here: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/429841/felon-voting-maryland-governor-hogan-veto?target=author&tid=1046 That link, by the way, refutes the claim made by the bill’s proponents that re-enfranchisement diminishes recidivism; another claim is that felons should be able to vote
since they pay taxes — but that’s true when they’re in prison, too, and taxes
are also paid by nonvoters like children, noncitizens, and the mentally