Local leaders meet with State leaders ahead of 2019 General Assembly session

SALISBURY, Md. – We are now less than one month away from the 2019 General Assembly Session, and to help ensure that the voices of the Lower Shore are heard in the upcoming session, some of our local leaders met with State leaders in Annapolis.

Those local leaders were Mike Dunn with the Greater Salisbury Committee and Bill Chambers with the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, and they met with Mike Miller, the President of the Maryland State Senate.

Dunn said, “Sometimes in life and in politics, just putting your face in front of the right people is what you have to do.”

The purpose of their meeting was to discuss several hot button issues here on the Lower Shore. Perhaps one of the most pressing issues of all was protecting the Lower Shore’s brick and mortar businesses.

More specifically, Dunn and Chambers expressed concerns about what could happen to locally owned businesses if Maryland chose to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Chambers said, “This is just another nail in the coffin of Maryland being open and friendly for business.”

On Monday 47ABC spoke with Melissa Malone, the owner of Olde Town Deli in Salisbury and she told us she agrees with Chambers.

“It does nothing but forces me to raise the price of food,” Malone said. “It would absolutely make us shut the doors, there is no way.”

Next, Dunn and Chambers discussed education.

Governor Hogan recently proposed increasing spending on school construction by close to 2 billion by using casino funds but we’re told the Maryland State Senate President would rather see the State invest in our schools in a different way.

Dunn said, “I think its a very positive sign that though the Governor and the State Senate President might differ on where to invest the money on education the fact that they both realize that investing in education is important was pretty good news for us to hear.”

Finally, offshore wind was discussed by the leaders.

Chambers said, “There is a concern that that progress on moving forward on offshore wind is being slowed, we were reassured at that meeting that the will of the General Assembly is to invest in offshore wind and renewable energy resources in the state.”

Overall, we’re told this meeting was just a way of reminding the top leaders in the state that this really is a burgeoning economy here on the shore and we need to keep it moving forward.

The General Assembly is set to reconvene on January 9th, 2019.

The General Assembly meets in regular session for 90 calendar days each year beginning the second Wednesday in January to act on more than 2,500 pieces of legislation and the states annual capital and operating budgets.

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