Calvert County Chamber Legislative Breakfast Focuses on Maryland's Economy

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On April 20, at 8:30 a.m. in the Solomons Holiday Inn, the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce held their annual legislative breakfast with special legislative guests: State Sen, Roy Dyson (D-29), Del. Joseph F. Vallario, Jr. (D-27A), Del. Anthony O’Donnell (R-29) and Del. Sue Kullen (D-27B).

Breakfast was served before the invited legislators answered audience questions. While eating and getting to know table mates, most chamber members discussed the economy and small business failures and success.
Most small businesses seemed thankful that they have been able to survive the current economic disaster to date, but more than a few expressed a real concern about the future and whether or not the federal stimulus dollars would have any significant impact on local businesses.
Those in non-profits were even more concerned, because if local businesses are failing, the levels of charitable donations would get even smaller than the current levels.
Once breakfast was over, Delegates and Senator Dyson addressed the audience answering questions that were submitted by chamber members during breakfast.
In his first remark, Dyson expressed his thanks that the Maryland Legislative session was now over and that there were no new businesses taxes levied during the session. However, Dyson also lamented that just as Maryland’s session was over, US Congress was reconvening.
Dyson talked to the chamber about the inability of the legislature to come up with any significant health care reform, stating that as a small business owner in St. Mary’s County that he has seen healthcare premiums increase 56 percent and that something had to be done.
O’Donnell also stated that the state had made an attempt two years ago at tort reform, but that the money raised all ended up going to Medicaid and not to doctors which would have reduced insurance premiums and perhaps lead to lower rates for consumers.
Vallario stated quite emphatically, that the law, which would have raised health insurance premiums by two percent, as presented to committee was a bad law and he was glad that it never made it out of committee and onto the house floor during the recent session.
Other questions ranged from the impact of the economic stimulus on Maryland’s budget to the status of slot machines. On the stimulus all stated that they were grateful that taxes did not have to be raised. Although O’Donnell emphasized that in two years, all the money would have to be replaced without a significant change in the way Maryland budget’s its revenues.
Dyson also emphasized that the Solomons Bridge would, sooner or later, had to be addressed. He stated, “I bless myself everyday before I go across and hope God gets me across safely.” The Sen

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