Ocean City Today

Carozza aims to finish term strong, pass balanced budget

Delegate focusing on work on Appropriations Cmte., education, resort issues
By Brian Gilliland | Jan 11, 2018
Mary Beth Carozza

(Jan. 12, 2018) Before she begins working as the Republican nominee for the Maryland Senate in November, Mary Beth Carozza will finish her term as a member of the House of Delegates and as a member of its House Appropriations Committee.

With the General Assembly having convened on Wednesday, Carozza said her most important role for the ensuing 90 days will be attending to that committee’s business.

“Passing a balanced budget is the most important constitutional responsibility we have as members of the Maryland General Assembly, as it is the only bill that must pass during session,” she said.

“As I have done the past three sessions, I will continue to work with Gov. (Larry) Hogan and my colleagues in the legislature on both sides of the political aisle to ensure passage of a structurally and fiscally-sound balanced budge that provides fair funding to Shore priorities and holds the line on mandated spending without new taxes.”

She said that position has allowed her to advance constituent priorities in previous sessions, such as more equitable funding for rural community colleges like Wor-Wic Community College outside of Salisbury.

“In addition, my position on Appropriations allows me to impact my constituent priorities early in the budget process. Past examples include funding the Ocean City Performing Arts Center, working for a return of Maryland’s highway user funds to our counties and municipalities, restoring funding to local hospitals to start paying down the [statewide] $25 million hospital tax, and providing adequate funding to our community health providers, especially those providing services to individuals with disabilities,” she said.

This year, Carozza said she plans to continue to make education a priority as the Eastern Shore delegation will continue to meet with representatives of Salisbury University, Wor-Wic Community College, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the county Boards of Education.

Locally, Carozza said she was working with Ocean City mayor Rick Meehan and other officials on developing special event zones for automotive events in the resort. Carozza said the city wanted to work internally before they approached her and Sen. Jim Mathias with draft legislation, and a bill is likely to come from this effort soon.

Also, Carozza said she continues to work on the opioid epidemic through the Worcester Opiate Intervention Team. Formed by Gov. Hogan and administered by city and county emergency services directors, Joe Theobald and Fred Webster respectively, the team coordinates efforts of disparate agencies to approach the problem from multiple angles.

“We all know where the resources are, and as a group we form consensus on where the gaps are,” she said.

More broadly, Carozza said she supports Gov. Hogan’s “More jobs for Marylanders 2.0” bill and the crime victim’s proposals announced this past Friday.

Among those proposals are methods to terminate the parental rights of a rapist, several human trafficking measures and the creation of a victims’ services unit within the state government.

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