Maryland’s Future? A Positive Outlook from Annapolis Leaders

As someone who was sifting through the audience questions posed by those attending last night’s Annapolis Forum featuring Speaker of the House Michael Busch and Senate President Michael Miller, I can confidently state that most of the people present were primarily concerned about the economy and business, particularly small business.
Limited to only one hour of Q & A, it was important to me to gauge how many questions written on those little white index cards were focusing in a single subject. Over and over again, the questions centered around tax increases and budget cuts. Voters in Maryland are concerned they are going to lose services and pay higher taxes at the same time. They worry that college tuition will start to rise along with health and property insurance premiums while fire and police protection will be reduced.
Senate President Miller stated that perhaps if cuts were to be made they might affect funding given to optional programs such as stem cell research and preservation tax credits but that core services would be retained. Repeatedly Speaker Busch assured the audience that our state has the best K through 12 education system in the country and that with our unemployment rate 3 points below the national average, we should be pleased we live in Maryland. Several times it was mentioned that Maryland has the highest average median income and that with all these advantageous statistics, there was no imminent need to put additional programs in place that would attract more businesses to our state or do more to help businesses survive.
Behind me, I heard whispering that we have so many jobs because of all the Federal agencies located in Maryland.
All I have to do is take a walk in downtown Annapolis to see all the businesses that have closed their doors. If I drive over to the Eastern Shore I see more of the same, shuttered and boarded up shopping malls which once were filled with eager shoppers. Yes there are many new malls and new developments, but there are many businesses that have been forced out-of-business.
Despite all the doom and gloom, both Miller and Busch consistently delivered a positive message that the legislature would handle the economic shortfalls and that relatively speaking, the state of Maryland was doing fine.
Sponsored by What’s Up? Annapolis magazine, the Annapolis Forum, offered free to the public, was the last forum for 2009. Check the What’s Up website to find out about upcoming events.

Published by Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Her short stories and essays have been published in several small online journals including Lunch Ticket, Change Seven, Scarlet Leaf Review and Defunkt Magazine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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