Businesses have to be able to find a way to pay for paid sick leave, he said, and tax rates in the state are part of the reason they cannot.
The senate proposed a tax cut for everyone in the state, he said, including small businesses, to help businesses make room for paid sick leave, but the bill never moved out of committee in the house.
Miller said the state will look at lowering taxes in the future.
Del. Edith Patterson (D-Charles) said education was well served over the session’s 90day period. Patterson said she co-sponsored 108 bills dealing with tax credits, transportation and education.
Patterson said she was “delighted” to be a co-sponsor on “Noah’s Law” creating stiffer preventative measures for drunk driving interlock security systems.
Noah’s Law was created after Montgomery County police officer Noah Leotta was hit by a suspected drunk driver on Dec. 3 during a routine traffic stop. The bill creates more stringent license suspensions for drunk drivers and establishes more penalties for those who refuse breathalyzer tests.
She also co-sponsored a successful bill on college affordability, she said.
“We want to look at ways in which people and families can afford college and look at the reduction or forgiveness of loans for people who work in Maryland,” Patterson said.
Although every bill was not successful, Patterson said, the 90 days in which the general assembly is in session is just that: 90 days. It takes more ground work to create successful laws, she said.
“That’s when we really work hard to get legislation and bills passed, but it’s really when we come back home is when the work begins,” Patterson said.
There were several bills looking at homelessness, Patterson said, and some that did not get passed. Patterson said she plans on working with food bank and housing programs to see if the increasing homeless population in Charles County can be better tended to.
Patterson also said she is working to help address mental illness around the state. Those two issues take a lot of ground work, she said, to find and create laws.
Both Stewart and Patterson said seeing Ji’Aire’s law not making it out of committee was disappointing, but Patterson said “you have to have patience.”
Ji’Aire’s law was sparked after Romecha Simms of La Plata was found pushing her 3-year-old son, Ji’Aire Lee, on a swing after the child died from hypothermia and dehydration. Simms has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Ja’Aire’s law, had it passed, would have set up a work group with a goal of establishing help and better protections for adults with mental illnesses.
Stewart said she can understand why the bill did not make it out of committee. Legislators wanted more time to do research, she said, before moving forward on it and “that’s fine.”
Patterson said she knows the bill will return down the line and when it does, she said, she will support it. In the meantime, she said, she will continue to fight and be an advocate for those with mental illnesses around the state.