Frederick, Md (KM) The Maryland General Assembly is scheduled to convene on January 10th, 2018. But one local lawmaker has already filed some bills. State Senator Ron Young (D) has proposed legislation that would make a community college education tuition free for students from working class families.
He says the Affordable Community College Act of 2018 would be beneficial not only for students who take the two-year curriculum and go on to a four-year college or university, but also for those who want to earn certifications as skilled professionals. “There are a lot of good jobs out there that are not necessarily college jobs: plumbers, bricklayers, HVAC people. There are jobs out there and they’re having problems finding young people to fill them,” he says.
Senator Young says his bill, if it passes, would help solve this problem. “We want to make training available to those people without cost so we can get them into the field and get them on the rolls as taxpayers,” he says. “It reduces a major national problem we have of student debt in that the first two years aren’t costing them,” he says.
Young says under this bill, the state and the county would cover tuition costs for these students.
Another bill, the Small Business Equity Act of 2018, would require retailers and food service companies whose headquarters are located out of state to pay taxes on the profits they make in Maryland. “That would produce after the first year about $50-million that would more than cover the state’s share of this program,” he says.
Young also says it would make it easier for a local merchant to compete with a national retailer or food service chain. “Right next to that national department store that might not being taxes here is a little card store, a restaurant or a locally owned business, and they are paying taxes,” he says.
If this bill passes, Senator Young says it will not necessarily lead to price increases on the part of national store chains. “It shouldn’t necessitate a cost increase. It’s just sharing revenue. Over 20 states already do this,” he says.
Young says by filing early, you get your bills in before everyone else, and they get on the hearing schedule much earlier during the legislative session.