From The Maryland Reporter April 5, 2010. Somehow it never got posted here.
Disability Advocates Demonstrate for Tax Hike
A small group of people with developmental disabilities demonstrated in the State House lobby Monday night, chanting “10 cents makes sense.”
The group was frustrated with failure to pass a major hike in the alcohol tax to help pay for services for the disabled. Alcohol taxes, now about a penny a drink, have not been raised in more than 30 years.
Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch have said for months that the legislature would enact no tax increases of any kind this year.
At the end of the video, Sgt. Larry Barnes, a state trooper who is the sergeant-at-arms for the House, told the group to quiet down, but he promised to try to get them in to see Busch and Miller. According to Busch’s office, the speaker later went out to meet with the group, but they had already left the building.
Small Group Protests Over Possible Medicaid Cuts
From Brian Witte, AP, January 17 2011 Photo & Video from WBAL Radio.
Disabled Maryland residents called on the governor on Monday to avoid budget cuts to Medicaid that they fear could seriously damage community-based support services.
About 10 people held a brief rally in front of the marble staircase that leads to Gov. Martin O'Malley's office inside the Maryland State House, down the hall from the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate. The state is facing a $1.6 billion shortfall for the next fiscal year. The rally was held four days before O'Malley is scheduled to disclose a budget proposal he says will fill the hole entirely with cuts.
The participants chanted: "We want O'Malley," "Don't cut our services" and "I'd rather go to jail than die in a nursing home" during a protest that lasted about 10 minutes. Participants are members of a grass roots disability rights activist group called Maryland ADAPT. They say Medicaid cuts could force disabled people from communities into institutions.
"We wanted to come out and share our concerns about what may possibly happen," said Floyd Hartley, who spent three years in a nursing home before finding out about a Medicaid program that enabled him to move to a home setting. "We're hoping that they don't happen, but we're here to interject to the governor that these cuts can be detrimental to many individuals within the state."
Few people were in the building at the time of the rally. Lawmakers are not scheduled to gather for session until 8 p.m. O'Malley was in Baltimore commemorating the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday and volunteering at several events marking a day of service.
O'Malley, a Democrat, has emphasized that his proposal will be the beginning of a dialogue with the Maryland General Assembly about how to handle what is expected to be a difficult budget year due to the evaporation of federal stimulus money that helped the last two years.
O'Malley has said he will keep an open mind about any new tax proposals, but he has said he will not include any tax increases.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene made up about $8.9 billion of the state's budget last year. About 70 percent of that is in the Medicaid program, which comes with a large match in federal funding and provides services to about 1 million people in the state.
O'Malley is scheduled to make his budget proposal public on Friday.
The article appeared in the following places. One of these days I'll link to everything.
WTOP - Baltimore Sun - Bloomberg News - Delaware Online - Forbes - Connecticut Post - MSNBC Business - Canadian Business - Business Week - Yahoo Finance - Greenfield Daily Reporter - Darien News - Daily Finance - WUSA - WJZ - WBAL Radio - Times Union - Beaumont Enterprise - The Star Democrat - Greenwich Time - Delmarva Now - News Times - Stamford Advocate - Daily Journal - The Republic - ABC 27 - MD Daily Record - Frederick News Post - Cecil Whig - WBOC TV - Media Dis&Dat Blog - WBFF - WAMU - Fox5DC - CNBC - Pharmacy Choice - Maryland Reporter
What will we be up to next? Just wait and see...