Sunday, March 24, 2013

ARGH: Lockheed Martin Corporate Welfare is Still Alive! // Del. Sheila Hixson Explains $1 Million "Compromise" to Local Dems

BACKGROUND: Maryland Juice has been following the persistent effort by state lawmakers to give a taxpayer-funded handout to weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin -- in exchange for nothing at all.  After years of failed attempts to persuade Montgomery County Councilmembers to issue Lockheed Martin millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, the Pentagon contractor's lobbyists are now pushing the state legislature to force MoCo to give Lockheed money. The public resistance to the Lockheed welfare plan has slowed down momentum for the legislation, but the bill simply won't die. Legislative leaders seem determined to give Lockheed Martin our tax dollars, and they are now on their third attempt to give away our money:

WELFARE ATTEMPT #1 - First our representatives tried to give Lockheed $1.8 million in straight up cash, plus $4.5 million in tax cuts every ten years.

WELFARE ATTEMPT #2 - After outcry from progressive advocates, the State Senate voted for a modified plan to "only" give Lockheed $4.5 million in tax cuts every ten years in perpetuity.  The State Senate recently voted 37-9 in favor of this "compromise" welfare plan for Lockheed.

WELFARE ATTEMPT #3 - After the Senate voted to support a handout for Lockheed, the bill advanced to the Maryland House Ways & Means Committee. In anticipation of the successful Senate vote,  Lockheed lobbyists planned a steak dinner at Ruth's Chris for Ways & Means members -- but they mysteriously canceled the dinner a few hours before it was scheduled to begin. Meanwhile, opponents of the Lockheed welfare plan called on Ways & Means Chair Sheila Hixson to use her position to kill the handout. We've been waiting for a sign as to whether Delegate Hixson planned on helping us out, and today we finally got a hint on Twitter. It appears that the public pressure is working, and Hixson may be being helpful in trying to weaken the Lockheed bill:

But it should be made clear that this third version of the Lockheed welfare bill is still unacceptable on substance, and the primary ask is for Committee Chair Sheila Hixson to simply kill the Lockheed bill once and for all. The compromise plan would still grant nearly $1 million in unjustified tax cuts to Lockheed at the expense of other vital services for Montgomery County residents.

CONTACT DEL. SHEILA HIXSON AND HOUSE WAYS & MEANS MEMBERS - On Thursday, the Ways & Means Committee will hold a hearing on the Lockheed Martin handout. Please contact Chair Sheila Hixson and the rest of the committee members  and urge them to kill this special interest handout. Delegate Hixson's email address is: Below we also provide the email addresses of the Ways & Means Committee members:

  1. Sheila Hixson (D Chair) -
  2. Frank Turner (D Vice-Chair) -
  3. Kathy Afzali (R) -
  4. Kumar Barve (D) - - LOCKHEED BILL SPONSOR
  5. Joseph Boteler (R) -
  6. Talmadge Branch (D) -
  7. Jon Cardin (D) - - LOCKHEED BILL SPONSOR
  8. Don Dwyer (R) -
  9. Mark Fisher (R) -
  10. Bill Frick (D) - - LOCKHEED BILL SPONSOR
  11. Ronald George (R) -
  12. Nina Harper (D) -
  13. Carolyn Howard (D) -
  14. Jolene Ivey (D) - - LOCKHEED BILL SPONSOR
  15. Anne Kaiser (D) - - LOCKHEED BILL SPONSOR
  16. Eric Luedtke (D) - - LOCKHEED BILL SPONSOR
  17. Aruna Miller (D) - - LOCKHEED BILL SPONSOR
  18. LeRoy Myers (R) -
  19. Andrew Serafini (R) -
  20. Melvin Stukes (D) -
  21. Michael Summers (D) -
  22. Jay Walker (D) -
  23. Alonzo Washington (D) -


1 comment:

  1. Where we're these "progressives" when the 21 cent/gallon regressive gas tax came up?