Consumer group rates Maryland legislators with high scores -- Gazette.Net


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More than 40 percent of the Maryland legislature got perfect scores in the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition's ratings of their votes during the General Assembly's regular session which ended in April.

Among the 80 lawmakers that the consumer protection group named “champions” were 22 senators and 58 delegates, including Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Dist. 30) of Annapolis.

Although all the legislators given perfect scores are Democrats, several Republicans just missed the cut with nearly perfect scores of 94 percent, including House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell (R-Dist. 29C) of Lusby.

Four Republican senators and five Republican delegates scored 94 percent.

Scoring included floor votes on eight key consumer protection bills and committee votes on even more consumer protection measures, according to Franz Schneiderman, spokesman for the Baltimorebased group.

The bills included measures aimed at helping Marylanders avoid losing homes to foreclosure and avoid having to pay income tax on mortgage balances that were written down because of foreclosure.

Also scored were votes on bills aimed at preventing identity theft and imposing taxes on non-cigarette tobacco products.

The group said it will push in January for legislation to “stop auto sales abuses,” as well as more bills to help people keep their homes and protect vulnerable people from “financial predators.”

The group also gave Del. Craig Zucker (D-Dist. 14 ) of Brookeville its “Legislative Achievement of the Year” award for “his work to protect children and vulnerable adults from identity theft.”

The complete scorecard is on the group's website www.marylandconsumers.org.

mhyslop@gazette.net