Montgomery County Democratic leaders might call for local party members to oppose a congressional district map drawn and approved by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly at a meeting Wednesday.
They also have recommended the party oppose an expansion of gambling.
The map and gambling are two of seven statewide, and as many as five countywide, ballot questions that voters will answer this November.
The Ballot Questions Advisory Committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee has recommended the party support key questions including the Dream Act and Marriage Equality and a Montgomery’s disability hiring charter amendment.
Calling the map, which was approved by the General Assembly last October, “highly gerrymandered,” the ballot committee’s report said the map splits communities and dilutes Montgomery’s congressional representation by dividing the county between the sixth, third and eighth congressional districts.
Gambling’s negative social consequences and the vocal opposition of citizens in Prince George’s County were cited as reasons to oppose the measure.
The Dream Act of 2011 allows undocumented immigrants, who are Maryland high school graduates, to be eligible to pay in-state tuition at Maryland colleges, provided the student meet certain conditions including attendance, graduation, filing of tax returns, intent to apply for permanent residency and, for males, registration with the U.S. Selective Service System, which registers 18-year-old men for potential service in the U.S. military.
Among the reasons to support the measure, the advisory committee’s report noted “it is wrong to penalize students because of the actions of their parents.”
On the other statewide issues, the advisory committee recommended the Democratic party support the Marriage Equality Act, the two questions on qualifications for orphan court judges in Prince George’s and Baltimore counties,and a question on the point at which elected officials charged with crimes automatically are suspended or removed from office.
On Montgomery County questions, the advisory committee recommended party support of Councilman Philip M. Andrews’ question to allow the county to establish a program to encourage the hiring of individuals with disabilities. It recommended opposing a question that would support halting effects bargaining. The police union used effects bargaining to negotiate certain management decisions.
Litigation is pending on Robin Ficker’s question that would subject raising Montgomery County’s energy tax rate above the rate of inflation to a super-majority. The advisory committee recommended opposing the question, should it appear on the ballot.
Democratic Central Committee leaders are scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. in Rockville to discuss and vote on the party’s official positions on the ballot questions.