Md. Republicans Call on Attorney General to Investigate Special Session Actions

ANNAPOLIS (Jan. 4, 2008) – Still reeling from the massive tax increases passed during the recent 2007 special session, Republican leaders in the House and Senate yesterday called upon Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) to request an investigation by the State Prosecutor into unspecified actions taken by the House and Senate during the special session that Republicans say violated Maryland’s Constitution.

“This is a matter of government transparency and the integrity of the State’s Constitution,” said House Minority Leader Anthony O’Donnell (R-29C). “The Attorney General’s office is too vested in defending this issue and cannot objectively seek the truth in a non-adversarial role. They are engaged in representing the interests of their client”.

“In accordance with section 9-1203 of the State Government Article, we call upon the Attorney General to request an investigation by the State Prosecutor”, said Senate Minority Whip Allan Kittleman (R-9). “The State Prosecutor is an independent agency with no vested interest in the outcome of this investigation. They can conduct a fair and objective inquiry into what occurred.”

The State Prosecutor is Robert A. Rohrbaugh. The prosecutor is appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent upon nomination by the State Prosecutor Selection & Disabilities Commission.

“The State Prosecutor’s Office was created with a mind towards preserving the integrity of government,” said House Minority Whip Christopher B. Shank (R-2B). “They have both the resources and the mandate to determine the facts and appropriate course of action. The citizens of Maryland deserve to know the full, unbiased truth related to all of these matters and their government.”

The many increases in taxes that affect consumers, and personal and corporate income tax payers, became effective this week. They include an increase in the sales tax and vehicle titling tax from 5 percent to 6 percent, a doubling of the cigarette tax to $2 per pack, and an increase in the corporate income tax rate from 7 percent to 8.25 percent. Sales taxes must also be paid on many services that were previously tax exempt, such as computer and landscaping services.

Source: Maryland House Republican Caucus

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