Maybe it’s just that I’m paying more close attention to education bills in recent months. But I’m seeing some bills sponsored by Republicans who I know to be good conservatives and effective legislators that contain one or two clauses imbedded within the language of the bill that seem benign on the surface, but open the door to more government overreach.
We The People overlook these clauses, because we make the reasonable yet faulty assumption that our legislators are integrous, forthright, and primarily concerned with doing what’s right for the citizens they serve. In fact, that assumption is strengthened when the sponsors of the bill are Republicans (the reverse would be true in a red state).
Now, my presumption here is that, either the clause was inserted under the advice of a Democrat, or by bill language writers under the influence of a Democrat, or will simply be later exploited by a Democrat. I am not suggesting the exploitation is something the bill sponsors had in mind.
Maryland Legislative Watch provides a good analysis of the bill. The clause in question here is the following:
The Comptroller, in consultation with the State Department of Education, shall adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.
According to Maryland Legislative Watch, the worry is that this clause opens the door for more oversight by the MSDE by means of regulation, rather than statute.
The bill is being heard on January 29 in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, and is apparently being planned for amendment.
Now, homeschoolers being independent thinkers and rebels, they would simply say, “I’ll just refuse the tax credit.” But then down the road the new regulations put in place under this law will be used to justify the expansion of those regulations to even those who refused the credit. Potential infringements like this must be met with resistance.
The good news is that, so long as we catch bad clauses in good bills, the Republicans who sponsored the bills are reasonable and welcome input from the people.
Please contact Senator Nancy Jacobs and ask her to remove the clause referencing regulations to carry out the provisions. Then thank her for sponsoring this bill which supports homeschoolers in Maryland.
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