Delegate Neil Parrott, R-Washington, talks to reporters in Annapolis, Md., on Monday, July 2, 2012 about an effort to bring Maryland’s congressional redistricting map to a referendum in November for voters to decide. Behind Parrott, from left, are Delegate Ron George, R-Anne Arundel, Delegate Glen Glass, R-Harford, and Delegate Steve Schuh, R-Anne Arundel.
A very long ballot for the fall election in Maryland keeps getting longer, as there could be as many as four statewide referendums this fall: same-sex marriage, the DREAM Act, congressional redistricting, and expanded gaming should the general assembly approve legislation during a special session next week.
Voters in Montgomery County will have even more decisions to make. This week, the county council okayed language for a referendum that would expand hiring preferences for the disabled in county government. Councilman Phil Andrews sponsored the bill that led to the referendum.
"The county can only bring people into those positions on a temporary basis at this point. Only 24 months," says Andrews. "And then they are stuck, and we've seen that. The unemployment rate among the disabled is very, very high. It can be up to 60 or 70 percent."
In addition, county voters could decide a second referendum, an issue that should be quite familiar to them, whether ambulance user fees should be charged.
Just two years ago, voters overwhelmingly rejected them. But the county council approved the fees again earlier this year. Opponents must decide whether they want the matter on the ballot again later this month.