Maryland Republicans clash with Governor
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland: Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley has been liberal with his policies on environmentalism since taking office in 2007. Reactions to his policies have been mixed. His office claims that "He is basing his decisions on what is best for Maryland now and in the future." Senate Minority Whip E. J. Pipkin has stated when speaking to rural residents that, "We're at war. Simply, at war."
The most recent point of contention between the governor and Republicans is Plan Maryland, a statewide land-use plan aimed at limiting urban sprawl. The plan would use state funding for schools and other community needs to reward or punish those communities that do or do not meet the targets set by the plan.
The plan is summarized as follows: "Homes built on two-acre plots with septic systems are sprawl; homes built within city limits on half-acre plots and in range of sewer hookups, are not. O'Malley states that if the plan is followed, it will reduce the amount of annual funding spent on building roads and expanding and improving sewer systems by more than $1.5 billion.
Republicans are angry because they claim that this plan will hurt rural areas and choke rural development.