January 19, 2013

Miller: Co-sponsors ensure passage of wind energy bill

By Holly Nunn and Daniel Leaderman, Staff Writer | January 18, 2013 | www.somdnews.com

Gov. Martin O’Malley announced his full legislative agenda Friday, and at least one initiative seems to have all the support it needs to pass.

O’Malley’s bill to incentivize wind-energy development has 24 co-sponsors, enough presumptive “yes” votes to guarantee passage, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach said Friday.

The bill has yet to be introduced, but his administration announced that it would include a provision for residential customers to be charged no more than $1.50 a month on their electric bills to subsidize the costly process of building a 200 megawatt wind farm off the coast of Ocean City.

Last year, O’Malley’s wind proposal passed in the House of Delegates, but failed to make it out of the Senate Finance Committee. The proposal is expected to make it to the floor of the Senate this year, as Miller made changes to the committee to ensure the legislation would get a favorable report.

Another high-profile O’Malley proposal – repeal of Maryland’s death penalty – that seemed to be on a smooth course to passage may be in jeopardy, Miller said, because the governor did not pursue initiatives that other legislators wanted him to take on in return for their support on death penalty repeal legislation. Miller did not specify which lawmakers may have changed their minds, or which proposals O’Malley failed to support.

Other elements of O’Malley’s agenda include gun-control measures, expanding mental health services, streamlining public-private partnerships, promoting employment for veterans and expansion of early voting, including same-day registration.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2013/01/19/miller-co-sponsors-ensure-passage-of-wind-energy-bill/