Your Public Radio > WYPR Archive
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
You are now viewing the WYPR Archive of content news. For the latest from WYPR, visit

Smith: New Post Makes McIntosh More Important For Baltimore

chesbayprogram via flickr

Having labored for years to save the bay, Maggie McIntosh turns now to matters of the purse. How Maryland spends the taxpayers’ money is about to become her new Job 1. 

She takes over as chair of the House Appropriations Committee at a moment of  great challenge. The Baltimore delegate takes control of this body when cuts in spending are in the offing. Unless handled carefully, cuts could undermine values such as public education.

House Speaker Michael Busch needed a proven leader after the defeat of the committee’s current chairman, Del. Norman Conway. His vice chairman, Del. Jim Proctor, was also defeated. McIntosh, a former member of the Appropriations panel, stepped into the breach at Busch’s request.

She takes over at a moment of political friction. The assembly will be coming to terms with a Republican governor who has promised to cut taxes and reduce spending. 

McIntosh’s new job comes with sharp twist. One of the taxes Hogan wants to retire soon is the stormwater remediation fee – passed by her committee and derided by opponents as the “rain tax.” Though a relatively small hit on the taxpayer’s wallet at $39 a year, it came to symbolize the popular anti-tax anger.

In her new position, Del. McIntosh will assume the role of chief protector of Baltimore’s interests. She’d taken that responsibility before. Now she’s in a position to speak even more effectively for the city. She follows in a long train of city representatives in high positions. 

With population loss, the city has lost clout in decision-making counsels. Her personal relationships and her adroit handling of complicated issues make her one of the state’s most important lawmakers.

Your comments are welcome at [email protected].