Welcome!

Thanks to constituents and friends across the region, I have been able to serve as a progressive voice in the Maryland General Assembly for over 25 years. This website allows me to share my views on both specific issues and my long term vision for the state. At the same time, I want to foster a dialogue and hear from you on these very same issues. We have worked to improve life for our state’s working and middle income people but we have much more to do. I encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions regarding these important issues through an email or phone call. I would like to be known not only as a leader, but a leader who listens. If you like what you see on my website, create a bookmark and forward a link to this web page to your friends and neighbors. Enjoy!

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Annapolis Advocate Newsletter

Summer 2017 Annapolis Advocate Updated June 2017💥

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eNewsletter

Check out the latest eNewsletter here. Updated November 2017💥

Latest News

  • Trump & Taxes: Guess Who Benefits

    What a shock!  By 2027, taxpayers making under $75,000 will see a tax hike and for the next ten years, those making over $500,000 will see anywhere from a 4.2 to 8.5 % reduction in taxes to, after 2027, a .5 to .7% reduction taxes.

    Interest on college loans? No longer deductible. State and local taxes? No longer deductible. School supplies purchased by teachers?  You guessed it: no longer deductible. If you’re a large corporation, however, you can deduct your equipment purchases.

    Besides reducing the tax rate for large companies from 35% (which they never pay because of loopholes) to 20%, these same companies who’ve been avoiding taxes by hiding profits overseas would now pay just 12%. But that’s not all. From here on out, most money they make oversees will no longer even be liable for U.S. taxes.

    After 2022, because the House bill uses a low inflation projection, many people currently in the 12% tax bracket will be pushed into the 25% tax bracket. This will double their tax bill!

    And for those of you who do itemize, check this out: in 2018, tax credits for: plug-in motor vehicles – gone; medical expenses –gone; tax preparation costs — gone.

    It has been reported that if the bill passes, Donald Trump would see a $20 million gain and his children, upon his passing, would see a $1 billion gain because of this tax proposal.

    And what do Republicans plan to do after passing this huge tax cut for the richest Americans? They’ll turn around and demand cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other social services in the name of the huge hole budget hole they’ve just created.

    We need three Republican senators to oppose it along with all Democrats, just as we successfully did with the failed repeal & replace effort of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The best hope is to win ‘no’ votes from: Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Susan Collins (Maine), John McCain (Arizona), Jeff Flake (Arizona) & Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).  If you know anyone in those states, encourage them to contact their senator. Obviously, if the voters of Alabama defeat that fanatic — and — predator Roy Moore, that would be one less vote we need.

  • Fundraising Reception

    Please join Maryland’s Attorney General Brian Frosh at a reception honoring Senator Pinsky at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in the revitalized Arts District in Hyattsville.

    (Click to enlarge)

  • 2017 Legislative Recap

    This session, I’ve directed much of my effort to improving our community, offering solutions to our state’s economy, and addressing education, public safety, and environmental issues. Now that the session has adjourned, I wanted to offer a brief update on some of these issues.

    The Environment and the Chesapeake Bay

    The Governor signed legislation I co-sponsored to permanently ban fracking (natural gas extraction). The Governor vetoed a bill I co-sponsored last year, increasing the state’s reliance on clean energy. This year the legislature overrode the governor’s veto.

    President Trump’s budget proposal severely cut Chesapeake Bay cleanup funding. Maryland’s congressional delegation issued a bipartisan condemnation of the cuts, but Governor Hogan has been silent. In response, I sponsored a senate joint resolution condemning the cuts and calling on the Governor to publicly oppose them. The resolution passed.

    Last year the legislature ordered a count (stock assessment) of the Bay’s oyster population. This year the Department of Natural Resources proposed reducing oyster sanctuary boundaries before the stock assessment has even begun. In response, the General Assembly passed a bill prohibiting changes to the sanctuaries until the assessment is complete. The Governor allowed the bill to become law without his signature. I opposed a Governor-supported bill easing penalties for oyster poachers which was ultimately rejected in committee.

    These anti-Bay efforts along with the Hogan Administration’s firing or reassigning of Bay scientists revealed a true antipathy towards Bay cleanup efforts.

    Public Health

    Antibiotic resistance, the creation of ‘superbugs,’ is a growing public health threat. This problem is caused, in large measure, by adding antibiotics to animal feed given to chickens, cattle, and swine who aren’t sick. This three year battle to remove these antibiotics ended in successful legislation banning such use in Maryland. I was pleased to join grassroots efforts and served as lead-sponsor of the bill.

    Labor, Business, and Taxes

    A bill finally passed this year to require paid sick leave for all workers. As a cosponsor of the proposal, I believe that no one should ever have to make the choice between staying home to nurse a sick child and going to work to put food on the table.

    Corporations often avoid paying any corporate income tax in Maryland. Two bills, I introduced, would have required that they pay their portion. Another bill I sponsored would ensure that hedge fund managers pay their fair share of taxes, which they are now able to dodge. This reform was supported by both presidential candidates during the campaign. All three bills failed. A rule prohibiting internet service providers (e.g. Comcast, Verizon) from selling your browsing history was reversed by President Trump. Legislation I co-sponsored in response passed the Senate, but failed in a House committee.

    These defeats signal the continued stranglehold the corporate sector has over state policy.

    Education Reforms

    Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy Devos have proposed privatizing schools with vouchers and for-profit charters, as well as increasing our reliance on standardized testing. In response, the legislature passed legislation to block these proposals. As Education subcommittee chair, I led the fight to pass the bill. After the Governor vetoed the bill, which may suggest Governor Hogan’s support of such positions, the General Assembly overrode the veto.  I also cosponsored separate legislation to limit standardized testing to provide more time for instruction. The bill passed.

    Criminal Justice

    Too many nonviolent defendants remain in prison before trial because they can’t afford bail while many dangerous defendants can afford bail and get out of jail when when they should be detained. The Court of Appeals issued a new ruling directing low or no bail for non-violent prisoners who are not flight risks and requiring dangerous defendants to remain behind bars while awaiting trial, rather than setting bail. I led the efforts to support the court’s new policy and opposed a reactionary bill supported by the bail bondsmen to reverse the rule. Despite a close vote and strong opposition, the bill passed the Senate, but thankfully failed in the House of Delegates.

    President Trump’s immigration enforcement policy has spread fear throughout immigrant communities. I cosponsored the Trust Act to ensure that state and county law enforcement do not hold undocumented immigrants beyond their scheduled release date, absent a federal warrant. I am sorely disappointed that the bill failed.

    Elections and Money in Politics

    I sponsored legislation to allow people to register to vote on election day (already allowed during early voting.) The Senate and House of Delegates didn’t work out their differences before the end of the session, so the bill failed.

    I introduced the Democracy Resolution (SJ4) calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision which allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of their revenue (e.g. your cable bill) in political campaigns. As a result of House inaction, the resolution failed.

    Close to Home

    Locally, the delegates and I were able to secure funding for the construction of a Veterans Memorial and to renovate the Maryland Milestones Heritage Center, both in Hyattsville. We also secured funds for the Maryland Multicultural Youth Center to expand a community center in Riverdale.

    Thank you for your ongoing interest and support and should you have additional questions, I can be contacted at paul.pinsky@senate.state.md.us or (301) 858-3155.

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