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As we recently passed the one-year anniversary of Gov. Hogan's inauguration, I thought it was very timely that the Carroll County Times covered his proposals to reduce or eliminate some fees and make modest tax reductions, as well as the predictably negative reaction from the Annapolis establishment.

Maryland's political status quo skews to the left. While there are well-intentioned people on both sides of the aisle in the General Assembly, there are efforts by some on the Democratic side to continue the pre-Hogan practice of spending whatever money they have at their disposal with no thought of returning surplus tax receipts to the taxpayers. The quote about hurrying up and spending the small fund balance we've been able to accumulate through Gov. Hogan's tough, smart fiscal management — rather than providing some tax relief — is a classic example of the mentality that Carroll County's fiscally conservative legislators must deal with. For too long, Annapolis has viewed tax income as "their" money and tax relief as a giveaway.

Since I joined the General Assembly in 2011, I've made tax relief for families, retirees and job creators a top priority. I, along with the rest of the Carroll County delegation, am thrilled to be working with a governor who shares my commitment to reducing the cost of living and tax burden on Maryland's residents and businesses. My fellow Republican legislators and I felt like voices crying in the wilderness during the O'Malley years. Now we are working to at least put a little more spending power back in the hands of taxpayers.

In the Senate, I'm working to ensure that our state budget funds key, limited priorities while reducing spending so that we don't find ourselves with huge budget deficits and unsustainable debt. That was the failed direction we were heading in for nearly a decade and it's taking time to dig out — Gov. Hogan is correct, we must stay the course.

It is a great honor to represent Carroll County in the State Senate. Please feel free to contact my office at any time with questions, concerns or to plan a visit to Annapolis to see the General Assembly in action. I look forward to hearing from you. Email me at [email protected]