Letter to Maryland Delegates and Senators Regarding SB 790
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by Betsy Johnson |
This is the letter that was hand delivered to all of the Maryland Delegates and Senators regarding the Fair Share Health Care Fund Act (SB 790). This is a copy of the letter sent to the Delegates.
January 5, 2006
The Sierra Club's Maryland Chapter, representing 17,000 members across the state, strongly urges you to support the override of Governor Erlich's veto of the Fair Share Health Care Fund Act (SB 790).
We urge your support of the override for two reasons:
The legislation fairly addresses the injustice created by the enforced subsidization by Maryland taxpayers of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retail corporation, because of its documented understanding on employee health care. In September 2003 The Wall Street Journal reported that Wal-Mart was spending nearly 40 percent less on employee health care than the average for all U.S. Corporations. Maryland taxpayers are forced to make up the difference, as Wal-Mart workers turn to Medicaid for their health services.
State funds used to subsidize Wal-Mart's operations in state – not just on health care, but on employee public assistance in all forms – are, by definition, unavailable for vital programs ranging from purchase of open space, maintenance of parks, development of mass transit and the countless other environmental and infrastructure programs that would benefit all Maryland citizens.
While Wal-Mart appears to be the only company in the state that would be impacted by the legislation as this time, SB 790 establishes a baseline of responsibility that would become the standard for the future. It is a fair and thoughtful measure that deserves to become a law.
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