State Legislator of the Week: Maryland State Delegate Kathy Szeliga
This week ALEC and FreedomWorks introduce the Legislator of the Week: Maryland State Delegate Kathy Szeliga. Elected in 2010 to the Maryland General Assembly, Kathy serves on several Committees including the Oversight Committee on Pensions, Maryland Veterans Caucus, and the House Emergency Medical Services Workgroup. Kathy was elected by her caucus to be the Minority Whip in the House of Delegates in 2013. She is also part of the Energy, Environment, and Agriculture taskforce at ALEC. Delegate Szeliga was raised in a military family in Baltimore. Her father was deployed to Korea twice and Vietnam once while she was growing up, giving Kathy a special understanding of the sacrifices of both our military personnel and the families they leave behind. Kathy graduated summa cum laude from Townsend State University and started a construction general contracting business 27 years ago with her husband Mark. Mark and Kathy have been married for 32 years and have two married sons: Eric & Amanda, and Steve & Christy.
Why did you run for office?
As a small business owner, it was and is very apparent to me that there are not enough small business owners who hold office and make laws directly impacting employees and job creators. Freedom to work for yourself and provide for your family is a vibrant part of the American Dream. The ever-growing and overreaching monster of big government is smothering the potential for future generations.
In your view, what is the biggest issue facing your state?
I’m concerned about the relentless mandated spending from the legislature that continues to grow the budget and structural deficit. As a supporter of limited government principles, expanding the government will only ensure that taxes need to be raised to fund these well-intended programs. Equally as concerning are the crippling and unaffordable health insurance premiums and health care costs for Marylanders from the Affordable Care Act.
If you could “wave your magic wand,” what would you like to see immediately implemented in your state?
If I could “wave my magic wand,” I would enact fair legislative and congressional redistricting that would make Maryland a truly purple state. Maryland’s redistricting scheme is currently before the United States Supreme Court. In 2002, the courts overturned Maryland’s redistricting map, yet things have only gotten worse.
What project or law are you most proud of?
I think it is often the “small victories” that are the most rewarding. I am most proud of the assistance I can deliver to my constituents; helping solve problems for people and families. This includes cutting through red tape and bureaucracy for citizens with the Motor Vehicle Administration, locating missing tax refunds, reversing unwarranted fees and penalties incurred by citizens, and other frustrating roadblocks citizens must negotiate because of an overreaching government.
How has ALEC helped you as a legislator?
ALEC’s principles of limited government, free markets and federalism are true pillars of conservative legislators. Finding ways to integrate these principles into state government, including best practices that are working in other states, is essential to steering Maryland and the 49 other states in the right direction.
Can you share a fun fact about yourself that’s not in your official bio?
One of my favorite hobbies is riding my motorcycle across the beautiful rural parts of Maryland enjoying our miles and miles of pastoral Ag land.