Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller might get some bad grades from environmental groups this year but not completely because of his votes.
Miller, D-Calvert, Prince George’s, Wednesday referred to one environmental group as “wackos” after the Senate defeated an amendment to the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act that would have moved money back into the Chesapeake Trust Fund from the general fund.
The amendment was soundly defeated by a vote of 12-33, mostly along party lines.
“All of you are going to be scored 25 percent from the environmental community on this,” Miller said. “That’s how those wackos work.”
Miller was referring to a similar amendment sponsored in 2010 by then Sen. Andy Harris, R-Baltimore and Harford Counties, that sought to do the same thing.
Harris’ amendment was a ploy. It was meant to put legislators in a spot where there would have to choose between voting to pass a bill that balanced the budget or voting to move money from the general fund back to the fund for the bay, which the money was originally intended.
But moving the money would have left a hole in the budget that would leave it unbalanced. The majority of senators voted against it then as they did this year.
Miller pointed out that the League of Conservation Voters marked legislators down for that vote when the group issued it’s annual report card in that election year.
“It was uncalled for,” Miller said. “It was scored against us then in the election year and this is an election year.
“I expect them to be very careful,” Miller said.
Not everyone agreed with Miller’s assessment of the group.
“There are a number of interest groups that don’t have you as a poster boy nor me,” Sen. Paul G. Pinsky, D-Prince George’s, said to Miller. “So I think we could call them names, as well.
Miller said he could have been tougher on the group.
“That’s a very gentle name to call them, believe me,” Miller said.