January 2020, Week Third

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:

Another week is in the books for the Maryland General Assembly, and there is plenty to discuss.

First and foremost, I submitted my first three pieces of legislation for this session. While there will be more coming, I learned last session that it is important to get a jump on bill submission before the General Assembly gets bogged down.

The first bill I submitted will sound familiar to those who followed along last session: Home and Hospital Teaching Program for Students. This bill would require the State Department of Education to study the Home and Hospital program in our schools and provide a report to the General Assembly, State Board of Education, and the Governor. Students who need the Home and Hospital program are already at a disadvantage by being out of the classroom. This legislation would seek to ensure that our most vulnerable students are provided adequate support, while also looking into whether transition plans for students returning to the classroom are needed. It would also assess whether or not local school systems have sufficient staffing for those in the program.

The second piece of legislation I submitted tackles licensing for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. The bill repeals and reenacts certain sections of the Annotated Code of Maryland, making it easier for those who earned their accreditation outside of Maryland to do their job by cutting out some of the red tape. Simply plying your trade shouldn’t be an onerous, costly endeavour, and this piece of legislation seeks to alleviate some big headaches.

The third piece of legislation I submitted would allow a decedent to an estate to receive funds bequeathed to them, up to $1,000, even after the estate has been closed. With this bill, the court would be able to enter an order authorizing disbursement of funds in accordance with the will.

CO-SPONSOR: There are a number of bills I have already signed on as co-sponsor. One such bill would provide feminine hygiene products at all schools, requiring two bathrooms vto carry these products in the first year of implementation before expanding to every woman’s bathroom. HEALTH & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE: The Health and Government Operations Committee is one of the busiest committees in the General Assembly. We are committed to doing a great job like the previous session to improve the health quality of Marylanders. This week in my committee, Health and Government Operations (HGO), we began briefings and heard updates from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission, the Maryland Insurance Administration, and the Maryland Department of Health.

HEALTH & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE: The Health and Government Operations Committee is one of the busiest committees in the General Assembly. We are committed to doing a great job like the previous session to improve the health quality of Marylanders. This week in my committee, Health and Government Operations (HGO), we began briefings and heard updates from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission, the Maryland Insurance Administration, and the Maryland Department of Health.

BALTIMORE COUNTY DELEGATION: Last week in our Baltimore County Delegation meeting, we were visited by BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams. For years overcrowding on buses has been a big problem in our district. I pressed Superintendent Williams on getting these issues fixed, and he was certainly receptive to my concerns. He assured the delegation that the issues of bus overcrowding was being studied and is something he will continue to work on. A lot of the issues, according to Superintendent Williams, seem to stem from a shortage of bus drivers, which should be a relatively simple problem to fix. I will continue to seek updates on this issue and keep you all abreast. While it was nice getting some answers on the overcrowding issue, there’s another issue where the delegation would like to hear further clarification from our local school board. By now, I’m sure most of you have heard about the 21-year-old sex offender student at Parkville High School. A child ended up harmed due to wildly questionable administrative decisions, and we need answers immediately. The District 8 legislators stand together on this, and you can bet this is an issue that will not just disappear. We demand answers and accountability, and we need to make sure protocol is put in place, so something like this never happens again. Please know that I, and a group of other delegates, will be doing a conference call with the Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools very soon.

STATE CHAMPS: After our delegation hearing, representatives from districts 7 and 8 welcomed the Perry Hall girls soccer team to the capitol to congratulate them on their second 4A State Championship in a row. To win one championship is a feat most high school athletes never get to enjoy. To win back-to-back titles shows that these girls and their coaches are the real deal. We congratulate them on their hard work and achievement, and I look forward to hopefully hosting them for the third time next year! It has been an honor fighting for you here in Annapolis. The session will get tough at times, but on the whole, we will make significant progress as a governing body. I look forward to hearing from all of you and wish you all the best.

 

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