January 2020, Week Four

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Another week is in the books for the Maryland Last week things really kicked into gear in the General Assembly. On Friday, the Baltimore County House Delegation was joined by the Baltimore City House Delegation to hear an update on the plans for redeveloping the Pimlico Racetrack, home of The Preakness. Over the last year, the Baltimore City government has been negotiating with the Maryland Jockeys Association and other groups, and on Friday they presented their plan. In a short period of time, legislation will be introduced on how to fund the project. In total, this is a $375.5 million proposal, which will also see money going to the racetrack in Laurel. There are a few concerns with this project. First and foremost, about a third of the funding will come from slot machine gaming. Eventually, though, that money is supposed to go towards education, and with billions needed for massive construction projects across the state, as well as funding for the implementation of the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations, we will need to seriously debate how we fund this. Second, we need to make sure that Timonium isn’t hurt by this. Ultimately, I think this project will benefit both the city and county. But this will be seriously debated over the coming weeks once legislation is introduced, so please voice any comments or concerns you may have about the plan.

HEALTH AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS: In the HGO Committee, we pushed forward with some important legislation, including a bill that will require more transparency from state agencies. The bill, HB421, will require state agencies to post agendas at least two days before meetings, as well as post minutes of said meetings shortly after. We also heard from the new CEO of the University Of Maryland Medical Systems, Dr. Mohan Suntha. Last year saw the UMMS in turmoil, as the extent of self-dealing among board members came into view. Dr. Suntha assured the committee that there were big changes taking place to ensure this doesn’t happen again. UMMS is currently under audit by the state, and when that audit is complete in March we will likely invite Dr. Suntha back down to discuss the findings.

MY BILLS: This session I am introducing multiple bond bills. One bill will help provide funding for a turf field at Parkville High School, while another will help to improve an Asian (Nepalese) Community Resource Center on Taylor Avenue that was badly damaged after someone drove through their wall. The third bond bill I am introducing will help cover the costs of a memorial playground for Officer Amy Caprio, who tragically lost her life in the line of duty. Two of my bills — the Home and Hospital bill and the Closed Estates bill — have been cross-filed in the Senate. I’ll keep you updated as they move along.

VETO OVERRIDES: Finally, last week we voted to override a number of Governor Hogan’s vetoes from last session. Included in the fray was an override of Gov. Hogan’s veto of DREAM Act legislation. The legislation basically makes it so that those utilizing the DREAM act can attend any state university. Previously they had to attend community college if they wanted to continue their education after high school. In order to qualify, DREAMers need to have paid taxes in Maryland for three years. It makes sense to allow them to benefit if they’re paying taxes.

Download the PDF Version of this newsletter.

Comments : 0

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Become a Part of Our Team

    Support Us For Your Better Future