2022 Legislative Session Week 7 Newsletter

It’s hard to believe that we’re already halfway through the legislative session. The days are flying by, and I’ve been busy with floor debates, bill hearings and meetings with constituents to discuss their priorities for me during my time in Annapolis. As always, I am beyond honored to be part of our state’s legislative process, and grateful for the opportunity to represent my communities here in the capital.

Legislative Bond Initiative


I am working with Senator Kathy Klausmeier and my fellow District 8 Delegates to secure $750,000 for athletic facilities upgrades at Parkville High School. This will cover a new scoreboard and bleacher installation, which will make the school better equipped to host home games. This brings the total we are asking for this year to over $5 million, which is a lot, but we are expecting to take full advantage of federal infrastructure funding and the state’s impressive budget surplus to get some money flowing into our communities!

HGO Committee Update

My committee, Health & Government Operations, had a week of long bill hearings. In a voting session, we passed a number of bills which will go on to a full floor vote later in the session. The bills we passed through committee this week include:

HB48 – Public Health – Maryland Suicide Fatality Review Committee

This bill establishes the Maryland Suicide Fatality Review Committee, part of an ongoing harm reduction effort in Maryland to bring down our state’s instances of suicide.

HB49 – Public Health – Emergency and Allergy Treatment Program – Nurse Practitioners

This bill authorizes nurse practitioners to prescribe and dispense auto-injectable epinephrine to certain certificate holders who operate youth camps, a step to better ensure the safety of our kids at all times under the protection of responsible adults. I was delighted to co-sponsor this bill, which passed unanimously.

HB375 – Open Meetings Act – Application and Enhanced Requirements (Maryland State Agency Transparency Act of 2022)

This bill repeals exemptions from the Open Meetings Act for certain independent and regional development units and establishes enhanced requirements under the Open Meetings Act for specified public bodies. This will make our government operations at the local and state level more transparent and accessible to members of the public, enabling them to better hold us to account. I was delighted to co-sponsor this bill, which passed unanimously.

HB430 – Human Services – Secretary of Aging – Qualifications

This bill establishes certain qualifications for an individual appointed as the Secretary of Aging. I was delighted to co-sponsor this bill, which passed unanimously.

Baltimore County Delegation

My thanks to Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt for joining the Baltimore County Delegation this week to share an update on the force’s recent activities, and to take questions from legislators on behalf of our constituents.


My thanks to Chief Hyatt for taking time out of her incredibly busy schedule to speak with us. She shared an overall status report, and also informed us about key initiatives to bolster recruitment, support the mental health of officers, and increase community outreach. I truly respect the men and women putting their lives on the line to keep Baltimore County safe, and thank each and every one for their incredible service.

Click here to watch our discussion with Chief Hyatt.

I know crime is a key issue in our communities. I remain focused on making our communities in District 8 safer and more liveable. That’s why I try to be on-scene when I can to check in with folks who experience crimes. After a despicable incident of vandalism at Bill’s Seafood in Perry Hall, I was there to provide whatever support I could. I firmly believe that elected leaders at the local and state level must work with law enforcement to prioritize the safety of people and property in our communities, and want to hear from you about how I can help.

Double Rock Park

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently notified my office that it received a grant request from Baltimore County for a $400,000 L.E.D. lighting project at Double Rock Park, which will be drawn from Local Parks and Playgrounds Infrastructure funding we passed in the General Assembly. The request will be submitted to the Board of Public Works for approval soon. My thanks to Baltimore County for supporting this initiative! This, plus the $150,000 bond initiative myself and my District 8 colleagues secured for Double Rock Park last year, means big things are coming for this beautiful slice of our district!

Citizen Spotlight


It was my huge honor to present Prakash Saraf and his organization Friends of Sparsh special citations for outstanding service to the people of Baltimore. Mr. Saraf’s dedicated service to our community, particularly helping people experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable folks, including the funeral support of bereaved families who passed away from COVID 19, is truly inspiring. We shared our thanks with citations from my office, as well as County Executive John Olzsewski, Jr. (my thanks to Vrinda Pani from the County Executive’s office for attending), Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, and Governor Larry Hogan. Kudos to Mr. Saraf for his incredible work!

Scholarship Applications

My office will be accepting applications for 2022-2023 scholarships until March 31, 2022, along with my fellow District 8 Delegates. Read on for more information. You can click the link below or scan the QR code to find our application form.

A few things to note before you apply:

  • Applicants must be residents of Maryland’s Legislative District 8. You can double-check your address at mdelect.net, and if you live in any other district, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship with your district’s representatives.
  • Applicants must be accepted or enrolled as full- or part-time students at a college or university in Maryland. We are not able to offer scholarships to students attending schools outside of Maryland (unless they have Unique Major status).
  • Applicants should only apply once. All three District 8 Delegates (Bhandari, Boteler, and Jackson) share a single scholarship fund and use the same system to accept and adjudicate applications. All three offices will be able to review your application after you submit this form once, so there’s no need to apply three times.

Find our application form at this link: https://forms.gle/UvbvxSe8wgVsBqz9A

Also worth noting: legislative scholarships are non-renewable, meaning you must reapply each year. Filing for FAFSA is encouraged but not required; however, if you don’t file for FAFSA, you must create a Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) account for the scholarship award to be processed. Visit this page for more details.

Please don’t hesitate to follow up with any questions. And good luck!

Questions, Comments, or Concerns

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns throughout the legislative session, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at harry.bhandari@house.state.md.us. I am always happy to hear from constituents, and in the meantime, I’m sending you all my best wishes.

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