Annapolis Insights: Legislative Newsletter – Week 1

Greetings constituents

As we embark on the 446th session of the Maryland General Assembly, which commenced on January 10th and is scheduled through April 8th, 2024, I am filled with a renewed sense of commitment and responsibility. This session, convening under the shadow of pressing state challenges, including a significant budget deficit and critical transportation funding shortfalls, promises to be a time of vigorous legislative activity and decisive action. In our opening week, we have already begun laying the groundwork for a series of comprehensive discussions and actions aimed at addressing these immediate concerns and paving the way for a resilient and prosperous future for Maryland.The 446th session of the Maryland General Assembly commenced on January 10, 2024, in Annapolis, Maryland. The session is scheduled to run until April 8, 2024.

HGO first meetings of the session 2024

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting with the Health and Government Operations Committee. As we embark on this legislative journey, our committee will be dedicated to addressing the vital health issues that impact the well-being of our constituents. In this nascent stage, we express our commitment to serving the immediate needs of Marylanders. This initial meeting served as a crucial starting point, setting the tone for our work ahead. Our goal is clear: to engage in meaningful discussions and take decisive actions that contribute to the betterment of health policies and government operations in our state. We look forward to collaborating with committee members and stakeholders, working together to ensure a healthier and more efficient future for Maryland.

Baltimore County Delegation

The Baltimore County Delegation recently received a comprehensive briefing on the impending retirement of the A-10 “Warthog” aircraft at Martin State Airport in Middle River, Maryland. This development, a part of the Air Force’s modernization efforts set for 2025, has raised significant concerns among state and congressional officials, particularly regarding the potential loss of hundreds of jobs. The Maryland National Guard, who were not consulted in this decision, emphasized the need for a replacement mission. The delegation was informed about ongoing infrastructure upgrades at the airport, including a runway extension funded by Governor Wes Moore, and the necessity of maintaining a flying mission in Maryland. Efforts are underway to include language in the next year’s defense budget to safeguard against the aircraft’s retirement without an alternative plan. The Baltimore County Delegation is fully committed to supporting the 175th Squadron and ensuring that Maryland continues to play a crucial role in national defense, while also protecting local employment and community interests.

Advocating for Student Futures:TABCO and ESPBC Host Legislative Breakfast

Before the start of the Annapolis session, I had the pleasure of attending a Legislative Breakfast hosted by the Teachers Association of Baltimore County(TABCO) and the Education Support Professionals of Baltimore County. As an educator myself, this event was a particular highlight, bringing together a dynamic group of Baltimore County legislators, county officials, dedicated educators, ESPBC leaders, Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) advocates, school board members, and officials from the public school system. Our united goal was to advocate for the futures of our students in the upcoming 2024 legislative session. I am proud to be a part of Baltimore County’s steadfast commitment to providing every student with a quality education. This event underscores the importance of our continued collaboration and sets the tone for success in the session ahead.

Legislation

This session prioritizes tackling the state’s budget deficit and addressing transportation funding shortfalls, recognizing their profound impact on local communities. I’m also excited to introduce bills and legislative bond initiatives which you will hear more about in the coming weeks.

Restaurant Week Celebration in Baltimore County

Experience the culinary delights of Baltimore County during Restaurant Week, running from January 12th to the 21st. This celebration invites citizens to embark on a flavorful journey through the diverse and vibrant restaurant scene that Baltimore County has to offer. From cozy cafes to upscale dining establishments, participating restaurants will showcase their culinary expertise with specially curated menus at enticing prices. It’s the perfect opportunity for food enthusiasts to explore new flavors, support local businesses. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just looking to indulge in a delightful dining experience, Restaurant Week is your chance to savor the tastes that define this dynamic community.

Korean American Day Celebrated in Annapolis

Korean American Day was celebrated on the floor in Annapolis with great enthusiasm and recognition of the significant contributions of the Korean American community. This observance commemorates the arrival of the first Korean immigrants to the United States on January 13, 1903, and serves to honor their achievements, cultural heritage, and the enduring impact of Korean Americans on the nation’s diverse tapestry. As the Chair of the AAPI Caucus, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the enthusiastic celebration of Korean American Day on the floor in Annapolis.

Apply Now for the Delegate Scholarship Program

In collaboration with Delegate Nick Allen and Delegate Carl Jackson, my office now accepts applications for the District 8 Delegate Scholarship. This scholarship aims to assist as many local students as possible, as we have done in previous years. Therefore, we encourage interested students to submit their applications early.

Your Voice Matters

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has shared their thoughts on legislation. Your advocacy is not only heard but also immensely appreciated. A well-informed and engaged constituency elevates the functioning of our government, be it at the federal, state, or local level. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or requests for assistance. My staff and I are here to help, and you can reach me at: harry.bhandari@house.state.md.us

Please use the link below for PDF version of newsletter :

https://delegatebhandari.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/Newsletter-2024-WEEK_1-1.pdf

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