Annapolis Insights: Legislative Newsletter – Week 4

Greetings constituents,
Another week of the 2023 General Assembly is in the books, and it was another exciting one. To kick off the week, Governor Wes Moore delivered a historic State of the State speech, marking him as the first African American state governor and, fittingly, on the same day of Black History Month. Governor Moore emphasized his commitment to public service and proposed a unique service year program for high school graduates, dedicating funding in the budget for the Department of Service and Civic Innovation. He highlighted the significance of service and its potential to prepare young people for their future, foster success, and instill a lifelong habit of giving back to the State. Other important issues, such as childhood poverty, tax relief for military retirees, improving teacher education, and fair wages, were also touched upon. In addition, Governor Moore aims to make the state government more attractive and fill the 6,500 vacant positions, promising exciting times ahead for Maryland!

HGO: Briefing on Long-Term Care and the Prescription Drug Affordability Board

The Health & Government Operations Committee received a briefing on Long-Term Care and the Prescription Drug Affordability Board. In addition, the Maryland Department of Aging and the Maryland Department of Health provided information on Long-Term Care. Maryland Medicaid covers individuals needing long-term Care through five eligibility groups, with a policy goal of serving more individuals in the community through the home and community-based services (HCBS).
Andrew York, Executive Director, introduced the Prescription Drug Affordability Board and its role in ensuring access to affordable prescription drugs. The Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board, established in 2019 by the General Assembly, is leading the nation in protecting healthcare consumers from high drug costs. The Board comprises five members appointed by different authorities and has a Stakeholder Council to provide insight into the healthcare system. It can conduct cost reviews, collect drug pricing data, and identify drugs with specific pricing thresholds.
The committee also heard Delegate Bonnie Cullison’s House Bill 0279, which brings numerous benefits: affordability, accessibility to improved health outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, more competitive prices, price transparency, and better health outcomes.

A Look at My Bills in the Maryland General Assembly

HB0300 (SB0235) School Buildings – Solar Technology – Solar Panels on Schools
A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the House and Senate in a major victory for the environment. The new bill aims to promote environmentally friendly and financially beneficial practices in the construction of schools. As many schools are being built under the “Built to Learn” act, this bill will ensure that valuable agricultural land is conserved. Furthermore, using solar panels on the roof of schools will provide educational opportunities for students and positively impact the environment. Therefore, starting July 1, 2025, local school systems will be required to consider the installation of solar panels on the roof of newly constructed schools.
If a local school system decides not to install solar panels, they must provide a detailed explanation of their decision. This bill serves as a step towards a more sustainable future and demonstrates the importance of considering the environment in all aspects of society. Our responsibility to future generations is to ensure we build sustainable and eco-friendly structures. This bill is a crucial step in that direction, and we are proud to lead the way. This bill’s implementation is expected to impact the environment, education, and finance positively. In addition, it is a testament to the commitment of local school systems to create a better future for all. Our responsibility to future generations is to ensure we build sustainable and eco-friendly structures. This bill is a crucial step in that direction, and we are proud to lead the way. This bill’s implementation is expected to impact the environment, education, and finance positively. In addition, it is a testament to the commitment of local school systems to create a better future for all. Senator West, a prominent leader in the Senate, is the lead sponsor of this groundbreaking legislation.

Hospital Credentialing – Reappointment Process for Physician Staff – Modification
House Bill 0663 aims to enhance Maryland’s medical systems by regulating the credentialing process for hospital physician staff. Senator Lamb has cross-filed the bill on the Senate side as SB 0258. The bill requires that the physician staff reappointment process in licensed hospitals be based on accreditation standards rather than a set frequency. The goal is to provide the highest quality medical care to all residents of Maryland.
Our upcoming editions will delve into even more bills and legislation that impact our daily lives. So stay informed and join the conversation.

Legislative Bond Initiative(LBI)
I am excited to announce my introduction of the Legislative Bond Initiative to enhance our community. Through our past legislative sessions, I am proud of what we have achieved with the District 8 team – securing millions of dollars for parks and school upgrades and making crucial infrastructure improvements in our district.

LBI for Improved Facilities in District

With Principal Micah Wiggins-Parkville Middle School

This week, I had the privilege of visiting two schools in our district and meeting with the Principals of Fullerton Elementary and Parkville Middle School. During the visits, I listened to our schools’ needs and gathered feedback, and as a result, I am proud to announce that I have requested two bond bills for each school. These bills aim to upgrade the facilities, thus improving our students’ educational experiences. Senator Kathy Klausmeire has cross-filed the bill on the Senate side, and I have received support from District 8 House colleagues and local elected officials. I am excited to work towards a better future for the students in our district.

Fullerton Elementary School

Parkville Middle School
Baltimore County House Delegation: Updates on Local Issues and Policy Developments
The Baltimore County House Delegation held a meeting today and received a briefing from Tradepoint Atlantic. During the meeting, we also voted for various bills, particularly on education-related matters.

Tradepoint Atlantic’s Transformation and Emergence as a Major Logistics Hub
Tradepoint Atlantic briefed the Baltimore County Delegation. Formerly known as Sparrows Point, the once world-renowned iron and steel-making facility has undergone a major transformation. In 2014, new ownership led by Redwood Capital Investments breathed new life into the 3,300-acre site, transforming it into one of the country’s largest and most strategically significant intermodal global logistics hubs. This marks a new era for Tradepoint Atlantic and a modern industrial revival for our county, state, and nation.

Pic.Tradepoint Atlantic FB

Bills Related to Education Discussed and Voted Upon in Baltimore County Delegation
This morning, several bills related to education were discussed and voted upon, including HB348, regarding the procedures for filling vacancies on the School Board Nominating Commission. The Baltimore County Board of Education was also discussed, with bills focused on voting rights for student members, elections and appointments of board members, and a bill allowing the sale of coffee by students with Individualized Education Programs. Another bill, HB0248, pertains to obtaining a Class B-ECF/DS license for Towson University.
I would like to express my gratitude to Delegates Eric Ebersole, Cathy Forbes, and Robin Grammer, for introducing these bills. I also thank the delegation for accepting my amendment to add training to the voting rights bill for student members, introduced by Delegate Eric Ebersole. This bill gives students a voice in budgetary matters and passed in both chambers last year but was unfortunately vetoed by the governor.

Baltimore County Department of Housing and Community Development
Mr. Terry Hickey, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Housing and Community Development, provided a comprehensive briefing on the county’s housing initiatives and plans for the future.

Opportunity for Excellence: Apply Now for Delegate Scholarship Program
In collaboration with my district 8 collegues, my office is now accepting 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. To apply, please visit the following link:

Case Work
We are closely coordinating all casework requests and are dedicated to assisting you in any way we can. Whether it is helping you navigate the unemployment website, connecting you with resources for utility assistance, or providing information on local programs, we are here to support you.

Stay Aware, Stay Safe
As we continue to work through the challenges of the Covid epidemic, it is essential to note that we are making progress in the fight. I would like to commend the medical community for the unprecedented levels of research that has gone into developing and dispersing vaccines. And to our medical providers for the exceptional care that has been administered to those that have been afflicted. As we move forward, it is important that everyone who can be vaccinated so that we can stop the spread of this virus, and put this difficult part of our nation’s history firmly in the past.

Your Voice Matters
Thank everyone for reaching out with their thoughts on legislation, and all of your advocacy is heard and greatly appreciated. Whether at the federal, state, or local level, our government operates at a higher level with an informed and active constituency. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions, comments, concerns, or requests for help. My staff and I are here to help, and I can be reached via email or by phone at 410-841-3524.

Thank you Ms. Annette for visiting my Annapolis Office.

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