Annapolis Insights: Legislative Newsletter – Week 8

Annapolis Insights: Legislative Newsletter – Week 8

This past week in Annapolis was incredibly hectic as we dove deep into the legislative Session’s core, reviewing numerous bills and extending our days into late-night committee votes. Our dedication to the 8th District and Maryland remains unwavering. I’m looking forward to advancing further legislation in the weeks ahead. Your feedback is invaluable, so please keep your thoughts and comments coming.

 

 

 

 

Unanimous Victory for HB 755: Enhancing the State Board of Social Work Examiners

On Thursday, my bill HB 755 , passed with a 139-0 vote in the House and crossed over to the Senate. The bill changes the composition of the State Board of Social Work Examiners (BSWE) by allowing the inclusion of at least one member who is either a licensed certified social worker (LCSW) or a licensed master social worker (LMSW) approved for independent practice. Social workers play a critical role in ensuring the safety, well-being, and permanency of children who are at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Social workers support families in crisis and advocate for systemic changes to improve child welfare policies and practices.

Committee Updates

This week, the Health Government & Operations Committee heard two of my bills. I am excited to see these bills go through the legislative process. One of the bills establishes the Maryland Emergency Department Wait Time Reduction Commission, which will enhance emergency medical services by creating standardized protocols and monitoring department performance. By improving efficiency and responsiveness in emergency care, Marylanders can expect quicker access to quality medical assistance, ultimately improving health outcomes statewide. My other bill, HB1143, streamlines the continuing education requirement for certified dialysis technicians, ensuring they stay updated with relevant knowledge and skills. By facilitating more access to approved education opportunities, Marylanders can expect higher care standards and improved dialysis treatment outcomes.

  • HB0959: Health Occupations – Certified Dialysis Technicians – Continuing Education Requirement:

The bill updates the continuing education requirements by specifying three hours of education instead of mandating a single three-hour course. This adjustment addresses the lack of available three-hour courses, opening the door to a broader range of relevant and varied educational opportunities that better meet individuals’ professional development goals.

  • HB1143: Emergency Medical Services – Maryland Emergency Department Wait Time Reduction Commission and Standardized Protocols – Establishment:
    • This bill establishes the Maryland Emergency Department Wait Time Reduction Commission within the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. This aims to improve emergency medical service’s effectiveness and responsiveness. The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, with input from the Commission and relevant entities, will develop standardized protocols, advanced technology solutions, and training programs. They will also set up a system to monitor emergency department performance. This initiative is focused on enhancing emergency medical services overall.

Happy Read Across America Day.

On Thursday, we were thrilled to be joined by some special guests for our reading celebration, including Elmo from Sesame Street, MSEA president Cheryl Bost, and officials. Seeing everyone celebrate the power of reading and literacy was a joy. Let’s continue to encourage and inspire young minds to love reading every day!

BWI Marshall’s Economic Impact Celebrated at BWIBP Reception

Attending the BWI Business Partnership (BWIBP) Evening Reception was an honor, highlighting BWI Marshall Airport’s significant economic impact on the State of Maryland. The event brought together legislators, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) executive staff, and community partners. At the reception, Ricky Smith, BWI Marshall Airport’s Executive Director and CEO, delivered brief remarks underscoring the airport’s vital role in driving economic growth.

AFT Maryland Day: Championing Education and Community Values

I had the honor of attending the AFT Maryland Day event. An organization that is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, which is a union that stands for fairness, democracy, economic opportunity, and top-notch public education, healthcare, and services for students, families, and communities. They are dedicated to promoting these values through community involvement, organizing, collective bargaining, political engagement, and the efforts of our members. Being around such passionate individuals for such a noble cause was significant. 

Celebrating BTU President Diamonté Brown’s Leadership

It was an honor to meet President Diamonté Brown of the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU). During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has effectively led the charge for educational justice, ensuring educators received the needed support and advocating for students’ digital access. Her work in negotiating rights for educators, improving communication, and advocating for systemic changes highlights her commitment to fairness and opportunity. President Brown’s efforts not only meet immediate challenges but also aim to create a fairer educational system for the future. 

Appreciation for AARA of MD for  Advocacy Efforts in Annapolis

Thank you to the South Asian business community for your impactful visit to Annapolis. Your engagement and advocacy highlight your businesses’ essential role in enriching our local economy. Sharing your experiences and challenges with lawmakers, you help pave the way for a more inclusive and thriving economic environment. We are deeply grateful for your dedication and efforts—a special thanks to Mr. Harry Mehta for leading this initiative. Your leadership is genuinely commendable.

Visit Annapolis: Experience the Heart of Maryland’s Legislative Process

As a state delegate, I cherish the opportunity to welcome constituents to Annapolis. Whether you’re participating in an advocacy day, bringing students or scouts for a tour, or wish to visit, my team and I are eager to accommodate you. Your visits enrich the General Assembly, looking at our state’s political process firsthand. Just this week, I had the pleasure of meeting with advocate students. Don’t hesitate to contact us for your visit.

How to follow Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 session

To follow the Maryland General Assembly’s 2023 session, you can visit the Maryland General Assembly’s website. The website provides the following resources:

  1. The Schedule for the 2024 Session
  2. The Committee Schedule (which will be updated regularly to reflect any changes)
  3. The Legislation Charts allow you to look up and track proposed bills.

It’s important to note that every bill introduced before the deadline will be granted a hearing. In addition, before the hearing takes place, a fiscal and policy note will be published regarding the bill. By utilizing these resources, you can stay up-to-date with the Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 session and track the progress of proposed bills.

Apply Now for the Delegate Scholarship Program

To be eligible for the academic scholarship, you will need to reside in the 8th Legislative District and attend or plan to attend a Maryland college, university, or trade school (unless you have acquired a “unique major” designation from the Maryland Higher Education Commission). The application and detailed instructions can be accessed by clicking on the following link: https://delegatebhandari.com/scholarship/

QUESTIONS: Please call Sadikcha Basnet, Scholarship Coordinator, in my office with any questions PRIOR to filling out the form; harry.bhandari@house.state.md.us or (410) 841-3526

Your Voice Matters

I extend my gratitude to all those who have contributed their perspectives on the legislation. Your advocacy is not only acknowledged but also deeply valued. A knowledgeable and involved constituency enhances the effectiveness of our government, whether at the federal, state, or local level. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any inquiries, feedback, worries, or requests for support. Look for my weekly session updates each week through Session. As always, if you have any feedback on how I can serve you better, or issues you’d like to know more about, I’d love to hear from you at harry.bhandari@house.state.md.us.

Please click this link for PDF version of this newsletter.

 

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