Annapolis Insights: Legislative Newsletter – Week 9

Annapolis Insights: Legislative Newsletter – Week 9

Greetings! This past week in Annapolis was notably productive, with the onset of cross-over week marking a significant uptick in legislative activity. On both the floor and in committee sessions, the pace has markedly intensified. Despite the schedule being packed with early meetings and extending into late nights, my commitment to serving the constituents of District 8 and the broader Maryland community remains unwavering. I always encourage and warmly invite you to reach out to my office to express your views and concerns. Your input is invaluable as we navigate through the session together.

Legislative Victory

HB0959: Health Occupations – Certified Dialysis Technicians – Continuing Education RequirementThis week marked a significant legislative victory as my bill, HB0959, was unanimously voted out by the Health and Government Operations Committee in a bipartisan manner. The bill, which proposes a more flexible approach to continuing education requirements for certified dialysis technicians (CDTs) renewing their certification in Maryland, was heard in the Health Occupations and Long-Term Care Subcommittee on Thursday. By allowing for three hours of continuing education approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) instead of a mandatory course, HB0959 acknowledges the varied learning needs of CDTs and ensures they stay current with advancements in their field. This streamlining of the certification renewal process promotes efficiency and maintains high standards of care in dialysis facilities. The bill will proceed to the house for its second reading next week, a testament to our commitment to improving healthcare systems and professional development in Maryland.

Transforming Emergency Care: HB1143’s Mission for Maryland

This past week, the spotlight was on HB1143, the “Maryland Emergency Department Wait Time Reduction Commission and Standardized Protocols Establishment” bill, during discussions at the Government Operations and Health Facilities Subcommittee. Aimed at enhancing emergency medical services (EMS) across Maryland, this important legislation proposes the creation of a specialized commission within the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). Following vigorous debate and engagement with stakeholders, we are currently fine-tuning the bill to address any concerns and ensure its successful passage. The commitment to advancing this bill highlights our ongoing dedication to revolutionizing Maryland’s emergency medical services for the betterment of our communities. Stay tuned for further updates as we work together to make a meaningful impact.

Steering the Future: Ensuring Responsible AI Integration with HB0883

In an era of rapid technological evolution, I introduced HB0883, the “Maryland Artificial Intelligence in Governmental Services Act,” to ensure responsible innovation. This bill, heard by the Health and Government Operations Committee (HGO) this Tuesday, aims to revolutionize how the Department of Information Technology evaluates and integrates emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), into public services. By focusing on enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness, HB0883 is a pivotal step towards a safer, more beneficial use of AI in government, ensuring Maryland remains a leader in ethical technological advancement.

UMBC Reception: As an alumnus, I was deeply honored to attend the UMBC Annapolis Reception: Saluting Women Leaders on Thursday. This celebration highlighted the remarkable contributions of UMBC alumni to our state and beyond. UMBC, an esteemed R1 research university, exemplifies excellence, diversity, and service. The reception showcased the university’s significant impact, demonstrating its commitment to integrating teaching, research, and service, which cultivates a community of leaders who are academically accomplished and socially responsible. It served as a vibrant testament to the university’s mission of nurturing individuals destined to make meaningful societal contributions, affirming UMBC’s crucial role in shaping the next generation of innovators and pioneers.

Soda Day: On Thursday in Annapolis, Maryland Soda Day was in full swing, hosted by the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association. This event celebrates the region’s rich non-alcoholic beverage industry, showcasing a diverse range of products from sodas to juices, sports drinks, and teas. Local Maryland Soda business owners gathered to engage with policymakers and consumers to share a sweet and refreshing beverage. Whether you call it pop or soda you are sure to enjoy some of the finest sodas that Maryland has to offer. 

 

BALTIMORE COUNTY:

Nominate BCPS School Counselors, School Counseling Advocates for Honors

The Baltimore County Association for Counseling and Development is currently seeking nominations from BCPS employees, parents, and students for outstanding school counselors and school counseling advocates. We aim to recognize those who have made significant contributions in their fields. Please submit your nominations by the deadline on Monday, March 11.

Rookie School Counselor of the Year (a BCPS counselor with less than five years’ experience) Nomination form

School Counselor of the Year (a BCPS counselor with at least five years’ experience) Nomination form          

School Counseling Advocate of the Year Nomination form

Baltimore Orioles 

As the Orioles gear up for the upcoming baseball season, anticipation is building during their spring training sessions. Their recent match against the Pirates on Wednesday showcased a promising start, clinching a 6-4 victory. As a fan, I’m eagerly awaiting an exciting season ahead, filled with potential and anticipation. Spring training games offer glimpses into the team’s preparedness and potential strategies for the coming months. With each win, optimism grows, fueling excitement for what the Orioles can achieve in the regular season. As the team continues to refine their skills and build camaraderie during these preseason matchups, fans like myself are eagerly counting down the days until opening day, filled with hope for a successful and memorable season for the Orioles.

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. 

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 use this link to download PDF version of this newsletter.

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