Interim District Insight- Legislative Newsletter June 2023

Dear constituents,

As the summer sun shines brightly upon us, we are excited to share the latest news and highlights that reflect the positive changes and remarkable milestones taking place in our community. From the implementation of new laws addressing public concerns, the celebration of graduations and the relaunch of the Baltimore Red Line project, this month’s newsletter is filled with stories that inspire and uplift. Join us as we come together to embrace these positive transformations and honor the achievements of our community members. 

New Maryland Laws Addressing Public Concerns to Take Effect July 1st

Starting this Saturday, Maryland residents will experience the enactment of several new laws addressing diverse areas of public concern. These legislative measures reflect the commitment of elected officials to serve and improve the lives of Maryland residents. Highlights include legalizing adult recreational use of cannabis, prohibiting police from conducting vehicle searches based solely on the smell of marijuana, tax cuts for retired military personnel, and affordable contracts for body-worn cameras for smaller agencies. Additionally, Maryland public schools will disseminate comprehensive information about filing sexual misconduct complaints and available support systems. Lastly, the Board of Public Works will implement an electronic system for public comments on state procurement. While many bills will become law on Saturday, it is essential to note that approximately 350 remaining bills will take effect on October 

Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

Maryland has recently legalized the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, allowing individuals to purchase and to consume cannabis in private residence. Under this new law, residents are permitted to grow up to two indoor plants on private property, and for renters with the owner’s consent. However, it is important to note that using cannabis in public places such as parks and schools, streets and sidewalks, bars and restaurants is still not allowed. The legalization of recreational cannabis has also had a significant impact on businesses, with reports showing that 92% of businesses have converted their medicinal licenses to recreational licenses. This means that these businesses can now legally sell cannabis for recreational use, as long as they hold a valid license. While this law provides much greater access to cannabis, it’s crucial that individuals consume it responsibly. This includes following all regulations and guidelines and being mindful of the potential risks and consequences.

Recognizing the Achievements of Graduates and Eagle Scouts

To the graduates of Towson High School, Overlea High School, Parkville High School, Parkville Middle School, Harford Hill Elementary School, Perry Hall Elementary School, and Gunpowder Elementary School, we commend your hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Each of you has demonstrated strength and resilience in the face of challenges, and your accomplishments are a testament to your unwavering commitment to learning and personal growth. As you step into the next chapter of your lives, armed with knowledge and experiences gained, we have no doubt that you will make a positive impact on the world. Congratulations on this well-deserved achievement! Let’s continue to support and celebrate this extraordinary Class of 2023!

I would also like to extend my warmest congratulations to James Kemp and Travis Heath on their Eagle Scout court of honor. This is a significant achievement that requires a great deal of dedication and hard work. Jameson Drake’s Eagle Scout ascension is also worthy of celebration! Your commitment to serving your community is both admirable and inspiring. You have shown that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.

To all the graduates and honorees, we express our deepest appreciation to the educators, parents, and mentors who have guided and supported you throughout your journey. Their tireless efforts have played a significant role in shaping your success, and we are grateful for their dedication.

Baltimore County Public Schools’ New Superintendent with a Vision for Excellence

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Myriam Yarbrough as the new superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. With a strong vision for excellence and a deep commitment to student success, Dr. Yarbrough is poised to lead our district toward a brighter future. During a recent community town hall meeting, Dr. Yarbrough outlined her inspiring vision, emphasizing equity, inclusion, and student-centered learning as key priorities. She is dedicated to providing a high-quality education that meets the diverse needs of all students, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment. With her focus on collaboration, innovation, and community engagement, Dr. Yarbrough’s leadership promises to bring positive change and elevate our schools to new heights. We warmly welcome Dr. Myriam Yarbrough and look forward to the exciting journey ahead under her guidance.

Baltimore Red Line Relaunch Enhances City’s Transit Connectivity

In a recent announcement, Governor Moore shared exciting news about the relaunch of the Baltimore Red Line project. This project aims to enhance transportation connectivity and accessibility in Baltimore, providing residents with improved transit options. The Red Line will connect major areas of the city, including downtown, West Baltimore, and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, with efficient and reliable light rail service. This initiative is expected to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and enhance the quality of life for Baltimore residents. The governor’s commitment to investing in transportation infrastructure underscores the importance of fostering sustainable and accessible transportation systems for the betterment of our community. We look forward to witnessing the positive impact of the Baltimore Red Line as it transforms transportation in the city and provides enhanced opportunities for commuters and residents alike.


$80 Million State Grant Funds for School Construction Projects

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has announced $80 million in additional state grant funds to support school construction projects. The funds will be used for a number of major ongoing projects, including a new Lansdowne High School, renovated Towson High School, a new Deer Park Elementary School, a new Scotts Branch Elementary School, a new addition at Dundalk High School, and a new addition at Pine Grove Middle School. These projects are part of Olszewski’s $3.3 billion plan to improve every school in Baltimore County over 15 years, which aims to eliminate the need for trailers within a decade and includes investments in CTE, pre-k, aging high schools, security upgrades, special and alternative schools, and community schools.

Maryland to Receive $267 Million in Federal Funding for Broadband Expansion and Digital Equity Programs

Governor Wes Moore of Maryland has announced that the state will be using over $267 million in federal funding to provide high-speed internet access to all Marylanders. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will be providing funding to close gaps in high-speed internet services and expand digital equity initiatives. President Biden announced the funding allocations for all states as part of the Internet for All initiative. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has invested over $300 million into broadband infrastructure and equity programs, connecting an estimated 52,000 previously unserved homes and businesses statewide. The federal planning grants for the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment program and the Digital Equity Act program will be used to provide resources to increase access to technology and education.

Hamiltowne ribbon cutting ceremony

Excitement filled the air as we gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Hamiltowne Park in Rosedale. The newly renovated playground has brought new life to our community, featuring updated swing bays, climbing structures, slides, seating areas, and more. This transformation is a testament to our commitment to creating vibrant spaces for recreation and community connections. We express our gratitude to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Senator Kathy Klausmeiere, Delegate Jackson, Delegate Allen, and Councilman Ertel for their support during the grand opening. Hamiltowne Park is now ready to be a vibrant hub for joy, laughter, and lasting memories.

Successful Meeting Addresses Safety Concerns at Glenmar Elementary School Basketball Court

We are pleased to share that a successful meeting was recently held to address the safety concerns at the Glenmar Elementary School basketball court. Stakeholders from law enforcement and elected offices came together to discuss and find practical solutions to ensure the well-being of our community members. Robust discussions and productive outcomes marked the meeting, thanks to all attendees and local and state elected officers’ valuable insights and commitment. We thank the Police Department for providing the meeting space at the Stembridge Center. We appreciate their ongoing support and dedication to the safety of our community.


Travis Heath’s Court of Honor Ceremony: Celebrating an Extraordinary Journey to Eagle Scout

I joined my colleagues to congratulate Travis, who was awarded the Eagle Scout rank, a remarkable accomplishment! Travis, your hard work and leadership helped you achieve this extraordinary achievement. Indeed, becoming an Eagle Scout is no easy feat, but you did it!

A hearty congratulations to you, Travis! Your journey to becoming an Eagle Scout is an inspiration to us all. You’ve shown everyone that we can achieve great things with perseverance and determination. Keep reaching for the stars, Travis! We’re cheering for you and are excited to see what great things you will accomplish next.

Inspiring Giving Back:  Delegate Dr. Bhandari  Inaugurates PA Nepali Guthi Community Center

During my recent visit to Pennsylvania, I had the honor of inaugurating the Pennsylvania Nepali Guthi Association’s community center and delivering the keynote speech. It was a powerful experience witnessing the impact of giving back to the community. As Chair of the AAPI Caucus, I emphasized supporting vulnerable communities across geographical boundaries. I extend heartfelt appreciation to the Pennsylvania Nepali Guthi Association for their dedication to creating this support, empowerment, and connection space. Together, let’s celebrate diversity and work towards building a stronger, more inclusive society through our commitment to giving back.

Assistance with Accessing Critical Resources in District 8 

Do you or a neighbor face difficulties accessing critical resources such as the MD unemployment website, utilities, food, or state and local programs to which you’re entitled? If so, please don’t hesitate to contact my office for assistance. Our team in District 8 is closely coordinating all casework requests and is available to provide support, especially during these challenging times. So don’t struggle alone; let us help you get the needed resources.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement. Together, we can make a difference in our community and create a brighter future. Wishing you a great month ahead!

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