The 437th Session
The 437th Session of the Maryland General Assembly began Wednesday January 11th , in these next 90 days we will work together to pass legislation and a budget that improves the lives of all Marylanders. It is still early, but here are just a few topics which I would like to share with you.
Bills of Interest:
The Budget . Governor Larry Hogan outlined his state budget proposal Tuesday during a news conference. He indicated he would reduce spending next year without cutting services or increasing taxes. The Governor is paying for state programs and services by tapping into the state's Rainy Day Fund for approximately $1 billion. The overall budget, including any money received from the federal government, would come to $43.5 billion, a 1.2 billion increase over the current year's budget. The budget fully funds the State’s education budget, as mandated by law, for K -12 and holds tuition increases for State Colleges and Universities to 2%. State employees would not receive raises or step increases.
The Governor’s budget does not fund any Legislative Priorities. That is how we fund local bond bills, like the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter, the Veterans Memorial in Linthicum, the improvements needed for the Masonic Temple in Glen Burnie, the Glen Burnie High School Field House and Concession Stand.
Paid Sick Leave. Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HB0001). This bill would help provide working Marylanders with paid sick and safe leave, so that no individual would have to take on any unnecessary hardships by having to choose between staying home to get well or going to work to continue to provide for their families.
The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, if passed, would require employers that employ 15 or more employees to provide employees with earned sick and safe leave that is paid at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns. It would also require employers with 14 or fewer employees to provide an employee with unpaid earned sick and safe leave; providing for the manner in which earned sick and safe leave is accrued; authorizing an employee to work additional hours or trade shifts with another employee under specified circumstances.
The Governor has proposed his own plan for a similar bill which would require businesses with at least 50 employees to offer five days of paid sick leave and would provide tax incentives to smaller businesses who decide to offer sick leave as well.
The Anne Arundel County Delegation
The Delegation meets on Friday mornings at 8:30. These meetings are open to the public and we serve coffee and snacks! This week we will hear from our Chiefs of Police and Fire to be updated on the heroin epidemic and we will hold public hearings on The Crownsville Property Commission, Charitable Gaming and Human Trafficking Awareness. In coming weeks we will hold hearings on 3 different elected school board bills. Check our facebook page for weekly hearings: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=anne%20arundel%20county%20delegation-%20mga
Delegate Scholarships Opportunity.
The application for the 2017-2018 Delegate Scholarships is once again available on my website: www.pambeidle.com. To be eligible you must be a District 32 resident and enrolled at a two-year or four-year Maryland college or university as a full-time or part-time, degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student. The deadline for submitting all applications is March 31st, 2017.
Our community needs to be vigilant regarding the MAGLEV Project. I am keeping current on the project, having fought it successfully ten years ago and continuing the fight now. There is a great deal of support for this project both federally and from our Governor. We need to be watchful and involved.
Please know that I will use my influence as Chair of the Sub-Committee on Transportation to derail this project. We have many projects that we could invest in for safer and faster rail in our communities.
You can visit the project website, www.baltimorewashingtonscmaglevproject.com, for additional information.
My office continues to be staffed by Nancy Lipin Crawford, my Chief of Staff and Maggie J. Hobbins will be working as my Legislative Assistant this session. My office is open full time during the Session. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. My contact information remains: email@example.com or 410.841.3370. You can also find updates at my website www.pambeilde.com and on Facebook at Delegate Pam Beidle.
As always it is my honor to be here and I thank the people that elected me.