Dear Friends,

Monday will mark 64 days left in the legislative Session, it is also the deadline for the Senate to submit bills without the bills being held in the Rules Committee. We are working hard to make every moment count.

I “dropped” 4 more bills this week:

As always, you can view all of the legislation that we are working on the General Assembly website.

Press Conference

This morning, I joined Senate President Bill Ferguson and Budget and Taxation Chair, Senator Guy Guzzone in a press conference. I shared insights on the Finance Committee's role, which covers a wide range of areas such as business regulation, insurance, and healthcare. I also discussed upcoming bills that will be presented to the committee, which delve into various subjects such as collective bargaining, behavioral health, and privacy issues.

Click here to view the recording of the press conference (it begins at the 34:21 timestamp).

Weekly Updates/Meetings:

Executive Nominations

Senator Antonio Hayes chaired an excellent first meeting of the Executive Nominations Committee. I had the honor of introducing Mr. Jeff Hargraves from District 32, for the Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority; and our final appointment of the night was Josiah Parker, a student member to the University System Board of Regents.

Governor's Budget

Governor Wes Moore has released his FY25 budget at $63.1 billion, a decrease of 1.7% from FY24. The budget includes over 25.8 billion in the General Fund, a 5.8% decrease from last year. The proposed budget does not include any significant tax increases or revenue actions. The budget does include federal infrastructure funds for water quality and water implementation plan infrastructure and funding for broadband infrastructure.

The budget starts in the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee first this year and then moves to the House for consideration. The Maryland General Assembly is required by our constitution to pass a balanced budget.

Important Scholarship Update

Due to the new FAFSA deadlines, we understand that students may not have access to their FAFSA summary statements. To ensure that they can still apply for our scholarship, we will accept a screenshot or email confirmation of pending FAFSA for the 2024/2025 year. However, please note that once your FAFSA summary does become available, you must follow up and submit it to our office to complete your application no later than April 5th, 2024.

As a reminder, if you have been awarded the Senatorial scholarship, you don't need to reapply as it is valid for four years.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance.