News from Annapolis!
It has been a busy two weeks in Annapolis, it is hard to believe that there are only 38 days left. I testified on 10 of the bills that I am sponsoring this session, including several bills modernizing our county liquor board and legislation that would lower utility bills through the creation of Community Choice Energy.
District 32 had our Constituent Night in Annapolis this past Monday. We welcomed residents from all over District 32 for a night of good food and conversation (thanks to Italia’s Corner Café in Glen Burnie). Thank you to Senator Chris Van Hollen, County Executive Steuart Pittman, Judge Morris, Judge Trunnel, Councilmember Pruski and Councilmember Pickard for taking the time to join us and speak to our shared constituents! It was a great opportunity to discuss pending legislation and community issues.
Community Choice Energy
Senate Bill 315, Consumer Choice Electricity is enabling legislation that will allow a County or Municipal jurisdiction to negotiate and aggregate electricity rates. Now that Maryland has unstructured electricity rates, this is one more opportunity to create even greater competitive rates. If a jurisdiction chooses to offer CCE as a choice, residents will have the opportunity to “Opt out” of the plan. This type of aggregation is already available in nine other states. In many CCE plans more green energy can be purchased for less than consumers can purchase coal burning electricity. Thirty three witnesses offered either written or oral support, 34 organizations signed a letter of support. The opposition was from electric suppliers, except for Direct Energy that has already implanted electric aggregation in 49 jurisdictions. No vote has been taken on SB315 or the HB561.
Legislation on Crime
The Senate is considering several bills to reduce violence. The bills in this package are a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to building a safe and strong Maryland. The focus of this legislation will be to demand real accountability from all those involved in the crime fight, deploy smarter resources so those agencies have the tools they need, and get illegal guns off of our streets.
Here is a brief overview:
SB907 require state and local agencies to partner in identifying regional crime trends, sharing intelligence, serving outstanding warrants, and enhancing how our resources are deployed.
SB929 create special coordinated teams focused on violent offenders, support high need neighborhoods, and free up local officers to focus on crime by charging State Police with responding to accidents on major interstates.
SB682 better prepare returning citizens for re-entry and a life that is not reliant on crime.
SB64 helps to end witness intimidation by making it easier for prosecutors to charge criminals who obstruct justice.
You can find out more about this legislation on the Maryland General Assembly website.
Check your mailbox! The 2020 Census is coming!
Starting March 12th Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau Mail with detailed information on how to fill out the census online, by phone or by mail.
A count of every person living in the United States every ten years is required by the U.S. Constitution. It is easy, confidential and extremely important. The data collected by the census determines the number of seats Maryland has in the U.S. House of Representatives. It also determines how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year; Money for infrastructure, healthcare, schools, Medicaid, SNAP, Head Start, and countless other programs in your community.
When people aren't counted, that translates to $1821 per person in dollars lost. In the 2010 census, Anne Arundel had a 20% non-response rate. This means there was a total of $43 million in lost federal funds to this community because people went uncounted.
It is important to remember that the law requires the Census Bureau to keep all information confidential and use it only to produce statistics. In order for each community to obtain the resources it needs, every count matters. It is in your hands to be counted. Learn more at https://census.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Senatorial Scholarship – DEADLINE MARCH 31ST
My scholarship application is available online, it can be found here! I ask that interested students please print out and mail the completed application to my office before the March 31st deadline. It is important to note that the FAFSA must be completed by March 1st. Please complete the application carefully, the committee also requires a transcript and an essay. This is a four year renewable scholarship so if you are already receiving a senatorial scholarship from my office or another Senate office you do not need to reapply.
My office remains in Room 202 of the James Senate Office Building, stop by if you are in Annapolis and share your thoughts with my staff. Nancy Lipin Crawford, my Chief of Staff, Joe Cadman, my Scheduler/Legislative Aide, Susan Meyer our Legacy Leader, and Molly Cannon our Student Intern will be happy to assist you and help with your issues and questions.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your State Senator from District 32,
Bonus photos from District Night!