February 26th 2019 Newsletter
News from Annapolis!
Today is Tuesday February 26, 2019 and the 439th Legislative Session just passed the halfway mark. However, we still have 90% of the work left to accomplish. This newsletter will update you on a few of the important issues that we are currently reviewing.
Scholarship applications are available at www.pambeidle.com/scholarship. YOU MUST COMPLETE YOUR FAFSA BY MARCH 1 TO QUALIFY FOR A SENATE SCHOLARSHIP. The scholarship application must be postmarked or hand delivered to my office by April 1st.
March 11, traveling to Annapolis
If you are coming to Annapolis on March 11, please be aware that Rowe Boulevard will be closed beginning at 6:00pm. Fifteen thousand teachers, (15,000) are expected to march into Annapolis from the Navy Stadium that evening. It will be best to come early and to arrive by way of Route 450 and Prince George Street.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Residence
The YWCA dedicated the new Domestic Violence Shelter on February 21, the house is named The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Residence. The Weinberg Foundation made a very generous contribution along with many other individuals including the State of Maryland. This beautiful home can house up to 32 individuals that are survivors of domestic violence. The residents have moved in and are embracing the new found sense of security the home provides.
I honored Molly and the Board with a Senate Citation at the ribbon cutting and they honored me with a private street sign, “Beidle Way.” It has been my honor to work the CEO, Molly Knipe, and her Board to make this dream a reality.
SB 1000 - Public Safety - Handgun Permit Review Board - Repeal
Senate Bill 1000, if passed by the House and the Senate, will eliminate the Hand Gun Permit Review Board. Appeals would go directly to the Office of Administrative Hearings. The current Hand Gun Permit Review Board has reversed 222 of the 269 cases or 82.5% of the Maryland State Police recommendations. Only 6% of the cases heard actually sustained the State Police decision. The hearing date for SB1000 has not been scheduled.
SB 285/HB109 – Environment – Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Products – Prohibition
Earlier this month a Goucher College poll found that more than 6 in 10 Marylanders support a state wide ban on Styrofoam products. That state wide poll matches perfectly with what constituents were telling me in my last telephone town hall in January. The move to ban Styrofoam take out containers will better protect our environment and help keep our waterways clean, that is why I support this legislation at the state level. In the Senate, SB 285 passed the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee by a vote of 6 to 3 with 2 abstentions. It has not come before the full Senate for a vote yet.
The Anne Arundel County Council passed a similar bill this past week. Businesses in our county will have until February of next year to phase out the use of polystyrene containers. After that it will be a civil offense that starts with a warning and increases to fines of $50, $100, $500.
SB280 - Minimum Wage, Fight for $15
This bill is sponsored by Senator Cory McCray. It was heard in my committee, Senate Finance, on Thursday, February 21. The hearing was 8 hours long! We heard from many small businesses from all over the State. They have a great deal of concern that raising wages to $15 an hour by July 1, 2021, will put them out of business. This is also a State Budget issue as the salaries of disability and Medicare providers would need to increase. This is a very difficult issue, Maryland is an expensive place to live and people need to earn a living wage, but we do not want to put small business out of business.
SB 378 - Tobacco Products and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems - Minimum Age and Civil Fines
This bill Increases the age that someone can purchase a tobacco product to age 21. I support this bill.
SB 311/HB 399 End of Life Option Act
This bill will allow a licensed physician to prescribe a medication that will aid someone in dying if an individual:
has the capacity to make medical decisions; (2) is a resident of the State; (3) has a terminal illness with a prognosis of death within six months; and (4) has the ability to self-administer medications.
Here is the bill in its entirety:
SB 713 Wireless Facilities - Permitting and Siting
This bill aims to prepare our state for the installation of 5G wireless networks. We have had a great deal of interest in this bill, I am the primary sponsor. The opposing bill is SB937; entitled, Wireless Facilities - Installation and Regulation. The reality of SB937 is that it gives the wireless industry total control of where they can place “small” cells and the antennae that are needed to deploy 5G. My bill, SB713, gives the local governments (the Counties and/or the Cities) control over the appearance, the use of right of way, location, height of the cells and other design and aesthetic requirements to preserve the visual character of a neighborhood. It is best that the local governments be involved in these decisions so that 28 cubic feet boxes and new light poles are not appearing every 100 to 200 feet in our residential neighborhoods.
Budget Town Hall Meetings:
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced 7 upcoming community meetings to discuss the county budget. Hope you can make it out to a meeting near you
Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
District 7- Southern High School Auditorium with Councilmember Jessica Haire
Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
District 4 - Arundel High School Auditorium with Councilmember Andrew Pruski
Thursday, March 7, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
District 2 - Glen Burnie High School Auditorium with Councilmember Allison Pickard
Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
District 3 - Northeast High School Cafeteria with Councilmember Nathan Volke
Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
District 1 - Lindale Middle School Auditorium with Councilmember Sarah Lacey
Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
District 5 - Severna Park High School Auditorium with Councilmember Amanda Fiedler
Thursday, March 28, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
District 6 - Annapolis High School Auditorium with Councilmember Lisa Rodvien
The county plans to livestream each meeting.
My office is always open, If you are visiting the General Assembly stop by to see us! My office is staffed by Nancy Lipin Crawford, my Chief of Staff, and Joe Cadman, my Legislative Aide. My office is open full time during the Session. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. My contact information is: pamela.beidle@Senate.state.md.us or 410.841.3593. You can also find updates at my website www.pambeidle.com and on Facebook at Senator Pam Beidle.
It is truly an honor to serve you in the Maryland General Assembly,
Senator Pam Beidle
11 Bladen St
Room 202, James Office Building
Annapolis, MD 21411