March 31, 2016
Only 11 days left in the 2016 General Assembly Session. Things have shifted from long bill hearings to long voting sessions and General Assembly Sessions.
Here are a few of the highlights:
The Operating Budget
The Governor’s office, the Senate and the House worked together on the Governor’s Budget to create a budget the fully funds education, the pension shortage, and the Rainy Day Fund.
Here is a quote from Governor Hogan’s “Change Maryland” page:
"The passage of the fiscal 2017 budget by the Maryland General Assembly is without question an overwhelming victory for Governor Hogan. The broad bipartisan support in both chambers for the governor’s budget, largely unchanged by state legislators, is a testament to the success of Governor Hogan’s collaborative approach to state spending.”
The Operating Budget passed the House 130 to 7. It was interesting to see the 7 Delegates in opposition were all republicans voting against the Governor’s Budget. The vote in the Senate was unanimous in favor of the Budget.
Senate Bill 191 The Capital Budget The Capital Budget did include about $15 million for local capital projects, Anne Arundel County was treated very fairly. Here some of the projects that were funded in the Capital Budget:
Glen Burnie High School - $1,000,000 for a new Field House and Concession Stand. The last High School in the County to have this investment
YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel Co. - $100,000 to complete the current Domestic Violence Safe House and $300,000 to begin planning for a house for the Victims of Sex Trafficking.
The ARC of Central Maryland - $300,000 for renovation to their new location.
National Cryptologic Museum—Cyber Center of Education and Innovation - $1,000,000
Maryland Hall for Creative Arts - $750,000
Woods Community Center for the repair of the community pool - $50,000
206 West Social Enterprise Project. Matching Funds for the Light House Bistro for job training for rehabilitation of the homeless - $250,000
Downs Park Amphitheater for planning and design - $75,000
Lake Shore Athletic Association for planning and design of athletic facilities - $50,000
Belvoir-Scotts Plantation Historic Manor House for repair and renovation $75,000
The Vote in the House was 121 in favor and 15 opposed. Again, I was surprised to see that three of my local delegates voted in opposition to the Capital Budget when there are projects for their constituents.
The vote in the Senate was 44 in favor and 2 opposed.
The Governor held a press conference on Route 175 to announce some additional funding for the widening of Route 175 and the replacement of the MD175/MD 295 interchange. Our State, Local and Federal elected representatives have worked on this project for over a dozen years. With 55,000 employees traveling to Fort Meade every day, as well as the National Business Park, it is exciting to see this project moving ahead. The Governor added funding for a study to design improvements for Maryland 198 and the MD 295 interchange.
The other transportation news this week is the passing of my bill, HB1013 from both the House and the Senate. It was immediately vetoed by the Governor.
Please read this Baltimore Sun Article which is a very fair “Fact Check” article about this transportation, transparency bill. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-fact-check-would-transportation- bill-kill-every-bridge-and-every-road-20160331-story.html
My office is staffed by Nancy Lipin Crawford, my Chief of Staff and Aidan DeLisle, who is working as my Legislative Assistant. My office is open full time during the Session. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. My contact information is: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.841.3370. You can also find updates at my website www.pambeidle.com and on Facebook at Delegate Pam Beidle.
There is one more week for the 2016 Legislative Session. We will end at midnight on April 11, 2016.
It is truly a pleasure to serve as your representative in the Maryland House of Delegates.