Members Making News: January 8-12

A collection of media coverage of our Caucus members this week.

Despite the House voting to override Governor Hogan’s vetoes of both HB1 and HB694, Delegates Kathy Szeliga and Haven Shoemaker led arguments for sustaining the vetoes. In regards to HB1, Delegate Szeliga spoke of the bill’s flaws to protect the privacy of employees and suggested that the Governor’s proposed alternative would allow workers to utilize paid sick leave with no questions asked. Meanwhile, Delegate Shoemaker spoke of his concerns of the “ban the box” bill, which he said has gone “way too far” and may result in unintended consequences in the wake of increased cases of sexual assault on college campuses. To read more about the discussions on both bills, please click here to be redirected. To watch a video clip of Delegate Szeliga making her argument on the House floor, click here to be redirected to the video.

Also speaking on HB1 and HB694 were Delegates Kathy Afzali and William Folden, who raised concerns that could result from overriding the Governor’s vetoes. Speaking about HB1, Delegate Afzali recalled a personal experience involving a friend who under the bill would have had to disclose a deeply personal family matter, arguing that, “I don’t think that’s fair to her because this is deeply, deeply personal. … We don’t want to re-victimize the victim.” Meanwhile Delegate Folden recalled on his experience a police officer of the city of Frederick in speaking on the “ban the box” bill could open the door to predators on college campuses, saying that “the reality of life is, folks, that [predators] are out there. There is evil amongst us. I’ve seen it.” To read more about the debate on these two bills, click here for more.

Delegate Herb McMillan also argued against the vote to override Governor Hogan’s of HB1. On the House floor Delegate McMillan made his case for sustaining the veto, saying that by overriding the Governor’s veto “we’re screwing the small businessman and the people who provide 90 percent of the jobs in this state.”

And to watch a video clip of Delegate Mike McKay explaining why he supports the Governor’s vetoes, click here to be redirected to the video.

Delegate Nic Kipke is looking to introduce legislation that will give parents the power to make their adult children seek treatment for opioid addiction. Speaking about Maryland’s current laws on addiction treatment, Delegate Kipke said “We are constantly looking for ideas on how we can assist our community with the opioid crisis…They are deadly terrified their kid will die to an overdose, but the law currently doesn’t allow the parent to do much.” To read more about the bill, please click here to be redirected.

With the start of Session, Delegates Charles Otto, Carl Anderton, and Mary Beth Carozza took the time to share the issues they are most concerned about resolving in the Lower Shore region. Among their top topics are free tuition for community colleges statewide, increasing state highway user revenues to counties and towns; and getting funding for various projects throughout the Lower Shore. To read more about other concerns the delegates hope to address this Session, click here for more information.

On Wednesday Delegates Haven Shoemaker and Susan Krebs expressed their support for the Governor’s proposal of term limits. Delegate Shoemaker said, “We have some folks down here who have been in office since I was in elementary school…Leadership is entrenched.” Meanwhile, Delegate Krebs added, “I look forward to having a robust discussion on the pros and cons… [and] listening to what our constituents have to say about it.” To read more, click here to be redirected to the article.

This Session Delegate Kathy Afzali is looking to introduce a piece of legislation that will add a section in the Maryland’s Wild and Scenic River Act that will specifically address wild and scenic river boards in Frederick County. To read more about how the act is creating confusion in Frederick County and what Delegate Afzali’s bill will entail, click here for more information.

Delegate Wendell Beitzel is looking to continue his effort to establish an ibogaine treatment pilot program in Maryland to combat the opioid epidemic. The bill, HB1372, would request the state to create a controlled scientific clinical study to test the effectiveness of ibogaine. Delegate Beitzel said of the effectiveness of the program that “we have some local indications that it is very effective…In fact, a person who was born and raised here is now down in Mexico running an ibogaine clinic, treating people for opiate addictions. He went there himself and was treated.” To read more about the bill, click here to be redirected.

Right before Session began, Delegates Nic Kipke and Kathy Szeliga were unanimously re-elected as Minority Leader and Minority Whip respectively. To read the full press release and how they hope to continue to change Maryland for the better, click here.

In the lead up to the start of Session, Delegates Jerry Clark and Mark Fisher expressed their concerns on paid sick leave at the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce’s State Pre-Legislative Breakfast on January 10th. Delegate Clark spoke at the breakfast saying, “It’s going to hurt the employees…I am theoretically opposed to government telling me how to treat employees. It all has to do with individual employers and how they treat their employees.” Meanwhile Delegate Fisher added that the mandated paid sick leave bill is another example of the “cumulative effects” of laws recently passed in Maryland that are giving many businesses no choice but to move out of state. To read more about issues the delegates are looking to address, click here for more information.

Before Session began, Delegate Mark Fisher and fellow Calvert County officials met with farmers and other constituents for an opportunity to express their concerns. At the meeting, Delegate Fisher engaged in a debate with Senate President Mike Miller about the recently passed federal tax reform. Delegate Fisher suggested that the Democratic-controlled assembly negate $30 billion in federal tax relief over the next 10 years with an automatic state tax increase. Delegate Fisher stated that “We have a lot of work to do this session so that tax cut won’t be taken away by Annapolis…We have to live within our means.” Delegate Jerry Clark was also present at the meeting and added, “when there’s a large pot of money it’s real easy to stand up and say ‘yes.’ But you have to say ‘no.’ ” To read more about other topics discussed at the meeting, click here.

The day before Session, Delegate Neil Parrott spoke of the need to have tax cut for Marylanders. Speaking of the recently passed federal tax reform plan, Delegate Parrott stressed that “we need to have a tax package this year to cut taxes in Maryland, or at least make sure that taxes are not increased.” To read more about how Delegate Parrott and Senator Andrew Serafini plan to bring tax relief to Marylanders as well as how Delegate Paul Corderman has settled into Annapolis before Session gets underway, click here to read more.

Delegate David Vogt also spoke about the need to provide tax relief for Marylanders. Delegate Vogt said that lawmakers need to “provide some sort of relief to our taxpayers” and is concerned that the new federal tax plan’s imposed $10,000 limit on the deduction a taxpayer can claim for state and local taxes will hit Marylanders harder than the residents of other states with lower taxes.  To be redirected to the article, click here.

Shortly before the start of Session Delegate Paul Corderman was interviewed by the Herald-Mail Media. Delegate Corderman said he is excited to start his first term as a delegate and sees the appointment as an opportunity to move “our entire state in a positive direction that benefits both our state and also our local community.” To read the full interview, click here.

On Monday, Delegate Carl Anderton expressed his support of Governor Hogan’s proposed legislation called the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act. Speaking about the need for the act, Delegate Anderton said that the “fact that you know somebody can rape somebody and still have parental rights I don’t get that so hopefully if we can take care of that really quick, we had a good shot last year, hopefully this year we can get it done.” To read more about the Governor’s proposed legislation, click here for more information.

To read about what topics Delegates April Rose and Haven Shoemaker are looking to address this Session, click here to be redirected.

Delegate Johnny Mautz is hoping to pass legislation that will require schools across Maryland to recognize the 9/11 attacks that took place 17 years ago. Speaking about the historic tragedy, Delegate Mautz said, “Everyone was affected by 9/11 and was very passionate and I want to put it out there and hope it will be embraced by everyone.” To read about other bills lawmakers hope to pass, click here for more information.

To read about what Delegates Paul Corderman, Neil Parrott, and Mike McKay had to say on the opening day of Session, please click here to be redirected. And to also read about what Delegate Nic Kipke had to say about the start of Session, click here.

Delegate William Wivell joined other elected officials in a breaking ground ceremony for Fahrney Keedy Senior Living Community. The project aims to add 33,000 square feet to the existing facility in an effort to also expand the services the facility offers. To read more about the ceremony, click here to be redirected.

To read about how Delegate Mary Beth Carozza is looking to bring relief to the Eastern Shore, click here to read more. And to read about how Delegate Carozza is working with the mayor of Ocean City to introduce legislation that would create special enforcement zones to help address some of the issues associated with the mobilized special events in Ocean City, click here.

Delegates Teresa Reilly and Kevin Hornberger are looking to address the federal tax reform plan and crime penalties for individuals who sell drugs to a minor. Delegate Reilly is hoping to pass legislation that did not pass in 2015 which seeks to create new criminal penalties for those who sell drugs to a minor and the minor subsequently dies from an overdose. Meanwhile Delegate Hornberger spoke about the recently passed federal tax reform measure, saying, “The tax plan passed actually creates a windfall for Maryland and we’re all going to work to return that windfall to citizens…There’s a lot of debate on how to do that. I’m exploring one strategy that would be an earned income tax credit at the state level.” To read more about what they are looking forward to completing this Session, click here for more information. To read another article about why Delegate Hornberger thinks this Session will be favorable for Governor Hogan, click here to be redirected.

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