Members Making News March 10th-16th

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





  • The Herald Mail  updates the progress of bills introduced by Delegates Paul Corderman, Mike McKay, Neil Parrott, and William Wivell.


  • Delegate Kathy Szeliga introduced the Keep Communities Safe Act and held a press conference on Tuesday. Many Delegates attended to show their support for the bill. Another bill, HB 1549, authored by Delegates Warren Miller, Christopher Adams, Steven Arentz, Mark Fisher, William Folden, Seth Howard, Richard Impallaria, and Patrick  McDonough, would require local governments to “fully comply” with federal immigration agents.

House Republicans Demand Action on Sexual Predator Prevention Act – Promise to Petition Legislation From Committee in Order to Pass it Before Deadline

House Republicans today demanded action on legislation that would protect our communities from repeat sexual predators. During prosecution for sexual offenses, House Bills 301 and 353 will allow a court to admit evidence of a defendant’s prior history of sexual crimes or abuse.

Similar legislation has been before the committee 14 times. While the Senate unanimously passed the bill in 2016, this legislation has never moved out of the House Judiciary Committee. These bills have received wide bipartisan support, with more than 120 members of the General Assembly co-sponsoring these bills and their crossfiles. The Women’s Caucus and the Legislative Black Caucus have also indicated their support for this type of legislations.

According to the House Rules, bills not acted on by a Committee may be petitioned from the Committee’s possession and brought before the full House for a vote. In a letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, House Minority Leader Nic Kipke and House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga indicated the Caucus’ intention to petition the bill from the Committee’s possession if the bill was not voted on.

“As much as we respect the committee system within the legislature,” the letter reads, “the safety of our children and our communities is far more precious than parliamentary niceties.” The letter requests the bill be acted on no later than March 16th. The crossover deadline in the General Assembly is March 19th. Bills passed after that date have to cross additional legislative hurdles in order to pass.

The letter continues, “…we do not take this action lightly, but we feel this move underscores our commitment to seeing this legislations passed and our communities protected.”

Click here to read the letter in its entirety.


Members Making News March 3rd-9th

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

Lawmakers from all over the state and from both sides of the aisle were shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of State Senator Wayne Norman this past Sunday. Delegate Teresa Reilly, who served alongside Senator Norman as both his former legislative aide when he was in the House as well as being a fellow Harford County lawmaker, said that his passing will have a profound effect on everyone since “Everyone respected him; he was a personable guy and just shared a lot of love and a lot of wisdom…It’s a huge loss, my heart is broken and I’m sure a lot of others are as well.” For more quotes from other lawmakers about the impact Senator Norman has had on them, please click here to be redirected.

  • For additional quotes from Delegate Christian Miele, please click here to be redirected.
  • To read a quote from Delegate Andrew Cassilly, click here to be redirected.
  • For additional commentary from Delegate Deb Rey, please click here to be redirected.



















  • This week ALEC picked Delegate Kathy Szeliga as their Legislator of the Week. In the article, Delegate Szeliga talked about how being a member of ALEC has helped her become an effective lawmaker, saying that “ALEC’s principles of limited government, free markets and federalism are true pillars of conservative legislators. Finding ways to integrate these principles into state government, including best practices that are working in other states, is essential to steering Maryland and the 49 other states in the right direction.” To read the entire interview, please click here to be redirected.




Members Making News February 24th-March 2nd

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


















House Republicans Issue Statement on Governor’s School Safety Initiatives

Annapolis – House Minority Leader Nic Kipke and House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga issued the following statement regarding Governor Hogan’s announcements about school safety.

“In the wake of the heart wrenching tragedy that unfolded in Florida it is right for us to be doing everything possible that will actually make our kids safer,” said Delegate Kipke.  “But, we must be certain that we are doing the right things to secure our schools and improve our mental health laws.  The Governor’s announcement today is an important and meaningful measure that will do that.”

“As we learn more of what happened in Florida, we see there were multiple failures across a system designed to protect our children,” said Delegate Szeliga. “We see that we cannot operate under the assumption that our schools are safe and Governor Hogan’s announcement today will help improve the safety of students in Maryland’s schools. It deals not only with the actual hardware and training that protects our students but also acknowledges the critical importance of addressing mental health threats.”




Members Making News February 10th-16th

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
















  • To watch a video of Delegate Rick Impallaria discuss how his bill, HB 760, will help make schools a safer place by allowing certain school employees to carry firearms on school grounds, please click here to be redirected to this video and article.




Delegate Flanagan Delivers Lincoln Day Address

On Monday, February 12th, Delegate Bob Flanagan delivered the annual Lincoln Day Address to the Maryland House of Delegates.

Mr. Speaker, My fellow colleagues, honored guests, my friends, it is an honor to be invited to offer my thoughts on President Lincoln.

Trust is an essential element to our democracy and we have many customs in this house to encourage unity and trust. We all swear or affirm the same oath before taking office. We recite the pledge of allegiance every day.

This evening we had ceremony to show our support the victims of domestic violence. We have honored Martin Luther King with a speech from our friend from Prince Georges County and were encouraged to read Dr. King’s letter from the Birmingham jail. We have listened to Taylor Branch and been encouraged to engage in conversations about race.

During February, I have appreciate very much, members of the Black Caucus describing historic achievements of our fellow Americans. In doing these things we remind ourselves that there is more that unites us than divides us.

My goal tonight is to honor the memory of President Lincoln and in doing so, explain how he is relevant to the issues of governance that now face us.

In preparing for tonight I have paid close attention to Lincoln Second Inaugural speech delivered a forty days before he was assassinated and a speech by Fredrick Douglas honoring Lincoln 11 years after his assassination.

With the passage of over a century and a half, it is hard to grasp the intense day to day emotions surrounding his time as President. For example, Fredrick Douglas describes a night in January 1863, with 3000 people waiting anxiously for news that  “Lincoln was true to his word” in signing the Emancipation Proclamation. There was an outburst of joy and thanksgiving.  It was a never to be forgotten night for those who were alive at that time. That was the exciting moment that Lincoln made the civil war a war of abolition.

In our time we have new problems but the issue of trust in a Democracy is enduring.  Our ability to govern ourselves is today threatened by a lack of trust. Under present circumstances is helpful to remember and honor the memory of President Abraham Lincoln, as man who personifies trust in our system of government.

Lincoln came to office facing an immediate and overwhelming challenge. He had no obvious experience or preparation. As commander in chief he was responsible to lead an army and navy that were not prepared. The most capable general went South to fight for his state of Virginia.

Few men in public office have been more fiercely and systematically criticized.  He was attacked by his avowed allies and friends. He was attacked by abolitionist and slave holders. He was attacked by those who wanted peace at any price and those who wanted war fought with greater vigor. He was attacked for NOT making the war an abolition war. He was attacked for making the war an abolition war.  The attacks were personal and demeaning. He was attacked even when he was grief stricken from the death of his child in the first year of his presidency and his wife was paralyzed with grief. The pressure was relentless.

Both sides expected an easy and quick victory. Neither side got one. Over 620,000 men died in service. No president has been so profoundly tested by war. South Carolina was already in rebellion with four other states when Fort Sumter was attacked on April 12, 1861.  Lincoln had been in office for 39 days.  By comparison, Wilson was in his second term of office, FDR was in his third term before war was declared. Each one of those Presidents had his administration in place and had time to plan his course of conduct. In order to unify the nation, FDR had Pearl Harbor, Wilson had German U-boats sinking unarmed passenger boats. Lincoln had nothing comparable to rally public opinion.

I don’t think you can exaggerate how potentially disorienting and confusing his position was. How did Lincoln keep his bearings? How did he persevere?

In explaining what guided Lincoln, Fredrick Douglas refers to Article II of the U.S. Constitution, that prescribes the Presidential oath. Lincoln solemnly swore, “to the best of [his] Ability, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Fredrick Douglas tells us, “Abraham Lincoln was clear in his duty and had an oath in heaven. He calmly and bravely heard the voices of doubt and fear all around him; but he had an oath in heaven and was not power on earth to make this honest [man] evade or violate that sacred oath.”

In this chamber we know how important it is to be true to your word. So did Lincoln. The solemn promise he made in becoming President became a bedrock principle by which he could test his decisions.

The Emancipation Proclamation was based on the principle that emancipation was a means to win the war and preserve the union. But staying true to his oath and winning a war to quell a rebellion was not what earned him a place in our hearts.  To win our hearts, he had to do both, win the war and end slavery.

The election of 1864 was essential to that transformation. General George McClellan, the Democratic nominee was prepared to negotiate a peace without a victory and without abolishing slavery. It stands out as amazing in the history of recorded time that the United States conducted a fair and free election in the midst of an all-out Civil War.  That was a display of trust.

Fredrick Douglas says that Lincoln had trust in himself and the people. He knew the American people better than they knew themselves. His reelection was by no means certain BUT it turned out to be an expression of national resolve to see the war to the end and abolish slavery.

His second inaugural was an opportunity. First, to express unconditional resolve to achieve a military victory that preserved the union and abolished slavery and second; to offer his reflections on the deeper moral significance of the war. He focused on the justice and righteousness of a war of abolition.

Lincoln noted that both sides had been disappointed in failing to gain a quick and easy victory. Neither side expected a war of such magnitude or duration.  Each looked for an easier triumph and a result less fundamental and astounding. Instead, God’s plan was a long and bloody war with astounding and fundamental results.

Lincoln called slavery an offense against God and that it was now God’s will that it should end. He declared that God had given the war to both the North and the South as “the woe due for the offense”. Praying for peace he expressed the resolve of his second term in office, saying: If God wills the [war] to continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword,… so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Abraham Lincoln began his Presidency, guided by a virtue that was second nature to him “keeping you word”, being loyal to his oath to preserve and protect the constitution. Suffering the tremendous pressures of his presidency, he came to embrace a spiritual mission to effectuate God’s plan for justice.

Foreseeing an end of war, Lincoln prayed for healing saying “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right”. He encouraged us to cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Taylor Branch told us that when the civil rights movement had no political clout, no discernible assets, Martin Luther King prevailed by invoking our American tradition of patriotic and religious virtues. Lincoln bent the arc of that tradition towards greater justice. When Martin Luther King delivered his “I have a dream” speech he chose to assemble his march and stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Think about the last few words of our daily pledge: “to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all”. President Lincoln is the President who ensured that we remained one nation, indivisible. He provided us the opportunity to pursue more liberty and justice for all.

Both Lincoln and Martin Luther King call upon the better angels of our nature.   Both were servant leaders and martyrs who made mighty additions to our tradition of civic and religious virtues.

We have the privilege to work in this historic chamber.  We have the opportunity to add to the best traditions of American Democracy, to earn the people’s trust in our government, to promote healing and to do the hard work of settling our differences in a democratic process without violence or malice.

Every day when we recite the pledge let’s remember our shared aspiration of liberty and justice for all. Like Lincoln and Martin Luther King let us do our best to be the people’s servants.

May God Bless the people of Maryland and United States.