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.”

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Members Making News February 17th-23rd

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

 

 

  • After the Kirwan Commission released their preliminary report that offered recommendations for improving schools in Maryland, but without any suggestions of how to solve the state’s current funding formula, Delegate Haven Shoemaker expressed his dissapoint over the commission’s inability to address the funding formula that could help Carroll County schools. Speaking of how the commission poorly used their time to produce the report, Delegate Shoemaker said, “Government seems to do that a lot…Equally concerning is that very little time has been devoted to fixing the funding formula currently in place in Maryland which shortchanges Carroll County because we’ve had declining enrollment, but we’re considered rich. This needs to be fixed pronto.” To read more about this issue, click here to be redirected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

House Republicans Issue Statement on the Failure of Paid Sick Leave Delay

18565931 – a stamp with text “rejected”. white background.

House Minority Leader Nic Kipke and House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga issued the following statement regarding the failure of legislation that would delay the implementation of Paid Sick Leave. Senate Bill 304 – Maryland Healthy Working Families Act – Delay of Effective Date would have delayed the implementation until July 1, giving businesses time to navigate the complex and confusing policy passed when the legislature overrode Governor Hogan’s veto in January. The legislation was killed in the Economic Matters Committee earlier today, with a vote of 12-11.
“While it comes as no surprise this bill was voted down, it is still very frustrating,” said House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga. “There was no will to move this bill in the House, where political gain seems more important than doing the right thing for the job-creating businesses in our state.”

“I am very disappointed this bill did not move forward,” said House Minority Leader Nic Kipke. “But, there is still time and opportunity for the General Assembly to provide paid leave to workers without clobbering small businesses over the head. Governor Hogan’s Paid Leave Compromise Act is still on the table. I hope my colleagues will give this compromise the serious consideration it deserves and do what is best for the businesses in Maryland and the hard-working citizens they employ.”

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