2020 Session – Week 5

2020 Session Week 5 Video update

Governor Hogan\’s State of the State Address

Last week\’s big event was Governor Hogan\’s 2020 State of the State Address. Maryland continues to thrive with Governor Hogan at the helm. His address focused on accountability in government, bipartisan collaboration, tax relief especially for retirees, and redistricting reform. His most pressing priority for the 2020 Legislative Session is addressing the out-of-control violent crime in Baltimore City, a priority that I share. Click here to watch Governor Hogan\’s State of the State Address.Click here to read his remarks.

Hagerstown Mail: Local lawmakers support governor\’s focus on curbing crime

Kirwan Discussions Begin

In addition to the crime crisis in Baltimore City, \”Kirwan\” is the other dominant issue of the 2020 Session. \”Kirwan,\” also know as the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education Report, proposes sweeping changes to how public education is funded and structured throughout the state, with an emphasis on lower-income communities. The proposal comes with a $4 BILLION/year price tag, with funding responsibility shared between the State and the counties. 

I support a world class education for every child in Maryland regardless of where they grow up, however I do have the following concerns that will be at the forefront in the coming weeks:

  1. How we are going to fund these proposal without massive tax increases or having to make cuts to public safety and infrastructure?
  2. What are the impacts on our county budgets?
  3. How will school systems will be held accountable for spending these funds appropriately?
  4. How will we measure the return on this very large investment

The 199 page bill to implement the Kirwan Commission\’s recommendations was dropped late last week, and the legislature will begin briefings, hearings and discussions this week. I look forward to sharing more updates as we work with this bill. If you would like to read, track and follow this bill, click here. 

Legislative Update: HB965/SB862 Labor & Employment – Minimum Wage – Allegany & Garrett Counties

I was proud to co-sponsor this legislation with my District 1 colleagues that would allow Allegany and Garrett Counties to set their own minimum wage to remain competitive with neighboring states. The state wide minimum wage increase has harmed our Western Maryland business community and this bill is an effort to keep businesses and jobs in Western Maryland.

Click here for the text of the bill. It is scheduled for a hearing in the House Economic Matters Committee on March 10th at 1:00pm.