Moving into February
The first month is over and now we enter our second month of Session. There are bills already being passed and committee hearings are getting fully underway as well. This week however was pretty much all about the State of the State outlined by Governor Wes Moore in his first address to the General Assembly as Governor.
The State of the State
On Wednesday, Governor Moore delivered his first State of the State Address to a joint session of the Maryland General Assembly. He emphasized his legislative priorities, which included:
- Year of Service and New Cabinet Department
- “Fixing” State Government by filling vacant positions
- Ending Child Poverty along with strategies to do this, one of which is accelerating the $15/hour minimum wage increase and tying future increases to inflation. This is similar to how the annual automatic gas tax increase works where legislators are able to dodge a vote to raise taxes.
- Income Tax relief for military veterans. This is an area of common ground, but it would also be good to extend the same to all of our retirees who play an important role in our communities.
The big issue that was missing was a plan to address the violent crime crisis and more accountability for repeat, violent offenders. This is a topic in the forefront of Marylanders minds and we must be able to combat the rise in violent crime and protect our communities. The police must be able to have all the resources available to do their job.
The Caucus Response
Our Republican Caucus gave a response to the State of the State and it was as follows:
Governor Moore and our members are committed to making Maryland stronger.
While we share the same goal, we may view the path to achieving it differently. We have concerns about negative impacts to our job creators from raising the minimum wage, concerns about the lack of any crime plan to deal with repeat, violent offenders, and concerns about expanding the size and cost of state government without accountability.
We do have some common ground, especially in supporting our veterans and reducing their retirement taxes. However, we feel that all our retirees who play a critical role in our communities deserve the same.
Our members will focus on holding Governor Moore and the Democrat Supermajorities accountable for their promises and policies and ensuring that Marylanders are receiving the promised returned on their significant investment in state government.
I have submitted four bills as the primary sponsor of which you can click on the bill numbers to dive into their details: SB 276, 277, 296, and 297. This week I am going to highlight SB 277.
This is a bill that relates back to the blight issue we face in our communities. Originally, sheriff’s sales of titles and such were bare bones and vague. Bill 277 will rectify that by giving the local governments a direct path of obtaining the title. Sheriff Craig Robertson, himself, wrote a letter of support for this bill.
Throughout this Session, I want to hear from you. I serve Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties and all of your voices are important to me. The best way to represent you is to have your voice heard. Please feel free to contact my Annapolis Office at (410) 841-3565 or my District Office at (240) 362-7040. My public email address is now email@example.com. Please feel free to email me at anytime. I also have a District Office at the Williamsport City Hall. It is on the second floor in the first office. Our mailing address below remains the same however.
I continue to be your voice and advocate in Annapolis so I want to hear from you. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or what I can do to help you. I am on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the Executive Nominations Committee. All of our hearings are streamed live on Youtube and the MGA website.
If you are interested in seeing where my bills are in the process, you can create a MyMGA account or you can click here to view bills I am sponsoring by clicking “Legislation” under my name. You can sign up to testify on any bill you wish.