Busy Weeks and Long Hearings
Our fourth and fifth week down in Annapolis, and everything is fully underway. We have had a lot of work so far the past two weeks. Bill hearings have begun with some hearings lasting long into the night. This week alone we already had five bill hearings and I’m proud to say that they went very well. We also had the Governor’s State of the State Address this past week where he outlined his plan going forward for Maryland. While the Governor’s goals are well intentioned, they are not great for Appalachia Maryland.
State of the State
As previously stated, Governor Moore delivered the State of the State to the General Assembly this week in which he outlined his vision for Maryland going forward and his progress report for the State so far this year.
The Governor’s main theme was that no Marylander will be left behind during his administration and that we would be a strong Maryland going forward. While I most certainly agree with this, I am concerned that many policies will be focused on the Baltimore-Washington Corridor and will forget Western Maryland as well as the Eastern Shore. This is not my only worry as the State is spending money that it does not have. The State went from a $2 billion surplus almost nothing, there is little left over for local projects and other grants.
My colleagues and I are ready to work with the Governor in order for Marylanders to be safe, prosperous, and happy going forward.
Reminder of Senate Bill 349
Senate Bill 349, entitled State Prescription Drug Benefits – Retirees, intends to right a wrong that should not have happened. During Governor Martin O’Malley’s tenure in office, state employees who worked or began work prior to July 1, 2011 had their prescription drug benefits taken away from them. This was across the board from state police to workers in Annapolis to other state workers. Many who had been counting on the coverage for when they retired, had to find coverage elsewhere.
The State had no right to break a promise to these employees, who had worked hard and expected to be compensated in every way they were told. As such this bill will right this wrong and those former and current employees will be guaranteed their benefits as they should.
So many of you have contacted me asking about whether it will pass, how much support it has, or what to do to help it get passed. The most important thing you can do is contact your Delegates and other Senators and tell them why they should support and pass SB349. Our hearing will be held in the Budget and Taxation Committee on the 28th of February at 1:00pm. If you are interested in testifying or submitting letters of support, you can create a MyMGA account and then submit the testimony one day prior to the hearing on the 27th of February.
Thank you all!
This week I am delivering the Republican’s Lincoln Day Speech on Monday Evening in front of the State Senate. Every year the Republicans give a speech to honor our beloved 16th President on his birthday as he was the first Republican to be elected President of the United States. I plan on capturing the perseverance, honor, and character that President Abraham Lincoln had. It will be an honor to do so.
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 Town 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.