Friends & Neighbors,
I have a few quick policy updates that may be of interest. But first, I wanted to ask that you help spread the word about college and graduate school scholarships that my office has available for residents of House of Delegates District 20 attending school in Maryland:
- District 20 Legislative Scholarships are available to residents of District 20 attending college, graduate school or community college in Maryland. Deadline to apply is July 31, 2015 at http://davidmoon.us/scholarship/
- Maryland Hispanic Achievement Scholarships are available to graduates of Maryland high schools (or Maryland GED recipients) who are attending college in Maryland. This opportunity is for all students - regardless of ethnicity. Deadline to apply is July 15, 2015 at http://montgomeryhispanicgala.org/scholarship.html
WASHINGTON POST: The Purple Line can do with a few less station elevators, shorter platform lengths and no environmentally friendly plant material for track beds at all, according to a list of $210 million in cost reductions identified by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The list of potential cuts — 43 items in all — was sent to Montgomery and Prince George’s county officials last week and released by Hogan’s office late Monday. It includes one reduction already mentioned by the state: cutting service frequency from six to 7.5 minutes.... Hogan’s conditions for greenlighting the project also include a deep reduction in the state’s financial commitment, from $700 million to $168 million, and increased payments from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties — possibly as much as another $50 million each.
- The full list of cuts to the Purple Line is available online [ click here ]
ELIMINATING MARYLAND'S CONFEDERATE FLAG LICENSE PLATES - The Supreme Court recently ruled that Confederate flag license plates are a form of government expression, and that states can therefore decline to issue such tags. As a result, Senator Jamie Raskin and I requested an opinion from Attorney General Brian Frosh on whether the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) now has the power to eliminate Maryland's Confederate flag plates without the need for new legislation. We are still awaiting the Attorney General's opinion, but in the meantime we also joined with over 70 of our House and Senate colleagues to call on the MVA to end the Confederate flag tags. The Wall Street Journal reported on our efforts (excerpt below):
WALL STREET JOURNAL: One by one, the governors of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Tennessee said they favored taking the emblem off state specialty license plates in the wake of last Wednesday’s killings of nine people by a white suspect at a Charleston black church.....
Even before Mr. Hogan’s statement lawmakers in that state had begun efforts to remove the plates. On Monday, state Sen. Jamie Raskin and Delegate David Moon, both Democrats representing the Washington, D.C., suburb of Takoma Park, asked the state attorney general whether the Confederate emblem could be removed by administrative action without requiring new legislation.
Mr. Moon said Maryland sought to withdraw the Confederate plates in the 1990s, but a court order prompted the state to continue issuing them. “It’s not some recent evolution in Maryland,” he said. “We are really just making right what we intended to do a couple of decades ago.”
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PASSES PAID SICK LEAVE BILL - The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a paid sick leave bill that was signed into law by County Executive Ike Leggett this month. I hope to work with my colleagues to move this effort statewide during the 2016 legislative session. In the meantime, WTOP reported on some of the details of the Montgomery County law (excerpt below):
WTOP: "Starting in October of next year, Montgomery County businesses will have to give up to seven days of paid sick leave to workers. Businesses with five or fewer workers would have to give up to four paid days off when an employee is sick. Supporters say there’s momentum to get a statewide bill passed. The bill-signing ceremony in Silver Spring was attended by U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who told a packed auditorium at the Civic Center there that there’s more work to be done...."
County Executive Ike Leggett signs Montgomery County's historic sick leave bill
A 2016 JUSTICE AGENDA - Last month I held a gathering of supporters, colleagues and advocates in Silver Spring to talk about what a "justice agenda" would look like for the 2016 legislative session. Maryland Reporter had a nice write-up about the event (excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER: Wednesday evening, [Silver Spring's Bump 'n Grind coffee bar] was briefly the center of progressives in the Maryland legislature, as Del. David Moon, about as left as they get in Annapolis, held a low-key fundraiser, heavy on the policy wonk from his fellow legislators...
Del. Curt Anderson from Baltimore came to ally himself with Moon, who has supported many of the measures to reform the criminal justice system and decriminalize drug laws that have led to mass incarceration. “The state cannot be all that it can be without Baltimore, and Baltimore needs the rest of the state,” Anderson said.... Del. Jill Carter, another Judiciary Committee Member from Baltimore who has long sponsored policing and prison reform legislation, also finds an ally in Moon....
We had a great gathering of justice advocates last month. See you at the next one!
WASHINGTON POST: A U.S. appeals circuit court on Monday upheld a federal program aimed at reducing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, despite a challenge from farmers, builders and the attorneys general of 21 states located mostly outside the region....
The guidelines place limits on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment that are allowed into the watershed. The EPA and scientists have said that the bay absorbs too much of those elements to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia supported the EPA regulations and agreed to implement them....
Celebrating Freedom at the Takoma Park July 4 Parade! See Ed Kimmel's photos [ here ]
HOW TO CONTACT MY DELEGATE OFFICE - Please contact me with any constituent services issues or if you would like to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns about state issues and bills:
Delegate David Moon
Phone: (410) 841-3474
Hope to hear from you soon!