Scholarships for Students Attending School in Maryland - I have a limited amount of scholarship funds available for residents of Maryland District 20 who are attending or plan to attend a community college, 4-year college, or graduate school within Maryland. Applications are due April 30, 2019.
NOTE: Scholarships can only be applied to education at a Maryland school unless approved for Unique Major status through MHEC. To apply for out-of-state Unique Major status, contact MHEC directly.
Important Bills We Passed in the Maryland House - Here are a few important bills that passed in the House of Delegates. Some are now awaiting action in the Maryland Senate, while others have passed in both chambers:
Establish a $15 Minimum Wage (HB 166) - The Maryland House & Senate passed a bill to create a $15 minimum wage in Maryland by 2025. Though the bill was watered down along the way, I was proud to cosponsor this effort to help our lowest paid workers. We are now waiting to see if Governor Hogan vetoes or signs this bill into law.
Increase Montgomery County School Construction Funds (HB 727) - The House of Delegates approved a bill to provide Montgomery County with $400 million in additional funding for school construction between 2021-2024. I was proud to vote yes on this bill, and it now awaits action in the Senate.
Obstruct Beltway Widening (HB1091) - With Governor Hogan moving quickly to unilaterally widen the Beltway, I was proud to vote for legislation to obstruct his proposal. HB1091 would require an independent assessment of this project before it could be approved. We are now awaiting Senate action on this bill.
Stabilize Health Care Costs (HB 814) - The House & Senate passed a bill to stabilize health care costs in Maryland and counteract Trump's repeal of the federal health care mandate. I was proud to cosponsor HB 814, which requires residents to acquire health coverage or put a down payment on a health plan.
Implement Sensible Gun Safety Measures (HB786 & HB740) - The House of Delegates passed two common-sense gun safety bills that I was proud to cosponsor. HB786 requires background checks for secondhand sales of rifles & shotguns, while HB740 bans 3D printed guns. We are awaiting Senate action on both bills.
Restrict Local Police Participation in Deportations (HB1165 & HB1273) - I was pleased to serve as floor leader on two immigration bills we passed in the House. HB1165 bans government officials from asking about residents' immigration or citizenship status, unless required to do so. Meanwhile, HB1273 directs the Attorney General to develop legal guidelines to help interested hospitals, schools and courts limit immigration enforcement activities on their premises. Both bills are now awaiting action in the Senate.
Maryland Styrofoam Ban (HB 109) - I cosponsored a bill to ban the sale of polystyrene products in Maryland, since these styrofoam items are not biodegradable, and the resulting trash stays with us forever. This bill has passed in both the House & Senate.
Provide End-of-Life Options (HB399) - The House has passed a bill to provide terminally ill residents with the option of a less painful death in their final months of life. I was proud to cosponsor and vote for this emotionally difficult legislation, and it appears to be advancing in the Senate.
Improve Prescription Drug Coverage for State Retirees (HB 1120) - The House & Senate have advanced legislation to restore some of the prescription drug coverage for retired state employees, who recently faced an increase in out-of-pocket costs.
Allow Unemployment Benefits During Government Shutdowns (HB 336) - The House & Senate passed a bill to provide Maryland residents with unemployment benefits during government shutdowns. If the federal government eventually pays these workers for the work period during the shutdown, residents will repay the unemployment funds they received. I was proud to cosponsor and vote for this legislation, in case the recent nonsense from our federal government happens again.
Demand Accountability for Church Sex Abuse (HB687) - I was pleased to cosponsor and vote for legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations for sex abuse against minors. We also created a 2-year window to file suit for survivors whose previous statute of limitations expired. This bill is awaiting action in the Senate.
Progress On Bills I Introduced - Monday was the deadline to pass bills in either the Maryland House or Senate. I'm pleased to report that seven of my bills were approved by the House, and the Senate approved two additional crossfiled bills. Here's a quick rundown of progress on my bills:
- HB 113 removes jail as a penalty for petty gambling offenses. A version of this bill has passed in both the House & Senate.
- HB 135 authorizes courts to charge convicted animal abusers for the cost of caring for the animals during the trial. A version of this bill has passed in both the House & Senate.
- HB 77 eliminates the crime of attempted suicide. We are awaiting Senate action on this bill.
- HB138 requires police to disclose military equipment they acquire. A version of this bill has passed in both the House & Senate.
- HB76 ends jail as a penalty for possession of a suspended drivers license. A version of this bill has passed in both the House & Senate.
- HB259 allows expungement of some boating offenses. A version of this bill has passed in both the House & Senate.
- HB203 allows Montgomery County to lower speeds on roads that warrant a change (eg: very narrow two-lane or rural roads). We are now awaiting Senate action on this bill.
- SB236 expands eligibility for jury duty for ex-offenders. Senate sponsor: Sen. Jill Carter. We are now awaiting House action on this bill.
- SB535 allows counties who use public campaign financing to include school board races. Senate sponsor: Sen. Clarence Lam. We are now awaiting House action on this bill.
Update on Marijuana Legalization - This year, I introduced a bill (HB632) to let voters decide the fate of marijuana legalization on the 2020 presidential ballot. It looks like we're finally getting closer to approval, as the General Assembly leadership is creating a workgroup to make recommendations on what the details of such legislation should look like. I'm pleased to have been appointed to this workgroup and hope to provide details soon.