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Last week, the 439th Session of the Maryland General Assembly began in Annapolis. I was honored to take the oath of office to continue serving in the State Senate. In November, I was elected to that office for the first time after serving as an appointee during the previous term. I look forward to working with our District 5 team (including Delegates Krebs, Rose and Shoemaker) and most importantly, being a strong voice for Carroll County residents and our values.

This Session, we will be tackling many of the important issues our state faces; fair Congressional and Legislative redistricting, combating record crime in Baltimore City and surrounding regions, bolstering Maryland’s economy through tax relief and further regulatory reform, and continuing to confront the opioid epidemic head on.

In the Senate Committee I serve on, Judicial Proceedings, my committee colleagues and I will have the opportunity to evaluate legislation that impacts criminal justice first hand. It is important that in the context of cracking down on violent crime, we focus on ensuring that people convicted of committing violent crimes — including those involving firearms obtained illegally or used in a crime—receive the sentence time that is allowed for by law. Right now, police are making arrests and those charged are having the more serious offenses waived or plead down. Criminals, particularly those who commit crimes with guns, aren’t serving any real time until the crimes get very, very serious. This must change, we need to send a message to those who commit violent crimes in Maryland; if you do the crime, you will do hard time.

Additionally, this Session, I plan to reintroduce Laura and Reid’s Law. Currently in Maryland, killers of pregnant women, can only be charged with two homicides if the child was viable outside the womb. If someone knowingly targets a pregnant woman to kill both her and the unborn child, that should be treated as two homicides, not one. This bill stems from an awful case that was brought to me by the Wallen family who lost their daughter Laura, and her unborn, 14-week unborn son Reid – murdered by her boyfriend. Over 30 other states offer this protection – it’s time Maryland did as well.

Finally, I’ve been proud to work with Governor Hogan to fight for tax relief to bring down the high cost-of-living for working families in our state. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to get the kind of broad-based tax relief that we would both like to see. I will be co-sponsoring measures to reduce the business and individual tax burden this Session as well.

As your State Senator, part of my job to do my best to keep everyone up to date on what’s happening in Annapolis. If you would like to follow Session more closely, I invite you to email me at Justin.Ready@senate.state.md.usto be placed on my email update list and/or connect with me on Facebook (Facebook.com/SenatorReady), Twitter (@JustinReady), and Instagram (@JustinReady). If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime. It is an honor and privilege to serve you in the General Assembly.

 

Justin Ready