February 2, 2024

Ready Report: Juvenile Crime Accountability, Theft of a Firearm Bill & More…

The third full week of the 2024 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session has concluded. Here is a brief update on what happened this week in Annapolis.

Weekly Video Update

Click the image below to watch this week’s video update from Annapolis.

Accountability and Consequences for Juvenile Crime

Earlier this week, Governor Moore and Democrat leadership held a press conference to discuss their legislative initiatives to target the juvenile crime problem that has been plaguing our state. It was encouraging to hear them talk about accountability and consequences, especially since Republicans have been pleading with Annapolis Democrats for years to come to the table and address the issue.

Their proposal does incorporates an element of the Joint Republican proposal (The Juvenile Restoration Act) that would return juveniles ages 10-13 who have a gun or are involved in violent crimes to the jurisdiction of the courts. The bill does NOT include a fix to the Child Interrogation Act passed in 2022 which has wreaked havoc on law enforcement’s ability to question children suspected of criminal acts – even with parental consent. We will work to add that into this mix as we move further into session.

The juvenile justice system is broken and must be addressed, and I am happy to at least see Democrats finally admitting that – and implicitly acknowledging their role in breaking it.

However – we’ve often seen bills about crime like this start out looking good but then liberal special interests water it down throughout the legislative process. I’ll be watching that vigilantly as we move forward.

You can read more about this issue including some of my thoughts by clicking here.

Hearing on SB 39 – The Gun Theft Felony Act

A bill that I am sponsoring, SB 39, was heard before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Thursday. Thank you to Sheriff Jim Dewees for coming down to Annapolis to testify in favor. This legislation removes the theft of a firearm from the general theft statute and creates a separate felony charge for offenders.

Under current law, a felony charge can only be given when the items stolen have a value greater than $1,000. Many firearms are not quite worth $1,000. I believe that stealing a firearm of any value is a serious crime and should result in serious punishment. That is why I have sponsored this bill to create a felony charge anytime someone commits theft of a firearm.

I will continue to keep you posted on this issue as Session continues.

Presenting SB 39 before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Thursday

ICYMI: Maryland Senate Republicans Stand with Texas

On Monday, I sent a letter to Governor Moore with all 13 of the Senate Republican Caucus members calling on him to join 25 other state governors in supporting Texas’ right to defend its border, and by extension, our communities here in Maryland from unchecked, unprecedented levels of illegal immigration.

The Biden administration’s absolute abdication of duty on the border is making the fentanyl drug crisis and human trafficking epidemic even worse. I stand with the State of Texas and their right to defend citizens of their state and our country. Our Senate Republican members are unanimously asking Governor Moore to join us and assert that Maryland will stand with Texas while we wait for the Biden Administration and federal government to do its duty. You can read the full letter below:

You are Invited to District 5/Carroll County Night in Annapolis

You are cordially invited to attend “An Evening in Annapolis with the Carroll County Delegation!” This is a free event where refreshments will be served. All Carroll County and District 5 residents are invited to this event on February 19th from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Maryland Inn, 16 Church Circle, Annapolis MD. Refreshments will be served. (After the 2022 election District 5 now includes the Frederick County portion of Mt. Airy as well)

The Carroll County Delegation includes District 5 Senator Justin Ready, Delegate April Rose, Delegate Chris Tomlinson, and Delegate Christopher “Eric” Bouchat. Additionally, District 42C Senator Chris West and Delegate Josh Stonko will be in attendance which is why we’re calling this District 5 AND Carroll County Night.

The delegation will offer remarks about the legislative session. Around 7:45 PM, the delegation will have to walk over to the Statehouse for a floor session, which you are more than welcome to attend. Please bring a photo ID if you plan to enter the Statehouse.

RSVP: Senator Justin Ready at 410-841-3683 or email [email protected]

Senatorial Scholarships Available

If you are or know a high school senior or college student, please consider applying for a Senatorial Scholarship.  For more information or to request an application, email Emily Van Horn at [email protected] and include your full address.  Scholarships will be accepted up to April 15, 2024.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime. My office can be reached by emailing [email protected], and my staff and I will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner. Have a great rest of the week!

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