March 4, 2024

Ready Report: Juvenile Crime Progress, Ready Bill Hearings & More…

The seventh full week of the 2024 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session has concluded. This week was extremely busy as eight of my bills had committee hearings. Here is a brief update on what happened this week in Annapolis, including an update on a few of my bills.

Weekly Video Update

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

Juvenile anti-Crime Bill (SB 744) Moves to Final Vote Monday:

On Thursday, there was extensive debate and discussion on the Senate floor regarding SB 744, which seeks to reform the juvenile justice system in Maryland. This proposal was a bill introduced by the Senate and House Democrat leadership to -finally- address the violent crime issues in our state. The 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, steal a car 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. I will continue to push for this to be fixed with other legislation.

At the end of the debate, the bill moved to what is known as “3rd Reader”, the point when it will receive a final vote – which will happen Monday. The bill should pass the Senate then.

The juvenile justice system is broken and must be addressed, and I am glad to at least see Democrats finally admitting that – and implicitly acknowledging their role in breaking it – but there is a lot more work to do on crime overall. I will keep you updated on this issue as it moves forward in Annapolis.

Hearing on Transportation Equity, Fairness and Privacy Act of 2024 (SB 841)

This week, SB 841 received a hearing in the Senate Budget and Taxation committee. I sponsored this legislation as part of our joint Maryland Senate Republicans & Maryland House Republican Caucus agenda to address the cost of living and tax burden, balance transportation funding and protect privacy of drivers. You can read our press release below, which was sent out in advance of the hearing, or by click here.

Carroll County FFA Visit in Annapolis

On Wednesday, it was great to welcome students from Carroll County who are members of the Maryland FFA Association (Future Farmers of America). Agriculture education is a critical part of continuing expanding and supporting this critical industry in our county and state. It was so nice to see these students from all over District 5 and the county and talk with them about ways to increase opportunities for our students in this sector of our economy. As always, we are blessed to have such a rich farming heritage in Carroll and Frederick Counties. We want to keep it going strong.

Replacement of Bridge on Patapsco Road over East Branch Patapsco River

The Carroll County Department of Public Works invites interested persons to attend an informal informational public meeting concerning the replacement of the Patapsco Road bridge over East Branch Patapsco River in Carroll County, MD.  The purpose of the project is to replace the existing single span steel bridge with a new single span prestressed concrete adjacent slab bridge.  The new structure will be constructed in the same location as the existing bridge.  It is anticipated that construction will occur during the 2025 construction season.  Patapsco Road will be closed to through traffic and a detour will be established to divert traffic around the project using Wesley Road.  Patapsco Road will remain open to local traffic.

The event will take place on Wednesday, March 13 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at the Sandymount Elementary School Cafeteria (2222 Old Westminster Pike Finksburg, MD 21048).

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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