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Good afternoon,

Here’s an update on what’s happening in Annapolis at the end of our sixth week. It has been another difficult week, but I will continue to keep you updated to the best of my ability.

Weekly Video Update: More Unfortunate News; Taxpayer Funded Payments to Illegal Immigrants, Police Reform, and Removal of School Resource Officers: Click on the photo below for my weekly video update.

Taxpayer Funded Payments to Illegal Immigrants:

Last week, the Senate Republican Caucus was able to kill an amendment that was added to the Governor’s RELIEF Act of 2021 which would have granted the financial relief to illegal immigrants at our taxpayer’s expense. However, in less than a week Senate Democrats passed SB 218, which allows illegal immigrants to claim tax credits designed for Maryland citizens.

In years past, there were times where both parties came together to reach a compromise on controversial issues. Throughout the first six weeks of the 2021 session, the Democratic majority has shown little effort in reaching compromises on several important issues.

Legislation Dealing with Theft of a Handgun:

On Wednesday I presented SB 560, my bill to make theft of a handgun a felony with stronger sentencing, before the Judicial Proceedings Committee. I am thankful for the support of Maryland Shall Issue, MD State Rifle & Pistol Association, and the NRA. Sadly, the groups who push for these restrictions to – in their words – stop gun violence declined to submit testimony on my bill to make theft of a handgun a felony.

I have sponsored and introduced this legislation for the past two years. One of my top priorities in Annapolis has been defending the 2nd Amendment right of law-abiding citizens. However, the majority party’s priorities seem to be going after the “good-guys,” who follow the law when obtaining their firearms. I am hopeful that this piece of legislation will pass during this session.

How to Watch the 2021 General Assembly:

The 2021 General Assembly Session is taking place without any members of the public being able to be in the galleries in the chambers or in the committee rooms. This is very problematic from a transparency standpoint.

However - every Senate/House floor session, committee hearing and committee voting session will be live-streamed which is unprecedented. Until last year, only committee hearings were fully live-streamed. It is all on the Maryland General Assembly website, but navigation could be tricky for people who are unfamiliar with it (which is most people).

So, Sam Jones, who serves on my staff, created a short video that shows where to go to watch both live floor Sessions and committee action. Please feel free to share with friends so people can see how to follow along and - as always - contact my office if we can be helpful in any way.

You can click here to view the video.

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, 2021.

My staff and I can be always reached at  [email protected] or by calling 410-841-3683. My personal email is [email protected]. Both email and voicemail are checked regularly. My team and I will do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

 

Sincerely,

Sen. Justin Ready