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Here’s an update on what’s happening in Annapolis at the end of the sixth week of the 2022 General Assembly Session.

Weekly Video Update: Theft of Handgun Bill Hearing, Radical “Climate” Legislation, and Election Security Update

This was an extremely busy week in Annapolis. One of my bills that would impose a felony charge for the theft of a handgun was heard before the Judicial Proceedings Committee. Under current law, punishments for the theft of a firearm are decided by the value of the firearm. I believe the hearing went well, and am willing to work with members of the committee to make sure that harsher penalties are given to those who steal handguns.

Additionally, the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee held multiple hearings on “climate” bills this week. There are many radical ideas in these bills that would fundamentally change the way that Maryland citizens are allowed to live their lives. Many of these ideas are frankly unrealistic, and would take decades upon decades to accomplish.

I also discuss legislative initiatives aimed at securing our elections (see section below for more details). View my video update in its entirety by clicking here.

Election Integrity Press Conference

On Thursday, the Republican Senate Caucus held a joint press conference with the Republican House Caucus on our legislative initiatives aimed at securing elections in Maryland. One of my bills, SB532, would require that Maryland voters present one of several options of government issued identification when they go to vote in person.

Other Bills in our GOP Senate/House Caucus package include:

HB 939 – Ballot Protection Act of 2022 prohibits election officials at all levels of government from the mass mailing of unrequested ballots for any election.

HB 963 - Securing the Vote Act of 2022 requires the State Board of Elections to utilize signature verification software to secure Maryland’s elections, including mailed ballots, and is based on California’s protocols.

HB 1172 - Mail In Voter Privacy Act of 2022 removes party affiliation from absentee ballot envelopes.

SB 738 - Secure Elections Act of 2022 requires the State Board of Elections to coordinate with the local boards of elections during statewide elections to perform an audit particularly of mail-in ballots and include signature verification in that audit.

SB 532 - Election Law – Polling Places – Proof of Identity (Voter ID) requires voters to present identification at the polls to verify their name and mailing address with an election judge.

Press Reports –

Maryland Matters: Republican Lawmakers Again Introduce Voter ID, Signature Verification Bills
WCBC Radio: Senate, House Republicans Present Election Integrity Package

The entire press conference can be viewed by clicking here.

The Continued Fight to Un-Mask Kids in School

As you know I have strongly opposed mandated masking of our kids in schools and have been trying to turn back the State Board of Education mandate that took our local control on this issue away. I have introduced legislation (SB 934) that would remove this statewide mandate and restore control to local Board of Educations for masking. You can read more information about SB934, by clicking here. Also, the State Board of Education is meeting this Tuesday, February 22nd, to discuss whether to lift the mandate.

District 5 Night in Annapolis – NEXT Monday – February 28th:

Please join us for our Annual District 5 Night in Annapolis. February 28, 2022 at the Maryland Inn, 16 Church Circle, Annapolis, Maryland from 5:30-7:30 for food and conversation followed by Session at 8 pm. Call my office 410-841-3683 or email [email protected] to register or for more details. Space is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible.

Watching the 2022 General Assembly in Action:

In the 2022 General Assembly Session every Senate/House floor session, committee hearing, and committee voting session are being live-streamed. Here is a link to a short video, created by Sam Jones from my staff, that shows where to go to watch both live floor Sessions and committee action. You can click here to view the video.

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, 2021.