Monday, March 22nd was the Maryland General Assembly’s "Crossover" deadline. Crossover is the deadline for a bill to pass out of the Senate and get over to the House (or vice versa) in plenty of time for it to be passed there. A bill can still get passed but it's much more unlikely. Consideration of bills in the opposite chamber will take up the bulk of the final two weeks and a day left in the 2021 Session.
This week we had passage of the state budget and other items we were dealing with. Issues still circulating around are police reform - with each house having passed something different, possible "Sanctuary State" legislation which I strongly oppose, and some good initiatives, like the Governor's Repeat Violent Offender Act that I am working with my Republican colleagues to get passed through the full General Assembly. Below is my Weekly Video Update:
Senator Ready Weekly Video Update - Week 11:
Legalizing Drug Paraphernalia?
Drug overdose deaths are rising (again) in our community. This past week, I fought against a bill that would fully legalize heroin paraphernalia in Maryland. See my video where I discuss this legislation and explain my attempts to stop or at least amend the bill here. Unfortunately, on Wednesday, the Senate voted to pass the full, unamended bill 31-16. I am hoping we can get some help to stop or amend this bill in the House of Delegates.
Carroll County's FY2022 Recommended Budget - Your Input :
Carroll County government and our county commissioners are currently in the process of finalizing and approving the county's FY2022 budget. You can view the detailed FY 22 Recommended Budget and FY 22-27 Plans . The budget process documents can be viewed on the county website.
Throughout March, April and May, a series of virtual budget meetings will be held to develop and adopt the final budget. Please check the Carroll County Government website for meeting updates and links to viewing the virtual process.
Funds Approved for Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area
On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the Board of Public Works approved a request to provide a $215,299.02 grant to Carroll County from Rural Legacy Funds for the acquisition of a 40.57-acre conservation easement in the Upper Patapsco Rural Legacy Area. Acquisition of this easement will protect productive agricultural and forest lands and 1,794 linear feet of buffers along forested wetlands served by unnamed tributaries of the Patapsco River.
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's 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.
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 accepted up to April 15, 2021.