We are wrapping up the 5th week of session. Below are a few pieces of legislation that you may find of interest as well as other issues being discussed in the Maryland General Assembly. After 10 years of working in session in different capacities, I am still amazed at the quality of my colleagues and the work that we accomplish in 90 days. To see my video weekly update, click here.
Career and Technology Centers/STEM and STEAM Classrooms
I am sponsoring Senate Bill 440 which will aid in the building of Career and Technology Centers or STEM and STEAM classrooms. In Carroll County we currently turn away a number of students from our Career and Technology Centers due to lack of space. With education dollars tight, this bill would allow that the provisions of prevailing wage law would not apply in the contract for future construction or renovation, saving the school systems and taxpayers money.
Domestic Violence – Active Electronic Monitoring
I am sponsoring Senate Bill 977, which would allow the court to monitor by electronic monitoring (GPS) a defendant who has violated a protective order in a domestic violence case. This law would improve the safety and welfare of domestic violence and their children. Many abusers who are convicted of domestic violence-related offenses are not sentenced to jail time, but are placed on probation and ordered to stay away from their victims. A significant number of abusers continue to contact their victims in person.
Governor Hogan identified redistricting reform as one of his top priorities. I am co-sponsoring Senate bill 380, which takes the form of an amendment to the state constitution. The bill would require 24 Senate and 85 House votes to win approval. The bill establishes an independent nonpartisan commission to draw the congressional and legislative voting districts. If approved, it will be on referendum in the November 2016 general election for Maryland voters to approve or disapprove it. A recent Gonzales poll of Maryland indicated that 73% of voters want an end to gerrymandering. I agree, and believe that Maryland is one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation. Both the Senate and House leadership have stated they do not want to work on state redistricting reform until Congress completes the national redistricting reform....if it ever does.
Income Tax Modification for Military Retirement Income
I am co-sponsoring Senate Bill 660, which would eliminate Maryland state tax on military pensions. Last year, we took a step in this direction when the General Assembly increased the amount of military pension that could be taxed from $5,000 to $10,000. I believe we cannot do enough for those that have served. “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.” – Winston S. Churchill
Award for Conservative Achievement
On Monday, February 8, 2016 the American Conservative Union Foundation’s announced that I will receive their Award for Conservative Achievement for voting in line with the ideals articulated in the US Constitution. I am honored to have been selected and to be able to stand up for Constitutional principles. To see a copy of the press release, click here.
Warming Centers in Carroll County, February 12th until Monday, February 15th
Department of Citizen Services will operate six warming centers around the County and Carroll
County Public Library branches will also be open and available to anyone in need of a warm place. All residents who are vulnerable to extreme cold and who do not have sufficient heat in their homes are encouraged to seek warmth in any of the following locations during the hours listed below:
From 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday
- Mount Airy Senior and Community Center, 703 Ridge Avenue, Mount Airy
- North Carroll Senior and Community Center, 2328 Hanover Pike, Greenmount
- South Carroll Senior and Community Center, 5928 Mineral Hill Road, Eldersburg
- Taneytown Senior and Community Center, 220 Roberts Mill Road, Taneytown
- Westminster Senior and Community Center, 125 Stoner Avenue, Westminster
From 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday
- Citizen Services Office Building, 10 Distillery Drive, Westminster
From 9:00 AM to 8:45 PM, Monday through Thursday; 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Friday and
Saturday; 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Sunday
- Eldersburg Branch Carroll County Public Library, 6400 Hemlock Drive, Eldersburg
- Finksburg Branch Carroll County Public Library, 2265 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg
- Mt. Airy Branch Carroll County Public Library, 705 Ridge Road, Mt. Airy
- North Carroll Branch Carroll County Public Library, 2255 Hanover Pike, Greenmount
Keeping you informed is a responsibility that I take seriously and always appreciate your interest and feedback on my updates. Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you have.
Senator Justin Ready