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We’ve wrapped our final full week of the 2021 Session. We have a Saturday session and then Monday, April 12th at midnight is Sine Die. It’s been a whirlwind week in Annapolis.  We’ve had late nights trying to pass good bills but – in most cases – trying to stop bad legislation.  One of the biggest issues debated this week was the police reform bill – more on that in my weekly video update below:

 

Senator Ready Weekly Video Update: Bad News on Policing Legislation & Final Days of 2021 Session. Click on the picture below to watch my weekly video update.

 

 

More Details on Policing Bills:

This past week, Police “Reform” legislation was battled on the Senate floor.  The final outcome does not serve Maryland well.  Here are some of the “lowlights” of amendments that were added to Senate bills by the House of Delegates – making these “reform” bills far worse:

  • Courts must weigh the risk to officers versus the risk to the criminal’s pets before issuing no-knock search warrants.
  • Every use of force by police will be subjected to Monday morning quarterbacking by the press and liberal activists – and the bill that was passed has a brand new and totally legally untested definition of appropriate use of force – and ten year prison sentences for those who violate it – leaving a lot of good police officers in jeopardy of jail time for doing their jobs.
  • Police will be required to comply with a bizarre code where the bad guys get to strike first before police can use appropriate force.

Watch video of my floor speech opposing this here. Governor Hogan has signaled that he is very concerned about these bills.  I expect Governor Hogan will veto these bad bills, which will set the stage for a veto override fight in the coming days.

 

Some Good News:

“Paint Tax” Bill Likely Dead after Ready Amendment Fight

This week, HB 127, a bill that would have established a fee on every can of paint sold in Maryland (a “Paint Tax”) to fund an unnecessary program came to the floor of the Senate. I spoke against the bill – you can watch the video of my comments on the Senate floor here. By holding the bill up, explaining what it would mean to consumers and offering an amendment to strip the tax out, the Democratic Senate leadership did a maneuver known as “re-referring” the bill back to the committee it came from, which effectively kills it. It’s not officially dead until midnight on Monday when Session adjourns though, so I’ll keep a close watch out.

 

Carroll County Delegation Secures Funding for Key Local Priorities in Capital Budget.

Last week, the Maryland General Assembly voted to enact the FY2022 Capital Budget. The Carroll County Delegation worked in a bi-partisan fashion in the General Assembly and with the Governor to secure key funding for a series of important community projects. These projects range from helping underprivileged youth to improving public safety. Below are some highlights of what projects will receive Capital funds:

  • $9,463,000 – Construction of Carroll Career & Technology Center
  • $1,500,000 – Grant to Carroll County Government for Local Parks & Playground Improvements
  • $1,200,000 – Way Station Behavioral Health Center – HVAC System Replacement
  • $1,000,000 – Carroll County Public Safety Training Center
  • $756,000 – Carroll Hospital Center – Surgical Peri-Operative & Post-Anesthesia Care Project
  • $200,000 – Hampstead War Memorial Park Revitalization
  • $145,000 – Morgan Run Trout Stream Accessibility Improvements
  • $50,825 – New Windsor Town Park Renovations

Legislative Bond Initiatives:                                                                

  • $175,000 – Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department
  • $120,000 – Carroll County Youth Services Bureau
  • $25,000 – Freedom Elementary School Playground

 

MDOT SHA to Improve Roadway Surface on MD 140

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will mill, patch, and resurface a section of MD 140 (Taneytown Pike) between WMC Drive/Meadow Creek Drive and the MD 27 (Manchester Road) bridge, a span of 1.6 miles, in Westminster starting Sunday, April 18 at 8 p.m. The work will remove damaged portions of the roadway and replace it with new, smooth pavement. The project is expected to be complete in June.  

  

Senator Ready Legislation Scholarship 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 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.