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Here’s an update on what’s happening in Annapolis at the end of the fourth full week of session.

Update on Shall-Issue Legislation

As you may already know, I have sponsored a bill that would make Maryland a “Shall-Issue” state for concealed carry permits, meaning Marylanders would have the right to wear, transport and carry a firearm for self-defense after the current background check and training process the state already has. Earlier this week, I stopped by the shooting range and gun store The Machine Gun Nest in Fredrick County, and discussed this bill, SB327, in length. You can watch this discussion ranging from 2nd Amendment rights to public safety in Maryland by clicking here.

Senate Democrats Reject Commonsense Amendment to Audit a Sample of Mail-In Ballots

This week, Senate Republicans attempted to amend SB 163 (Election Law – Ballots – Processing and Reporting Procedures) to include the reasonable requirement that the State Board of Elections conduct an audit of a sample of mail-in ballots that come in during the election to ensure the public of the security of our elections, without overburdening the Election workers. The amendment was defeated.

Bid to Add Signature Verification Fails as Mail-In Voting Reform Advances in Senate

ICYMI – District 5 Team Stands with Carroll Board of Education

If you haven’t already seen, the District 5 team including Delegate Rose, Delegate Krebs, Delegate Shoemaker and I released a statement backing the Carroll County Board of Education’s decision to take action against the state board of education’s mask mandate in public schools. This statement can be found on the “News” tab of my website, or by clicking here.

Good News – Bill to “Remove God” from State Constitution Withdrawn

I’ve had to report a lot of bad news this Session so I wanted to share a victory. Two weeks ago, I was made aware of a House Bill that had been introduced that would have removed all references God from the Maryland constitution. Obviously I would not have supported this at all but thankfully there was such an outcry from people that the bill was withdrawn by the sponsor earlier this week.

I want to thank everyone who reached out to their legislators urging them to reject this idea. It is extremely important to remember that where our rights come from, and it’s not from government.

Lawsuit Filed Over New Legislative District Maps

The redistricting process isn’t over yet. Yesterday, the organization "Fair Maps" filed four petitions challenging the new State legislative district maps (Maryland Senate and House). The challenge heads to the Maryland Court of Appeals who must respond to all petitions by Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., and a scheduling conference will be held virtually on Thursday at 10 a.m. Our own Delegate Haven Shoemaker is one of the attorneys involved in the effort.

Maryland Matters: Republican Delegates Ask Court of Appeals to Throw Out New Legislative Map

District 5 Night in Annapolis

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 be sure to RSVP so we can reserve your spot.

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.