Here’s an update on what’s happening in Annapolis at the end of the tenth week of the 2023 Legislative Session. With only 25 days to go, the Senate has been extremely busy with committee sessions, and extensive debate on the Senate floor. Monday is known as “Crossover,” which is the deadline for bills to pass one chamber and be sent to the opposite chamber. Any bills that do not pass at least one chamber by Monday will likely not pass during the 2023 legislative session.
Weekly Video Update from Annapolis - Week 10
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who observe! You can watch my weekly video update by clicking the picture below.
Senate Passes Abortion Amendment & SB 1 - Unconstitutional Firearm Restrictions
Against my objection and no vote, SB 798 the Constitutional Amendment which enshrines essentially unlimited abortion at any stage into our state constitution will become a ballot question in the 2024 election, passed through the Senate on third reading this week. The House of Delegates also passed the same bill so after each house passes the other’s version it will be going to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
Senate Republicans fought hard against this bill, offering a slew of amendments which were shut down on mostly party line votes. If you want to better understand the legal meaning of this amendment – it’s not just about whether someone thinks abortion should be legal or not – you can watch my questioning of the floor leader on the bill by clicking here.
Also, on Monday night, SB 1 passed 31-16 on the Senate floor, meaning it will now head to the House of Delegates for their consideration. Three Democrats joined the 13 Republicans in voting no. I spoke against this bill, which you can watch by clicking on the picture below.
Earlier this week, I sent out a 2nd Amendment update that talks about this bill in more detail. You can read the full update by clicking here. This bill will be taken to court and we will win.
Bill Hearing on Fundamental Parental Rights
On Thursday, SB 566 was heard before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. This bill enshrines fundamental parental rights into Maryland law. I sponsored this bill that says that parents have the right to direct the upbringing, education, care, and welfare of their children. While it is currently accepted law and Supreme Court precedent, we want parental rights established in our code so that it’s the legal standard clearly in court.
Presenting “Convention of States” Article V legislation before Senate Education, Energy & Environment Committee
Governor Moore’s Electric Vehicle Mandate
Early this week, we learned that Governor Moore is rolling out a proposal to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2036 in Maryland. I addressed this in two short Facebook videos which you can watch by clicking here and here.
This proposal is extremely short-sighted. While inflation is up, and everything is more expensive, the Governor wants to force consumers into purchasing electric vehicles but worse – tie our state into the same pie-in-the-sky California standards so that when they move we move. The Maryland General Assembly should be working towards making our state more affordable and have an “all of the above” approach to energy.
Traffic Alert – Carroll and Fredrick County Roadway Improvement Projects
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is preparing to start two roadway improvement projects next week along the border of Fredrick and Carroll counties – both requiring daytime lane closures.
In Frederick County, a project to improve the pavement on MD 27 (Ridge Road) between Gillis Falls Road and MD 26 (Liberty Road) near Mount Airy will start Monday, March 20. Beginning at 9 a.m., crews will close one lane of MD 27 to remove the old roadway pavement, repair roadway depressions and pave and stripe the road. A flagging operation will be used to maintain two-way traffic on MD 27 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
In Carroll County, work will take place next week to improve drainage on MD 31 (New Windsor Road) just west of Sams Creek Road near the Frederick County line. The project should be complete by March 24, weather permitting. Drivers can expect a daily single-lane closure guided by a flagging operation between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Contractor F.O. Day Co., of Frederick, will use cones, barrels, and electronic signs to alert motorists and guide them through the work zone.
The State Highway Administration understands the closures will inconvenience some travelers and asks all motorists to please stay alert, reduce speed and be patient as you pass through the work zone.
For a list of all major State Highway Administration projects, go to the project portal or visit the homepage at roads.maryland.gov. For a look at real-time traffic conditions, go to md511.maryland.gov.
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, 2023.