Here’s an update on what’s happening in Annapolis at the end of our fourth week.
Weekly Video Update: Details on Our Efforts to Make our Elections More Secure and the Kirwan Education Veto Override Click on the photo below for my weekly video update.
Senate Republicans Propose Election Safeguards
This week, members of the Senate Republican Caucus presented a legislative package that, if enacted, would ensure Maryland’s election integrity and reassure the public that the major deficiencies uncovered in the 2020 emergency election policies will be resolved. The legislation implements safeguards and increased consequences to combat voter and election fraud to restore the public’s faith in Maryland’s democratic process.
Below is a list of legislation that has been introduced to address these concerns, you can also watch our full press conference here.
Senator Justin Ready - Election Law – Polling Places – Proof of Identity
Senator Jason Gallion – SB0036 – Election Integrity Act – Absentee Voting – Use of an Agent – Agent Requirements and Prohibitions
Senator Jason Gallion – SB0340 - Election Law - Offenses Related to Voting – Penalties
Senator Bryan Simonaire - SB0233 - Election Law - Absentee Ballots - Envelope Prohibitions, Ballot Status Information, and Signature Verification
Veto Overrides Next Week
The following veto overrides are expected to come to the Senate floor next week. I will be fighting to sustain the Governor’s veto on all of these 2020 bills.
SB 1065 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra – Funding & Reporting
Gives over $5 million dollars over 5 years to the BSO – we simply cannot afford.
SB 208 Public Safety – Rifles & Shotguns – Sales, Rentals
Would require any transfer of a rifle or shotgun be run through a licensed dealer breaking with hundreds of years of practice in Maryland. Rifles are almost never used in criminal activity.
HB 1300 Kirwan
Would mandate $40 billion over 10 years in new spending in education without changing the accountability standards or an real measures of success/failure.
HB 732 Digital Tax & Tobacco Tax
Would raise taxes on every single person and business that advertises their services online and increase tax on all tobacco products.
HB 932 21st Century Economic Fairness Act
Requires the Comptroller to distribute income from above Digital and Tobacco tax to Kirwan education.
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. You can click here to view the video.
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.