We are wrapping up the 6th week of session. Below are some thoughts on activity in the General Assembly. To give you a broad idea of what we do in 90 days, to date there have been over 1,000 bills filed in the Senate and over 1,500 filed in the House of Delegates.
Legislative Power Grab
This week in Annapolis, the partisan nature of the General Assembly was on full display as Democrats have attempted to wrest control of appointment and transportation decisions away from Governor Hogan. This week they are also pushing a bill that would give the State Senate confirmation powers over the appointment of the State Superintendent of Schools. This would overturn 100 years of educational policy in the State by politicizing the position. Currently, the state school board hires the superintendent. The board members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The rationale for this legislation is at best misguided and at worst a clear attempt to hamper Governor Hogan, who is going to be appointing 3 new board members soon. This partisan show of force comes a week after the General Assembly voted to override the governor’s veto on paroled felons voting. I’m continuing to stand with Governor Hogan and will do all I can to help our State move forward.
1,000 Bills in 90 Days
A lot happens in Annapolis in the 90 day session. As noted above, over 1,000 bills have filed in the Senate this year. Many of these will not make it to the floor for vote by the full Senate but are amended or killed in Committee. Each Senator sits on a Committee that hears bills, listens to witnesses and spends a good deal of time vetting each bill. I have the pleasure of sitting on the Judicial Proceedings Committee. We hear bills related to, but not limited to, criminal and civil laws, family law, juvenile justice and law enforcement. It is our responsibility to not only make sure the bill is something that the people of Maryland want, but also, that the bill correctly and legally addresses it’s intent and reversely that it does not have unintended consequences. I believe my job is to defeat bad bills as much as it is good to pass good legislation. We need to roll back laws and regulations that are unneeded.
Carroll County Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan
The Carroll County Bureau of Comprehensive Planning is working on a comprehensive, county-wide bicycle-pedestrian master plan. The Plan will focus on the transportation aspects of bicycle-pedestrian movements, as well as recreational and tourism opportunities. Carroll County invites the public to participate in an interest survey by clicking here. This survey will be available from January – March 2016.
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