Each week, a few high school seniors from around the state come to Annapolis to serve as House Pages. In addition to learning the inner workings of the legislative branch, these Pages help run the House floor. Last week we were joined by Michael Blakeslee from Walter Johnson High School.
This week we have been joined by Joy London, a senior at Whitman High School. If you or a student you know is interested in the Page program, more information can be found here.
If you are a regular reader of my updates, you know I try to stay in my lane as a state elected official. But recent national events have stirred me and many others up.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I spend a lot of time working on the state budget. Last week, that process began with the introduction of the Governor's budget proposal. The budget includes an operating budget (costs to run state agencies), capital budget (costs for state construction projects), and a Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (known as the BRFA). The BRFA is used to alter state funding formulas when necessary to bring the budget into balance.
The legislature has been back in Annapolis for one week. The first few days of the session are like the first few days of a new school year. Friends and colleagues reconnect, catch up, and discuss the exciting months ahead. It is about this time that the real work begins. Sleeves get rolled up, bill hearings begin, and in the case of the Appropriations Committee I serve on, the budget gets introduced.
The 437th Session of the Maryland General Assembly convenes today. Although the legislature only meets for 90 days, as your Delegate I work year-round to represent each of you and our district. But the next 90 days will be a sprint of legislative productivity in Annapolis.
I will be called upon to consider and vote on numerous legislative issues during the session, many of which you may have read about in the news. Below are some of the major issues on my own Annapolis agenda for the year. Many of these issues will be the subject of future emails.
The WMATA-Metro Work Group will reconvene during the 2017 legislative session. Work Group co-chair Delegate Erek Barron (Prince George's County) and I are pleased to announce the tentative schedule.
Two major issues facing Metro will also be a significant focus for the session: addressing some of Metro’s budget problems and the formation of the new, federally mandated Metro Safety Commission.
The pre-legisative session fundraising deadline is less than one month away.
Another election has come and gone. Congratulations to all the winners from the presidency on down to the local school board. But also my thanks to those who ran and lost. Whatever their party or cause, those candidates threw their hats into the ring in order to improve their local, state, or national government.
"Go vote. It makes you feel big and strong." -Bob Schieffer
Early voting starts on Thursday, October 27, and concludes on November 3. The polls are open from 8am to 8pm. Click here for a list of early voting sites.
We are less than one month from the 2016 election.