We are less than one month from the 2016 election.
As we head into fall, preparation for the 2017 legislative session continues. I will be speaking to a number of community groups, civic associations, and other community members over the next few months about state issues. If you know of a group that would like to hear from one of their state legislators, please let me know.
I hope you are enjoying your summer. I have been staying close to home lately as my family and I welcomed a new constituent on July 29th, Abigail Maisie Korman.
I am in the midst of my second "interim" (Annapolis speak for the time between legislative sessions). While the three month legislative session moves along on a tight, specified schedule as we accomplish our annual work, the time between sessions is much less organized.
Just as I finished this monthly newsletter, the terrible news from Orlando came. The attack raises so many questions about how we treat those of a particular sexual orientation, access to firearms in this country, and the threat of terrorism. One would hope the forthcoming presidential election would attempt to grapple with these questions in the way a democracy is supposed to, but I expect we will instead see angry tweets and loud rhetoric, rather than constructive thoughts or meaningful solutions.
The General Assembly has adjourned for 2016 but the work continues. My office is busy with constituent case work, responding to other constituent inquiries, and planning our legislative agenda for next year. I am also knocking on doors most weekends to provide District 16 residents with an update on state government.
If you would like to hear about the 2016 legislative session, the District 16 Team is holding its annual townhall on Monday, May 16th starting at 7:30pm at the Davis Library (6400 Democracy Boulevard).
On Monday night, the 2016 legislative session came to a close. In the final hours, quite a bit was accomplished as described below. The major issues left on the table, however, included a tax cut package; earned sick leave; and some gun control measures related to those convicted of certain crimes turning in their firearms and gun-free higher education zones. I expect these issues to return in future meetings of the General Assembly. This email newsletter will be a bit longer than usual.
I try to serve and respond to all of my constituents, but there are two in particular who are especially important to me and I was excited that they were able to spend the day in Annapolis last week. My son even helped me with my voting button on the House floor (two Kormans for the price of one!).
If you have ever wondered what the House of Delegates is voting on, you can see our daily floor agenda here. The floor agenda is organized by "reports" from committees and other "calendars." Each bill is "read" on the House floor three times: First, when it is introduced and assigned to committee. Second, when it is reported out of committee (this is called second reader) and available for discussion or amendment.
The past week in Annapolis has been incredibly busy. On Monday, we reached the "cross-over" deadline I mentioned last week (the deadline by which bills need to pass one chamber to be heard in the other). We are also on the verge of passing a bipartisan budget, an issue of particular importance to me as a member of the Appropriations Committee. Because the Senate has already unanimously passed the operating budget, the legislation will soon go to a "conference committee" of the two chambers.