Last week was the deadline to file legislation in order to be guaranteed a hearing. In the House, 1,568 bills were introduced. I am the primary sponsor of 14 of them.
I have discussed several of the previously introduced bills in prior emails. Here are the other four pieces of legislation:
21st Century Economy Sales Act (HB 932): In 30 other states, digital goods are taxed in the same manner as physical goods. That is to say, if I purchase a hard copy of a book, I would pay the sales tax and if I download it electronically, I would also pay the sales tax. The 21st Century Economy Sales Act brings Maryland into conformance with these other states.
Summer Meals Waiver Act (HB 1135): The legislation requires Maryland to seek a statewide waiver to allow numerous schools and non-profits to offer summer meals programs in compliance with federal rules.
Maryland State Department of Transportation Promises Act of 2020 (HB 1249): The Maryland State Department of Transportation Promises Act will statutorily require the Administration to keep the promises they have made regarding the plans to widen I-270 and I-495 with toll lanes, including designated funds for transit; no taxpayer costs; toll setting hearings in the affected jurisdictions; and more. I discussed these promises with the Transportation Secretary at a hearing earlier this year, which you can view here.
Firearms Dealers' Safety Act (HB 1257): Under the Firearms Dealers' Safety Act, Maryland would adopt best practices for firearm dealer security including requirements that inventory be locked; dealers be insured and use alarm systems; and so on.
Transportation Carbon Fund Act (HB 1526): The Hogan Administration is currently negotiating entry into the Transportation & Climate Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade program for the transportation sector. The Transportation Carbon Fund Act sets up a process to determine how any proceeds from the program would be spent or invested.
As always, you can keep up with what I am doing by following me at @mkorman on Twitter or by clicking "Like" on Delegate Marc Korman on Facebook.
The Maryland Department of Aging has established a Senior Call Check Program as a result of legislation passed last year. The Program calls registered seniors who reside alone once a day to check in on their status. For more information or to register, visit the Department of Aging website.
REAL ID is a federal law mandating that states issue driver's licenses and ID cards that comply with certain federal standards. A non-compliant ID will not be accepted by federal agencies starting on October 1, 2020, which includes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airports. Check to make sure your Maryland license or ID is REAL ID compliant by going to: http://www.mva.maryland.gov/realid/index.htm Even if your card looks new, it may not be compliant with REAL ID so be sure to take advantage of the Motor Vehicle Administration's website to be sure.
The Transit Caucus has been regularly meeting during the 2020 legislative session. Last week, we were joined by Metro's head of Capital Planning, Tom Webster. He shared this presentation with the group.
The Transportation & Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which I chair, has been holding hearings with state government agencies under our jurisdiction to discuss their proposed budgets. Each hearing includes an analysis from the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), a presentation by the agency being reviewed, and questions from legislators. Below are the analyses and responses that have already been released with several more hearings to occur in the coming weeks.
Public Service Commission
Office of People's Counsel
Maryland Energy Administration
Maryland Insurance Administration
State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Motor Vehicle Administration
Department of Agriculture
Maryland Department of Planning
In a prior email, I highlighted the Blueprint for Maryland's Future (also known as the Kirwan Commission report). The legislation to implement the Blueprint was introduced last week and can be read online.
Congratulations to Robert Banach on his appointment to the Friendship Heights Transportation Management District.
Susan Wegner was recently appointed to the Bethesda Downtown Sector Plan Implementation Advisory Committee. Congratulations Susan!
District 16 resident Michael Diehl lost his son Jonathan to an accidental drug overdose in June of 2019. He has founded a discussion group for men who have lost a loved one to overdose, which meets twice a month. He invites men to give the group a try and indicates that there is no obligation to speak and that conversations are held in strict confidence. Anyone interested should email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Bethesda Urban Partnership's Play In A Day event will be on Saturday, February 22 at 8pm at Imagination Stage. More information is here: https://www.bethesda.org/arts/Play-In-A-Day/play-in-a-day.htm
- The Walter Johnson High School Used Book Sale will be on Saturday, February 29 and Sunday, March 1st, starting at 9am both days.
- The BCC High School Used Book Sale will take place on Saturday, March 7th and Sunday, March 8th starting at 10am both days. More information is here: https://www.bccptsa.net/used-book-sale
- The Bethesda Urban Partnership Bernard/Ebb Songwriting Awards will take place on Friday, March 13, 2020 at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. More information is available here: https://www.bethesda.org/arts-and-entertainment/bernard-ebb-songwriting-awards
If you know of a District 16 resident who merits recognition or condolences or an upcoming event, please email email@example.com.