A lot of the news about the legislative session you will read about from other sources are the marquee pieces of legislation such as the Blueprint for Maryland's Future; the Built to Learn Act; and the state budget. Every member of the legislature spends significant time on these bills, but we also each have our own legislative agenda we are moving forward. I am happy to report that several of my bills are working their way through the legislative process. Read more about it in the legislative update below.
For a short comedic distraction, check out my cameo in the latest fireside chat from my colleague, Delegate Pat Young.
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 Metro/Transit Funding Alterations Act (HB 86) passed the House of Delegates Last Week. The bill, as amended, modifies and clarifies how an operating subsidy cap on Metro works.
The Maryland State Agency Transparency Act (HB 421) passed out of the Health and Government Operations Committee at the end of last week. Companion legislation has already passed the Senate. The bill would require several quasi-independent state agencies to post their agendas and minutes and live video stream their meetings.
The Pedestrian Access Act of 2020 (HB 194) will be on the House floor this week. The bill requires the State Highway Administration to establish standards to maintain pedestrian and bicycle access when it issues access permits along state roads in walkable communities.
The Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment for Multifamily Units Act (HB 111) will also be up for a vote in the full House this week. The legislation establishes rules and standards for those in Homeowner or Condo Association communities to have access to electric vehicle charging.
I also withdrew legislation this week, the Summer Meals Waiver Act (HB 1135). The bill would have required the Maryland State Department of Education to apply for federal summer food program waivers. The Department has finally moved forward with these statewide waivers, negating the need for the bill.
The Maryland Department of Health is working to keep Marylanders informed about the facts related to the coronavirus and its potential in our state. You can see their website and FAQ here.
After Jake Cassell was killed riding his bicycle on MD-187/Old Georgetown Road, a number of community members and elected officials began working with the State Highway Administration on ways to improve safety on the corridor. The efforts included a cold and rainy community walk along the road to discuss some options.
The State Highway Administration came back with two possibilities using an existing contract--which means the options can be done relatively quickly. One was a buffer and narrower lanes between the sidewalk and traffic. The other is a "road diet" with a buffer and bike lane. Both would run between Cedar Lane and I-495. After consideration, SHA is going forward with the road diet.
As reflected in data provided by SHA, the travel impacts are not that significant during the peak rush hour times and will be even less outside of that. But safety for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists should be improved. That said, another benefit to the existing contract approach is that if safety does not improve or there are unexpected negative consequences, the changes can be undone relatively simply. I never want to meet another parent whose child did not come home or place another memorial along that stretch of road.
My thanks to the State Highway Administration for taking this seriously and others including Councilman Friedson, Councilman Glass, Councilman Riemer, Senator Lee, Delegate Love and others for their work on this.
- The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Democratic Breakfast Club will meet on Thursday, March 5th at 7:30am at the Original Pancake House in Bethesda. The guest speaker will be Comptroller Peter Franchot.
- 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-Chevy Chase High School Educational Foundation is hosting its annual Evening of Wine, Chocolate & Cheese on March 12, 2020 at the Woman's Club of Bethesda. Go to http://bccedfoundation.org/ for further information.
- 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
- Adventure Theatre will hold its annual gala on March 19th at 7pm at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda. More information is here: https://adventuretheatre-mtc.org/give/gala/
If you know of a District 16 resident who merits recognition or condolences or an upcoming event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.