I chair the 24-member Montgomery County House Delegation to Annapolis. In that capacity, and along with my colleague Craig Zucker who chairs the Senate Delegation, we will be speaking with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Democratic Breakfast Club on Thursday, September 5th at 7:30am. the Club meets at the Original Pancake House in Bethesda and I hope to see you there.
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.
In 2017, Maryland enacted a law regarding the reporting of early intervention services in our schools. I was the House sponsor of the bill, which you can view here: https://t.co/ozWgykxfkJ?amp=1 The idea for the legislation was first brought to my attention by a constituent, Katie Spurlock.
Today, I sent a letter to the Maryland State Department of Education regarding the law's implementation and to make sure the local school systems on reporting useful and consistent information.
You can read the letter by clicking the link. It's fun to pass bills, but what is really important is what happens to them after the signing.
A local high school student was tragically hit by a car while riding his bike on Old Georgetown Road/MD-187 in July. The District 16 Team and our partners on the County Council quickly reached out to the State Highway Administration and they agreed to an on-site, open meeting to discuss potential safety improvements in that corridor. Bethesda Beat has the story.
As part of the Maryland Metro/Transit Funding Act of 2018, an amendment from Delegate Lierman was included that requires the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to issue a 10-Year Capital Needs Inventory & Prioritization. MTA runs Baltimore City's subway, light rail and local bus service, as well as the MARC train and commuter buses elsewhere in the state. It is also responsible for the Purple Line.
You can read the first report here. It identifies an approximately $200 million gap in current funding, primarily for state of good repair (maintenance) and some enhancement (such as bike access to stations) work. It does not discuss any expansion costs. Maryland Matters also covered the issue.
With no advance notice and on the day the funds were due to be disbursed to Metro, Maryland's Transportation Secretary announced that the state was withholding approximately $50 million in capital funding to Metro. Some of the concerns expressed by the Maryland Department of Transportation as to appropriate oversight of Metro are well founded and I have been speaking with the Department and our regional partners about these issues. Numerous Montgomery and Prince George's County legislators sent a letter to the Secretary charting a path forward to resolve the issues and ensure that Metro gets the funds necessary to serve its riders and keep the regional transportation network functioning. Maryland Matters covered the legislators' letter in a recent story.
The Secretary of Transportation responded, although he did not commit to releasing the legally required funds or provide a timeline for resolution of the issues.
The WMATA/Metro Board approved the permanent elimination of the Grosvenor turnback. The Board memo and resolution is available here, but the short version is that since the turnback was eliminated there has been increased ridership, increased parking, decreased platform crowding, and none of the operational issues WMATA's bureaucracy was concerned about. The turnback elimination is a success and should be made permanent.
- I was disappointed to hear about the plans of Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)--the local water utility--to use ratepayer dollars on a large scale rebranding. You can read news coverage of the plan from the Washington Post. I sent WSSC a letter asking how the rebranding fit into statutory limits on how the state sanctioned monopoly can use your ratepayer funds and some additional questions about its budget. You can read the letter here or the Maryland Matters story on ithere.
- Maryland has retained its AAA bond rating according to reports of all three major bond rating agencies. You can read the reports on theTreasurer's website.
- Congratulations to Gail Hoelscher on joining the board of Imagination Library, a local affiliate of a national organization that provides books to children.
- Several District 16 residents have recently been appointed or reappointed to Montgomery County Boards and Commissions:
- Adam Younoszai, Local Management Board for Children, Youth and Families
- Coblens Henry Scherr, Sign Review Board
- Diana Rubin, Commission for Women
- Victor Virador, Board of License Commissioners
- Howard Denis, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
- Michael Krauthamer, White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee
- Leonard Yourman, Agricultural Advisory Commttee
- Elizabeth Ellis, Taxicab Services Commission
- Luis Hurtado, Commission on People With Disabilities
- Ziva Azhdam, Mental Health Advisory Committee
- Daniel Melnick, Library Board
- Galia Steinbach, Commission on Common Ownership Communities
- Marlene Schooler, Animal Matters Hearing Board
- Robert Meck, Sign Review Board
- Eric Grosse, White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee
- Aliza Silver, Agricultural Advisory Committee
- On Monday, November 4th at 7pm the Maryland Department of Transportation will visit Rockville for the Consolidated Transportation Program Presentation. The event will be held at the County Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville).
- The Montgomery County Delegation to Annapolis will hold its Joint Priorities Hearing on Wednesday, November 20th at 7pm. The hearing is an opportunity for interested residents to present issues of concern to the legislators. More information about testifying will be available soon. The meeting will be held at the County Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville).
- There will be two nights of bill hearings on local bills (those that only affect Montgomery County) on Monday, December 2nd and Monday December 9th. The hearings begin at 7pm and will be held at the County Council Office Building (100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville).
If you know of a District 16 resident who merits recognition or condolences or an upcoming event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.