Thank you to so many friends, colleagues, and constituents who joined us at the Conways' home for my first in person event since 2019. I appreciate your support.
As discussed at the event, Speaker of the House of Delegates Adrienne Jones recently named me chair of the Environment & Transportation Committee, one of just six standing committees in the House of Delegates. Here is the message I shared on social media regarding my new assignment:
I am thrilled to share that Speaker Adrienne Jones has appointed me to be the new chair of the Environment & Transportation Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates, one of our six standing committees. Ever since I knocked on the first door for my first campaign (ten years ago), the issues this committee covers are what I have discussed with voters more than anything else except, perhaps, education. In addition to the subject matter in the name, the committee’s jurisdiction includes housing, ethics, local government, land use, and agriculture. That means the committee is on the front lines of promoting transit and other transportation alternatives while ensuring our roads, tunnels, and bridges are safe and efficient; stewarding and protecting our Chesapeake Bay, state parks, and other natural and environmental resources; with our friends on the Economic Matters Committee, facilitating the transition to an electric economy and zero emission vehicles; tackling housing affordability; supporting our agricultural community and economy; and so much more.
I have loved my time as House Majority Leader supporting our Democratic Majority, but I am happy to serve in a body where chairing a substantive policy committee is a logical next step from there. Indeed, the last two chairs of the committee—the magnificent Kumar Barve and my former chair and mentor, Maggie McIntosh—both followed this same course from Majority Leader to chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee. And the Majority Leader’s desk is in great hands with my friend and colleague, David Moon.
The Committee’s new vice chair is Delegate Regina T. Boyce from Baltimore, who coincidentally went to the same elementary school as me so two Beall Elementary School Dragons (our school’s mascot) will be leading the committee. As I succeed Kumar, who heads to the Public Service Commission, Regina succeeds Dana Stein, who is the Speaker’s nominee for the important leadership position of Speaker Pro Tem. I look forward to supporting Dana in that new role, but he will also be staying on as chair of the Environment Subcommittee and will continue to bring his subject matter expertise, insight and voice into the work of the committee.
Of course, this does mean a conclusion of my nine years on the Appropriations Committee where I have chaired both the Personnel and Transportation & Environment Subcommittees. Thank you to former Chair McIntosh and current Chair Ben Barnes for those opportunities. It has been a great experience helping in even a small way to shape the state budget and priorities and ensure that Montgomery County and District 16 have their funding needs met when it comes to school construction, transportation, and other programs. But I am comforted to know that District 16 is now represented on the Appropriations Committee by Delegate Sarah Wolek.
My other district 16 colleague, Delegate Sara Love, is a senior member of the Environment & Transportation Committee and I am excited to join her, the other subcommittee chairs, the members from both parties, and the committee’s terrific team of staff and analysts as we work together to move Maryland forward.
Last month, the District 16 Team held our annual post-legislative session town hall. If you missed it, you can watch it online anytime.
Prior to my last newsletter, Governor Moore had taken action on many of the bills passed by the General Assembly this year. However, he held his final day of bill signings on May 16 including legislation related to firearms safety, community solar, attorneys fees for legal challenges for special education services, and two bills I sponsored related to special education teacher pay parity and young readers programs. Every bill the Governor signed is here.
On May 19, the Governor took his final actions and vetoed a few bills and allowed several others to become law without his signature. You can see the Governor's final actions here. And, as always, if you have a question about a specific bill, just click reply and ask.
As a result of successful legislation, plug-in electric vehicles may now be eligible to obtain a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane permit to ride in HOV lanes. Visit the website to learn the details.
Congratulations to District 16's Samir Paul, who was recently appointed to the Maryland State Board of Education by Governor Moore.
Last month I emceed the event at the Downtown Bethesda Bike to Work pit stop. Among other events, Bethesda Transportation Solutions gave its Bike Spirit Award to Chevy Chase West's Mark Fernandez.
The long-awaited upgrades to Caroline Freeland Park at Arlington Road near downtown Bethesda are commencing. The park will close sometime in June through the end of the year. Read more here.
There is a neat little bit of Bethesda news. The Navy is naming its new Expeditionary Medical Ship USNS Bethesda because of the connection to Naval Support Activity Bethesda.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.