Special Session is Coming - November Update
On December 6, the Maryland General Assembly will convene for a Special Session, outside of our annual 90 day January-April meeting. There are three orders of business we expect to take up. First, as required by the Maryland Constitution, the General Assembly will undertake any overrides of the Governor's vetoes from the 2021 legislative session. Second, we will appoint a new Treasurer to replace our own Nancy Kopp. Third, as also required by the Constitution, we will pass a redistricting plan for the Congressional district lines. I discuss each of these in more detail below.
Chairing the recent Montgomery County Joint Priorities Hearing
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.
Vetoes: Section 17(d) of Article II of the Maryland Constitution requires the General Assembly to take up veto overrides during the forthcoming special session. A list of the bills the Governor vetoed is available here and includes legislation regarding collective bargaining at community colleges, progressive taxation for the local "piggyback" income tax, investment in the state transit system, marketing for the Purple Line, and my legislation on transparency in the budget cutting process.
Treasurer: As I shared in a prior email, after almost 20 years as State Treasurer, Nancy Kopp is stepping down. The General Assembly will appoint her successor. Each Delegate and Senator gets one vote and can cast it as they wish, although a special committee is appointed by the legislature to review candidates for Treasurer.
Redistricting: The action that will undoubtedly receive the most attention during the special session is redistricting. Every ten years, following the census, any population-based districts need to change in order to ensure an even distribution of people among districts. In our area, that includes everything from school board and county council districts, to state legislative districts, and up to Congress, the most high profile. Congressional districts will be taken up during the special session and are treated like any other bill: the lines are introduced, voted on, and then subject to Gubernatorial veto.
The Maryland General Assembly leadership appointed a Legislative Redistricting Advisory Committee made up of members of the legislature, including a few Republicans, and chaired by the former Executive Director of the Department of Legislative Services. You can review the Committee's work, including its public meetings and proposed map, online.
The Governor also appointed a redistricting commission and you can look at their work here.
We have come a long way from the painfully slow and hectic early days of vaccine distribution.
Booster shots are now available and you can learn more here.
For those of you with young children, like me, the vaccine is now available for those ages 5 to 11. Further information can be found online.Transportation
The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement regarding the Governor's proposal to widen part of I-495 and I-270 with private toll lanes has been issued. The comment period was recently extended and runs until November 30 at 11:59pm. You can review the document and learn how to provide feedback on the project's website.
Each year, the Maryland Department of Transportation visits each county in Maryland to discuss their proposed Consolidated Transportation Program. You can view the Montgomery County meeting on the Delegation's YouTube page.
And the budget being discussed is available here on the Department's website.
The Hogan Administration recently announced that after almost a year of delays, a new construction contractor has been selected for the Purple Line. Important details about the accompanying costs and delays are still unavailable but at least this is some sign of progress with the project, which has limped along with work overseen directly by the state. You can read about the announcement here.
Nationally, an infrastructure bill has finally passed Congress and been signed into law. Here is a preview at some of the direct benefits expected for Maryland.
In a prior newsletter, I shared my correspondence with the Maryland Department of Transportation regarding our infrastructure's ability to handle current flooding conditions. The Department of Transportation recently sent a response which is really just a start of the discussion as the Department adjusts to the new normal of more constant flooding in places where it used to be rare.
Last year, I was appointed co-chair of the Spending Affordability Committee, which helps set the framework for our annual budget. The first meeting of each fall is an overview of the state's budget and economic conditions. The meeting's briefing materials are here and you can watch the meeting here.
Local Bills and Hearings
As Chair of the Montgomery County House Delegation to Annapolis, one of my roles is to help shepherd through local legislation that only impacts Montgomery County. Thus far, there are 26 pieces of legislation working through that process and you can review each bill here.
There are three upcoming dates for public hearings on these bills, via zoom:
November 23 at 7pm: Virtual bill hearing on proposed Montgomery County Board of Education Redistricting legislation to update the electoral lines for Board of Education members in line with the current census.
December 13 at 7pm: Bill hearings on MC 1-22, MC 4-22, MC 5-22, MC 13-22, MC 16-22, MC 20-22, PG/MC 100-22, PG/MC 101-22, PG/MC 103-22, PG/MC 105-22, PG/MC 106-22, PG/MC 109-22. Check what these bills are here.
December 15 at 7pm: Bill hearings on MC 2-22, MC 3-22, MC 6-22, MC 7-22, MC 8-22, MC 12-22, MC 15-22, MC 18-22, MC 21-22, MC 22-22, MC 23-22, PG/MC 107-22, PG/MC 111-22. Check what these bills are here.
To find out how to testify or submit testimony, visit the Delegation's website.
The County Delegation recently held its Joint Priorities Hearing, where we hear from members of the public about your priorities. You can watch the meeting here.
-Interagency Coordinating Board for Community Use of Public Facilities: Derek Ross
-Domestic Violence Coordinating Council: Lavontte Chatmon
-Commission on Child Care: Allison Fialkov
-Bethesda Urban Partnership: Jane Fairweather
-Commission on Health: Brent Berger
-Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee: Thomas Bridle, John Kellenberg, and Fabiola Yurcisin
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.