February 10 was the bill introduction deadline in the Maryland House of Delegates, the date by which a bill must be introduced in order to be guaranteed a hearing. 1,526 bills and nine resolutions were introduced in the House by the deadline. Bills introduced after the deadline require a vote of the House to be filed and then are referred to the Rules Committee, which must vote them out and into the normal legislative process. Late-filed bills have great difficulty moving towards passage.
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Last week, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on legislation I introduced regarding early intervention services for our students. I was pleased to testify alongside Katie Spurlock, the constituent who first brought this issue to my attention.
The House recently passed legislation to make our state higher education campuses gun free zones. Those schools already have this in place as administrative policy and the bill would give those policies the force of law. It is a small but significant step forward for gun safety.
The State Highway Administration ("SHA") District Engineer visits with state legislators annually to discuss current system preservation projects. The current District 16 projects can be found here. The list does not include many study projects SHA is undertaking such as work on River Road near Whitman High School, a study at Ryland Drive and Old Georgetown Road.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced it was withholding transit funds to the jurisdictions that make-up Metro because they have yet to establish a Metrorail Safety Commission to provide independent oversight of the Metrorail system, something the Federal Transit Administration is currently providing. I understand the frustration with the slow pace of the jurisdictions, but I think this withholding of funding was unnecessary and will move up the date of the new commission's creation by weeks at best. Maryland, Virginia, and DC must all pass identical enactment legislation. DC has already acted and Maryland and Virginia will do so during their annual legislative sessions this year. You can review the Maryland bill here. I have a companion bill that will establish how Maryland will appoint its commissioners, something explicitly left to the states. The federal government was in its discretionary authority to act, but I hope it will release the funds being withheld once Maryland and Virginia's Governors sign their state legislation.
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