Committees and Questions
Members of the General Assembly are given funds to award scholarships to residents of their districts for higher education. If you or someone you know is interested, please visit http://www.marckorman.com/ scholarship for more information about the process. Applicants must live in District 16 and either be pursuing their degree in Maryland or seeking to obtain a degree unavailable in the state. More information is on the site.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, one of my major activities in Annapolis is to provide oversight of the entire state government. A primary way of doing so is participating in public hearings that occur Monday through Friday in Annapolis. First, we hear from the Department of Legislative Services. Second, we hear from the Department or Agency whose budget we are considering. Third, we hear from anyone else who signs up including stakeholders, representatives of the employees, and members of the general public.
Many questions are asked outside of hearings during meetings or other informal conversations. But the hearings present a particular opportunity to get answers to important questions. Sometimes these are actual questions for which we do not know the answer. Other times the questions are to demonstrate a particular point to the person testifying or to push them in a particular direction. But unlike Congress, each Delegate does not get time set aside to question witnesses and questioning does not last too long. The view of many chairs is that we can follow-up with the witnesses after the hearing in a one-one-one setting, which I think is a good approach that allows us to ask legitimate questions or make important points without grinding all other work to a halt. Each committee seems to have its own culture as to questioning so other Delegates may have had different experiences than me. You can actually watch House Committee hearings on the General Assembly's website.
There has been great concern in the state and nationwide with the increase in heroin deaths. According to a 2014 Washington Post article, heroin deaths increased 88% in Maryland between 2011 and 2013 (but note the 2013 total is close to the 2007 figure). Governor Hogan has established a Heroin and Opioid Task Force and an Inter-Agency Coordinating Council to try and address this issue.
When Governor Hogan came into office, he withdrew regulations proposed by Governor O'Malley regarding the Phosphorous Management Tool, a measuring method to reduce phosphorous run-off into the Chesapeake Bay. 14.4 million pounds of phosphorous entered the Bay in 2013, down from the average of 21.1 million between 1990 and 2013, demonstrating that some of our clean-up approaches are working. I have co-sponsored legislation to put the proposed rules into statute. Governor Hogan has released his own version of the regulations and information about them can be reviewed here.
(Panel convenes at 7:15pm)
Montgomery County Executive Office Building, Auditorium
101 Monroe Street
Rockville, MD 20852
For information on directions or parking, please call (301) 424-3501.
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District 16 Notes
Last week's newsletter discussed the Governor's "Green Bag" appointments. Congratulations to the following District 16 residents on their nominations:
Last week I also discussed the recommendation of Nancy Kopp to be reappointed as Treasurer. Ms. Kopp, a former Delegate from District 16, was reappointed last week. Congratulations to my wonderful predecessor.
If you know of a District 16 resident who merits recognition or condolences, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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