You can always keep up with what I am doing by following me at @mkorman on Twitter, clicking "Like" on Delegate Marc Korman on Facebook, or visitingwww.marckorman.com. And remember, if you would like to support my reelection financially, you can do so at www.marckorman.com/contribute.
Earlier in the summer, my District 16 colleagues and I wrote to the Maryland Insurance Administration about the proposed rate hikes to health insurance offered on the state exchange. The Maryland Insurance Administration recently announced the rate increases for next year. The increases are less than requested, but still untenable for those who rely on Obamacare. The Baltimore Sun recently described some of the actions the state could take to stabilize the markets. You can read the editorial here. The Maryland Health Insurance Protection Commission will continue to study these issues and make recommendations for the next legislative session.
I have been preparing many bills for the next legislative sessions. Many great ideas have come to me from constituents and one I have been working on came to me from MoCoVoters.org. The idea is to let local counties create public financing programs for state legislative races the way they currently can for county elections. A statewide public financing bill would be preferable, but that has been unsuccessful thus far in the legislature. I asked the Attorney General for a letter opinion as to any constitutional issues the proposal might create and his office wrote back that there were no issues. You can read the letter here and there was also some local coverage in Bethesda Beat and the Washington Post.
I have spent a significant portion of the summer engaged with leaders from around the region over the future of Metro. Unfortunately, these conversations continue to be one step forward and two steps back. The latest hurdle was from Governor Hogan, who according to the Washington Post did not accept the premise that Metro needs additional funding. As I have long said, the solution to everything that is ailing Metro is not just money. But money is a factor and there has been a growing consensus as to the need for additional, dedicated resources. The Washington Post editorial board explained the problem with Governor Hogan's position. Just before this email update was to go out, Governor Hogan appeared to get the message and stepped forward with a proposal for more funding.
I will continue to advocate for broad, regional Metro funding and reform. But I also plan to introduce "Plan B" legislation next session to help clarify that in the state of Maryland, the responsibility for Metro lies with the Governor. The state pays our entire subsidy to Metro (there is no Montgomery or Prince George's County component) and the Governor appoints the voting Board Members. And as the Governor says, Maryland's payment amounts to 11% of the annual expenditures from the state's Transportation Trust Fund (actually a reduction percentage-wise from a few years ago). My proposed legislation will require that one of Maryland's Metro Board members be the state's Secretary of Transportation, just as the DC Director of Transportation sits on the Board.
Governor Hogan put forward mid-year budget cuts for consideration by the three-person Board of Public Works (BPW), on which Governor Hogan sits alongside our state's Comptroller and Treasurer. BPW cuts have been made by Governors of both parties, although typically to bring the budget back into balance. Governor Hogan's proposal seems to be aimed at building up a cash reserve to reduce future shortfalls, rather than a current problem. In any event, as a result of legislation I sponsored in 2016--The Board of Public Works Transparency Act--these proposed cuts had to be explained in advance. Prior to the 2016 law, the cuts were not made public until after they were made. The public posting of the reductions led to discussion of them in advance of the meeting and a decision that some of them were inappropriate, so the Governor withdrew them. The reductions made are available here.
Many of the savings will come from keeping positions open and reducing administrative costs, but support for some of our private colleges and universities (the Sellinger program) will be reduced, numerous vacant positions in the University System of Maryland will be eliminated, and various fund transfers are occurring that allow special funds (e.g., tobacco settlement dollars) to replace general tax revenue. Our State Treasurer--District 16's own Nancy Kopp--kindly credited me at the meeting for the increased transparency You can view a clip of it here.
As you know, my campaign for reelection is in full swing. Last month, Senator Susan Lee, Delegate Ariana Kelly, and I announced our intention to seek your support for another term as a team. You can read the press release here, as well as an article.
If you would like to help out with the campaign, there are three opportunities coming up:
If you know of a District 16 resident who merits recognition or condolences or an upcoming event, please email email@example.com.
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