Now that the legislative session is over my regular updates shift to monthly emails. But even though the legislature only meets for 90 days, as you will see below the work is year round.
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The legislature had some significant unfinished business when the legislative session wrapped up: selecting a new Speaker of the House. The General Assembly convened a one day special session--the first one of my tenure--to elect our first new Speaker since 2003. Ultimately, Adrienne Jones of Baltimore County prevailed as a consensus candidate. I have been privileged to work with Speaker Jones on the Appropriations Committee, where I have served on two of her subcommittees. She is a hard worker dedicated to supporting all of Maryland and I look forward to her tenure.
The non-partisan Department of Legislative Services issues a comprehensive, annual 90 Day Report describing all of the legislation passed by the General Assembly. You can browse the full report here.
Accompanying the legislatively passed state operating budget each year is a document called the Joint Chairmen's Report or JCR. The JCR contains all of the actions taken by the legislature in the budget. That includes line item reductions (we cannot directly increase budget line items), intent language, and legislatively requested reports from different agencies. It is an important tool for legislative oversight of the executive branch. For example, I had language included that requires the State Highway Administration to provide an update on the smart traffic signals program and for the Administration to submit a plan to expand the Imagination Library beyond Baltimore. You can read the entire JCR online.
This year I was chair of the Montgomery County House Delegation—the 24 members that represent Montgomery County in the House of Delegates. I am proud of the work we did as a Delegation this year, which you can read more about our work by clicking here.
Ten of our Montgomery County Delegates were new to the legislature this year. They did great work and I was pleased that a mentorship program I established as Delegation Chair seemed to help. You can read about the great work of our new County legislators and the mentorship program in a recent Bethesda Beat article.
During the legislative session, I had the opportunity to work closely with Delegate Queen and Senator McCray on the Summer SNAP for Children Act. The legislation passed and will expand access to meals for low income students outside of the school year. Senator McCray wrote about the successful effort in an op-ed for Maryland Matters.
The work of the 2019 legislative session is not entirely wrapped up. Governor Hogan is still making decisions on what bills to sign, veto, or let become law without his signature. You can see what bills Governor Hogan is signing on his website.
The Hogan Administration had planned to bring the certification of the I-495/I-270 road widening to the Board of Public Works for designation as a Public Private Partnership in May. I signed on to a letter with colleagues that expressed our views on the project. Ultimately, the Governor decided to delay the vote until the State Treasurer (one of the three Board of Public Works members along with the Governor and Comptroller) could attend. You can read the letter here.
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