Later today, Governor Moore will come to the chamber of the Maryland House of Delegates to deliver the annual State of the State address. You will be able to watch it on YouTube. And by the way, you can watch the House or Senate proceedings daily via the Maryland General Assembly website. The floor sessions start slowly each year as we wait for committees to report out bills but this week we will have legislation on the House floor for the first time in 2024. You can see what the full House and Senate are taking up each day here. Later this week, you can see that the committee I chair--Environment & Transportation--will report out its first set of bills for consideration on the floor.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATELast Friday, a local bill I introduced had its hearing--which you can watch here--before the Montgomery County Delegation. The bill would require Montgomery County Public Schools to conduct mandatory training for personnel on anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of religious discrimination.
And yesterday, the Environment and Transportation Committee held a hearing on legislation I authored, the Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment Act of 2024. The proposal tightens up the rules for installing charging equipment in Homeowners Association and Condo Board governed areas. You can learn more and watch the hearing here.
Last week, the Governor joined House and Senate leadership to unveil legislation related to our juvenile justice system. The legislation requires law enforcement to use the Child in Need of Supervision process and extends how long probation can be for juveniles, among other provisions. You can read the complete bill here.
BUDGET UPDATEFor obvious reasons, I tend to focus on legislation and the legislative process in these weekly emails. However, it might be of interest to know what happens after the legislature's work is done. For example, over the past few years I have written many times about the Montgomery County Delegation's efforts to obtain transportation funding from the state. We have had great success, including setting up a new program that automatically routes lottery revenue to the county for its Bus Rapid Transit system on a continuous basis and one time money to procure zero emission buses for the county's bus system (RideOn). When the legislature takes those actions, the state Board of Public Works (BPW) still must approve the final contracts/agreements. Last week, BPW approved tens of millions of dollars for these programs and projects and others for the county. You can read more from the BPW agenda, starting on page 67.
TRANSPORTATION UPDATEI continue to be involved in regional discussions related to our local Metro system. As Maryland, Virginia, and DC have all signaled their intent to provide additional funding, the Metro General Manager has revised his budget proposal. The proposal does not impose turnbacks--where half the trains used to turn back into DC at Grosvenor and other locations--or station closures. There are still targeted service reductions, proposed fare increases, and cost containment. You can read the current proposal here.
COMMUNITY NEWSThe Bethesda Chevy Chase Democratic Breakfast Club has a series of upcoming meetings. To obtain links for any of the below, please email email@example.com:
-March 4, at 7:30am: Lisa Taylor, Chair of the Montgomery County Committee Against Hate/Violence
-April 10, at 7:30am: District 18 state legislators
Congratulations to District 16's David Rubenstein, the new owner of the Baltimore Orioles (once Major League Baseball approves the deal).
Thank you and congratulations to District 16's Zayn Bandukwalla and Alan Trachtenberg on their appointments to the County's Alcohol and Other Drug Advisory Council.
BOOK CORNERAbove I referenced the Maryland Board of Public Works, a unique entity made up of the Governor, State Treasurer, and Comptroller that approves all state contracts valued over $200,000 and has other powers it has been granted over the years. In the early 1980s, Alan Wilner wrote The Maryland Board of Public Works: A History which describes the then-150 year history of this unique Maryland institution. You can access the book through the Maryland Archive.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.