2020 Maryland General Assembly Update Week Five-Deadlines, Priorities, and Local Legislation
The deadlines to introduce legislation with a guaranteed Committee hearing date have passed, and the Committee and Floor work is increasing. This week Governor Larry Hogan also delivered his sixth State of the State address where he outlined Maryland’s priorities. Senator Carozza also introduced three pieces of priority local legislation and advocated for accountability in our educational system during a Committee hearing.
THE ‘PEOPLE’S PRIORITIES’ OUTLINED IN STATE OF THE STATE
Senator Mary Beth Carozza attended Governor Hogan’s sixth State of the State address on Wednesday, February 5. The address was titled The People’s Priorities and centered on the issues facing everyday Marylanders such as tax relief, education, and crime prevention.
“Governor Hogan’s State of the State was all about the priorities of everyday Marylanders: tax relief for retirees, education, and combating violent crime while keeping with his theme of 2020 being the Accountability Session,” said Senator Carozza after the address. “I especially am excited by his leadership in pushing for tax relief for our retirees – to keep our retirees here in Maryland.”
CAROZZA INTRODUCES PRIORITY LOCAL LEGISLATION
Senator Mary Beth Carozza introduced three bills with strong local support on Monday, February 3. The bills are Senate Bill 878—Worcester County - Special Event Zones – Prohibitions; Senate Bill 477—Public Health - Emergency Use Auto-Injectable Epinephrine Program – Revisions; and Senate Bill 906—Labor and Employment - Maryland Healthy Working Families Act - Seasonal Temporary Workers. All three of these bills will be heard in the upcoming weeks.
“At the request of Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro, I have introduced Senate Bill 878, a priority local public safety bill which strengthens the current special event zone law by defining and increasing the penalties for exhibition driving,” said Carozza, who also noted that Senate Bill 878 has bipartisan support, with Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr. as a cosponsor.
“As Maryland’s one and only beach town, Ocean City will always be a special place where family memories are made generation after generation. This bill will help keep Ocean City residents and visitors safe and family friendly, and I am encouraged by the support of my Senate colleagues for this legislation.”
Senate Bill 477 would allow restaurants and food service facilities to store and make available auto-injectable epinephrine to be used in emergency situations. This would be a voluntary program with designated employees who would be trained and certified for the handling of the auto-injectable epinephrine. The need for this legislation was brought to Senator Carozza’s attention after the tragic death of community and business leader Chris Trimper after a severe allergic reaction.
“We in our home community are still grieving the tragic and untimely death of our friend, Chris Trimper. Afterwards, local leaders and community members brought to light that our restaurants do not have the authority to store and use Epi Pens, and that it would require legislation for restaurants to have the option of carrying Epi Pens on their premises,” said Carozza. “This bill gives restaurants and other food service facilities the option to do so on a voluntary basis, and may save lives in the future.”
Senate Bill 906 would provide relief to seasonal job creators by creating a 120-day exemption to the paid leave mandate, which was implemented in 2018.
“Our job creators need relief. They need flexibility when it comes to staffing, running their own operations, and providing quality services to all groups and visitors,” said Carozza “The paid leave law, even with this 106-day seasonal exemption, hurts the ability of our seasonal job creators to provide jobs to young people and negatively impacts the services provided to visitors.”
CAROZZA COSPONSORS GOVERNOR’S ACCOUNTABILITY IN EDUCATION BILL
The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee heard Senate Bill 275—Education - Community and Local Accountability for Struggling Schools (CLASS) Act of 2020 - Innovation Schools on Tuesday, February 4. Introduced by Governor Hogan and cosponsored by Senator Carozza, this initiative would establish a program to quickly turn around underperforming schools while maintaining local autonomy and flexibility. Carozza has used her position in Committee to raise awareness about the need for flexibility for local school systems.
LOCALS IN ANNAPOLIS
Shore visitors to Annapolis this week included Somerset County Commissioner Charles Laird, County Administrator Ralph Taylor, and County Attorney Kirk Simpkins; Wor-Wic Community College President Ray Hoy, Vice President of Enrollment Bryan Newton, Senior Director of Student Development Deirdra Johnson, Director of Student Engagement Camesha Handy, and students who attended Community College Advocacy Day; Delmarva Discovery Center President Stacey Weisner; Lower Eastern Shore Heritage Area Executive Director Lisa Ludwig; Wicomico County Councilman Josh Hastings; Salisbury Sustainability Coordinator Alyssa Hastings; Local library directors including Jennifer Ranck (Worcester), Ashley Teagle (Wicomico) with CFO Cheryl Nardiello, and Ed Goyda (Somerset); Ocean City Development Corporation Executive Director Glenn Irwin and Pamela Robertson; Hardwire, LLC Chairman George Tunis of Pocomoke City; University of Maryland Eastern Shore student pharmacists and Somerset County residents Ben Peckman, Alyssa Reese, Adrianna Anderson, and Christopher Goldsborough; Coastal Hospice President Alane Capen and Business Development Director Bob Miller; Shore Tourism leaders Kristen Goller (Wicomico) and Lisa Challenger (Worcester); Architect Kevin Utz, Becker Morgan Group, Salisbury; Shore Mayors Jacob Day (Salisbury), Gee Williams (Berlin), and Bruce Morrison (Pocomoke City); Wicomico County 4-H Coordinator Barbara Barga; 2019 Miss Crustacean Madison Jones of Crisfield; Stephen Decatur High School Student Jake Gillespie and his mother, Michelle of Berlin; and Roger Richardson and his family of Worcester County, who were inducted into the Maryland Agriculture Hall of Fame.
Meeting with University of Maryland Eastern Shore pharmacy students.
Senator Carozza meeting with Wor-Wic Community College students and leadership on Community College Advocacy Day.
(l to r) Wicomico County Tourism Manager Kristen Goller, Senator Mary Beth Carozza, and Worcester County Tourism Director Lisa Challenger in Annapolis.
Congratulations to Roger Richardson and his family of Worcester County for being inducted to the Maryland Agriculture Hall of Fame this week!
Berlin Strong at the Eastern Shore Delegation meeting on Friday, February 7! (l to r): Senator Mary Beth Carozza, Stephen Decatur High School student Jake Gillespie, Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, and Delegate Charles Otto.