2020 Maryland General Assembly Update Week Two-Hearings, Budgets, and Cosponsorships

Annapolis, MD— We’re back in business in Annapolis with new legislation being introduced and Committee hearings picking up the pace. One of those hearings was on Senator Carozza’s legislation to increase penalties for criminally negligent driving. This week, Governor Larry Hogan introduced his Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, which funds Shore priorities while holding the line on out-of-control spending. Senator Carozza also cosponsored several pieces of legislation ranging from tax relief to public safety.


Senator Mary Beth Carozza’s Senate Bill 29, Wade’s Law, was heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on January 14. This legislation would establish the offense of a life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel as criminal negligence with imprisonment for 18 months and/or a fine of $5,000. 

At the hearing Senator Carozza testified about a case from her community involving two Worcester County road workers, Scott Tatterson and Wade Pusey, who were struck by a criminally-negligent driver. The violent crash occurred on February 22, 2016, and left Mr. Tatterson dead and Mr. Pusey with several life-threatening injuries. Senate Bill 29 unanimously passed the State Senate in 2019 but did not advance in the House of Delegates before adjournment in April 2019. 

Joining Senator Carozza this year was Je’ani Lyles, who suffered both life-threatening and life-sustaining injuries as the result of a criminally negligent driver on June 18, 2018. Ms. Lyles and her mother, Carla Ortiz, stressed the sense of urgency for this legislation to pass this session. Senate Bill 29 has the support of the Maryland’s State’s Attorneys’ Association, the Department of Natural Resources, ABATE: Maryland’s only motorcycle rights organization, and of one of the most effective community highway safety organizations CRASH – County Resident Action for Safer Highways.


Governor Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget was introduced on Wednesday, January 15. The proposed $47.9 billion Operating Budget includes record spending on education and school construction and investments in public safety. All of these priorities are funded without raising taxes.


“Governor Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget funds several Shore priorities while keeping with his theme of the Accountability Session and holding the line on out-of-control spending,” said Senator Mary Beth Carozza after her review of Governor Hogan’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget. “I want to publicly thank Governor Hogan for his continued strong support of our Shore priorities.”


Included in the Fiscal Year 2021 Operating and Capital Budgets are funding for the University of Maryland’s Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy and Health Professions; Salisbury University’s Downtown Entrepreneurial Center; Crisfield-Somerset County Airport Hangars; and the Ocean City Beach Replenishment and Hurricane Protection Program.


Senator Carozza cosponsored Governor Hogan’s Retirement Tax Reduction Act of 2020. This legislation provides more than $1 billion in tax relief, impacting over 230,000 to make it easier for retirees to stay in Maryland. This legislation is the biggest tax reduction proposal in over two decades.

“I am proud to support the Retirement Tax Reduction Act of 2020 and am committed to working with my colleagues in the Senate and the Hogan Administration on measures to make Maryland a great place to stay and retire,” Senator Carozza said after cosponsoring the legislation.


Shore visitors to Annapolis this week included Coastal Association of Realtors members Chris Jett, Sarah Rayne, Grace Masten, Cameron Drew, Kate Deckenback, Vicki Harmon, Brandon Johnson, Austin Whitehead, Joe Wilson, Paige Browning, and Colby Phippin; Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art Executive Director Kristin Sullivan and Education Director Aurelio Gianniti; Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis; Somerset County Sheriff Ronnie Howard and Chief Deputy Paul Keplinger; Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli; and Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport Manager Dawn Veatch.



(l to r): Carla Ortiz, Wade Pusey, Je’ani Lyles, Senator Mary Beth Carozza, and Sharon Pusey testifying in Strong Support of Senate Bill 29—Wade’s Law.





Salisbury University students showcasing their research projects in Annapolis.


Senator Carozza and Coastal Association of Realtors member Grace Masten.

Coastal Association of Realtors members met with Senator Carozza to discuss the importance of the real estate industry to Maryland’s economy. Pictured are Chris Jett, Sarah Rayne, Grace Masten, Cameron Drew, Kate Deckenback, Vicki Harmon, Brandon Johnson, Austin Whitehead, Joe Wilson, Paige Browning, and Colby Phippin.


(l to r): Somerset County Chief Deputy Paul Keplinger, Somerset County Sheriff Ronnie Howard, Senator Mary Beth Carozza; and Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis. 


Shore firefighters Tom Johnson and Mike LeCompte (right) in Annapolis for the Maryland State Firemen's Association reception. 


Mary Beth Carozza for State Senate