2022 Maryland General Assembly Update
Week Thirteen: Final Countdown With Passage of Highway User Funds Bill, Shore Budget Priorities, Governor’s Vetoes and Overrides, and Crisfield High School Visit
Today, Monday April 11, the Maryland General Assembly will adjourn sine die at midnight. During the last full week, marathon and double sessions were the norm in both committee and the Floor sessions during these final days of deliberations. This week’s highlights include passage of legislation returning Highway User Funds to local governments, Shore priorities covered in Capital Budget, the Governor’s vetoes and override votes, and Crisfield High School in Somerset County visiting Annapolis.
Senate GOP Caucus
Local Transportation Funds and Shore Budget Priorities 
In the last full week, an agreement worked out between the Governor and the legislature to increase transportation funding for local governments was reached which has been a top priority for the Maryland Municipal League and Maryland Association of Counties Organization (MACo). I, representing 11 municipalities and three counties in District 38, cosponsored Senate Bill 726 sponsored by Senator Cory McCray. District 38 Delegate Carl Anderton, who is the former Mayor of Delmar, is the House sponsor (HB 1187).
 
Under this agreement, the share of the transportation funding for local jurisdictions will increase from 13.5 percent to 15.6% in FY24, and by FY27, the percentage will increase to 20%. The proposed municipal portion of that Local Share of the Highway User Fund (HUR) is 2.4% in FY 24; 2.7% in FY 25; 3% in FY 27; and 2.4% form FY 28 onwards. Without this proposal, the municipal share would drop from the current level of 2% to 0.4% beginning in FY 24. County governments share is 3.2 % today. In SB 726, it goes to 4.8% for FY 26-27.
 
Returning the Highway User Funds back to the local jurisdictions has been a top priority for Governor Hogan and our Shore Delegation, and this is record-level funding for municipalities and long-term certainty for local projects. I especially want to thank Delegate Anderton for his leadership, knowledge and persistence on this matter and with this successful outcome.
 
The Maryland General Assembly on April 7th passed the Capital budget which includes Shore and District 38 priorities. Local projects included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Capital Budget are
  • $150,000 total for a 10-unit hangar at Crisfield Airport in Somerset County;
  • $200,000 total for the renovation and expansion of Somerset County Courthouse in Princess Anne;
  • $200,000 total for the Delmar Community Center; and
  • $200,000 for safety improvements and renovation of the Ocean Pines Fire Department South Station in Worcester, which is in addition to the $1.35 million included in Governor Hogan’s supplemental budget.
Funding for these local projects will go a long way in advancing economic development, community, and public safety priorities in District 38. Capital funding is applied specifically towards construction and renovation work throughout the State of Maryland. 
Vetoes and Overrides
As expected, Governor Hogan vetoed several bills including abortion expansion, paid family leave, attorney child interrogations, and new licensed firearm dealers requirements. I supported the Governor’s vetoes which were overridden by the supermajority in both the Senate and House of Delegates.
 
Several local businesses contacted me directly to express their opposition to Senate Bill 275 – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program and House Bill 1021 Licensed Firearms Dealers Security Requirements. SB 275 mandates that every employer with 15 or more employees (well below the Obama administration standard) must participate in the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program and contribute an indeterminate amount per employee to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund. In his veto letter on SB 275, Governor Hogan wrote, “After two years of a devastating global pandemic… a new $1.6 billion dollar regressive statewide payroll tax is the worst thing lawmakers could be imposing on Maryland employers and employees.”
 
In addition to my Senate Floor remarks in support of the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 275, I also commented on my strong opposition to House Bill 937 – Abortion Care Access Act. With House Bill 937, Maryland becomes even better known of having the very top most liberal expansive abortion laws in the country. We open up Maryland so all kinds of providers can perform abortions instead of physicians. We have no limits so these providers can perform abortions right up to birth, no parental notification for minors 13 years old and under, no requirement to give basic mental health services information to women who have had an abortion and are showing signs of distress or depression, and not even a requirement that life-saving care would be provided if a baby was born live during a botched abortion. Speaking on behalf of my constituents, we don’t want Maryland to be known for a far-reaching expansive abortion law… and I am not proud of Maryland becoming known as an abortion destination.
Crisfield High School Visit to Annapolis
Senator Carozza and Delegate Otto pictured with Crisfield High school students and teachers.
After a two-year delay due to the pandemic, the 10th-grade students from Crisfield High School with teacher trip coordinator Mr. Randy Laird, Crisfield Teacher of the Year Ms. Vestina Davis, history teachers Ms. Erin Walbert and Mr. Justin Ihnat, and bus driver Mr. Hank Ward made it Annapolis and toured both the oldest-working State House in the country and the Naval Academy. It was my distinct honor to greet the Crisfield High School group with Delegates Charles Otto and Carl Anderton, and to bring the students into the Senate Gallery where I introduced them to my Senate colleagues. The students saw us in action in the closing days of the session, and I am glad they made the extra effort to travel to Annapolis this session.
Additional Community Resources
SENATE SCHOLARSHIPS IN DISTRICT 38
Students who live in Legislative District 38 may apply by emailing [email protected] to request a scholarship application. The deadline for submission of the completed application is April 15, 2022. These scholarship funds must be used toward attending a Maryland college or university (or an out-of-state institution if the student demonstrated he or she has a unique major). Please note that the completed application must be returned with the required essay. The student must have also filed their FAFSA online and should include his or her FAFSA summary sheet with the completed application.
Mary Beth Carozza for State Senate