News from Annapolis
2017 Session:  Week                            Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
Jan 11 --  Jan 20

On Wednesday, January 11  at 12 noon, 
the 2017 session of the 
Maryland  Legislature  was called into session
On Friday, January 20 at 12 noon,
Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 
45th President of the United States

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Governor Hogan's Initiatives
Governor Hogan's Legislative Package
Governor Hogan has begun rolling out a very ambitious and exciting legislative package.  These initiatives include:
The Inauguration of President Trump
Being a part of history . . .
        Huge events are not something I generally seek out or enjoy.  Nonetheless, I decided to attend this inauguration just to be a part of one of the most momentous events in the history of our Country.
         I want to extend my personal thanks to Senator Ben Cardin, whose office called and offered me two tickets to attend.  It was a very gracious offer, and very much appreciated. 
       I also want to thank and commend Paul Comfort, Administrator of the MTA, and his department's excellent efforts to get so many of us to D.C. via the Marc train.  (See below)
.....and having a great time!
        My daughter, Samantha, and I arose at an unholy hour to get to BWI in time to board the first Marc train to D.C.
        No such luck.  There was a crowd of folks the likes of which I've never seen, already waiting for the train, and a similar number of people waiting to buy tickets!
        With our commemorative tickets in hand, we joined the crowd on the platform.  The train arrived, slowed, stopped, started, and sped away without ever opening its doors!  It was completely full from the three stops before BWI!  This did not auger well, as we envisioned every train filling up before getting to us.  
          Shortly thereafter, however, an announcement came over the loudspeakers that MTA was sending an extra train -- just for us, it turned out!  In about 15 - 20 minutes, a train pulled in, and when the crowd saw that it was completely empty, a huge cheer went up.  We all got on, and had a lovely ride to Union Station. 

           With over two hours before the celebration was to begin, Samantha and I enjoyed Union Station for a while, and had breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts.   (I didn't know they served any breakfast foods other than donuts, but their sausage, egg and cheese croissant was delicious!)
         Our walk to the Capitol was fairly short.  On the way, we saw numerous members of law enforcement and the military on hand to guard us, and we were very grateful!  We secured a (standing) spot next to one of the free-standing railings which gave us a better view as well as "breathing space."  By 11:30 am, every space was taken.  We met so many wonderful people, from all over the country.  The excitement and enthusiasm were palpable - and it was particularly gratifying to be able to praise the new President without starting an argument!
        President Trump's speech was electrifying.  I can understand those who condemn it -- they are the rich, the famous, and the powerful.  To those people, President Trump has said, "No more!"  No longer will the governing prosper at the expense of the governed.  What matters to President Trump is the reality of life for ordinary Americans.  He truly will make America great again!  And for my children and grandchildren, I say THANK  YOU!! 
General Assembly Preview
Likely Controversies
  • The Budget.  Unlike last year, when Governor Hogan was able to fund every mandate, this year's budget cannot.  Lower-than-expected capital gains revenues have required the Governor to eliminate some of the legislative priorities.  Along with all of the new funding priorities being proposed by Democrats, the budget is definitiely going to present some challenges.  Fortunately, Governor Hogan is very clear on his promise not to raise taxes, and it is unlikely that the Democrats will force the issue in the face of the results of the 2016 election and with the 2018 election on the horizon.
  • Fracking  Fracking is shorthand for the process of 'fracturing" the ground to extract oil and gas.  This process is being used throughout the country, but environmental concerns caused Maryland to put a moratorium on the process, in order to allow for the creation of new regulations.  That moratorium will expire shortly, and it is unclear whether the regulations will resolve the concerns of the environmentalists who are talking about a complete ban on fracking in Maryland.
  • Paid Sick Leave Mandate.  The bill that was introduced last year was anathma to the business community, not only in principle (dictating how businesses must operate), but because of it's very broad provisions covering all employers and including part-time, temporary and seasonal employees, and because of its very onerous record-keeping and reporting requirements.  Nonetheless, it came very close to becoming law.  This year, Governor Hogan has proposed a version of the sick-leave bill that accomplishes the goal of the bill without wrecking havoc with small businesses.  While many will continue to oppose the bill (on principle), it will be interesting to see if the proponants are willing to compromise. 
  • Redistricting.  The Governor will offer the same bill he proposed last year.  This bill had bipartisan and almost universal support, including groups such as the ACLU and League of Women Voters as well as conservative and business organizations.  Despite such wide support, there is one group with the power and will to kill the bill: incumbent Democrats.  Their reasoning is simple: they have the political power now, and want to keep it.  Nonetheless, because of Governor Hogan's popularity, the bill has a chance.  That is because if Governor Hogan is re-elected, HE will be the one to create the lines for redistricting, and if his bill does not pass, that will leave Governor Hogan free to gerrymander Maryland in favor of the Republicans.  . . . he is probably too principaled to do so . . . but we want the opposition to believe he will.  
What does your child SEE . . .?
A Bill whose time has come
        This year, I am introducing a bill to expand the scope of vision testing in schools.  The current test only ascertains whether your child can see at 20-20 acuity. 
        But "acuity" is not the only relevant measure.  Approximately 12% of the population has a vision impairment in which the eyes don't coordinate with each other.  The condition may be binary vision disorder or vision processing disorder, but the effect of these disorders can cause serious issues for our children.  
What is a Visual Processing Disorder?
        People with this disorder, see words on a page very differently.  And children with the disorder have no way of knowing that there is a problem with their vision!
        Children with this disorder have difficulty focusing and reading, and often get headaches as they try to concentrate on understanding what they're seeing.
        The result is obvious -- school can become torture for these children, and they don't know why.
        If the disorder is sufficiently severe, the child may be diagnosed as having a disability.  The school will creat an IEP (individual education plan) for the child -- which will have no effect since the plan doesn't address the actual problem.   The school suffers the added expense of processing the IEP, and
the child will not be helped. 
The Condition is CURABLE
        The most horrifying part of not identifying this condition early, is that  it is curable!   There is no need for these children to suffer through years and years of pain and failure and self-doubt when a quick and simple test can identify the existence of such a visual impairment, allowing the children to get treatment.
        Thanks to a wonderful constituent -- Catherine Carter -- who brought this issue to my attention, we are going to introduce a bill to have the vision screening already being done by schools to include screening for this type of visual impairment.   The cost to add such screening is minimal, and the value of identifying this condition before a child is asked to learn to read, is definitely worth it.
Where have all the ethics gone . . . 
          One of the first actions usually undertaken by the overwhelmingly Democratic General Assembly, upon convening a new session, is to vote to override whatever bills the Republican Governor has vetoed.

        This year, a vote on veto overrides continues to be delayed.  That is because the Democrats need every single Democrat vote to be successful.  However, with all of the scandals and resignations, etc., there are still unfilled Democrat vacancies in the legislature.

       Most of the upheaval has occurred in Prince Georges County, where liquor board scandals have claimed several legislators.  The first casualty was Will Campos, a member of my Judiciary Committee, who resigned mid-session last year when the feds uncovered his activities.  

       This year, Delegate Michael Vaughn recently resigned as prosecutors went after the legislator who voted to extend Sunday liquor sales in PG county as part of a bribery scheme.  

        Yet another legislative seat is vacant because the person designated to fill the slot was indicted on the eve of his appointment, for laundering $18,000 in campaign contributions.   

        Republicans have been involved in one unpleasantness involving an aide to one of our Delegates who published "fake news."  The Delegate fired the aide immediately upon learning of his activities.
Information of Interest . . .
"Bringing the Printed Word to the Visually Impared"
        The MWE ia a nonprofit corporation based in Silver Spring, that brings the written word to life in daily audio broadcasts.  
          You can get the schedule for each day's Recorded Radio Reading Program on their   Website.    For more information about the organization, you can contact them at  301 681 6636 o r email   
Scholarship Information
         District 9A residents attending a college, university, trade school or equivalent in the State of Maryland are eligible for the Delegate Scholarship.

         Current high school seniors and full-time (12+ credits per semester) or part-time (6-11 credits per semester), degree-seeking under-graduate students, graduate students, and students attending a private career school may apply. 
        For questions regarding the application process, please call my Annapolis office and ask to speak with  Chelsea Leigh Murphy  at   410-841-3556.  

Please be sure to have your completed application   postmarked by April 10, 2017.
Delegate Trent Kittleman
District 9A, Western Howard County and Southern Carroll County (Sykesville)
Room 202, Lowe House Office Building
6 Bladen Street,   Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3556  *   Trent.Kittleman@House.State.MD.US
Interim Office
3000 Kittleman Lane,  West Friendship, MD 21794
301-661-3344  *
Administrative AideChelsea Leigh Murphy