News from Annapolis
2017 Session:  Week                           Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
Jan 16 --  Jan 20
Slow Start due to vacant positions
  • Veto override votes postponed by House & Senate
  • Bills, bills, bills . . . what do they all DO??
  • MBRG Business-Friendly Awards
  • Emergency firearm training waiver for at-risk victims of domestic abuse -- will we have bipartisan support?
  • District News
  • District Night in Annapolis
  • Legislative Scholarship Information

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VETO OVERRIDE ?
Clean Energy & Jobs
or 
Hefty "Sunshine" Tax on Marylanders ?

Last year, the legislature passed HB 1106 that would have required Maryland to increase its use of "clean energy" from 20% to 40%.  The Governor vetoed the bill.

The Democratic majority wants a vote to override the Governor's veto, but is having trouble replacing the members of their party who have had to resign from the legislature upon indictment.  They hope to have enough members to call for a vote this Tuesday, January 31st.

To Sustain or Not to Sustain -- That is the Question

To sell this bill, the Democratic majority called it a "jobs" bill, clean energy and jobs is a win-win right?

Not quite.

Clean Energy -- at What Cost ?  While the bill would force Maryland to find more clean energy, the bill would increase taxes for all Maryland ratepayers by $50 to $200 million per year by 2020. 

This increase would be piled on top of an increase that went into effect in 2014.  Marylanders paid $126.7 million in 2015 for renewable energy as part of the current system.

Jobs?   The Sunshine Tax might create jobs
somewhere, it won't be bringing any to the state of
MarylandUnder the current clean energy program, only 25% of the clean energy Maryland buys is actually generated in the state. The other 75% comes from other states.  If we expand this program as the bill requires, even less of Maryland's clean energy will be generated in our state. 

So not only will we be adding significant costs to ratepayers and taxpayers, but those dollars will be used to create jobs in other states.
The Good News is . . .

    • HB 1010: Maryland Transit Administration Oversight and Planning Board
  • SB 540: Morgan State University - Student Housing
  • SB 907: Transportation - Harry W. Nice Memorial Potomac River Bridge
  • SB 910: Maryland Education Development Collaborative - Established
Although nothing is certain, there is considerable expectation that the Legislature does not plan to attempt to override any of these four bills.  That would signal a real effort at bipartisanship. 
.]DMG
Bills, bills, bills . . .
Through this past Friday, 427 bills have been filed in the House of Delegates, with well over a thousand more being prepared.  It does leave you wondering, what on earth do all those bills DO?  This year, I decided to categorize the bills to give you a better perspective on exactly what kinds of laws we are passing down here.
 
        Thus far, I've come up with the following categories:
  • Local bills: These are bills that only apply to the county proposing the bill.  This category is by far, the largest.
  • Alcohol bills:  If we ever stopped regulating alcoholic beverages, a lot of legislators would find themselves with time on their hands.  Each year, the consumption, possession, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages are added and subtracted from various groups.  Another large category.  Often these bills are local.
  • "State debt" bills:  These bills authorize the state to issue a bond for a certain amount (usually under $1 million) for a specified charity (usually), provided the charity or other entity puts up a matching amount. 
  • Bills that (increase) decrease taxes or fees:  (The only bill to raise fees thus far would do so only on out-of-state lawyers.) There are a surprisingly large number of bills to decrease taxes.  Almost all of them, however, give one group or another some sort of special exemption (often a 'subtraction modification,' a credit, a fee waiver, etc.)
  • Licensing:  There are always a number of bills adding new groups to be licensed, adding new activities to existing licenses, and even repealing licensing provisions, on occasion.  Sometimes, these bills give groups favorable treatment.
  • Major bills, or bills that make a substantive change in the law:  These are the bills on which we generally spend the most time.  Examples of bills in this category are the death with dignity bill, the sick and safe leave act, and a bill to require all tolls at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge be paid by E-ZPass.
  • Studies.  Another common type of bill is the one that requires the administration to establish a Task Force, or do a Study.  Often these studies are the precursors to next year's bills that want to implement whatever the study suggested we do. 
  • "Technical" bills.  This is the third largest category.  These are bills that deal with things like notices and other process requirements.  Also in this category are bills that are designed to celebrate something.  Thus far this year, we have bills that want to create an Equestrian Day, a Waterman's Day, a Farmers' Day, and one to name the Canvasback duck as the state Waterfowl.
  •  I have put the Governor's bills into their own category, since he has more bills this year than in previous years.
  •  "Gun Bills," is my final category, primarily because I'm interested in them. 
.]DMG
BUSINESS-FRIENDLY
MBRG Awards Business-Friendly Legislators

       This past week, Maryland Business for Responsive Government (MBRG) honored those legislators who received high pro-business ratings for the 2016 Legislative Session.   MBRG is a statewide, non-partisan political research and education organization. They score legislators based on their votes on bills that have impact on Maryland's business climate.
       Thirty Republicans, including myself, received a rating of 100%!  Pictured above are Del. April Rose, Del. MaryBeth Carozzo, former Ambassador Ellen Sauerbray, Del. Trent Kittleman, Del. Susan Krebs, and Senator Gail Bates.

Waiver of 16-hour Training for Carry Permit

for at-risk victims of domestic violence
        I will be introducing a bill this year to allow the police to waive the requirement for 16 hours of training before someone can obtain a carry permit for a handgun when circumstances warrant it.  The circumstances I've defined in this bill are someone who has been issued a Protective Order or a Peace Order by a court, or who has been demonstrably a victim of domestic abuse. 
           
        The bill requires the person who receives the waiver to obtain the requisite 16 hours of training within 60 days after the permit is issued.  

DISTRICT NEWS

HOWARD COUNTY

        Howard County had a hearing on [23] local bills on December 21 of last year.       Thus far, the delegation has voted to support a number of these, including the following bond bills:
  • Authorizing creation of a state deb not to exceed $500,000 to help mitigate the effects of the Ellicott City flood
  • $500,000 for the Harriott Tubman Community Center and Museum
  • $300,000 for the Arc of Howard County HVAC Replacement
  • $175,000 for construction of the Phillips School commercial kitchen
  • $500,000 for Carroll Hall restoration
  • $333,000 for the ManneqART Museum and Maryland Fashion Institute
In order for these organizations to receive the funds, they must have the matching funds, on hand.

Two additional bills have been offered to create tax exemptions for historical properties under certain circumstances.

The Delegation also approved a bill that would provide some further limitations on the decibel levels that apply to Merriweather Post Pavillion. 

The delegation is still considering t hree different bills that would require the School Board to be elected by districts, two of which would create an independent redistricting commission for Howard County.

CARROLL COUNTY

 
       The Carroll County Delegation held a hearing and voted to approve the following locally proposed legislation on January 19.  
  • Legislative Bond Bill - Union Mills Homestead - $250,000
  • Music Boxes and Devices - Licensing Requirements - Repeal
  • Authorization for County public facilities bonds
  • Revision to local government Tort Claims Act pertaining to Carroll local public transportation contractor (inserting generic rather than specific name)
  • Increasing the salary of the Sheriff to from $90,000 to $110,000 over two years, beginning after the next election
  • Increasing the salary of the State's Attorney from 80 to 100 percent of the pay of a local District Court judge, currently $141,000.

        In other actions, the delegation again failed to vote to change the manner in which vacancies in the office of County Commissioner are filled.  Currently, any such vacancy is filled by the locally-elected central committee of the relevant party selecting names to send to the Governor.  Last year, the Commissioners looked to change the process to a special election.  This year's bill would have allowed for the remaining four Commissioners to name the replacment.  

        One other proposed bill to allow the State's Attorney to appoint investigators with police powers was withdrawn after a number of questions from the delegation. 

 

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District 9 Open House
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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. 
  
Click here for the application. 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  *   trentkittleman@verizon.net
Administrative AideChelsea Leigh Murphy