News from Annapolis
2017 Session:  Week 4                          Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
CONTENTS
  • Eventful Week - Overview
    •          College Gun Ban
    •        "Sick and Safe" leave act
    •         AG wants carte blanche to file lawsuits against                       President
  • Hearing on the "Atticus" vision bill THIS TUESDAY
  • Hearing on Women's Self-Defense Rights bill Mar-13
  • Clean Energy? Story of the Veto Override: Part I
  • District 9 Open House -- NEXT MONDAY
  • Goings on in Annapolis
  • District 9-A:  Howard County Executive Vetoes Sanctuary Bill
  • Legislative Scholarship Information

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EVENTFUL WEEK 
Fighting the Creation of "Victims Zones" on College Campuses

[The following article appeared in the House Minority Report this week.  Note that the bill is being debated by some of our Republican members of the  Women's Caucus who believe that this bill hurts women!]
 
        This week House Republicans fought to protect students on the campuses of Maryland's colleges and universities offering amendments to the "No Guns on Campus" bill (House Bill 159). While the legislation may be well intended many believe that the law will actually makes college campuses less safe.
        "Currently each of Maryland's institutions of higher education already has a policy regarding the presence of firearms on their campus," said Delegate Susan McComas (District 34B, Harford County). "These policies are unique to their locations and student bodies. There have been no incidents that make this bill necessary. The bill seems to be fixing a problem that doesn't exist."

        "This bill takes current policy by college presidents and codifies it in law.  The problem is it creates a penalty that would take Second Amendment rights away from law abiding citizens without "mens rea" -- an intent to do wrong," said Delegate Trent Kittleman (District 9A, Howard & Carroll Counties). "The bill includes a penalty of up to 3 years imprisonment.  Any conviction would cause a lifelong ban of possessing firearms under current US Code."

        "Our campuses become a more inviting target when labeled as gun-free zones," said Delegate Deb Rey (District 29B, St. Mary's County).  "Twenty-one year old adults are now equated to minor children and stripped of the right to self-defense.  The immense size of the colleges, like University of Maryland College Park with over 1,335 acres of property, makes it near impossible to protect.  Requiring institutions of higher education to provide armed security is merely a common sense measure to dissuade potential gunmen, unbalanced persons or terrorists."

        Delegate Teresa Reilly (District 35B, Harford & Cecil Counties) said, "I'm most concerned about students on the campus who are under immediate threat from a domestic violence situation.  They have taken the necessary steps to protect themselves by obtaining a handgun license, additional training and convincing the Maryland State Police of a need for a carry permit.  However, if this bill becomes law, the self-defense measures to protect themselves would be barred from campus thus leaving them more vulnerable than before.  This is unacceptable."

        "It is our responsibility in the state legislature to make law that will not intentionally create dangerous situations for Marylanders," said House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga.  "Unfortunately, that is exactly what this bill does.  Our amendments would have greatly improved this bill but were voted down on party lines. It is unfortunate the perceived steps taken by the majority to protect students will actually increase the danger they will face."
      
Sick Leave bill may kill small businesses
       This is the fourth year we are hearing the bill to require all employers to provide sick leave to their employees.
        In an effort to get it through early, hearings were held in both the Senate and the House this week on identical bills.
        As always, many non-profits and businesses testified against the bill, generally raising the following points:
  • The Penalties.  "The penalties in this bill are one of, if not the most draconian in the nation," said Mike O'Halloran, Maryland NFIB director (National Federation of Independent Business). "The record keeping, the penalties and the enforcement...is why there is such strong opposition to this bill."
  • No need.  "Even proponents of this bill agree that...a majority of businesses in Maryland already offer some form of paid sick leave," said Mr. O'Halloran.
  • Effect on Retail businesses.  
            "Every business and every retailer wants minimal turn-over," said Cailey Locklair Tolle, president of the Maryland Retailers Association. "We want to keep our workplaces competitive and our employees happy, but at the end of the day you cannot take leave from a job that doesn't exist. Hours will be cut, benefits will be cut and consumer prices will go up."
            Lou Santoni, owner Santoni's Market in Glyndon with 165 employees, said the legislation would cost his business $100,000 annually.
            "It would be a catastrophic component to our business and I just broke even last year," Santoni said. "I believe the folks behind this bill are well intentioned but who is going to pay for it. I'm one of those companies where this will be a detriment."
  • Includes part-time workers.  A large part of the problem retailers have with the bill is a provision that provides accrual of sick leave for employees working just nine hours in a week.  Employers have no way to ensure they will have adequate staff because of the way the leave is defined and structured.
      The Governor's alternative sick leave bill was also heard in the House.  Members of the Economic Matters Committee were not encouraging.
for more on this story, see MarylandReporter.com 
[This image not part of MDReporter.com article]

        "Most of the Senate's 14 Republicans walked off the floor in Annapolis Thursday to protest Democrats' refusal to give them a day to read and prepare amendments to a fast-tracked bill authorizing Attorney General Brian Frosh to sue the Trump administration - without Gov. Larry Hogan's approval.
        "The measure,  SJ 5, the Maryland Defense Act, was introduced just last Friday, heard and voted out of committee Wednesday, tentatively approved Thursday, and scheduled for a final vote Friday morning, a pace rarely seen in the early weeks of the 90-day session. As a resolution, it does not need the governor's signature.
        "Democratic Sens. Jim Brochin, Cheryl Kagan, Katherine Klausmeier and Jim Mathias voted with 14 Republicans to delay the vote.
        "'We could put this off a month and it's not going to change one vote here on this floor,' said Senate President Mike Miller 'I would like to get this issue behind us as quickly as we possibly can.'"
VVCl Clean Energy ?
Story of the Veto Override:  Part I
Myth # 1:  Maryland has DIRTY AIR
         Have you ever noticed that the government loves to talk about problems and pass bills to fix them . . . but it seldom tells you when they're fixed!  Or even if any progress has been made.  
         We have been passing laws to clean up the ozone layer for years and years.  From lead-free gas to catalytic converters to bicycle lanes, we've adapted because we all want to breath clean air.  
        But had you listened to the words of the legislative majority when it passed the "Clean Energy" bill, we are all about to die . . . well, okay, I exaggerate. But they made us think that the air quality in Maryland is as bad as it was 20 years ago.  
        Not so.  Things have improved.  The measures we've taken are working, and our air has gotten better.  In  fact , I was amazed at how far we've come. . .

          "For the first time in 30 years, Maryland is very close to meeting all federal air quality standards. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the Baltimore area is meeting the health based federal standard for ground level ozone air pollution that was the focus of current State plans to clean the air in the 2015 to 2018 time frame. 
          "The Washington, D.C. and the Philadelphia nonattainment areas, which include portions of Maryland, also have clean monitoring data. The EPA is expected to make the formal "Clean Data Determination" in 2016. Maryland came into statewide attainment for fine particle pollution in 2012 and fine particle levels continue to drop. EPA finalized a new ozone standard that begins a new planning process in 2017 with area designations. This more stringent ozone standard will present challenges for Maryland, but the Department has a plan to address these challenges."
Deep purple to red:  Unhealty ozone air quality
Orange to yellow: Improving air quality
Green: Good, healthy air
                                                                      Maryland 2016 Clean Air Progress Report, p. 4
Read Part II of the Veto Override Story next week:
Myth #2: The bill will create jobs and clean air for Marylanders

Hearing on the "ATTICUS ACT"
this Tuesday, February 14th
HB 458 Hearing Date
Tuesday, February 14th - 1 pm
Ways & Means Committee Room
Lowe House office Bldg

       Our bill to provide expanded vision screening for Maryland school children has been set for a hearing this upcoming week
        Anyone is welcome to come and testify, or just to come and observe and show your support.  

Things You Should Know .  
  • If you have an interest in testifying, you must sign up by 9:30 am on Tuesday.  You can call our office to get on the list.
  • Testimony is limited to 2 or 3 minutes (time is determined daily).
  • The Committee likes to have copies (35) of your testimony in advance.  If you send it to our office by 8:30 am Tuesday morning, we will make the copies and turn it in.
  • Although the Committee hearing starts at 1 pm, there is no way of knowing when our bill will be heard.  That can make for a long wait.
  • Each committee room is large and has audience seating of approximately 75, it is not uncommon for every seat to be taken by 1 pm.  You can come earlier; the room os open and available quite early.
We have three panels of four people each scheduled to testify.  Among those testifying are the bill's champion, Catherine Carter, her son, for whom the bill is named, Atticus Carter, several parents, vision therapy experts, and a representative from Right Eye, a Maryland company that offers a computerized screening test.  It should be a great day.

Women's Self-Defense Rights bill 
Hearing to be held Tuesday, March 14th
My bill, HB 827, waives requirement for 16-hour of training for domestic violence victims to obtain handgun carry permit.

          Victims of domestic violence who have otained a Protective Order or a Peace Order are deemed by the Maryland police to have a "good and substantial reason" get a firearm wear and carry permit, should they apply for one.
     Prior to the 2012 Gun Bill, the police were able to temporarily waive the training requirement and issue the permit immediately.  
        After the passage of the Gun Bill in 2013, applicants are now required to complete the 160hour training course before they can obtain the permit.  When someone is in such danger that a court grants a Protective Order, the applicant may not  have  16 hours of safety.
        My bill will reinstate the ability of the police to waive the training requirement temporarily in situations where it is clear the victim of domestic abuse is in immediate danger.  The applicant must complete the training within 60 days of obtaining the permit.
        It's about time women stopped seeing ourselves solely as "victims," and started taking some responsibility for our own protection.  It need not be by carrying a handgun -- but that ought to be a reasonable option for women.  
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District 9 Open House:  NEXT MONDAY
all are welcome!
.]DMG
Goings on in Annapolis
Welcoming Students from HCC
       Five students from Howard Community College visited me this past week.  They told me how HCC had helped them and why they are so supportive of the school.  Students from Carroll Community College visited over in the Senate.    Thanks, guys! 
Physical Therapy Students Visit
        Another great group of students also visited me this past week.  I really enjoy these visits because of the super people i meet, but also because I learn so much.      
        Understanding what matters to students studying to become physical therapists make me a better legislature, helping me make better decisions when bills relevant to their lives arise in the House.   Thanks, guys!
OOPS!
        Now you know!  It's not all work, work, work.  On Wednesday evenings, at 9:30 pm, we have a standing date with the bowling lanes in Annapolis.
        Legislators, plus staff, interns, and lobbyists (who do NOT treat us!) are welcomed.  Everyone feels very comfortable . . . because they routinely beat the legislators!

DISTRICT NEWS

Howard County Executive Vetos  "Sanctuary" bill 

          Howard County Executive, Allan Kittleman, vetoed the Sanctuary bill on Thursday, February 9, following through on his promise to do so.  The county executive calls the bill unnecessary, saying no one has complained about being treated unfairly because of immigration status.

"Instead, Council Members Ball and Terrasa filed this legislation without consulting and without notice to key stakeholders," Kittleman said at a Tuesday press conference. "They filed legislation that unfairly and inaccurately created the perception that there is a problem in Howard County with the way our police department and county employees interact with our foreign-born population."
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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