News from Annapolis
2017 Session:  Week 11                      Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
  • Last six days of Session
  • Legislature's "Anti-Trump" legislation 
  • Update: "Protect our Schools" bill
  • Update: Paid Sick Leave bill
  • Update: Sanctuary State bill
  • Survey Results from Last Week
  • Goings on in Annapolis 

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Women Members of the Maryland House of Delegates together for MARYLAND DAY
The Last Six Days of Session!
What will the Governor veto? 
          This has been a more turbulent Session than either of the last two years. That is because in November 2016, an election brought a Republican into the White House, with ideas and programs foreign to the majority party in Maryland.
         This edition of the News from Annapolis will take a look at some of the "fallout legislation," as well as update you on several of the major "Bad Bills." 
          A number of bills that passed both houses have been sent to the Governor this week.  He has six days in which to veto any of those bills.  Look for that story next week! 
Legislature's 'Anti-Trump' Legislation
1. The Attorney General Power-Grab
        In Maryland, the power of the Attorney General to initiate lawsuits was dependent upon approval by either the legislature or the Governor.  The far left wing of the majority party was apparently not satisfied that, even the legislature would agree to certain lawsuits - lawsuits they felt the very liberal Attorney General would be likely to file.
         Consequently, they passed a bill authorizing the Attorney General to initiate any lawsuit he so chooses against the federal government, without the need for approval by either the Governor or the Legislature - and gave him an extra $1 million to hire five more attorneys to accomplish this effort! 
          The A.G.'s first action was to join the lawsuit in Maryland to enjoin the federal government from carrying out President Trump's Executive Order putting a temporary hold on immigration from certain countries.  ( "AG Frosh Announces Md. Will Join Lawsuit Opposing New Immigration Ban" WJZ-TV, March 10, 2017 )
2. Public Broadcasting System Super-Funding Bill
          Anticipating the proposed federal de-funding of PBS, the legislature is in the process of passing SB 1034.  This bill mandates that if the "anticipated federal funds" for PBS are reduced or eliminated in any given year, the Governor must include the eliminated amount in Maryland's budget.
          While a lot of people like and watch PBS, the legislature should allow for a hearing and discussion as to whether the taxpayers of Maryland want to absorb a spending mandated of $2 million this year, growing to over $4 million in 2022.  
3. the "Don't-Repeal or Weaken-Obama-Care"  bills

            Terrified at the thought of having Obamacare revised, the Legislature passed what could have been a good bill.   SB 571 establishes the "Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission."  It's purposes are to :
  1. Monitor potential and actual federal changes to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Medicaid, the Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP), and Medicare;
  2. Assess the impact of such changes; and 
  3. Provide recommendations for State and local action to protect access to affordable health coverage.
Unfortunately, the majority insisted on adding a list of "WHEREAS" clauses that espouse a political viewpoint about Obamacare.  WHEREAS clauses are totally unnecessary in a piece of legislation, and can be, as in this case, quite counterproductive.   After cataloging a list of "this could happens!" the final WHEREAS clause urges the federal government to leave Obamacare alone:

WHEREAS, The United States Congress should not diminish any of the benefits of the ACA, Medicaid, or Medicare; now, therefore,"
"Protect our Schools":  UPDATE
Sun Editorial Supports Hogan VETO:  

"Protect our schools . . . from what?
"Democrats in the  General Assembly  moved this week to send Gov.  Larry Hogan  a bill he has vowed to veto that would restrict the state Board of Education's authority to craft a school accountability plan under the federal government's Every Student Succeeds Act. 
          "The [Democrats] call it a necessary measure to prevent the Donald Trump/Betsy DeVos privatization agenda from taking hold in Maryland
          "Governor Hogan calls it a massive over-reach by the legislature that could jeopardize hundreds of millions of dollars in federal education funding while leaving thousands of kids in failing schools." (bold and italics added)   READ MORE
The Baltimore Sun, "Protect our schools...from what?" Editorial, March 24, 2017
"Sick & Safe Leave" bill: UPDATE
         This past Wednesday, t he Senate Finance Committee voted 7 - 4 in favor  to pass all of the amendments that made the House and Senate bills identical.  All four Republicans voted against the bill.  The provisions of the amended bill are as follows.  
          For businesses with 15 or more employees:
  • mandatory paid "sick and safe" leave to employees 18 and older who regularly work at least 12 hours a week
  • up to five days of paid "sick and safe" leave accumulated per year (one hour for every 30 worked)
  • paid leave at no less than minimum wage, or allowance of an equivalent shift for the same number of hours, for tipped employees
          For businesses with fewer than 15 employees:
  • up to five days of "sick and safe" leave accumulated per year (one hour for every 30 worked), without pay
          All employers are required to do  extensive record-keeping and employee notification, subject to review, investigation and potential penalties upon allegation of violation.

          The Howard County Chamber of Commerce March 30 "Legislative Update" reports:  "We have every reason to believe that the Maryland legislature will send mandatory paid leave legislation to Gov. Larry Hogan's desk in the coming days, and that lawmakers will override a promised veto."

          In addition to the Howard County and Maryland Chambers of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses ("NFIB") has worked tirelessly to try and education legislators on the effect of this bill on small businesses.
Mandated Paid Sick Leave: sounds good--does harm 
           Mandatory paid leave legislation is hardly the innocuous proposal that many are claiming. The problem is that proponents of the concept are failing to consider the long-term consequences of their feel-good legislation.
           L awmakers are refusing to pause for a moment to understand the costs of implementing what could ultimately become one of the strictest paid leave laws in the Nation. 
          The burden of complying with the mandate will fall dispropor-tionately on small businesses who most likely do not have a human resources department to aid them in properly tracking compliance with the new regulation. 
      What supporters fail to explain to the public is that a worker taking time off from a small business leaves a gap that must be filled.  Whether they use overtime or have to hire temporary employees, there is a direct fiscal impact to businesses, especially small ones. 
      Mandating that employers provide paid time off will directly impact their ability to maintain their current staffing, much less hire new people. 
State Sanctuary Bill:  UPDATE
          Senate President Mike Miller called the Sanctuary State Bill - which shields felons from deportation - "Reasonable," in the Baltimore Sun on March 22.
Now, after pressure from his constituents and so many others, Senate President Miller has changed his mind.
      "[Senate President, Mike] Miller said today. 'The bill as it passed the House is not going to pass the Senate.'" March 29.
          The liberal leaders in the Senate are working on passing the bill without the "really bad parts" just to be able to say that they 'passed a sanctuary bill.' I'm not sure that's possible, but we'll keep you up to date on this most important issue.  
          One of the efforts that has been successfully fighting this legislation is a petition sponsored by Minority Whip, Kathy Szeliga.  The goal is  to get to 10,000 signatures to defeat this bill and we are almost there.
          It's not too late:  Click here to sign the petition!
Survey Results
Again, I want to thank everyone who responded to last week's 2-question survey.  I'm glad to know that my votes reflect the views of my constituents, and I learn even more from your comments.  
QUESTION #1.  Overwhelming "NO" to Sanctuary State Bill
QUESTION #2. Interesting responses to "Home Act" bill, but a clear majority would vote "NO."
Goings on in Annapolis
Howard County Delegation bids farewell to Ted King

          Ted King, a lawyer with the Department of Legislative Services, was assigned to work with the Howard County delegation for the past several years.  He has been instrumental in helping us craft local bills for Howard county.  This month, he announced his retirement and this past week, Ted was honored on the floor of the House.
University of Maryland Collegiate Farm Bureau Members Visit Annapolis
          I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to talk with Howard County students from UM's Collegiate Farm Bureau this past week.  It was also a special privilege to chat with former House of Delegates candidate, Ed Priola, who arranged the visit. 
Women's Caucus
Election of Officers
       I am honored to announce that I have been elected First Vice-President of the House of Delegates Women's Caucus.  This means that, if I am re-elected, I will become President of the Caucus in 2020.  
          The Maryland Legislature's Women's Caucus is the oldest such caucus in the United States.  This year, there are 60 members of the Caucus, 13 of whom are Republicans.  While it is sometimes difficult, our 13 Republican members work hard to see that the caucus remains non-partisan, and the Democratic majority has been accepting of that effort.  Together, we champion bills that are particularly important to women -- bills that address domestic abuse, human trafficking, and other violence against women issues, most of which come through my committee.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve.
*** 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  *
Administrative AideChelsea Leigh Murphy