September 1, 2023
It’s hard to believe that schools across the State are welcoming students back into classrooms. This summer has flown by with an incredible opportunity to enjoy the best that Baltimore has to offer since the 2023 Legislative Session concluded in April, while connecting with neighbors and community organizations. The State’s operating budget, which went into effect on July 1, includes record-level funding for our public schools as the Blueprint’s implementation continues. The $8.7 billion provided to support our 24 local school systems will continue helping students and teachers rebound from the effects of the pandemic.

Investments in education from recent sessions are already paying dividends according to the most recent Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) released last week. Students throughout the State saw drastic increases in English language arts scores as 23 of 24 jurisdictions saw higher pass rates than before the pandemic. At the same time, the results highlight the urgency of providing targeted interventions and tutoring in math, where scores have increased, but continue to lag. Moreover, we have a responsibility to narrow the achievement gaps that have persisted for generations and the Blueprint was passed to address. 

The improvements in last year’s MCAP scores demonstrates the efficacy of the Maryland General Assembly’s strategy to get our kids back on track through additional resources provided for bridging the digital divide and retaining high-quality teachers. There’s still work to be done, which is exactly why sustainable Blueprint funding is so important so every Maryland student can maximize their potential.
Maryland Corps Application Portal Launched
I recently joined State leaders to celebrate the graduating class of the 2023 Chesapeake Conservation Corps and welcome the new class of 2024 to the reconstituted Chesapeake Climate and Conservation Corps. The Maryland General Assembly provided critical funding in the Climate Solutions Now Act to expand the Corps because, while the right goals are essential, achieving them is the real work. I am thrilled that we have so many Marylanders who have answered the call to serve. 

It was also an excellent opportunity to remind Marylanders that the Department of Service and Civic Innovation’s application portal for Maryland Corps’ service year opportunities is now open for applicants. This has been a moment in the making since I first introduced legislation to create a Maryland Corps program in 2016. I encourage anyone interested in making a meaningful impact to explore the possibilities and consider applying to SERVE Maryland here.
Camden Yards Lease Negotiations
For many of us, an Orioles game on a hot summer night is a rite of passage and a treasured memory that we share with our children and grandchildren. The O's have been an exciting and beloved part of Baltimore for almost 70 years, inextricably woven into the fabric of our City and State. 

The Orioles’ lease at Camden Yards expires in a few short months. The State has committed significant resources to upgrade and sustain Camden Yards and to ensure that it remains a jewel of the Inner Harbor. As excitement builds over our first-place status in the American League East, it’s time we finalize long-term lease negotiations so Marylanders can be confident the Orioles will remain in Baltimore for years to come.
QuickLink 40 Aims to Improve East-West Transit
A new QuickLink 40 bus line will expand travel options for riders in Baltimore who travel through the City’s East-West Corridor. The new route is part of a proposal to resurrect the Red Line transit project canceled by Governor Hogan after significant planning was underway. 

The new route includes stops at Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Lexington Market, and the West Baltimore MARC Station and Transit Hub with connections to the Metro Subway at Charles Center and Light Rail at Baltimore Arena. QuickLink 40 is expected to eliminate almost 25 minutes of travel time for riders who currently use the CityLink Blue and CityLink Orange lines. The line will provide service between 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. on weekdays beginning August 28.
Celebrating ADT's 150th Anniversary
I was thrilled to help ADT kick off their momentous 150th anniversary celebration right here in the Fightin’ 46th District. ADT launched its storied company at 231 East Baltimore Street, in the heart of Baltimore City, 149 years ago. The company began as a messenger service for customers sending and receiving telegraphs.

ADT’s spirit of innovation and perseverance symbolizes our great City so well. As part of its anniversary celebration, ADT is working with ‘Fight BLight BMore” to beautify a public garden and refurbish a home in the Harlem Park area. The company also supports back-to-school events, teaches trades to students, and provides opportunities to graduates from local tech schools. Congratulations, ADT!
More News
I’m immensely disappointed by the Maryland Supreme Court’s recent ruling that State law does not provide the same protections against job discrimination to people based on their sexual orientation as it does to workers based on gender identity or sex. The ruling flies in the face of the spirit of State law, that the dignity of all Marylanders should be guarded against discrimination. The Maryland General Assembly will clarify this point in the upcoming legislative session.

Maryland Attorney General Brown has rejected a decision to allow Towson University to establish a Ph.D. program that would duplicate a nearly identical business analytics program at Morgan State University based on the procedure that was followed. A legislative workgroup, created by the General Assembly last spring, is currently convening to consider ways to revise the course approval process to honor a settlement agreement reached with HBCU advocates over program redundancies in the Maryland university system.

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender has created an online “binder” that shares resources for youth involved in the justice system in Baltimore. Navigating the Juvenile Justice System in Baltimore is a one-stop shop that offers access to comprehensive resources for children, including free eye exams and glasses, help writing a resume, and assistance with summer activities. In addition, the site provides a link for parents and guardians to receive information on childcare scholarships offered by the Maryland Department of Education’s Office of Child Care.

Maryland State officials and health insurers are discussing how to run and fund a program that aims to keep individual health insurance premiums low. The State-operated reinsurance program is a special fund through which insurers are reimbursed for a portion of the costs of patients requiring the most expensive care. It was recently reapproved by the federal government. 

Baltimore Peninsula and Volo Sports are launching a multipurpose sports venue in South Baltimore. Volo Beach, a new hub for activities including beach volleyball and pickleball, is expected to be in “full swing” by fall. In addition to beach volleyball courts, the new venue will include pickleball courts, and fields for kickball, soccer, and flag football — plus picnic tables, cornhole, and live music. The sports venue will be located near the waterfront and will also offer food and beverages.
If there is anything we can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact my office via email,, or by phone, 410-841-3600.