Here are just some of the bills I plan to champion in the upcoming legislative session:
- Non-Compete Clauses - Ban on Enforcement - Encourages economic activity by providing flexibility for entry-level workers Washington Post coverage
Giving Communities a Larger Voice in Transportation Decisions
- Beltway/270 Widening - (MC 8-19) - requires consent by Montgomery County government before new state toll roads can be constructed Maryland Matters Coverage 12/12 Kojo Show
- Oversight of Public Private Partnerships - Creates a mechanism for better oversight of transportation-related "P3" projects
Helping Small Businesses Compete
- Traders License Reform - A bill to reduce the burdens of paperwork and fees endured by Maryland's "brick and mortar" retailers
Making State Transportation Agencies Consumer Friendly
- Eliminating Unnecessary Tag Suspensions - 2 bills to prevent agencies from suspending vehicle tags for minor infractions such as missed vehicle inspections or late tolls
- Vehicle Registration Flexibility - a bill giving people renewing their vehicle tag online the choice of a one or two year term
- MDTA Transparency - requires Maryland's toll road agency to make their meetings available to the public via live streaming and archiving
Safety for Pedestrians, Bikes and Motor Vehicles
- Don't Block the Box - (MC 10-19) - improves safety by allowing enforcement of a rule requiring drivers to keep signalized intersection clear Bethesda Beat article
- Sidewalk Maintenance on State Roads - Clarifies that the Maryland State Highway Administration is responsible for the repair and maintenance of sidewalks along state roads in denser areas
Improving Sustainability and Fairness for Utilities
- Smart Meter Moratorium (MC/PG 101-19) - Requires a study and places a temporary hold on WSSC's $100M implementation of "Advanced Metering Infrastructure". At the 12/3 hearing, witnesses supported the bill and expressed concerns about the impact of smart meters on privacy, health, jobs and water rates
- WSSC Contractor Requirements (MC/PG 107-19) - Expands anti-discrimination provisions enacted in 2016
Improving Broadband Competition
- Open Access - Requires housing developments receiving government funding to allow competition among internet and TV providers
Here are some of the big statewide issues I expect that the General Assembly will take up in the session that begins on January 9, 2019:
- Redistricting - A court ruled that the 6th congressional district must be redrawn
- Education - the Kirwin Commission will soon issue its report with recommendations for school funding and education policy
- Healthcare - The General Assembly has been examining more permanent fixes to gaps in the Affordable Care Act. The high cost of prescription drug costs will continue to be a topic for discussion
- Cannabis - More and more states have begun taxing and regulating the adult use of marijuana. Will 2019 be the year for Maryland to follow in their footsteps and use the revenue to fund education or other priorities?
- Fossil Fuels - Will Maryland follow the lead of Hawaii and California and shift electricity generation toward truly renewable sources?
- Toll Roads - Maryland is poised to go cashless and implement "all-electronic-tolls". How will Maryland work with other states to protect consumers and make the toll road system work more seamlessly?
- Tenants Rights - Will anti-discrimination provisions in Montgomery County be expanded to cover the entire state? Should "Just Cause Eviction" legislation be enacted?
- $15 Minimum Wage