December 14, 2018
Legislation and Upcoming Events

Happy holidays!

2019 is right around the corner and I have been busy preparing my action plan for the Maryland General Assembly's legislative session that begins on January 9th.

I wanted to update you on legislative news and upcoming events that may be of interest. Let me know if I've missed anything and please keep in touch.

Legislation to Watch in 2018
Here are just some of the bills I plan to champion in the upcoming legislative session:

Empowering Workers
  • 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
New laws in Maryland
Did you know that the Maryland General Assembly considered over 3,000 bills and passed hundreds into law during the 2018 legislative session that ended last April? Many of them took effect this past October.

Upcoming Hearings and Events - Your Input Wanted
  • Montgomery County Delegation, public hearing #2 for local bills - Monday, December 17, 7:00pm, 3rd floor hearing room at Montgomery County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave, Rockville. Topics include toll road consent, golf course tax breaks, voting rights/election law, pedestrian safety and inspector general oversight of local agencies. Click here for more info and to see the full list of 2019 local bills

  • District 18 Town Hall/Listening Session and Holiday Toy Drive with Waldstreicher, Carr, Shetty and Solomon - Wednesday, December 18, 2018. 7:00pm, 3710 Mitchell St, Kensington, MD. facebook event, RSVP here

Final County Executive Marc Elrich Listening Sessions
  • Saturday, December 15, 3:00pm - 4:30pm at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School
  • Thursday, December 20, 7:00pm - 8:30pm, Albert Einstein High School, Kensington
How to reach my Annapolis Office for Constituent Service
I'll keep you updated with email newsletters like this one, and on Facebook and Twitter. You can always contact my Annapolis office if you need assistance with a state agency, want information about legislative scholarships, or would like to share your concerns about current issues. I am also happy to meet with you or your group locally. John Meyers runs my Annapolis office.

Contact me any time at:

(301) 858-3638 - office phone
P.S. Please join us for my annual post-holiday, pre-session breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, January 5 at Los Chorros in Wheaton . Dress is casual. Bring your appetite and your ideas for how we can make progress in Annapolis in 2019.
Note: No campaign donations may be accepted during the 90-day legislative session that begins at noon on January 9, 2019. Thank you for your support!