February 12, 2018
A Busy Start to the Legislative Session
Dear Friend,

The Maryland General Assembly's 2018 legislative session began on January 10th. Since then, I have been busy every day responding to constituent inquiries, preparing legislation, voting on bills and testifying in committee.

I hope you find the updates below helpful. Let me know if there is something you would like me to cover in future newsletters. I would love to hear your thoughts on the policy issues before me.

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EARLY SESSION ACTION: Sick Leave Veto Overridden, Bill on Parental Rights of Rapists passed & more

  • Both chambers passed the bill allowing victims to petition to revoke the parental rights of rapists (HB1/SB2) and the Governor has promised to sign it on Tuesday, Feb 13.

  • The Maryland Senate and the House Environmental Matters Committee passed a bill for Maryland to join a group of states in upholding the spirit of the Paris Climate Accord (HB3/SB138)
Maryland General Assembly Responds to the new Federal Tax Law
The new federal tax law made many changes for 2018 including:
  • elimination of many deductible expenses and increasing the standard deduction
  • limits the deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000
  • expansion of the use of 529 college savings plans for K-12 private schools
  • reduced deductibility for mortgage interest

Because Maryland is a relatively high cost/high income state, we are affected more than most states by these changes. If we take no action, the Federal Tax Law will function as a $1.2B state tax increase.

Here is what the Democratic majority in the Maryland House and Senate are working on in response:
  • A bill to save Marylanders money by preserving state exemptions (HB365/SB184)
  • Creation of a charitable public education fund to work around the new $10,000 limit on deductibility of state and local taxes (HB1643)
  • Decoupling Maryland's estate tax from the federal estate tax (HB308/SB646)
  • A bill reaffirming the exclusive use of 529 college savings plans for higher education (HB644)
Firearms Safety
I am proud to support a number of bills that will improve firearm safety in Maryland:

  • House Bill 888, would strengthen Maryland's landmark firearm safety law by banning bump stocks and similar devices
  • Legislation designed to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers (HB1646/SB1046)
  • A bill transferring responsibility for appeals of state police handgun permit denials from political appointees to administrative law judges (SB741/HB819)
Moms Demand Activists in Annapolis
My Action Plan
Here's the status of some of the bills I'm personally championing this legislative session:

Protecting Voting Rights and Open Government
  • The Potomac Compact for Fair Representation to end Gerrymandering in Maryland and Virginia (HB477, hearing scheduled for 2/26)
  • A bill to list candidates on the ballot in random order instead of in alphabetical order (HB63, heard on 1/25 and awaiting committee action)
  • Legislation to expose hidden money received or spent by candidates in the weeks before an election (HB260, heard on 1/30 and awaiting committee action)
  • A bill to require online public disclosure of spending by our municipal water and sewer utility, WSSC (PG/MC 111-18/HB417) passed by the Montgomery County Delegation on 1/19; awaiting action by the Prince George's County Delegation)

Supporting Homeowners
  • The Homeowners Tax Credit helps homeowners with household incomes of less than $60,000 by giving them a break on their property tax bills. My HB20, HB38, and HB50 provide options to help this program keep up with inflation and were heard on 1/30. They await committee action.
  • A bill giving condominium communities greater financial stability by relaxing the percentage of owners required to revise condo declarations (HB179, heard on 2/6 and awaiting subcommittee action)

Helping Small Businesses Compete
  • A bill to reduce the burdens of paperwork and fees endured by Maryland's "bricks and mortar" retailers by reforming the Traders License system (HB459, heard on 2/6 and awaiting committee action)
  • Updating state alcohol laws to give businesses in Kensington more flexibility (MC 12-18/HB145, passed by the Montgomery Delegation and awaiting a standing committee hearing on 2/19)

Making State Transportation Agencies More Consumer Friendly
  • Legislation removing the incentive for MDTA to maximize revenue from punitive late fee revenue from ICC tolls (HB69, heard on 2/6 and awaiting committee action)
  • A bill giving vehicle owners a choice of whether to renew their registration for one, two, or three years (HB73, heard on 1/25 and awaiting committee action)

Improving Healthcare Coverage
  • Mandating coverage of treatments for Lymphedema (HB847)
  • Establishing a commission to improve awareness and treatment for PANDAS/PANS, a condition that affects children (HB839)

Del. Carr presents House Bill 459 to help Maryland's %22Bricks and Mortar%22 retail businesses
Other Hot Bills I am following
  • PROTECTING MARYLAND'S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM AGAINST FEDERAL ASSAULTS - Preserves insurance coverage by responding to Congress' repeal of Affordable Care Act individual mandate (HB1167/SB1011)

  • FIGHT FOR FIFTEEN - raising Maryland's minimum wage over time to $15 (HB664/SB543)

  • ANTI-POACHING AGREEMENT FOR SPORTS STADIUMS - House Bill 229 signs Maryland onto an agreement with Washington DC and Virginia to not subsidize a new pro football stadium - sign the petition

  • FUNDING FOR METRO - House Bill 372 carves out $150M from the transportation trust fund to create a dedicated funding stream for Metro contingent on DC & Virginia following suit

  • PROTECTING TREES - A bill strengthening the Forest Conservation Act (HB766)

  • CANNABIS LEGALIZATION - An amendment to Maryland's constitution allowing voters to decide on legalization of recreational marijuana (HB1264)

  • PUBLIC FINANCING OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS - House Bill 174 expands Maryland's existing public financing system beyond county council races to include other local elected positions such as board of education, state's attorney, sheriff, etc.

  • CLEAN ENERGY - increasing the percentage of renewable sources used to generate electricity (SB732/HB1453 = 50% by 2035, HB878 = 100% by 2050)

  • NET NEUTRALITY AND INTERNET PRIVACY - reversing the FCC's decisions at the state level (HB1655, HB1654)

  • REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS - Joining a coalition of states that will address climate change by incentivize the reduction of carbon emissions through a carbon tax (HB939)

  • AMAZON HQ2 COMING TO KENSINGTON? - Montgomery County made the cut of cities vying for Amazon's second headquarters. The White Flint Mall property (did you know it has a Kensington zip code?) on Rockville Pike is one potential site. Maryland's incentive package includes a bill that provides significant tax breaks (HB989/SB877). The Maryland Department of Transportation has also promised to sweeten the pot with a significant investment in transportation infrastructure (specifics of which have not been shared with legislators).

  • CLOSING OUR $300 BILLION EDUCATION FUNDING GAP - A bill will soon be introduced guaranteeing that revenue from Maryland's casinos will go to eduction as originally promised.
Re-Election Endorsements so far
So far, I am proud to have received the following endorsements for my 2018 re-election campaign:
Organizations endorsing Al Carr for re-election
Democratic Primary Election: Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Early Voting: Thursday, June 14, 2018 through Thursday, June 21, 2018

The most convenient locations for early voting are:
  • Jane Lawton Community Recreation Center at 4301 Willow Ave in Chevy Chase
  • Saint Catherine Laboure on Veirs Mill Rd at Claridge Rd in Wheaton (Claridge Building)
  • Civic Center in Downtown Silver Spring
Contact me
My Annapolis office staff and I are available if you need assistance with a state agency, are interested in testifying on a bill, want information about Legislative Scholarships, would like to share your concerns about current issues, etc.

6 Bladen Street #222
Annapolis, MD 21401
(301) 858-3638

2018 Staff Directory:
Legislative Aide - Michael Ibironke
Session Secretary - John Meyers
Session Intern - Cameron McCray
CLICK HERE to request a free Carr yard sign or to volunteer to stuff envelopes or canvas with our team
Note: No campaign donations may be accepted during the 90-day legislative session that began on January 10, 2018 and ends on April 10, 2018. Thank you for your support!