Dear Friends,

I appreciate that so many of you shared your thoughts and concerns with me throughout this unprecedented session. Though I have missed the in-person connections, I was grateful to stay in touch with so many of you through phone calls and over Zoom, Town Halls, and our monthly virtual Shelly@theDeli. My staff and I have responded to more than 3,000 constituent inquiries this session and when constituents have had problems with state agencies, needed help with vaccines, or resources for support, we have worked tirelessly to resolve them. Every day, I feel privileged to be a strong voice for the 11th District.

From Day 1, we knew the 2021 legislative session was going to be historic. We needed to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing economic fall-out, as well as respond to longstanding disparities in health outcomes, employment, education, and opportunity that have become even more apparent over the past year.

It was also essential to (finally) reimagine policing and to restore trust, transparency, and accountability between law enforcement officers and the communities they protect. Meeting this moment meant not only passing historic and comprehensive police reform, but being thoughtful about it so that public safety is made stronger. As a member of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, I worked with my colleagues to ensure that the balance between accountability and community safety will be strengthened.

I am very proud of what the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) achieved in our 90-day legislative session. We provided immediate financial support to our most vulnerable residents, improved Maryland’s vaccine rollout, passed a generational police reform package, provided funding to reverse COVID-19 learning loss, and passed a budget that will create good jobs and get Marylanders back to work.

I hope you’ll agree that we had quite a busy, albeit non-traditional session! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this report or if my staff or I can help you with anything. 

Sincerely,
Shelly's Signature
In this issue:
  • Legislative Updates
  • D11 Town Hall
  • Scholarship Deadline
During the 90 days of the legislative session:
  • 2,771 bills were introduced (1,183 Senate & 1,588 House)
  • 820 bills passed (393 Senate & 427 House)

Click here for a summary of some of the highlights. Want to find out about a particular bill you were following? Click here or contact our office.
Generational Reforms to Policing in Maryland

Reforming policing to restore trust, transparency, and accountability was one of our biggest challenges of the session. After overriding the vetoes of three of the five bills in the final days of Session, all five bills in the package will become law:

●Increase body worn cameras, establish a use of force policy, and provide mental health supports for officers SB71
●Create transparency in the disciplinary process and curtail no knock warrants SB178
●Demilitarize the police and independently investigate police-involved deaths SB600
●Ensure local control of the Baltimore City Police Department SB786
●Repeal and replace the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights and create a Law Enforcement Scholarship Program HB670
Operating Budget
Balanced Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 that Invests in Maryland Values: Our most recent revenue and budget projections are more optimistic than we could have expected, though financial impacts have been disparately felt. Ultimately, the MGA passed a $52.4 billion budget that invests heavily in Maryland values, including:

  • $572M to expand testing, contact tracing, and vaccinations
  • $13.5B in Medicaid funding to provide health care coverage to 1.5 million residents
  • $1.6B to ensure solvency of the Transportation and Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds
  • $600M to reopen schools safely, including $80 million for HVAC and ventilation improvements
  • $371.5M for Maryland's community colleges, representing a 9% increase over FY21
  • $85M for local parks and playgrounds throughout the State
  • $300 million to go towards broadband expansion to help close the digital divide
  • $100 million will go to counties for workforce development
  • $151 million for tutoring and summer support to reduce learning loss
  • $46 million to extend food security for families in need
  • $100 million for hazard & response pay for essential public employees
  • $2.1B in cash reserves, including $1.4B in the Rainy Day Fund and $696M in the General Fund that erases projected budget shortfalls in FY23 and FY24
 
Capital Budget
 
The capital budget is a good job creation tool, creating and maintaining thousands of direct and indirect jobs, and leveraging millions of local and private funds. Capital funding is also used for the construction, planning, renovation and building of state facilities, such as hospitals, schools, higher education institutions, and parks.
 
District 11 Capital Projects

The Pikesville Armory - $1,000,000 - funding for the Pikesville Armory Foundation, Inc. will be used for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the Pikesville Armory. This important project is envisioned as a public/private partnership for the creation of an arts, recreation, history and community gathering neighborhood anchor.
 
JEWELS Community Therapy Clinic - $50,000 - JEWELS will construct an inclusive playground that will offer children with cognitive and physical disabilities a safe and appropriate recreational space. The playground will be open to the public on weekends and after school hours during the week.
 
Torah Institute - $250,000 – a learning center, multi-purpose room and indoor play gym will be made available to organizations/schools when school is not in session. This occupational therapy center will enable children who need services to receive them promptly at an early age (4-5) from independent therapists.
Shelly’s Successful Legislative Initiatives

15 bills passed both chambers or were incorporated into other packages or budgets.
For a description of each bill and links to more information, click here.
Register for the Town Hall
Join the D11 team by registering here. A link will be sent to participate in the town hall live or to watch via You Tube. Can't make it? No worries- simply fill out the form with your questions and indicate you can't make it- we'll do our best to respond to your inquiry and send you the recording of the event.
Scholarship Deadline!

Each year, Delegates and Senators in the Maryland General Assembly award thousands of Maryland students millions of dollars in financial aid to attend a Maryland institution of higher education. Please note that Senatorial Scholarships are awarded for 4 years and are automatically renewed each year. Upon graduation, students may re-apply for graduate studies. You must be a resident of District 11 to receive a scholarship.

Applications for my scholarship are due on or before April 16, 2021.
Questions? Contact Janet at: jeckman@senate.state.md.us
Contact Card- Final