News from Annapolis
2018 Session:  Week   10           Delegate Trent K ittleman - District 9A
Delegate Trent Kittleman
  • Just 3 weeks left 
  • Paid Parental Leave . . .
  • Watch Sanctuary State Hearings
  • Appreciating my constituents
  • Did you know?
  • Scholarship Information: Deadline to submit an application is April 9 
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Just 3 Weeks Left
          The second and third weeks of March are the busiest of the Session because of  "cross-over."  
          For any bill to have a chance of becoming law, it must be sent to the other chamber "by cross-over."  That means that all bills originating in the House must be heard in Committee, passed out of committee, heard on the floor of the House, passed by the House and sent to the Senate -- the same process applies to bills originating in the Senate.
          The huge number of bills introduced this year have taken a toll on legislators and particularly on the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) which must draft all the bills and all of the amendments requested.  During this period of time, amendments are in serious demand and are needed within a day, if not within hours.
          In order to give every bill a fair hearing, we worked all day Saturday and will be working all day Monday.  Therefore . . .
          My Newsletter may be a bit shorter than usual.        
  Paid Parental Leave -- 
for State Employees
"The bill does not specify an accrual rate for parental leave or otherwise limit how often it may be taken, so DLS assumes all Executive or Legislative Branch employees are entitled to take 60 days of parental leave for any birth or adoption."
 HB 775 passed the House this week, providing for 60 days of paid parental leave to an employee in the Legislative or Executive branches of State government.   This leave is available to a qualified employee who "is responsible  for the care and nurturing of a child" within "one year following the child's birth or adoption."
          While parental leave is a very nice idea, I'm not sure it's fair  considering the cumulative benefits state employees have vis a vis employees working for private employers.   It's YOUR tax money we (the State Legislature) are taking to provide benefits few in the private sector have.  Currently, State employees have the following leave benefits:
  •  the right to use up to 30 days of accrued sick or disability leave, without certification of illness, to care for the child immediately following birth or adoption
  • 15 days of earned sick leave annually (with broad range of needs to use it)
  • 6 personal leave days annually
  • From 2 weeks to 5 weeks of annual leave based on years of service.
  • FMLA right to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave for a broad range of family needs

In addition, state employees get a state pension which vests after five years.       

What will It cost?
          . . . somewhere between $4.8 million or $14.3 million annually.

How did DLS calculate that?  
1.       The average salary of a State employee in FY 2017 was $55,180.
          Approximately 1,500 newborns are added to State employees' health plans each year.
Thus providing 60 days of paid parental leave could increase State expenditures by approximately $12,700 per leave-taking employee.  That totals $14.3 million in FY 2019 and $19.1 million on an annualized basis.  
          2.   DLS then noted that not all departments would temporarily replace the person on leave.  Some departments could absorb the additiona work.  Some departments would suffer some degree of lost productivity.  Other agencies might use overtime to replace the lost workers.
          But agencies that operate 24/7 would have to replace the hours.  Twenty-five percent of State employees work in agencies that require 24/7 operations, so DLS took 25% of the maximum cost, arriving at an estimate of $3.6 million in FY 2019 and $4.8 million annually thereafter.
          Either way, that's a lot of taxpayer money.
Watch Sanctuary State Bill Hearings --  Explosive!
           This year, there were three bills introduced relating to Maryland's becoming a "sanctuary" state.  Two of them would have specifically prohibited Maryland from becoming a sanctuary state; one of them supported the idea.  All three were heard on Tuesday of this past week.
          HB 1549 was introduced by 9A Delegate Warren Miller.  It's title was: " Sanctuary Laws" for Illegal Aliens - Prohibition."
          HB 1308 was introduced by Minority Whip, Kathy Szeliga.  It was titled:  Undocumented Immigrants - Transfer to United States Department of Homeland Security, and called the " Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2018."
Understanding the Hearings
          HB 1549 was heard first, early in the hearing.  It was an interesting precursor to the upcoming drama later on.        

Pro-Sanctuary Bill
          At 4:30 pm, the Chairman called for both HB 1461.  He asked that anyone testifying in favor o f HB 1461 to testify not just in favor of that bill, but also, if they had any opposing testimony regarding HB 1308, to give it at the same time.  
Anti-Sanctuary Bill
          Around 5:30 pm, the Chairman called 
HB 1308 ,
 again advising the witnesses to give all of their testimony --  both in favor of HB 1308 and in opposition to HB 1461 -- when they testify.
Appreciating my Constituents 
Howard County Artists
         Each Session we take one day to celebrate the artists in our State.
         I was so glad to have the opportunity to meet and pose for a photo with the many, many talented artists from Howard County
Vision Bill Passes House
        These two lovely young ladies testified before the Ways and Means Committee in favor of the Vision bill that Senator Bates and I have championed for the last two years.
          It must have been their testimony that changed the Committee's mind and led to them passing my bill to the floor where it got unanimous approval.
The Arc of Howard County
          The Arc of Howard County is one of my favorite organizations, along with the Arc of Carroll County.
          I look forward to visiting with Cindy Parr, Executive Director, and everyone else from the Arc.
Did you know?
from TIME Magazine:
The women who won elections before suffrage
          It's been almost a century since the 19th Amendment guaranteed American women the right to vote, an occasion now marked by Women's Equality Day on Aug. 26.
          But long before suffrage was extended in the Constitution women were running for office -- and winning.In fact, at least 3,586 women campaigned for elected positions in the half-century before 1920.      
          Those efforts were possible because state and federal qualifications for voting and holding office differed.  
          Among those who won were Marietta Patrick and Lydia Hall who in 1855 were elected to the Ashfield, MA school board, and Susanna Salter, who became mayor of Argonia, KS in 1887.
How to apply for a Trent Kittleman Legislative Scholarship 
          District 9A residents attending a college, university, trade school or equivalent in the State of Maryland are eligible for the Delegate Scholarship.
          Current high school seniors and full-time (12+ credits per semester) or part-time (6-11 credits per semester), degree-seeking under-graduate students, graduate students, and students attending a private career school may apply. 
            Click here for the application.  For questions regarding the application process, please call my Annapolis office and ask to speak with Chelsea Leigh Murphy at 410-841-3556.  

DEADLINE:   Please be sure to have your completed application  postmarked by  April 9, 2018.
Delegate Trent Kittleman
District 9A, Western Howard County and Southern Carroll County (Sykesville)
Room 202, Lowe House Office Building
6 Bladen Street,   Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3556  *   Trent.Kittleman@House.State.MD.US
Interim Office
3000 Kittleman Lane,  West Friendship, MD 21794
301-661-3344  *
Administrative AideChelsea Leigh Murphy