News from Annapolis
2017 Session:  Week 5                          Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
  • District 9 Open House -- TONIGHT 6 PM - 8 PM
  • Federal Partisanship Permeates Legislature
  • Clean Energy? Story of the Veto: Part II
  • Just for fun - Life in America 100 YEARS AGO
  • Goings on in Annapolis
  • District News: Board of Education election to change
  • Legislative Scholarship Information
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District 9 Open House: Tonight!
Federal Partisanship Permeates Legislature 
Heard from Republicans
Democrats Give AG Freedom to Sue President at will

         On a straight party-line vote, The House and Senate this past week granted Attorney General Brian Frosh a blank check to sue Washington.  In the past, various Attorneys General have been granted authority to sue the federal government on specific issues. However, this legislation goes much further than that and gives the Attorney General wide berth to sue the federal government on any policy with which he disagrees.  For example, debate focused on the promise to repeal of Obamacare and urged that if the Congress and the President pass a constitutionally sound repeal of Obamacare, the Attorney General now has the wide authority to -- and should -- use Maryland taxpayer dollars to sue the federal government to undo the repeal.

        This unprecedented move was taken because of an emotional reaction to President Trump and a Republican congress.  The move is unfortunate not only because it threatens the balance of power built into our constitution, but because it also threatens the economic well-being of Maryland, which relies heavily on federal spending in the State.  

Unconstitutional and Unneeded    Attorneys don't initiate lawsuits; attorneys file lawsuits for  clients!   The AG is elected to be the official attorney for the Governor and the Legislature.  Either one has the right to authorize the AG to file a lawsuit.  Thus the Legislature had no need to cede authority to the AG since it can authorize any lawsuit it wants filed -- or any lawsuit suggested by the AG.  Moreover, the Legislature has no right to completely relinquish a constitutionally-mandated duty.  
Heard from Democrats
Could Hurt Maryland Economically

        Maryland is extremely dependent on the federal government and we are asking for help: 
  • Howard County needed federal help for Ellicott City after the flood
  • Prince George's Co is bidding for the new FBI headquarters, 
  • We need funds for expansion of the Howard Steet tunnel for the Port, 
  • We want help with the Chesapeake Bay, 
  • We want the Maryland Cyber Center of Excellence, 
  • Federal funds are needed to help fight the heroin epidemic, 
  • Mayor Pugh has asked for help for Baltimore City, 
  • And,we have 14 military bases in Maryland that we don't want to lose
In the end, if AG Frosh wages war on President Trump and Congress, it will only be the citizens of our great State who get damaged. 
AG's about-face about costs

        During debate on the resolutions, legislators asked if there would be any additional cost.  The AG assured us that he could perform these tasks with their existing budget.
        However, the very day the resolutions passed the House, we learned that House Bill 913 was being heard in Health and Government Operations.  This bill proposes  mandates for an additional $1 million dollars per year (at minimum)  to the Attorney General's budget to hire up to five additional attorneys to handle lawsuits against the federal government.
Story of 'Clean Energy' Bill Veto : Part II  
Myth # 2:  All clean energy is good.
What ARE the sources of clean, renewable energy?

       The lagest share of Maryland's renewable electricity comes from hydroelectric facilities -- Conowingo dam, for example.
        The second largest source is "biomass" -- a euphemism for the burning of municipal solid waste, poultry litter and other refuse such as wood and wood waste.  
        In the dramatic race to eliminate all air polution created by burning coal, there has been little effort to evaluate the potential problems created by alternative sources.  How are we affected by the residue of burning waste?
What's Wrong with Solar Energy?    
        A smaller but a growing share of renewable energy is being produce by solar facilities.  All utility-scale solar energy facilities require relatively large areas for solar radiation collection.  
       In pursuing the creation of solar energy at break-neck speeds, the state has failed to look at how this goal impacts other state priorities.  For example:

"Farmland Preservation" is so important to the state that it pays the owners to to keep it in farmland.  Now, however, solar companies are gobbliing up farmland as fast as they can.   Farmers are worried: "the loss of valuable cropland threatens the very existence of their industry in the Free State," reports and article in   Pat Langenfelder, a former Howard County farmer whose family moved to Kent County as farming became more and more difficult in suburbenized Howard, points out that as more and more solar replace farms, the commercial support system, such as feed stores or manure transport companies, find it no longer economical to operate in the perticular area. 
        On the Eastern shore of Virginia, officials are considering prohibiytin energy projects from lands in agricultural zones.  

Ecological Impacts   While mandating more renewable energy in promoted by environmentalists, the impact of solar fields on the environment is ignored. Construction of solar facilities requires large areas of land that must be cleared and graded.  This results in soil compaction leading to increased runoff and erosion.
        About five years ago, Maryland enacted the "Rain Tax" to help keep runoff out of the Chesapeake Bay.  In Howard County, the tax was calculated based upon acres of impervious surface.  Solar panel fields create the kind of impervious or semi-impervious surfaces we are trying to limit, avoid or heavily tax.
        The construction and operation of solar facilities also generates particulate matter, which can be a significant pollutant, particularly in parks and wilderness areas.
         The clearing and use of large areas of land for solar power facilities can adversely affect native vegetation and wildlife in many ways, including loss of habitat and interference with rainfall and drainage.  The impacts are exacerbated when the species affected are classified as sensitive, rare, or threatened and endangered.   
What's wrong with Wind Energy?

Beautiful, for spacious skys?        The last time I was in California, ws the first time I had seen windmill farms -- acres and acres of windmills in close proximity.  My primary take-away was, this is really ugly.  
        Of course, energy-producing facilities are not going to win prizes for aesthetics; but the shear number of windmills it takes to produce even the smallest amount of energy dictates that fields such as this must become plentiful before wind will produce any significant renewable energy.

Where have all the birdies gone?    The second issue that has arisen in connection with creating fields of windmills is its effect on the bird population.  Clearly, windmills kill birds.  Some argue that the number is negligible; others argue the opposite.  But there is a study that focuses on a more significant problem: the nature of the birds that are killed.  
        In a four-year study of California's Allamont Pass wind farm, Dr. Shawn Smallwood found that it killed an average of 116 Golden Eagles annually, or about 2,900 since the facility was built.  And eagles are not the only victims.  Smallwood also estimated that "an average of 300 red-tailed hawks, 333 American kestrels, and 380 burrowing owls were killed annually -- plus even more non-raptors including 2,526 rock doves and 2,557 western meadowlarks."
Just for Fun
The year is 1916
-- Life in America One Hundred Years Ago --
  • The average life expectancy for men was 47 years
  • Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only
  • Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
  • Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
  • The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
  • The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
  • A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year.
  • A dentist $2,500 per year.
  • A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.
  • And, a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
  • More than 95 percent of all births took place at home
  • Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
  • Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press
  • AND the government as "substandard."
  • Sugar cost four cents a pound. 
  • Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
  • Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month, and, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
  • The Five leading causes of death were:

1.     Pneumonia and influenza

2.     Tuberculosis

3.     Diarrhea

4.     Heart disease

5.     Stroke

  • The American flag had 45 stars ...  
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30.
  • Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.   
  • There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day.
  • Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write
  • And, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
  • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstore!  Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!"  (Shocking?)
  • Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help...
  • There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.  
Goings on in Annapolis
Catherine Carter & I testify
"Atticus Bill" Heard in House

        This past Tuesday, my bill to expand school vision screening to identify binary vision disorders was heard by the Ways & Means Committee. At least 12 people testified in favor of the bill, including the bill's namesake, Atticus Carter.
        I testified extensively on the costs of the bill -- $1.9 million -- which sounds like a lot until you look at the very specific and qualtifiable savings, which are well over $10 million annually.  
        The hearing on Senator Bates' cross-filed bill will be held on February 22nd, at 1 pm.
Welcoming Pharmacy Students from District 9A
       Meeting with constituents is my favorite part of my job.  This week, these young pharmacy students met with me in my office.  Fortunately, I was in support of the two bills they talked about with me. 


Delegation approves bill to change how we elect members of  the Board of Education

     After more than a year of discussion, the Howard County delegation voted for a bill to change the way in which the seven members of the Board of Education are elected.  If passed by the House and Senate and signed by the Governor, the new system will go into effect starting in 2020.  Here is how it will work:
  • Who:   
    • Beginning in 2020, the Board of Education will be composed of two at-large members and 5 District members.
    • The five District members must live in a different one of the five councilmanic districts.  
  • How Elected
    • A candidate must file to run either at-large or in a specific district.
    • An at-large candidate can live anywhere in the county
    • A District candidate must live in the district in which he/she is running 
    • Both at-large and District Members will be voted upon by the entire county
    • The two at-large seats will be filled by the two candidates getting the highest number of votes among the candidates running at-large.
    • Each District seat will be filled by the candidate getting the highest number of votes among the candidates running in that district
    • The election of members will be staggered, 
      • the two at-large members will be elected during Gubernatorial years
      • The five District candidates will be elected in Presidential electionyears.
    • The term of office for each member is four years
  • Transition to new system
    • The terms of four current school board members expire in 2018
    • The top four vote-getters will be elected for the following terms:
      • The top two vote-getters will win four-year terms, and will become the At-Large members when the new system begins in 2020
      • The other two winners will be elected to two-year terms that will expire in 2020.
Scholarship Information
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.  

Please be sure to have your completed application postmarked by April 10, 2017.
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