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Delegate Al Carr's  Weekly Newsletter 

Legislative Update
We are more than a third of the way through the legislative session and things have been very busy in Annapolis. Last week the Senate and House passed a resolution that will give the Maryland Attorney General the authority to defend the interests of Marylanders in federal court.  It is actions like these that will help protect us against potentially negative actions by the Trump administration.

Last Thursday I made some remarks before the House of Delegates concerning Black History Month and my own family history. Check out my remarks here:

Last week I presented several bills in committee.  On Tuesday I presented my Non-Compete Clause Bill (HB 506), which encourages economic activity by providing flexibility for entry-level workers.  On Thursday I  presented a bill that will reduce regressive property tax filing fees (HB 268). It will eliminate Maryland's $300 annual report fee that most negatively impacts our smallest businesses.  On Thursday I also presented HB351. It gives local governments more time each year to consider setting caps on property tax assessment increases.

Community News

This week I spent time visiting different local businesses to ask for their support for the Traders License Reform Bill (HB859) I am introducing this session.  It will help retailers by greatly simplifying personal property tax forms and lowering state and local fees and taxes. It will:
  • Replace the complicated 21-tier traders license fee system with one simple fee
  • Exempt inventory from municipal taxation
  • Exempt retailers from paying the $300 annual report filing fee
  • Relieve 55,000 businesses from having to annually track/locate/report and value their inventory

Take Action!
  • Let your State Legislators and your Mayor and Council Members know that you support House Bill 859.  (look up your legislators at
  • Consider signing up to testify at the bill hearing scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, February 28 in Annapolis in the Maryland House of Delegates' Economic Matters Committee - OR -
  • Consider writing a letter of support or signing on with a group of other businesses.

Please Sign Our petition showing your support for House Bill 859:

Your Input Wanted on My 2017 Legislative Agenda! Please Fill out my Priorities Survey 
Don't throw away your shot! The 2017 Maryland Legislative session is underway and time is short. I love hearing back from constituents- in fact, many of my bills are inspired by constituents who reach out to me! So I hope you will take a few minutes to let me know what you think by filling out my annual priorities survey.

Survey Guide: After sharing the survey link on facebook I began receiving some feedback. I wanted to provide more information about some of the bills that have so far generated comments and questions. I'm listing them by their bill numbers so that you can easily look them up on the Maryland General Assembly website.

HB 432 requires vets to send rabies vaccination info to state pet licensing agencies if requested. Providing rabies vaccination information to pet licensing agencies improves animal welfare by simplifying the process. No extra information is required and no agencies receive that information who would not have otherwise.

HB 492 allows vehicle owners to list a beneficiary for your vehicle at the same time as you get your title. Currently, naming a beneficiary requires separate paperwork with another trip to the DMV. Essentially, this bill clarifies and strengthens this state policy and streamlines the bureaucratic process for a service already available.

HB 336 gives WSSC the freedom to differentiate water and sewer rates based on the class of the customer (residential vs. non-residential) or criteria such as the size of the water meter. While WSSC's current rate structure is well-intentioned and provides revenue to maintain and invest in infrastructure, it discriminates against larger households and needs to be updated. We need to give WSSC, our water and sewer experts, the flexibility to create a more honest and simplified structure which provides a better service for all.

HB 355 is a very simple bill bringing WSSC's non-discrimination language up to speed with the other the state laws. My bill adds religion, marital status, and gender identity to the list of bases of discrimination that are prohibited.

HB 296, the Warehouse Store Bulk Wine and Beer bill, will work to bring Montgomery County out of the prohibition era. My bill eliminates antiquated restrictions and gives consumers the convenience they crave. Sales would be restricted to bulk purchases to protect local mom and pop beer and wine shops. The bill focuses on license holders near our State border, capturing sales that are currently going to neighboring states. You'll be able to save on gas by buying in Maryland.

HB 348 opens the door for Montgomery County to be able to consider staggered election terms for its council members. This bill will increase voter turnout, as staggered elections mean half of our council seats will fall during Presidential election years. It also gives voters more frequent opportunities shape the council and gives candidates more frequent opportunities to run. Cecil County started staggered their council and executive election terms in 2002. My staff crunched the numbers, and Cecil County's voter turnout increased since 2002 while Montgomery County's has declined steadily. Contrary to mis-information being spread - this bill does not affect term limits in any way.

HB 622 is the Potomac Compact for Fair Representation. This legislation is a unique, forward-thinking approach to end congressional gerrymandering in our region. The bill would replace our winner-takes-all election system with a multi-winner system. Multi-winner systems are more democratic, producing truly representative outcomes while winner-takes-all elections only serve the largest majority. Because ending gerrymandering in Maryland might benefit the Republican party, this bill is a Compact which would only go into effect if Virginia also passes it into law. Once passed by both states, Republican congressional representation within Maryland might grow while Democrats might gain seats in Virginia. This mutual disarmament allows us to avoid growing pains with the Potomac Compact's nonpartisan reform.

These aren't all the bills I'm working on, so stay tuned for more news. As always, you can see a list of all my session legislation and bills I'm co-sponsoring on the Maryland General Assembly website.

Thank you for reading. The 2017 session took off with a lot of energy and I'm excited to work with my colleagues on your behalf. State legislatures are not sleeping while the new administration pumps out executive orders.
Delegate Al Carr | Maryland General Assembly | 301 858-3638 | |