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During session, I try to make weekly updates to keep my constituents informed. I will also post other news stories and materials here.

2018 End of Session Letter

April 11, 2018

At midnight on April 9th, the gavel came down for the final time on the 2018 Legislative session. The legislative process this session included some wins and some losses.  I believe that constituent communication is vital and so I want to share with you some of the session highlights and provide a brief overview of the positions I took.

I am happy to report that for the fourth straight year Maryland balanced its $43.5 Billion dollar budget.

St. Mary’s County

The budget included record funding for education with nearly $8 billion in total.  I am proud to report that St. Mary’s County will receive a record high amount of $7,004 per child in State funding.  This reconfirms our commitment to education, however, it is my opinion that financial inequality still exists between rural and metropolitan areas.

In the Capital Budget, Governor Hogan included $28 million in funding for the $80 million dollar UAS research facility at the Southern Maryland Regional Higher Education Center located in Hollywood. This is a project the Delegation supported and has worked for over the last 4 years. Unfortunately, for what I can only assume are mostly political reasons, the funding was deferred from the Capital Budget until next year, pending a report from USM.

FY ’19 Budget Highlights Statewide

  • $163.7 Million in Existing Non-Medicaid Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs.
  • Police Aid to Local Governments and Municipalities Increases to $74.5 Million.
  • The Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Invests $52.9 Million In The Chesapeake And Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund. Since taking office Governor Hogan has invested nearly $200 Million in the fund. Additionally, for the third year in a row, and only the third time in state history, no budget actions will divert funding away from Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.
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Last Week of Session 2018

April 02, 2018

As the 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly enters into the last week, I would like to take an opportunity to update you on several bills that I believed to be noteworthy. These are certainly not all there is, and in the week ahead, I will update you further on legislation and information to share.

Healthcare

My bill, HB1509 the Copper Plan was not moved out of committee. But it did successfully bring a potential solution to the table for discussion for the 174,000 people that currently do not have health insurance because they make too much to receive an Obamacare subsidy, yet are priced out of current health insurance options.

The General Assembly chose instead to advance HB1782, which constitutes levying a 2.75%, $380 million dollar tax on all private health insurance providers to fund what is essentially a Band-Aid of Obamacare. I believe there are other solutions to solving our health insurance problems and I voted NO on this bill.

HB1635- Mental Health Law - Involuntary Admissions - Procedures

This bill specifies that the Maryland Department of Health must provide for the admission of an emergency involuntary patient to a State facility or another appropriate facility within six hours of receiving notification from an examining physician who is unable to have an emergency patient admitted to a facility involuntarily. It also prohibits a hearing officer from ordering the release of an individual who meets the requirements for involuntary admission on the grounds that the patient was kept at an emergency facility for more than 30 hours in violation of the law.  I support this legislation.

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Healthcare Options

March 16, 2018

As a member of the House Health and Government Operations committee, I have a “bird’s eye” view of the issues facing Marylander’s when it comes to health care. Obviously, a huge factor is rising cost of health insurance. 

Barrack Obama said, “I believe people want health insurance and what is stopping them from having it is cost.  It stands to reason if insurance was cheaper more people would buy it.”  I agree with our former President, but unfortunately, cheaper prices are not what Obamacare has delivered.  Health insurance for healthy working people especially in the individual market has skyrocketed.  

Copper Plan

I introduced HB 1509- MD Health Benefit Exchange - Individual Exchange - Copper Plans to Lower Rates.  This bill proposes an additional health insurance option, mainly geared to healthy people who otherwise would opt to forgo health insurance due to the skyrocketing cost on the individual market.

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Lower Taxes and Healthcare

February 23, 2018

This year I have sponsored legislation with the primary focus of lowering taxes and the lowering the cost of healthcare.   

Here is a rundown of those bills that I have introduced. I welcome comments and testimony. If you are interested in providing testimony, either written or in person in Annapolis, to any of these bills, please get in touch with my office.

  • HB 1509- Maryland Health Benefit Exchange – Individual Exchange – Copper Plans to Lower Rates
  • HB 1377- Income Tax - Subtraction Modification - Income from Retirement Plans
  • HB 948- Estates and Trusts – Transfer From Revocable Trust – Exemption from Tax HB 1608- Real Property - Trust Money - Escrow Trust Accounts
  • HB 1376- Pharmacy Benefits - Processing and Adjudication of Claims - Restrictions on Fees
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District 29 House Delegation Files Together for 2018 and Receives Hogan Endorsement

January 31, 2018

Delegate Matt Morgan represents District 29A North St. Mary’s, Delegate Deb Rey represents District 29B South St. Mary’s and Delegate Gerald “Jerry” Clark represents District 29C covering mid-St. Mary’s County and Southern Calvert County.  The three Delegates took the unprecedented step of filing for re-election together and they announced they have the strong support of Maryland’s Governor, Larry Hogan.  

“I am happy to endorse the District 29 team, Delegates Matt Morgan, Deb Rey, and Jerry Clark.  I know I can count on them to support a fiscally prudent yet socially responsible legislative agenda.  We are changing Maryland for the better and we are just getting started” said Governor Larry Hogan.

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