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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.

Session Update - Feb 1, 2019

February 01, 2019

I want to take a moment to update you on a few topics as we start this year’s Maryland Legislative Session. 

Joint Committee on Federal Relations

I want to thank Speaker Busch for assigning me to the Joint Committee on Federal Relations. With so much of our area dependent on the Federal Government, this is a great opportunity to address concerns that impact our area.

On January 28th, the Committee heard from Senator Cardin regarding the Federal shutdown and his plans to avoid the next shutdown.  

Caucus Press Conference

The House Republican Caucus held a press conference identifying our top legislative priorities. These issues are important to all citizens and I believe will have support from constituents on both sides of the aisle. These include legislation to give Maryland taxpayers a much-deserved tax break by cutting the state income tax, creating a “violent offenders registry” for repeat violent criminals, requiring legislative districts all become “single member” districts to protect voter rights and representation, and finally the Secure our Schools Act, which is my bill, making an adjustment to the law to allow for the hiring of Special Police Officers to provide security on school property. 

You can find some of the news coverage here:

Tax cuts, election reform and school safety top list of House Republican priorities

Maryland House GOP to push for state income tax cut, violent offender registry, single-member districts

Video: Maryland House Republicans are calling for tax cuts

Secure our Schools- SPO

I’m very pleased that this bill has received the strong support of the House Republican Caucus, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron and St. Mary’s County Schools Superintendent Scott Smith. This legislation allows a government entity such as the Sheriff, to request a special police officer (SPO) and allows them to be placed at other government-owned property with the written consent of the managing entity; in this case the school system.  The beauty of this legislation is that SPO is a category of Police Office that already exists under Maryland Law and will continue to have very limited policing powers. This is enabling legislation for each county to enact upon its own choosing.  By making some small changes to the existing law, we believe this could have a strong and meaningful effect on the ability to achieve our goal of having a qualified armed officer at every school that wants them.  Solving the tragedy of school shootings is complex, but having more good men and women on school grounds is definitely part of the solution. 

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Bond Authority Request

January 05, 2019

I am surprised to learn from an email yesterday afternoon that the St. Mary’s Board of County Commissioners will be seeking an additional $30 million dollars in bonding authority. It was about a month ago that the Board of County Commissioners and the Delegation held a public hearing where all legislative requests were supposed to be submitted to the Delegation for consideration. There was absolutely no hint or mention of this either during the public joint meeting, or during the months of preparation leading up to it. This annual public meeting between the Board of County Commissioners and Delegation is held to give citizens an opportunity to weigh in on legislative proposals and especially proposals of fiscal importance.  Every dollar that is spent by government is a dollar they have collected from someone else via taxation and $30 million is nothing to sneeze at.  I believe the public should have had an opportunity to voice their concerns on this topic. I hope the Commissioners add this to their agenda at their next scheduled meeting to allow concerned citizens an opportunity to comment. 

 

For the purpose of transparency, I have loaded the email and the request packet that includes a list of projects justifications to my website.  You can find that link here.  The Commissioner vote requesting the bonding authority was 4-1 with only Commissioner Hewitt voting against the request.  It is important to remember that this request is only the authority to borrow, the actual exercising of bonding is at the Board of County Commissioner’s discretion.  The list of projects is only a justification to receive the authority to borrow from the General Assembly. Whether the projects are actually built after authority is granted, remains the discretion of the Board of County Commissioners.    

 

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Why Vote For Republicans - Letter to the Editor Response

August 21, 2018

In reply to the letter written by Tom Hanrahan wanting to know why he should vote for any Republican this coming Election Day, my answer is simple and the same as was once asked by my favorite President, Ronald Reagan: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

The answer in most cases is an astonishing Yes.  After 43 tax increases implemented by the O’Malley Administration and the Democrat super-majority in the state legislature that resulted in 8,000 businesses closing and our state losing 100,000 jobs, it’s now the dawn of a new era in Maryland.

Governor Hogan and General Assembly Republicans successfully negotiated and passed four straight budgets without a tax increase.  This is something that was never accomplished during the O’Malley years.  Bringing fiscal responsibility back to the State House allowed us for the first time in Maryland state history to fully fund programs we all care about like the Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund, Program Open Space and record funding for the K-12 school system.  The reduction of regulations and fees, so that business owners are not being raked over the coals, has given them the confidence and security to invest and hire, thereby giving more people throughout our state more opportunities to find jobs and become more financially secure.

In St. Mary’s County, our Republican State Delegates passed every bill that was asked of us by our Republican County Commissioners. 33 bills in total, which is 10 more than the previous Delegation, proving we maintain a good working relationship with our local colleagues.  I feel I have had great success passing or amending legislation that benefits for my constituents. I am proud to say I put my district over the party and voted in my district’s best interest, not in some votes but every vote.

Absolutely one of my biggest accomplishments was stopping Maryland Democrats from making Maryland a sanctuary state for criminally convicted illegal aliens.  I have also noticed that none of the state Democrat candidates in District 29 have come out against making Maryland a sanctuary state, harboring non-citizen, violent offenders.  The public should demand an answer to that.

When you consider our legislative accomplishments, our great constituent services, plus the long-needed infrastructure projects we were able to secure for the people of St. Mary’s County, I think our opponents will have a very hard time justifying how they could do this job better.

We know there are still many problems to fix in Maryland, but we are undoubtedly the best team to handle that task. And as far as President Trump goes, he is not on the ballot this year in Maryland.  I believe we have the bigger task of finding and implementing solutions to the issues we have that affect our daily lives here, locally, and I am committed to continuing to do just that.

Matt Morgan, State Delegate for District 29A, North St. Mary's County

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Fundraiser - September 8th

August 03, 2018

Saturday night, September 8th I will be hosting our Annual Fundraiser at Bowles Farm.  This event serves as our campaign’s largest fundraiser and in all likelihood, will be our last fundraiser before the 2018 election.

The 2018 Elections are right around the corner, this November with early voting starting October 25th. My goal for this event is to raise money for our campaign and perhaps more importantly, to organize and to get people involved in the upcoming election.  We have a generational opportunity this coming year to address some of the major problems that have affected our state and to finally bring some political balance to the state of Maryland though Constitutionally sound and fair redistricting.  If you are like me and got tired of watching politicians making bad decisions and thought of becoming more hands-on and involved with politics, volunteering with a campaign is a worthy cause- this is a good event to get your feet wet.

More details to come but you may purchase event sponsorship and tickets in advance online by clicking the link: https://secure.anedot.com/morgan29a/cb1adedae394415dc328e 

Click HERE for the event flyer. 

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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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