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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.