VETO OVERRIDES 2021
February 07, 2021

This week the House will come together to vote on Governor Hogan's vetoes from last year's legislative session.

Democrats are looking to create several new taxes, all of which would be bad for Marylanders.

HB 932- Digital downloads and streaming services sales tax.

HB 932 will require a sales tax on digital content and streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. I remain against this bill, because now more than ever, Maryland citizens can't afford additional tax burdens. The Covid emergency has hit us hard and continue to do so- this additional fleecing must not be allowed.  This new tax takes an estimated $120 million out of private citizens' hands and moves it into government coffers.  I will vote NO to this bill again by voting to sustain the Governor's veto.

HB 732-Tobacco/ e cigarette and Digital advertising tax

HB 732 adds taxes on e-cigarettes and vaping products, as well as a tax on digital advertising – to the tune of $250 million.

With businesses still struggling to remain open while being severely restricted by the pandemic shutdowns, it's hard to imagine why adding an additional financial burden at this time is a good idea.  Now is not the time to make Maryland more expensive for citizens and businesses.  I will vote NO to this bill again by voting to sustain the Governor's veto.

HB 1300-Kirwan spending bill (the Blueprint for Education)

HB 1300- otherwise known as the Kirwan Education Spending Bill is the single most costly legislation ever considered by the Maryland General Assembly.   

Maryland counties have said that they cannot afford the billions of dollars in spending mandated by the Kirwan Commission's recommendations. It was passed the last session under secrecy, while most of the State was focused on the pandemic threat.

I voted no to this bill last year because while I want the best public education system possible, this entire bill does little to address the real problems with public education.  There is very little oversight or mechanism to prevent failing schools, despite the money spent.  There is nothing substantial to address disruptive students in the classroom. The bill does not empower the parents to make choices for their children's education.  Basically, the bill is a giant payoff to the Teacher's Union who has spent millions of dollars lobbying legislators to advance the bill. 

I will vote NO to this bill again by voting to sustain the Governor's veto.

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FIRST WEEK OF THE 2021 SESSION
January 25, 2021

Last week marked the 442nd convening of the Maryland General Assembly for the 2021 legislative session.

This year's session looks very different, amid the ongoing pandemic and the General Assembly's efforts to minimize spread, while we meet for the constitutionally required convening of the General Assembly.

One of the most significant differences is that the public buildings and State House are closed to the general public. While you may not come to Annapolis in person, know that my office is available by e-mail and phone to hear your concerns and comments. A new system has been set up to accommodate remote testimony as well. Comprehensive information can be found on the Maryland General Assembly website and helpful video tutorials to help you participate in the legislative process.

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COVID-19 UPDATE, NOVEMBER 2020
November 23, 2020

On the topic of COVID, keeping people informed has been a challenge.  Since March, the situation has been incredibly fluid and has changed quickly, it has been very political, and many times any statement is met with resistance.  My email last week was strictly factual; as I stated in the first paragraph, I would leave my commentary to another time.   I wanted to inform subscribers of the increased restrictions imposed by the Governor.  The responses that the email generated ranged from, "thank you so much for keeping us informed," to I was "intentionally downplaying the virus and wanted people to get sick." The latter comment is ridiculous and couldn't be further from the truth.  I want to give subscribers my perspective and show them some of the information I have come across to help them make informed decisions for themselves.

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COVID-19 UPDATE, NOVEMBER 19, 2020
November 19, 2020

This email is meant to inform you of the most recent changes from Governor Hogan’s executive order. I will save personal commentary and analysis for another time.  I believe that citizens need to have the best and most precise information as possible, and my goal here is to provide information as I am able so that you can make informed decisions for yourself, your business, and your families. With the recent rise of COVID-19 cases nationwide, Maryland State Government has once again decided to implement additional lockdown measures. 

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COUNTY TAX RATE COMPARISON FOR SOUTHERN MARYLAND 2020
October 05, 2020

I have been asked numerous times how much St. Mary's County residents pay in taxes compared to other Southern Maryland Counties.  Click here for that breakdown.   

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HOUSE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS UNVEILS EDUCATION PRIORITIES FOR 2020 SESSION
February 18, 2020

House Republican Caucus Unveils Education Priorities
Legislative Package Focuses on Safer Classrooms, Teacher Empowerment, Accountability

ANNAPOLIS, MD  The House Republican Caucus unveiled a series of educations bills focused on making classrooms safer, empowering teachers, expanding accountability, and freeing students trapped in chronically failing schools. This comprehensive legislative package will provide immediate relief to students and teachers in classrooms today, not a decade or more in the future.

“Today we are addressing the real and immediate problems, and in some cases outright dangers, faced by our students and teachers in classrooms every single day,” said House Republican Leader Nic Kipke. “Issues of safety and discipline are the top concerns we hear from students, parents, and teachers in our communities and Kirwan does absolutely nothing to address them. This legislative session has been dominated by billion-dollar education proposals that might fix problems many years from now – but what about the students and teachers in Maryland schools today? Who is looking out for them?”

“The Kirwan Commission has taken years to develop a $30 billion plan that will supposedly improve schools many years down the road,” said House Republican Whip Kathy Szeliga. “Our proposals will have an immediate and meaningful impact on students and teachers in classrooms as early as the next school year, if not before.”

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UPDATES FROM ANNAPOLIS - FEB 5, 2020
February 05, 2020

We have had a few significant legislative items that I wanted to make you aware of:

Veto Override of SB 537/HB 262 Dream Act Expansion 2019 session

It removes many requirements to grant in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens:

Removing the requirement that an individual receives an associate's degree or 60 credits at a community college before receiving in-state tuition at a public four-year institution. Extends from 4 to 6 years the time by which an individual must register as an entering student after graduating from high school. Reduces the amount of time an individual must have attended a high school in Maryland from 3 years to any amount of time. It alters the period from which the dreamer or dreamer's parents filed a Maryland income tax return from 3 years to the prior calendar year.

I stood with Governor Hogan and the citizens of Maryland and voted to sustain the Governor's veto. Democrats in the House unilaterally overrode the Governor's veto, and now the bill will become law.

Veto Override of Handgun Permit Review Board SB1000/ HB1343 2019 session

Once again, we have legislation that targets gun owners who are not committing gun crimes. The majority of cases overturned or modified by the Handgun Permit Review Board was modifications of restrictions on permits. These are cases in which the Maryland State Police had already determined the applicants—all law-abiding Citizens—do not have any criminal nor mental health factors in their background. The handgun review board has been responsible for 27,396 permits, and not a single one of those people have committed a crime. These are not the people we need to focus our attention on. Our efforts would be better focused on criminals who use guns to commit crimes.

I stood with the Governor and lawful gun owners of Maryland and voted to sustain the veto.  Democrats in the House unilaterally overrode the Governor's veto, and now the bill will become law.

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