RIGHT TO TRY ACT FOR INDIVIDUAL PATIENTS
December 28, 2023
I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! The 444th Legislative Session of Maryland is gearing up to reconvene on January 10th. It's our chance to share our ideas and solutions to make life better for those in St. Mary's County and those across Maryland. I'm stoked to unveil my creative legislative agenda for this year. Now, as someone who's been on the Health and Government Operations Committee since my first election, it's no surprise that many of my proposed bills are all about improving healthcare. In the coming weeks, I'll be dishing out concise write-ups for many of the bills I plan to introduce. These write-ups have been used for years to garner support and serve as written testimony during bill hearings. Surprisingly, I have just sent them out via email. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on these initiatives.
The first idea is the Right to Try for Individual Patients. I've always loved the idea of kicking the government to the curb and letting the private sector take charge. After the Summer I've had, I have learned that you never know when a bill like this might actually apply to you.
"No Time for Waiting: The Life-Saving Power of the Right to Try Act for Individual Patients Act."
Ever imagined what it's like to be told that there's a potentially life-saving treatment out there for your life-threatening illness, but you can't access it because it's still awaiting a nod from the FDA? It sounds like a twisted plot from a dystopian novel. But this is the grim reality for many patients across our nation. Enter the hero of our story - The Right to Try for Individual Patients Act! A bill I plan to introduce this legislative session.
A Glimmer of Hope
The Right to Try for Individual Patients Act could be a lifeline that emerges when all hope seems lost. It gives patients diagnosed with life-threatening or severely debilitating illnesses a chance to try investigational treatments. Imagine being at the end of your rope,-------> Click the READ MORE Link to read the rest of the email.
December 08, 2023
I hope this email finds you well. It's your friendly neighborhood Delegate here. You know, the guy you voted for to represent you in this rollercoaster ride we call state government. Today, we will take a scenic drive through the not-so-pretty world of transportation budgets.
Here's the scoop: our FY2024-2029 Final Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) looks like a buggy trying to compete in NASCAR. We've got a revenue gap wider than the Chesapeake Bay, and it's about time we put some traffic cones around it.
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has recently announced a reduction of 8% in its budget for all modes of transportation. This decision, aimed at optimizing resources, will have an impact on various transportation initiatives and projects. But don't worry, they swear it's not just for the thrill of it. It's their attempt to keep this rickety old jalopy we call our transportation system (that pours money into mass transit) running on the fumes of fiscal responsibility.
However, here's the critical point: we're dealing with these budget cuts while having the fifth-highest gas tax in the entire nation. Yes, you heard it right, folks! We're spending more at the gas station than nearly everyone else, but our roads are beginning to resemble a badly stitched patchwork quilt.
Though it falls outside my district, one particular cut that deeply concerns me is the $15 million reduction in funding for the Route 5 and Great Mills Road project in St. Mary's County. A few years ago, this project was the top priority for the St. Mary's Board of County Commissioners, so much so that in their eyes, it surpassed the Thomas Johnson Bridge in importance.
I sincerely hope the representatives for that area, Senator Bailey and Delegate Crosby, with the help of the Commissioner's new lobbyist, can successfully advocate for the return of this funding.
In rural areas like ours with limited public transportation options, well-maintained roads are of utmost importance. These roads serve as lifelines, connecting individuals, families, and communities to vital services such as healthcare, education, shopping, and emergency assistance during critical times of need. That is why any reduction in funding for road maintenance and development should be a matter of great concern.
Thanks for your patience, understanding, and, most importantly, your voice. We're all in this together, and we can find a way to keep Maryland moving without raising tolls or having to trade our prized possessions for gas money.
Keep the wheels turning,
CRIME AND POLITICS: AN EYE-OPENING VIDEO FROM SHERIFF MIKE LEWIS
November 28, 2023
I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day weekend break.
I've been meaning to share this video in my newsletter for a few weeks, but I didn't want to bombard your inboxes. Crime has become a major concern, and I really wanted to share this video because it sums up what I have been preaching about the last year.
There is a significant disparity between crime statistics and arrest statistics. Arrests have decreased in numerous areas of our state while crime rates have skyrocketed, resulting in our citizens being less safe.
This begs the question: why are the police not effectively addressing the issue?
The answer lies with woke politicians.
"Lawmakers in Annapolis have turned our state upside down. Criminals know they can move to Maryland and commit their crimes with little to no accountability." ~Sheriff Mike Lewis
If you have ever contemplated the challenges that law enforcement officers encounter, I urge you to take a few minutes to watch Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis explain the impact of Annapolis' actions on his police department, as well as the consequence of Joe Biden's open border policies, pouring fentanyl in his county.
If Wicomico is facing these problems, you can bet St. Mary's and the Southern Maryland region are battling many of the same problems.
GUNS, HATE & CRIME
November 22, 2023
Yesterday was a hectic day. While battling through traffic to drive up to Pennsylvania and pick up my daughter from school for Thanksgiving break, I received a text message about a significant court victory. Maryland Shall Issue achieved a triumph at the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, ruling that Maryland's Handgun Qualification License requirement violates the Second Amendment.
According to federal rules, the decision will take effect in 21 days when the Court's mandate is issued. The State has a 14-day window to request an en banc review in the Fourth Circuit. If they choose to do so, the mandate will be put on hold until the petition for en banc review is either denied or until a decision is reached after the en banc review, if granted. Additionally, the State has the option to seek review in the Supreme Court.
I want to congratulate MSI on this major win that was 10+ years in the making.
Maryland Commission Against Hate
Yesterday, there was breaking news about a member of the recently established Maryland Commission Against Hate who made remarks drawing comparisons between Israel and Nazis, along with other concerning statements.
Isn't it ironic that within the Maryland Government, the very institution tasked with combating hate, there exists a commission member who promotes hate? You can't make this clown show lunacy up.
I appreciate the Attorney General’s quick response to suspend Ms. Chaudry from the commission, but this is an embarrassment for our state, and she should be permanently fired. We will have a letter released today demanding the Attorney General to do just that.
I want to thank everyone who attended our Pre-Session Legislative Forum last week. During that time, I spoke about the need to "get tough" on crime and the absolute madness caused by the Left's woke policies in Annapolis. The Juvenile Justice Laws that were unilaterally passed by Democrats are just mind-boggling! Let me share the story I mentioned of an 11-year-old who is suspected in 17 car thefts. This story perfectly demonstrates how things are getting crazier by the day. We will have legislation to address this madness this legislative session.
JUST SHAKING MY HEAD
November 08, 2023
Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up to a beautiful day full of hope only to get a piece of information that leaves you talking to yourself and shaking your head the rest of the day?
I had a day like that yesterday when I received a text message early in the morning that the County Commissioners of St. Mary's were considering hiring a lobbyist to handhold their agenda in Annapolis.
This was odd because, for the upcoming session, the County Commissioners have requested the lightest legislative agenda since I was elected. There is not a single proposal that is even the slightest bit controversial, and their agenda will easily be passed into law.
It struck me as even stranger that I had not been notified about this proposal.
After a few phone calls, I was told that Delegate Todd Morgan and Senator Bailey were in full support of this hiring. It's worth noting Delegate Crosby and myself are both opposed to this proposal. Later on Tuesday, during the regularly scheduled commissioner's meeting, in a close 3-2 vote, the County Commissioners of St. Mary's decided to fund this proposal.
I strongly oppose this decision. I believe this allocation of taxpayers' money is unnecessary, wasteful, and reeks of cronyism.
This does leave me wondering why? Throughout the 386-year history of St. Mary's County, there has never been a need for a professional lobbyist until now.
During my time as St. Mary's Delegation Chair, our pass/fail record was so successful there was not a single bill that failed to become law that the current Chair (Delegate Todd Morgan) wants to resubmit as legislation. It is hard to say the past system was not successful when no one can seem to give me an example of it failing. Yet, our County is now on the hook for paying a lobbyist without a clear list of goals or what he is supposedly to accomplish.
On a side note, now that St. Mary's County Commissioners have decided to engage in the practice of professional lobbying, I will also explore the possibility of drafting legislation prohibiting all elected officials, including State Senator and Delegates like myself, from accepting donations from any lobbyist employed by our county government.
The perverse incentive structure of professional lobbying, where elected officials receive campaign donations and kickbacks only to have the ability to reward with taxpayer consulting contracts, should be deterred. I would hope the Delegation agrees with that.
I want to publically thank Commissioners Mike Hewitt and Mike Alderson for voting NO to this contract.
LOCAL ROAD PROJECTS
October 18, 2023
I had the pleasure of joining the St. Mary's County Commissioners, Mayor Dan Burris, and the Maryland State Highway Administration at the Annual CTP meeting tour. Traffic is always a top concern, and we discussed numerous traffic projects of interest to Northern St. Mary's:
- Rt. 5 widening and repaving project through Leonardtown
- Sidewalks on Rt. 245 in Leonardtown
- Stop light at Clark's Rest in Leonardtown
- Stop light at Rt. 5 in Morganza
- Signage at the cross-walk on Rt. 5 Mechanicsville
- Redesign of the stop light at Rt. 5 and Rt. 6 in New Market
- The replacement of the Solomon's Island TJ Bridge
- The mileage tax
I clipped the video from the meeting. Please check it out, and if you have any concerns or comments, please email my office at [email protected]
Can you imagine adopting a beautiful baby boy from the day he was born but, after seven months, having the adoption at risk because of a bureaucratic stalemate? Unfortunately, that is the exact situation Mr. and Mrs. Morris found themselves in. Out of desperation, Andrea's dad, John, called my office, and I am happy to say we had the problem corrected five days later. Last week, their adoption was finalized. I want to congratulate Mom, Dad, and their beautiful baby Ryker! Best wishes for a bright future to them and the entire Morris and Butterfield Family. You all look happy and great together.
Reminder: if you have a constituent issue you think we can help with, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
BREAKING NEWS: INJUNCTION GRANTED!
September 29, 2023
If you've read the email I sent earlier today, you're aware that we weren't optimistic about the court granting an injunction. Throw that email in the garbage. I'm thrilled to inform you that we've just received news that an injunction on SB1 has been granted.
Yes, you read it right. What was discussed early in the week and seemed impossible was just granted. The court provided injunctive relief for private property, locations that sell alcohol, and public demonstrations. This is the exact amendment that I offered on the House Floor that I emailed you earlier. If you are interested in seeing how the vote went down for that amendment, here is a link:
This is a huge step forward, and I want to congratulate Maryland Shall Issue and the NRA, especially chief plaintive Susannah Kipke, on pulling a rabbit out of the hat. They have accomplished the impossible and scored a court injunction on SB1. It's proof that good things can happen if you are willing to fight for what is right.