MASK, CRIME AND VICTORY
February 11, 2022

I wanted to update you on several topics that may interest you. 

If you are receiving my newsletter for the first time, I want to thank you for answering our poll and signing my petition to stop the inflationary gas tax increase.  One of my top priorities as an elected official is to keep you informed on your state government’s interworking.  Therefore, I will send out a weekly email on essential topics during the legislative session, and I encourage and welcome your feedback.

This year we have had many ill-thought-out proposals, but one bill was awful and received a quick and decisive response from the public!

HB 181 - was introduced to remove all references to GOD from the Maryland State Constitution.

One of the founding tenets of America is that our rights are divinely endowed.  Therefore, they are rightfully called “inalienable” in our Constitution.  Removing references to God removes the origins of YOUR natural rights.  That is concerning because we have seen play out in history where governments that have taken away God have replaced natural rights with permissions.  Permissions that are granted by the government are not the same as rights.  Permission given by the government can be taken away by that very same government with only a stroke of a pen and at any given time.

My office and many others received many emails from outraged citizens against this terrible bill.  Because of the outcry, the bill’s sponsor withdrew the bill.  Marylanders stood strong together to defend against this blatant attack on the very foundation of our lives and culture!

Mask Mandate in Schools

Recently, several states, including some very blue states like New Jersey and Delaware, have set dates or have lifted the indoor mask mandate forced upon our children at school.

I have heard from many concerned parents pleading for Maryland to end this mandate.  The science has shown that non-medical grade face coverings are ineffective at stopping transmission, and I feel it is time to end the mandates.  I sent a letter to the Speaker of the House asking for a return to normalcy.  Additionally, along with the House Republican Caucus, I called upon the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools to end the mask mandate for our children.  Yesterday, Governor Hogan added his voice to the call to remove the mandates.

Unfortunately, the State Board of Education has instead dug in its heels and is recommitted to forcing our children to wear face coverings.  We trust the people in education to be intelligent enough to make evidence-based decisions.  The State Board of Education President, Mr. Crawford’s response to Governor Hogan, is an embarrassment.  His letter reiterates just how ill-informed their decisions have been regarding COVID from the beginning.

He recommitted forcing children to wear face coverings that have been ineffective at stopping transmission.  He talks about required vaccination rates when vaccines have proven ineffective in preventing COVID transmission. There is no consideration that many kids, teachers, and parents have attained natural immunity.      

The Maryland State Board of Education proves that when you have unelected bureaucrats with authority to make major unilateral decisions, constituents have very little recourse in changing those decisions.  Therefore, I call upon the State Board to follow the science, change course, and immediately allow the decision to mask children to be made by the parents.

Crime

Americans are increasingly concerned with the rising crime in our cities and communities, even while policies are being implemented in areas like Baltimore City and Montgomery County that encourage crime by not prosecuting people who commit crimes!

I am committed to not allowing that type of poor decision to impact the rest of the state.  Therefore, I have co-sponsored the Governor’s crime package, which includes measures to increase truth in sentencing and plea deals, and the violent firearms offender act.  The truth in sentencing legislation gives the state a greater ability to appeal a trial court’s decision in the cases of violent crimes committed with firearms.  It also prohibits the pre-trial release of a defendant awaiting trial for a violent crime committed with a firearm.

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CANDIDACY ANNOUNCEMENT
February 02, 2022

Today I filed my candidacy for re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates.

Representing St. Mary’s County citizens in the Maryland General Assembly, a body that first convened in 1632, has been a great privilege and an honor for me.  Over the last eight years, I feel that I have represented our community to the best of my ability. 

As the St. Mary’s County Delegation Chair, I have worked with our County Commissioners to pass legislation to ensure an efficient local government.  I have secured state resources for education, roads, and bridge projects for our area.  In addition, I have worked with state agencies on behalf of many constituents.  As your Delegate, I have passed a wide range of legislation, from making the government more accountable to the taxpayer to legislation that ensures no monopoly exists in the distribution of pharmaceuticals.

I’ve looked for opportunities to work across the aisle and have been involved in many bipartisan efforts with my Democratic colleagues whenever possible.  However, I am not hesitant to stand in fierce opposition to the Democrat party when their policies run contrary to our shared conservative values.  I will continue to defend the Founders’ tenet of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, for all Maryland Citizens.

For far too long, I have felt that politicians will tell you what you want to hear during election time.  They cater to you for your vote, but when there is a crisis whether it’s COVID, the “defund the police” movement, or the endless and senseless mandates and restrictions, their voices remain silent.  

Unfortunately, too many politicians simply do not dare to stand up for what they believe is right.  Instead, they have become “risk-averse” and have chosen to do what is personally and politically easy for them instead of standing up for the beliefs and the values of the people who elected them.   

I made a campaign promise that I would not be silent, that I would fight and negotiate for the best outcome for my constituents.  I am proud to say that I have lived up to my promises.

I look forward to running a tough and aggressive campaign; a campaign which talks about not only the problems we all face, such as inflation, crime, and issues in our schools but also a campaign which proposes solutions to those challenges. 

If I am lucky enough to be re-elected to represent St. Mary’s County once again, constituents can trust that I will continue to fight on their behalf.  I will strive to implement our ideas and solutions and always do my best to make government work for the citizens, not against them.

To volunteer with my campaign, please sign up here: https://www.voteformattmorgan.com/volunteer

For immediate release: Contact: Louisa Baucom 443-386-5191 [email protected]

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NEW REDISTRICTING MAP
January 28, 2022

If you are receiving my newsletter for the first time, I want to thank you for answering our poll and signing my petition to stop the inflationary gas tax increase.  One of my top priorities as an elected official is to keep you informed on your state government's interworking.  I will send out a weekly email on important topics that come before us during the legislative session, and I encourage and welcome your feedback.

Yesterday, on a straight party-line vote, Democrats in the General Assembly passed a new legislative map.  This new Map will be used in state elections for the State Senate and the House of Delegates until the 2034 election.  That's right, and these maps will be in effect for the next decade.  Unfortunately, the maps are drawn unfairly to benefit the Democratic Party.  The maps have received a failing grade from a nonpartisan watchdog group which cited them as some of the most gerrymandered districts in the entire country. 

Maryland is the only state in the nation that uses this hodgepodge of multi-member and single-member districts. 

We often think of Gerrymandering as just drawing beneficial districts, but in this case, Democrats also decide the election type.

It disenfranchises voters in our region and across the entire state.

It's cheating to benefit a political party. 

As you can imagine, I voted against the partisan Map.  I also spoke out against it from the House floor.  You can view my speech on my Facebook page, about a minute and a half into the video here: https://fb.watch/aPGc_-Ws12/

As I've said in previous emails, the courts will ultimately decide this.  I hope the courts will do what is right and protect the citizens from this blatant political abuse.

New State Legislative Map

New State Legislative Map - Southern Maryland

 

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LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS UNDERWAY
January 22, 2022

The 444th Session of the Maryland General Assembly has begun, and I am honored to be here representing our community.

In this Legislative session, I believe there are several critical issues facing constituents, including inflation, addressing violent crime, empowering parents in their child's education, political redistricting, and election integrity.

If you are receiving my newsletter for the first time, I want to thank you for answering our poll and signing my petition to stop the inflationary gas tax increase.  One of my top priorities as an elected official is to keep you informed on your state government's interworking.  I will send out a weekly email on important topics that come before us during the legislative session, and I encourage and welcome your feedback.

This week, as promised, my first bill of this session was HB 144 Motor Fuel Tax Rates - Consumer Price Index Adjustment – Repeal. (Fiscal Note is below)

Like you, I am concerned about the impact of rapidly increased inflation and energy cost on the citizens of Maryland.  A little-known fact is that the Maryland gas tax is connected to CPI (consumer price index).  As inflation increases, so does Maryland's fuel tax, essentially an automatic tax increase that goes into effect every July 1st

This bill repeals that automatic tax increase and stops the projected $37 million tax increase.  In my opinion, the $37 million in the fiscal note is a very low estimate of the actual tax citizens will be paying next year.  I called and spoke to the fiscal analyst before the bill hearing this past Tuesday.  The fiscal analysis was based on an assumption of a 4.5% inflation increase this year and a 2.6% increase next year.  This is a low estimate as inflation swelled to 7% last month and after growing 6.5% last quarter. 

I am hopeful the House Ways and Means Committee members take action on this legislation.  I will attempt to add the measure to another bill later in session through the amendment process if they do not. 

If you support this legislation, please consider signing our support petition at:  https://www.voteformattmorgan.com/gastax22

Redistricting

Though the start of this session has been slow, we expect to return to the Floor this coming week to debate the Legislative Re- Districting maps.

The Senate has passed SJ2, the partisan Legislative Redistricting Advisory Committee (LRAC). The House crossfile is HJ2

As expected, Governor Hogan's bipartisan appointed redistricting committee, the Maryland Citizen Maryland Citizens' Legislative Districting Plan of 2022, will languish in the rules committee.  This coming Wednesday, we will attempt to amend the Citizens Redistricting Map to the SJ2/HJ2 bill, whichever one comes to the House Floor first.  I will post a link to the floor debate on my Facebook page.

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GAS TAX INCREASE
January 07, 2022

Like many of my constituents, I am concerned about the impact of rapidly increased inflation and energy cost burdening the citizens of Maryland.  A little-known fact is that the Maryland gas tax is connected to CPI (consumer price index).  As inflation increases, so does Maryland's fuel tax; essentially, it is an automatic tax increase.  Last quarter inflation grew 6.5%, with many economists predicting it will go much higher.  With consumers facing a rapid rise in the price for all consumables and especially fuel at the pump, I believe it's time we stop the automatic gas tax increases.  I have drafted legislation to do just that. 

Help Me Stop the Gas Tax Increase!

I believe that all tax increases should be voted on and justified by your representative.  Connecting a tax to an economic index like CPI is an automatic tax increase and allows politicians off the hook to explain it.  Especially in times such as these, when we are all struggling to recover from the pandemic is no time to raise taxes.  If you believe, as I do, that all tax increases should have a vote, will you help me by signing my petition of support to stop Maryland Fuel Tax increases?

Petition link: https://www.voteformattmorgan.com/gastax22

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STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT REDISTRICTING
December 30, 2021

As you may remember, Governor Hogan’s bipartisan Citizens Redistricting Commission released their final map at the beginning of November after many public meetings and public work sessions.  Their map is below and shows my district that combines Northern St. Mary’s with Southern Charles County with a number change of 41A.

Subsequently, on Monday, December 20th, the Legislative Redistricting Commission, the commission made up of almost entirely Democrats, released their proposed map.

The Southern Maryland area of the LRAC map looks very similar to the current 2010 map.  The LRAC map keeps St. Mary's whole along with the Southern tip of Calvert County to balance out the population for the Senate district.  However, I do want to take the time to thank both commissions for following through with what citizens from our area wanted regarding keeping St. Mary’s County together.  I put out a call to action email back in September asking citizens to weigh in with keeping St. Mary’s whole, and I again want to thank those citizens who took the time to testify and write letters.  Clearly, your voices were heard.  

The Maryland General Assembly convenes on January 12th, and redistricting will be among the most hotly contested topics.  I am sure Democrats will make minor adjustments to their LRAC map, but I cannot see any significant changes that would impact our area.  However, the redistricting issue may take some time to sort out and will likely be decided by the courts. 

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CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING WRAP UP
December 10, 2021

Bring on the court case! 

I have to hand it to General Assembly Democrats.  They took the most gerrymandered map in the entire country and gerrymandered it more.

This week General Assembly convened in Special Session to pass a Congressional Redistricting Plan. State Legislative Redistricting will be completed in the regular session starting January 12, 2022.

Two redistricting plans came before the General Assembly, one from the non-partisan Maryland’s Citizen’s Redistricting Commission and the other from the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission (LRAC) (Democrat Map).

The LRAC was comprised of members of the General Assembly to determine where the district lines would be drawn. While this effort included two Republican members for the first time in the state’s history, the ultimate product was a partisan map that did not receive the support of the Republican members of the Committee. This bill came before the General Assembly as House Bill 1.

The Citizen’s Commission was appointed by the Governor under the principle that it is the citizens of Maryland who should determine what politician represents them.  They produced a fair and non-partisan map that was brought before the General Assembly as House Bill 2.

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Delegate Matt Morgan
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