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.

https://rumble.com/v3rgoyv-sheriff-mike-lewis-were-all-scared-to-death-to-go-to-jail.html

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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.

https://www.wmar2news.com/infocus/maryland-executive-director-of-cair-temporarily-suspended-from-commission-on-hate-crimes

Crime

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.

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/11-year-old-captured-by-cops-17-times-for-car-thefts-burglaries-heres-why-hes-not-facing-charges?fbclid=IwAR1udK09qaic_P_yrXwXP3CDEzPRih6l042KoOxt3deAapFghzjD2saHi-I

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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.

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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]

https://youtu.be/cL88QcdX6To

Constituent Issue

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.

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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: 

https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2023RS/votes/house/1254.pdf

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.  

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CANCER EXPLAINED
September 20, 2023

This week, I thought I'd simply send out an email and invite everyone to join us at the County Fair. However, I realized that "seeing is believing" and decided that recording a quick video for you would be better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3mkYqgqplY

Thank you again for the prayers, and get well wishes. They most certainly helped. I will be at the Fair Thursday evening, Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning.  If you are attending, swing by the Republican booth, and please say hello. I have also received some updated information and said the wrong time in the video.  The parade at the St. Mary's Fair starts at 10 a.m.  Saturday, we will meet up around 9:30 a.m. across from the Fair Grounds in front of the Tech Center behind the Republican float. Remember to wear your patriotic shirts. 

I hope to see you there,

Matt

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SOCIAL EQUITY VERIFICATION PORTAL
September 08, 2023

In many Conservative circles, particularly in Conservative talk radio, there is a tendency to draw parallels between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and today's heavily Woke-influenced Democratic Party.

This comparison is often presented as satire to highlight certain policy similarities. After reading the recent press release from the Maryland Cannabis Administration, which was influenced by the Cannabis Reform Act approved by the General Assembly this legislative session, it seems that the jokes about implementing a CCP Social Scoring System may be closer to reality than we think.

The new Social Equity Verification Portal exemplifies the slippery slope of identity politics, where our state government is attempting to circumvent the Federal Equal Opportunity Laws. Below is one of several reasons why I voted against this legislation.

Read their Press Release below:

 

Maryland Cannabis Administration Announces Creation of Social Equity Verification Portal

Linthicum Heights, MD - The Maryland Cannabis Administration today announced the creation of the Social Equity Verification Portal for individuals interested in pursuing a cannabis business license. The portal will assist prospective applicants with confirming their social equity status before the license application round opens later this year.

The Social Equity Verification Portal is scheduled to open on Friday, September 8.

The first round of licensing for standard and micro cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries will be exclusive to social equity applicants. The Social Equity Verification Portal will instruct individuals on the social equity applicant eligibility requirements and allow them to verify their eligibility as a social equity applicant before the application period opens later this fall.

Under the Cannabis Reform Act, a social equity applicant is defined as an applicant with 65% or greater ownership or control held by individuals who have lived in a disproportionately impacted area for at least five of the past 10 years, attended a public school in a disproportionately impacted area for at least five years, or attended a four-year institution of higher education in Maryland where at least 40 percent of the individuals who attend the institution of higher education are eligible for a Pell Grant, for at least two years.

Earlier today, the Office of Social Equity published data identifying ZIP codes and public schools in Maryland that are within a disproportionately impacted area. In addition, the Office of Social Equity identified the University of Baltimore, Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, the University of Maryland - Eastern Shore, and Washington Adventist University as the four-year instructions of higher education with at least 40% Pell Grant eligibility. More information on the Office of Social Equity and the qualifying geographic areas and institutions of higher education may be found at ose.maryland.gov.

“In partnership with the Maryland Cannabis Administration, the Office of Social Equity paves a pioneering path toward inclusivity,” said Office of Social Equity Executive Director Audrey Johnson. This collaboration underscores the shared commitment to nurture a diverse cannabis landscape, rectify historical imbalances, and ensure equal access.”

The Social Equity Verification Portal will be open for a period of 60 days, closing on Tuesday, November 7.

For more information, including how to access the Social Equity Verification Portal beginning on September 8, visit cannabis.maryland.gov.

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