ONE OF OUR PRIORITY BILLS
April 03, 2023

One week to go in the 2023 Legislative Session, and I want to alert you to an important bill hung up in the judiciary committee for some unknown reason.  HB233 is legislation introduced by a friend of mine, Baltimore County Delegate Robin Grammer (R), and it was one of our priority bills going into this session. The bill stems from a constituent of Delegate Grammer's who had a horrific situation of a relative molesting her daughter. The constituent's relative was fired months earlier for watching child porn while at work. However, since the law has not caught up to the technology, streaming child pornography is not illegal in Maryland, no arrests on those grounds were made, and the mother never knew why her relative was fired. Obviously, if she knew, she wouldn't have left her 6-year-old daughter alone with the relative. This legislation has been in limbo all session, but I understand this bill is on the committee vote sheet for today. It's time to close the MD child porn loophole and throw these creeps in jail. Maryland cannot become a sanctuary for pedophiles.

Read more at the Duck Pin: https://theduckpin.substack.com/p/why-is-luke-clippinger-refusing-to

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SURVEY RESULTS AND BILLS
March 23, 2023

Recently I asked you to complete a pre-session legislative survey, and I wanted to highlight to you how much these informal surveys help as we fight in Annapolis to be your voice.

The outcome of the newly approved legislation draws attention to how dissimilar today's Democratic Party is with our region's way of life. Here are a few examples of the survey questions, the survey results, and the legislation passed. I added the pertinent bills and amendment links to each of the survey questions so you can see how many people answered for a given issue versus the actual legislation being passed:

Survey Question #5: Maryland's fuel tax is connected to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As inflation increases, so does our fuel tax. Last year fuel tax went up .07 cents per/gallon of gas. This year the tax is predicted to increase another .07 per/gallon. 

Do you support decoupling Maryland's fuel tax from CPI, which would preemptively stop a fuel tax increase?

Survey Votes

756 - Yes

62 - No

98 - Uncertain

HB 422, the bill I have introduced in the past and once again this year, would have decoupled the Maryland Gas tax from the CPI. While the bill didn't make it to the floor, I offered it as a floor amendment on another bill. The amendment was rejected mostly down party lines.  https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2023RS/votes/house/0319.pdf

Clink the READ MORE link below.

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CHARLOTTE HALL VETERANS HOME ISSUES
March 17, 2023

I am very saddened to learn that the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home has dropped to a 1-star rating by Medicaid. I was made aware of this at a meeting on Monday evening with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Anthony Woods. As a result, the State is terminating the contract, and Charlotte Hall will be placed under new stewardship.
Before this meeting, my office had not received complaints about Charlotte Hall Veterans Home for nearly ten years, so news of this surprised me. Unfortunately, many nursing homes have suffered due to the covid precautions over the last few years. By barring access to visitors, the connection between caregivers and family members who usually would bring any issues to light has been profoundly weakened.

The state procurement process can be cumbersome. Still, the Moore Administration, especially Secretary Woods, has a good handle on the situation and a solid plan for going forward.

I support any effort to improve resident care and will continue giving Charlotte Hall my attention.
I have always felt a responsibility to advocate for Charlotte Hall. Only a few years ago, I restored $1 million in funding previously cut from the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home budget from the House Floor. (Link to the video of floor fight.  Link to restoration) I will continue to fight for the necessary funding and resources it needs.

Moreover, I am committed to working with the new stewards of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home and other stakeholders in the community to ensure that its residents receive the services they need and deserve. We should all be doing our part to bring back a safe and healthy environment for the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. Our veterans deserve nothing less.

Read more on this issue:
https://www.marylandmatters.org/2023/03/16/moore-cancels-contract-following-concerns-of-neglect-and-abuse-at-state-nursing-home-for-veterans/

https://www.marylandmatters.org/2023/03/17/legislators-advocates-express-concern-about-complaints-at-charlotte-hall/

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HB283 - CRAZY
March 17, 2023

A few weeks ago, I raised the potential health risks posed by House Bill 283, which allows minors to access taxpayer-funded gender-affirming treatment, including gender reassignment surgery and puberty blockers. Following my pre-session legislative survey, constituents strongly agreed with age restrictions being implemented in relation to such treatments. Today, this bill has made it to the House Floor, with Delegate Mark Fisher proposing an amendment limiting access to such treatments for those aged 18 and over. This amendment will be voted on tomorrow. Please take the time to watch and understand what your legislators are voting on.
If you agree with limiting this to 18 years or older, I highly suggest contacting your legislator and telling them to vote for the amendment.
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SPEAKING OUT
March 10, 2023

All of us should be horrified by Annapolis Democrats' plan for Maryland. It cannot stand, and we must make sure our voices are heard against it.

Today there were several bills that passed the House I know you would disagree with. At the top of the list is HB 547, which allocates additional taxpayer money to the Earned Income Tax Credit with a sizable amount of money reserved for illegal aliens. This money could be better spent helping our citizens. This plan is an insult to all those who followed the proper process for immigrating to this country, and it's unfair to expect our taxpayers to foot the bill for people who have broken our immigration laws.

Up next is HB 705, a bill that seeks to solidify abortion in the Maryland Constitution. This has been an issue of contention since the overturning of Roe vs. Wade; it must be noted that Maryland already holds some of the most progressive and tolerant laws on abortion nationwide.

After that, HB 119 would push gender ideology onto children - a direct attack on parental rights. In addition, the bill can withhold up to 20% of funding from the state if the local school board disagrees with implementing the state education curriculum. 

And then there's HB 556, the cannabis legislation that looks like it was written by a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) intern with the only goal of equal outcomes and pushing pot shops into the rural areas of our state. Many people voted for the recreational cannabis referendum in the last election solely in the hopes of it bringing in additional educational revenue. The Department of Legislative Service estimates this legislation only brings in a pathic $19 million worth of revenue. To put that into perspective, the education budget in state dollars is over $11 billion. Over the years, Maryland politicians have promised to pay for education spending increases with gimmicks such as the lottery, slots, table gaming, additional Casinos, and sports betting. Now you can add recreational cannabis to the list of programs that were sold to voters as a fiscal solution but ended up falling short.

Finally, we come to HB 535, allowing the majority party to manipulate elections further by authenticating unsigned mail-in ballots via text messaging. Not only is this potentially vulnerable to fraud, but it also undermines the integrity of our democratic system. 

Annapolis Democrats like to say we are not like DC. Still, after Wednesday, when Republicans offered 17 common-sense amendments, not a single one was accepted, leaving many believing we may be headed in an even worse direction.

I urge everyone to stay aware of the issues that concern you and make your opinions known. Only through collective action can we have a say in the laws being passed in Maryland. Together, let's stand up for our rights and protect our state from these damaging policies! Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you join me in speaking out against this insanity.

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CRICKET FLOUR
March 08, 2023

I am giving you a legislative update on my legislation HB 606 which requires notification to the consumer when food products contain cricket flour.

HB 606- Public Health - Food Products Containing Insect Flour - Labeling

The push to include this ingredient is becoming an agenda item for the WEF, the World Economic Forum. In the effort to reduce greenhouse gasses, traditional farming and raising meat have come under fire. The favored alternative is turning to insects for food. Despite allergy data, the European Union Approved cricket powder as a component of flour-based foods.

Canada has funded $8.5 million to expand cricket flour manufacturing. Aspire, the cricket powder manufacturing plant in Ontario, will produce 9000 metric tons of crickets for human consumption, and about 2 billion insects will be headed to the food supply.

While there may be many positive benefits to the addition of cricket flour as a sustainable protein source, consumers must be informed about the ingredients in any food product. For those with allergies or dietary restrictions, this could pose a serious health risk if they unknowingly consume something with an insect-based ingredient.

The bill had its hearing on February 28th. I am amending the bill to make it pertain to food prepared on-site, such as protein smoothies, to require a menu notification. Package labeling will potentially have to be another bill that will address interstate commerce. As the popularity of cricket flour increases, it is vital that consumers are aware of what is included in their food.

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VAX CHOICE
March 07, 2023

I wanted to give a quick update on two of my bills here in Annapolis:

HB699- State and Local Government- Proof of Vaccination for Employees and Applicants for Employment- Prohibition (Vaccination by Choice Act)

The bill hearing on HB 699 yesterday went incredibly well. One of my colleagues on the HGO committee said, it was the best and most informative bill hearing he has ever heard. 

This bill prohibits COVID vaccine passports for state employees, employees, staff, and by amendment, the student body of Maryland colleges and universities.

132 people signed up to testify in favor of the legislation, either in person, virtually, or by submitting written testimony to the committee. Because 50 people signed up to give oral testimony, the most a bill can have- HB699 was saved for last on the docket. Despite the long day and late start, everyone who came to testify in person or waited to testify virtually stayed for the opportunity to address the committee with their expertise, stories, and experiences. I am so grateful for their dedication to this critical issue. 

Many others took the time to write their support to the committee members, and I want to thank every person who reached out and advocated for this bill.

As I said in the hearing, I hope the committee members will come down on the side of the science, the data, and a genuine desire to get the health policy right and move this legislation. The bill does not stop anyone who wants to receive the vaccine. It simply puts the choice where it should be on the individual.

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Delegate Matt Morgan
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