Two Weeks to Go

March 27, 2019

Happy Spring! With just two weeks left in the 2019 legislative session, there is still a lot of work to be done... 

Budget

The House Appropriations Committee presented a bipartisan, balanced budget for FY 2020. Despite a $269 million write down in revenue estimates partially due to the Federal Government shutdown, the Appropriations Committee was able to reorganize the state budget to fund our priorities without raising any taxes.

Differences between the House and Senate budgets were just worked out in conference committee and approved by the House:

Fiscal Responsibility

  • More than $115 million remains in a fund balance plus a $26 million structural surplus for fiscal year 2020, consistent with the Spending Affordability Committee's (SAC) goals
  • We preserved more than $1.2 billion in cash reserves in the Rainy Day Fund
  • Expenditures increased by 3.3%, below the 3.75% cap set by the SAC

Investment in Educational Priorities

  • Record funding $7 billion for public schools including funding for initial Kirwan recommendations
    • $65.5 m  for special education
    • $75 m to increase teachers’ salaries
    • $54 m for schools in areas of concentrated poverty
    • $31.7 m full-day pre-k for low income families
    • $23 m to help children who are falling behind in elementary school
  • Caps in-state tuition increases at higher education institutions at 2%
  • Coupled with the capital budget, dedicates $500 m to school construction needs

Public Health

  • $11.2 billion in the state’s Medicaid Program, serving 1.4 million Marylanders
  • $80 million of additional funding to fight the opioid crisis
  • 3% rate increase for behavioral and mental health providers
  • 3.5% rate increase for providers serving the developmentally disabled

State Employees & Public Safety

  • 3% general salary increase
  • 5% salary increase to law enforcement officers
  • $3.5 million for a new rape kit testing fund (see Shelly's bills)
  • $7 million for Baltimore City crime fighting initiatives

A visit from Bais Yaakov School students

Shelly’s Bills

I am pleased to report that a number of my bills made the crossover deadline (the date by which bills have to pass one house in order to be heard in the other) and will be considered in the Senate:

Rape Kits - HB 1096 has passed the House and creates a presumption that virtually all rape kits will be tested. I'm hopeful this bill will enable sexual assault survivors to be treated with the respect and dignity they desperately deserve. HB 1268 has also passed the House and creates a rape kit testing grant fund where law enforcement labs can apply for funds to test kits.

Protecting Students - HB 464 and HB 461 will protect students from the predatory practices of certain for-profit schools by ensuring that any for-profit school operating in Maryland is doing it in the best interest of the students and NOT their investors. They also require schools to disclose important information prior to a student enrolling.

Representation of Women on Boards of Directors - HB 1116 will require companies that file certain forms with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to report on how many women participate on their Boards of Directors. Equitable representation on boards, commissions, decision-making bodies, and leadership roles is essential to the economic and social mobility of women.

Protecting University Employees - HB 822 makes it clear that certain University System of Maryland public higher education employees can only be terminated for cause.

Supporting Residents at Community Care Retirement Communities (CCRC's) HB 588 allows both owners and residents access to counsel during a mediation grievance process. 

The Government Accountability and Maryland Program Evaluation Act – HB 1113 creates an Office of Performance Evaluation and Government Accountability to examine the efficacy and efficiency of our state agencies and programs. This bill has passed both the House and Senate.

Protecting Student Athletes – HB 876 requires higher education institutions to develop a process for student athletes to express concerns about their team’s culture to an official outside of the athletic department.

 

Rally for Public School Funding & Kirwan Commission

Additional Important Legislation 

  • Increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2023 (with exceptions for businesses employing fewer than 14 employees, which have until July, 2026) as well as a bill to permit local jurisdictions to set their own school start dates have been sent to the Governor. We will learn this week whether he will sign or veto the bills.
  • Environmental legislation banning Styrofoam containers and the pesticide Chlorpyrifos
  • A bill to protect state retirees' prescription drug coverage passed the House and Senate but still need to be reconciled
  • $1.6 million for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was included in the budget and HB 1404 will expand funding into 2021
  • I have also been working to keep the Preakness in Baltimore
  • The House passed the Build to Learn Act, with bipartisan support, that will invest an additional $2.2 billion into school construction, on top of current school construction funding. This is very important to Baltimore County students, many of whom learn in well-worn, aged buildings.
  • The House passed the End of Life Option Act, which would enable terminally ill individuals to request aid in dying after making 3 requests to physicians, one of which is in writing. There are substantial differences between the House and Senate versions of this bill, so it's unclear whether and how they will be reconciled.

Shelly@theDeli

Back at Home

Pikesville Armory

The Pikesville Armory, built in 1903, is the second oldest armory in the state of Maryland and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The Armory had been the social center of the community for many years and presents a compelling opportunity for the future. With its strategic location, open space resources, and significant facilities as an untapped communal anchor in Pikesville, the Armory can be revitalized to support broader growth, access to open space, recreation facilities, and arts—just to name a few—in the greater Pikesville community.

Learn more about the Armory, the visioning process, and please make your voice heard by taking part in the community survey here.

Transportation

The Regional Transit Plan will reflect our rapidly changing world; we travel in different ways with far more options today than just 10 years ago. Help shape the future of transportation options in our region. Take the Survey!

I also encourage you to apply for Transportation 101. The Central Maryland Transportation Alliance is now accepting applications for its Transportation 101 workshops! Classes are held at the UM BioPark from 6pm - 9pm every Wednesday from May 1 to June 12 and include dinner. Childcare options are available. Candidates can learn more and may apply through April 10 here.

Pikesville Community

Join in visioning a smarter, more sustainable development and redevelopment for Pikesville’s future here.

Timonium Community 

​During the next few weeks, beginning on or after 3/27/19 the State Highway Administration's contractor will be performing the first phase of demolition work on the existing I-83 bridges over Padonia Road. This work requires closing and detouring the section of Padonia Road underneath the bridges at night. The contractor may work at any time between 8:00 pm and 5:00 pm the next day, Sunday through Thursday nights. The contractor will post the dates/times of the night-time detours in advance on the portable digital message signs placed along eastbound and westbound Padonia Road and there will be posted detour routes for travelers to use while the closures are in effect. SHA will also provide construction traffic updates to area traffic reporters.

In the News

I was a guest on the Roughly Speaking Podcast, a feature of the Baltimore Sun with Goucher College’s Mileah Kromer and one of The Sun’s Annapolis reporters, Luke Broadwater.

The Sun featured an article on my rape kit testing bill.

MD Matters featured my bill, HB 1113, which creates the Office of Performance Evaluation and Government Accountability.

 

Legislative Scholarship

If you know a current high school senior or college student, please share the Delegate Scholarship opportunity. Scholarship applications are available on the website: www.shellyhettleman.com. There are separate applications for New and Renewing applicants. Please share with interested students and contact our office with any questions. All applications must be postmarked by April 1st for full consideration.

 

Please let us know if you have any questions & we'll be happy to get you additional information!  We appreciate the many people who have reached out to let us know their thoughts about bills. Please keep in touch and we look forward to hearing from you.  

Sincerely,

 

Shelly Hettleman

 

 

 

P.S. Please like my Facebook page, where you will find regular postings and follow me on twitter @shellyhettleman.

 

 

 


Paid for by Friends of Shelly Hettleman. Jodi Schwartz, Treasurer Lainy LeBow-Sachs, Chair

P.O. Box 32677, Baltimore, MD 21282

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