Now, for an update….
In and Around the District
Last week, I had a blast with CHAI, participating the #GoodNeighborDay initiative. I worked with others to weatherize and care for the home an an of older adult in our community. We sealed the sliding glass doors from cold air seeping in while my co-workers raked the leaves in her yard. Volunteers from Jewish Volunteer Connection helped by spreading their volunteers throughout our community. To learn more about JVC, click here and CHAI, click here.
In the spirit of the holidays, let's continue to advocate for our community members in need. Approximately 760,300 Maryland residents are food insecure – nearly 1 in 8 households. Please join me in fighting for food insecure Marylanders by asking the Governor to support Maryland Farms and Families. In the 2017 session, a bill I sponsored, HB 586 Maryland Farms and Families Act, passed with unanimous support in the House and Senate. This legislation became law, but it is now up to the Governor to make funding it a priority. The new law increases the purchasing power of residents who use public food assistance programs like SNAP and WIC while also increasing revenue for farmers. Click here to sign this community letter urging the Governor to support farmers and thousands of food insecure Marylanders.
Supporting Affordable Prescription Drugs
Recently, Attorney General Brian Frosh, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen and my General Assembly colleagues held a press conference supporting a new law that will prohibit price gouging by manufacturers of generic and off-patent prescription drugs. Working with MedChi and Health Care for All, this initiative will ensure access to affordable, and often essential, prescription drugs that will positively benefit Maryland consumers. If you have a personal experience having been price-gouged by generic drugs, please click here to share it.
I was honored to have been recognized by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence for my work to protect women and seniors through HB 498- Health Care Decisions Act - Advance Directives and Surrogate Decision Making. This new law will prevent abusers from acting as health care agents or surrogate health care decision makers for patients who have been abused. I’m happy to share this recognition with all of the advocates who helped ensure its bipartisan and unanimous passage.
During the 2015 legislative session, the District 11 team introduced a bond bill to enable Greenspring Montessori to expand classrooms and accommodate more young children. I was happy to attend a recent ribbon cutting ceremony where new classrooms were unveiled that will enhance the educational opportunities of our community's youngest members.
The Future of Politics
I had terrific conversations with Mr. Lewin’s Politics Club at Owings Mills High School! These high schoolers are bright and inquisitive and we had a free-wheeling conversations about politics and policy.
Happy Anniversary Pikesville Chamber
It was wonderful to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce and to celebrate with local community and business leaders who have helped our community grow and thrive.
Honoring the Ultimate Sacrifice
November 13th, 2017 would have been Captain Jesse Melton’s 39th birthday. After having served two tours in Okinawa, Japan, he was killed serving in Afghanistan in 2008. I recently met Jesse’s mom, Janice Chance, a constituent, to visit the bridge that my colleagues and I helped to get named in his memory. Turns out that it’s the bridge over I-695 closest to my house. Ms. Chance is a Gold Star Mom who devotes an incredible amount of time helping veterans at Walter Reed, the VA hospital and anywhere she finds them. She’s truly an inspiration, as was her son, who always gave back to the community - in his neighborhood, his church, and his country. I am very grateful to have met Ms. Chance and to have the opportunity to know her son through her.
In case you missed it, my dear friend, colleague and suitemate Brooke Lierman gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl the day after her fundraiser (where this photo of us was taken). Welcome to the world Elizabeth Jane Hansel, we’re so happy you’re here!
BCPS School Calendar Follow Up
As you may have already seen, the Baltimore County School Board voted 9-3 to keep schools closed on Jewish Holidays. I am pleased that the Board took this position and you can read my testimony in support of schools remaining closed here.
BCPLS Partnership with BCPS
All Baltimore County Public School Students now have access to the Baltimore County Public Library System through Student Accounts. Under the Student Accounts program, holders will not accrue late or extended use fees and will have access to online resources and databases. I applaud this partnership and and support the broadening of access to learning and growth.