Maggie’s Legislative Update: 2013 Session Preview

Posted by Matt on January 11, 2013  |   Comments Off on Maggie’s Legislative Update: 2013 Session Preview

Friends,

Happy New Year! Wednesday marked the beginning of the 2013 legislative session and things are already getting busy in Annapolis. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the priority pieces of legislation that I will be working on over the next 90 days.

Recycling and The Environment:State House Dome, Annapolis, MD

This session, I will be sponsoring a bill that will require a refundable deposit on aluminum, glass, and plastic beverage containers. The “bottle bill” is modeled on programs in 10 other states that encourages recycling by adding an economic incentive to do so. In Maryland, only 22% of recyclable bottles actually get reused, but in states that have instituted bottle deposit programs that number is 76%! It’s a smart, simple, proven way to increase recycling at no additional cost to consumers. If you’d like more information on how bottle deposit will impact Maryland, check out www.recycleforreal.com.

In a similar vein, my 43rd District colleague Mary Washington will once again be sponsoring the Community Clean-Up and Greening Act, also known as the “bag bill”. This bill places a 5 cent charge on plastic bags, reducing the number of used bags that end up in our streets, storm drains, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. A similar program in Washington, DC has already yielded fantastic results and I look forward to working with Del. Washington on this legislation.

Gun Control:

In response to the many recent gun tragedies, the General Assembly will be addressing gun control in 2013. While Maryland already has some of the strongest gun control laws in the country, there are several common-sense measures we can take that will help make Baltimore a safer place to live.

Two proposals that have already been put forward and that I support are banning high-capacity ammunition clips and assault weapons like the kind used in several recent tragedies. We will also be working to strengthen the background check and firearm registration systems we already have in place.

Death Penalty Repeal:

Every year since 2007, I have been a co-sponsor of legislation to repeal Maryland’s death penalty and will do so again in 2013. While I am proud to say that Maryland has some of the toughest standards for applying the death penalty anywhere in the country, this is not a comfort to those of us pushing for a full repeal. Senate President Miller has promised to bring the repeal bill to a vote in the Senate if the support is there, so I am hopeful that 2013 is finally the year we repeal capital punishment in Maryland.

Investing in Our Schools:

This week, Governor O’Malley announced Maryland public schools were once again #1 in the country. However, we in Baltimore City know we still have a long way to go in ensuring all of Maryland’s children have safe, healthy spaces in which to learn. The Baltimore City delegation will be working this session to support the Baltimore City Public Schools and their innovative 10-year construction plan, Transform Baltimore.

Part of this effort will include legislation to create a steady, flexible revenue stream for schools by allowing capital project money to be distributed as a block grant. This would allow Baltimore City Public Schools to use state funding more efficiently and leverage state aid to raise additional revenue to fund the nearly $2.4 billion it is estimated is needed to repair and/or replace aging school buildings in the next 10 years.

 

As always, please contact me and my staff with any questions or concerns you have about any legislation pending in the House of Delegates. I look forward to being able to serve as your voice in Annapolis and will try to keep you informed on the issues important to Baltimoreans.

Sincerely,

Maggie McIntosh