Maggie’s Legislative Update: March 5, 2016

Posted by Matt on March 5, 2016  |   Comments Off on Maggie’s Legislative Update: March 5, 2016

Friends,

Yesterday, I was pleased to join Speaker Busch in honoring Senator Mikulski on the House floor. I’ve written several BAM 3-4-16times about experiences working for the Senator and everything that her friendship has meant to me over the years. Today, I spoke to my colleagues about how following Senator Mikulski around to every county in our state prepared me for my own career in public service. What made today extra special is that a whole cadre of fellow Mikulski alumni, including several other members of the House, were able to be there to support the senator.

Tuesday, the Appropriations Committee heard nearly twenty bills. I wanted to highlight for you this week three of them that I feel are of particular concern to the 43rd District.

HB 1013: Making Transportation Investment Decisions Open and Transparent:

HB 1013 is the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016. It is a common-sense bill that clearly links our existing State transportation goals to the selection of major construction projects in the state’s Consolidated Transportation Plan. HB 1013 takes the politics out of the State’s transportation funding decisions and replaces it with a data-driven, publicly accessible framework by which all major projects will be ranked and scored.

Modeled on successful legislation from Virginia, this bill creates a department-led evaluation process that maintains MDOT’s flexibility to prioritize projects and does not impact the current process where counties and Baltimore City submit their own transportation priorities to MDOT for consideration.

HB 891: Repealing MTA’s Farebox Recovery Requirement:

We also heard a bill proposed by Delegate Brooke Lierman, HB 891, which would repeal the MTA’s farebox recovery requirement. Under current law Maryland requires its transit authority to cover 35% of costs with revenue from rider fares. This has two major consequences: (1) It dis-incentivizes the MTA from improving the safety and quality of transportation services, and (2) effectively forbids discounts to riders, like senior citizens, who may need them.

The 35% requirement is a completely arbitrary goal measure, and one the system has never reached. By removing this requirement, MTA will be allowed to focus on metrics that improve the overall transit system.

HB 1002: Gun-Free College Campuses:

Finally, we heard HB 1002, which prohibits the carrying or possession of firearms on the property of public institutions of higher education. I support this bill because I believe it is important for our students to feel safe on campus. This legislation, supported by key stakeholders such as the University System of Maryland (USM) and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC), would protect our college campuses, and align with an existing ban of deadly weapons on K-12 public school property.

Community Updates:

As some of you may know, The Book Thing experienced a terrible fire that has left the warehouse in serious need of repair. This free bookstore has served the city of Baltimore for over a decade, but now needs our help! What can we do?

  • Click here to donate directly to The Book Thing, or find something on their Wish List.
  • Attend Trivia Night at Peabody Heights Brewery on Thursday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds will be donated to the restoration of The Book Thing.

The Saint Mary’s Outreach Center will be helping people fill out their SNAP (Formerly know as Food Stamps) and Groceries to Go application on Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m. The Saint Mary’s Outreach Center is located on 3900 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

maggie sig

 

 

Maggie