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On Monday we celebrated long-awaited cross-file. Tuesday was quiet with the threat of impending weather and exhaustion after the long hours of Monday; the Senate didn’t even hold a session. On Wednesday we celebrated a blizzard that shut down Annapolis – but didn’t cancel sessions or committee hearings. Thursday and Friday were relatively low-key as the week after crossover usually is.
What to Expect in Annapolis This Week
There will be a lot of conversation and tribute paid to Senator Wayne Norman (District 35, Harford and Cecil Counties) who died on Sunday. Whenever a legislator dies, especially during Session, there is a definite sombering pause in the activity. Senator Norman served on the Judiciary Committee and as a conservative Republican, he was passionate about gun rights. This is notable because “Gun Day” is Tuesday. Gun Day is our day in Annapolis where the Senate Judicial Proceedings and House Judiciary Committees hear bills related to gun rights and restrictions, bringing advocates out en masse.
Week 6 featured protests in Annapolis, from a group protesting a high-speed train from DC to Baltimore, to the TransCanada gas pipeline slated to pass through Western Maryland. We have discussed both issues with the activists and lobbyists on both sides of both projects. Pro-MAGLEV advocates were feeling good about the federal government’s nod to two of the routes, despite the skepticism from transportation insiders that say the project is never going to happen. Pipeland lobbyists were present during the protest this week and were not happy about the Maryland Department of Environment response they had received earlier that day. Both issues are additional items of the session “noise” that is remarked upon in the halls during these 90 days of political theater.
The SMMCOC submits that the Maryland’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, through targeting industry sectors, will be critical in the further development of our local economy in Southern Maryland. House Bill 526 seeks to spur growth in other regions of the State, to include our region.
This bill extends by 10 years, to July 1, 2028, the requirement that a video lottery facility applicant or licensee be subject to the minority business enterprise (MBE) participation goal set in State law and any other corresponding MBE provisions. The bill clarifies that an applicant or licensee is subject to the MBE participation goal established by the Special Secretary for the Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs (GOMA), under specified provisions of State law. The bill takes effect June 1, 2018.
The SMMCOC supports this legislation requiring the Department to administer the Program and establishes the Career and Technology Education Grant Program. We see the Career and Technology Education and Workforce Investment Act as a critical component in addressing skills shortages, especially in health care, IT, and the building trade, and also as an effective measure toward doubling the statewide goals to reach 45% by 2025, for the percentages of high school students who, prior to graduation:
The SMMCOC supports this legislation requiring the Department to administer the Program and establishes the Career Apprenticeship Investment Act. We see the Career Apprenticeship Investment Act as a critical component in addressing skills shortages, especially in health care, IT, and the building trade, and also as an effective measure toward doubling the statewide goals to reach 45% by 2025, for the percentages of high school students who, prior to graduation:
House Bill – HB243 – Task Force on Rural Internet, Broadband, Wireless, and Cellular Service – Study and Extension Delegate Krimm
Requiring the Task Force on Rural, Internet, Broadband, Wireless, and Cellular Service, in conducting a certain study, to solicit input from local governments and Internet service providers on identifying unserved and underserved areas in Western Maryland counties, Southern Maryland counties, Eastern Shore counties, and Frederick, Carroll, and Harford counties; extending the date by which the Task Force must report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly to November 30, 2018; etc.