Veto & Voltage
The fourth week of Maryland’s 437th Legislative session was marked by an override of the Governor’s veto of a bill that will increase the cost of our electric rates going forward. While the outcome is well-intentioned (to encourage more use of alternative energy sources), the bill itself is written in a way that I could not ultimately support. We’re still recovering from the recession and now is not the time to saddle consumers and local businesses with additional financial burdens. For these reasons, I stood by the Governor’s decision to veto this legislation.
The State of the State address took place on Wednesday in the House Chamber. During his presentation, Governor Hogan presented his 2017 legislative agenda in which he introduced thirty-two legislative and budgetary initiatives that would improve Maryland. He reiterated his strong commitment to bipartisanship and working together to enhance the lives of Marylanders. (In case you missed it, click to watch!)
During the week I had opportunities to meet with Bob Behlke from Choptank Electric regarding legislation for rate regulations among electric cooperatives, Renee Stephens and Ian Lanier of Delmarva Power for an update on what the company has been working on (such as transmission lines), the Maryland Horse Industry to learn about their legislative priorities and about their presence on the Shore, Gally Public Affairs to discuss the Forest Conservation Act and the desire to plant more trees, Peter Yaffe and Ron Henry from Glatfelter Paper Company of Delmar to discuss the overall scope of their business, and Emily Ranson of Clean Water Action to discuss septic tank laws.
Our weekly Eastern Shore Delegation welcomed Maryland Department of Environment, Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., and The Brewers Association of Maryland on Friday. It was great to hear that not only did the number of chickens increase, but the average weight per chicken also increased by 4% last year. Chicken day in Annapolis is on February 15!
Highway User Revenues
One of the things I love about my job is the ability to meet with local leaders. I was blessed to be able to speak to sixty-one of Maryland’s Mayors this week about highway user revenues. The Daily Times did a wonderful job highlighting the importance of HURs in addressing infrastructure needs on a local level. I will be introducing two bills to restore HURs and will write about them in upcoming newsletters.
Our 2017 Scholarship Application is now available! If you or your student live in District 38B and are interested in receiving more information about applying, please send me an email by clicking the link. Applicants must reside in District 38B and have plans to attend college in Maryland.
Finally, I wanted to give praise to Dan Quinn, head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, who is both a Salisbury University alumnus and a member of the university’s Hall of Fame. While the Falcons were not able to ultimately stop the Patriots and hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy, they did show a lot of heart in fighting to the very end - losing the first Super Bowl ever to go into overtime.
We look forward to hearing from you!