Week 4 of 2019 Legislative Session
Governor Hogan delivered another powerful speech on Wednesday, January 30th. In his State of the State address, He quoted his inauguration speech from four years ago by stating his vow to “create an environment of trust and cooperation where the best ideas rise to the top based on their merit, regardless of which side of the aisle they come from.” The Governor also spotlighted previous work of the General Assembly to improve Maryland.
Maryland has cut taxes, tolls, and fees by $1.2 billion, and put all of that money back into the pockets of struggling families, retirees, and small businesses and back into our growing economy. During the last budget proposal, 1.3 billion into savings for future State needs.
Maryland has invested $32 billion in K-12 education. Another approximate $4.4 billion, coming from the casinos, will go directly into the classrooms for critical things like teacher salaries, pre-K expansion, extended academic programming for at-risk students, and innovative career technology education programs.
Many other positive changes were highlighted. The fight against the heroin, opioid, and substance abuse epidemic received $800 million. A new violent crime plan and Joint Operations Center has been enacted. Environmental improvements include increased funding for the Chesapeake Bay restoration and implementing clean air standards stronger than most other states in the nation.
Governor Hogan also spoke in support of current proposed legislation. The current General Assembly is introducing eight different legislative proposals that will provide more than a half billion dollars in additional tax relief over the next five years. Other legislation being proposed target education, transparency, repeat offenders, redistricting, and job opportunities.
House Bill 28 – Natural Resources- Shellfish Nursery Operations- Wetlands License Requirements- 2019
This week HB28 was heard in the Environment and Transportation Committee. The bill must be presented and passed out of the committee before it is sent to the House of Delegates for a vote. Attending the hearing in support of the bill were individuals from the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Department of Natural Resources, the Coastal Conservation of Maryland, and a local oyster-grower. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation offered written testimony in support of the bill.
As a reminder, HB28 allows oyster nursery growers to no longer require certain licenses from the Department of the Environment or the Board of Public Works if they are using an existing pier or bulkhead. This is streamlines the process so an oyster grower would only need permission from the Department of Natural Resources, in this instance. Over-regulating the licenses for the same shellfish nursery or pier equipment is excessive for the individual, and an unnecessary use of resources.
2019-2020 Scholarship Application
We are currently accepting scholarship applications between now and April 15! You can access the application through the following link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eVZDhqSBc8aMRavX_ikwpndr5fqcTznZzHhG7Zaofec/edit?usp=sharing