I invite you to read my End of Session letter summarizing the 2020 Legislative Session and welcome you to check back on this page as I will be posting updates when the General Assembly reconvenes for the 2021 Legislative Session in January.
March 20, 2020
I wanted to personally thank you for your civic engagement over the shorted legislative session. Within the last 71 days, my office has received and replied to well over 2,000 emails from concerned residents in our district.
During this Session, I was able to work with my colleagues to ensure that over $62 million was included in the budget for the Third Academic Building at the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland (USMSM) as well as over $35 million for St. Mary’s College of Maryland for a new academic building and auditorium and other campus infrastructure improvements. Additional funds were allocated to both institutions in the operating budget. I successfully worked to ensure full funding for USMSM, protecting it from proposed budget cuts.
I worked with legislators from both parties to try and improve the Kirwan legislation. However, the shortened time frame cut these efforts short, and I remain concerned about the cost of this proposal, which will require tax increases that I could not support. In addition to voting against tax increases, I voted for a much-needed sales tax exemption for airplane parts to support economic growth at St. Mary’s Airport. I also co-sponsored legislation that would have delivered tax relief to retirees; unfortunately, this legislation did not pass during this Session.
The COVID-19 pandemic required legislation to assist Governor Hogan in combating this crisis. I voted to give the Governor the tools and the resources he needs to protect Marylanders during this emergency. I also voted to expand the ability of doctors to use telehealth, which will give more Marylanders access to health care.
I worked to push back against bills that threatened our way of life, from fighting to stop a proposal that would have severely limited the ability of Maryland watermen to harvest oysters to voting against bills that take away our Second Amendment rights. Thanks to the work of many of you who contacted our office, we were also able to stop a bill that would have gone too far in extending State government’s powers during an emergency.
I also worked to address the priorities of our local governments in St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties by passing several bills, most notably by working swiftly to prevent the loss of millions of dollars in revenue for St. Mary’s County by extending the sunset on the county’s Transfer Tax. I was also able to work with the State Highway Administration and others to have necessary repairs made to Piney Point Road on St. George Island.
You can learn more about my work during the Session as well as planned legislation that I will be working on in preparation for the 2021 Session by clicking here. You can also click here if you are interested in learning more about a few of the nearly 700 bills that were passed during this session and my views on them.
It is my honor to serve you and I look forward to continuing to fight for our community in Annapolis.