This morning, Senator Bailey met with a group of colleagues to discuss the reforms to Maryland’s educational system proposed by the Kirwan Commission. As a member of the Senate’s Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee, Senator Bailey is focused on enhancing accountability, ensuring classroom discipline, and ensuring a fair distribution of funding to all jurisdictions including St. Mary’s and Calvert County.
Later in the day, Senator Bailey had the honor of escorting Governor Hogan to the House of Delegates Chamber for this year’s State of the State address. The Governor outlined his priorities for Maryland in the 2020 Legislative Session as well as the upcoming year. Governor Hogan discussed a wide range of topics, including crime, education, accountability, reducing taxes for retirees and ensuring that Maryland is open for business.
In the afternoon, Senator Bailey presented two bills that he is sponsoring this session. The first bill, Senate Bill 303 – Property Tax Credit – Public Safety Officer – Definition, would expand the list of public safety officers eligible for local property tax credits. Currently, counties and municipalities have the authority to extend a property tax credit to a firefighter, emergency medical technician, correctional officer, police officer, or deputy sheriff employed full time by a public safety agency in the county or municipality where the individual resides. This credit is also available to volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians. Senate Bill 303 would extend eligibility for this tax credit to public safety officers employed by the State. This would include Maryland State Troopers and Maryland Natural Resources Police and it would also add volunteer reserve officers for State and local public safety agencies to the list of individuals eligible for this credit. This bill will give state police officers the same opportunity to receive property tax credit that local officers currently have.
Senator Bailey also introduced Senate Bill 343 – Calvert County – Public Facilities Bond, which authorizes Calvert County to borrow money to pay for capital projects. This local bill was requested by the Calvert County Board of Commissioners, and authorizes the Commissioners to borrow money to finance the construction, improvement, and development of public facilities in Calvert County. Calvert County is one of six Commission counties in Maryland, which means that the General Assembly must give the County the authority to borrow money. Last week, Senator Bailey introduced similar legislation for St. Mary’s County.
Senator Bailey also testified in opposition to Senate Bill 208 – Public Safety – Rifles and Shotguns – Secondary Transactions. The Senator opposed this legislation and told the Judicial Proceedings Committee that he has checked thousands of hunters and sportsmen utilizing long guns in his 30 year law enforcement career, and that this proposal will not have any meaningful impact on crime in Maryland. While Senators do not typically testify in opposition to other Senators’ bills, Senator Bailey came before the Committee on behalf of the approximately 2,250 Amish and Traditional Mennonites in Southern Maryland to propose amendments to the bill to ensure that their Second Amendment rights are protected if this bill is passed.