Last night was the first Monday night Senate session of the year. The Monday night session begins at 8:00 p.m., unlike the sessions on Tuesdays through Fridays which begin in the mornings. Mondays are generally reserved for important ceremonial events, and the late start also makes it easier for the Senate to honor individuals and groups who may not be able to attend a morning session. This Monday, Senator Bailey and his colleagues were joined by members of the Korean-American Press to recognize Korean-American Day with a Senate resolution. The Senate also held a ceremony to unveil portraits of President Emeritus Miller and former Senator Verda Welcome in the Senate Chamber.
On Tuesday morning, Senator Bailey met with a group of Realtors from Southern Maryland. The Realtors discussed their legislative priorities and other issues involving real estate expected to arise this session. In addition to meeting with his Senate Republican colleagues at their weekly caucus meeting, Senator Bailey also voted on the first seven bills passed by the Senate this year. This included Senate Bill 71, which reauthorizes the State Board of Pilots. This bill passed the Senate unanimously.
In addition to hearing bills, the Senate committees spend a great deal of time in the first weeks of the session on briefings which relate to issues covered by the committee. In the afternoon, Senator Bailey attended a briefing on the work of the Kirwan Commission. The Kirwan Commission has been reviewing Maryland’s education system and has made recommendations that the General Assembly is expected to consider during this session. There is no bill for legislators to look at yet for this session on these recommendations. The briefing also did not show how accountability and working conditions would be implemented, and did not give any factual data for the proposed funding formulas.
In the evening, Senator Bailey attended events held by the Maryland Troopers Association and the Maryland State Firemen’s Association to raise awareness of the issues that first responders are focused on during this session. Senator Bailey addressed the Troopers Association about a bill that he will be introducing this year to expand local tax credits that are already permitted for local police officers to State Troopers as well as other police office rs and other public safety officials employed by the State.