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Session 2024 – 45 Day Update

Dear Neighbor,

Today marks the halfway point of the 2024 Legislative Session. I wanted to provide to you an update on the work that I have done over the last 45 days to address important issues to Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties and our State as a whole, as well as some updates on other issues the General Assembly is facing this session.

Sponsored Legislation

I am proud to once again have sponsored a substantial package of 22 bills and one joint resolution for consideration during this session. These bills cover a wide variety of issues, including public safety, supporting our local small businesses, natural resources, and honoring our hometown heroes.

I am very pleased to report that as of today, six of these bills have passed the Senate, while another three have been approved by Senate committees and are awaiting consideration by the full Senate in the next few days.

These include two bills that address my top priority this session, public safety. Senate Bill 26, Jamari’s Law, which would increase the maximum sentence for grossly negligent manslaughter by vehicle or vessel, and Senate Bill 130 which would increase the maximum sentence for indecent exposure in the presence of a minor, have both passed the Senate unanimously.

Additional bills that I have sponsored that have advanced so far include:

·      Senate Bill 32 – Economic Development – Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation – Loans
·      Senate Bill 108 – Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Police Auxiliary and Reserve Volunteers
·      Senate Bill 166 – Waterway Incident Notification System (WINS) Workgroup
·      Senate Bill 183 – State Procurement – Prompt Payment of Suppliers
·      Senate Bill 207 – Natural Resources – Northern Snakehead – Common Name
·      Senate Bill 507 – Special Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License – Nonresidents – License Fee
·      Senate Bill 508 – Hunting – Nonresident Sika Deer Stamp – Fee Alteration

You can find more details about these bills, and others that are still under consideration, here. As the session continues, you can find up-to-date information on all of the legislation that I have sponsored or co-sponsored from the General Assembly’s website.

I have also introduced five Legislative Bond Initiatives on behalf of local communities and organizations seeking State funding for capital projects in our District. These include Longview Beach, St. Mary’s Ryken High School, Historic Sotterley, and our volunteer fire departments and rescue squads in the Second District and Solomons. These will be considered as part of the Senate’s deliberations on the State’s capital budget later this session.

Co-Sponsored Legislation

My number one priority for this session continues to be public safety. Together with my colleagues in the Senate Republican Caucus, we are prioritizing this critical issue for our State, and have introduced a package of five bills to enhance public safety in Maryland which I am proud to support.

I am also happy to be supporting other efforts by our Caucus to protect our students, affirm parental rights, secure our elections, and address the high cost of living in our State through lower taxes. You can find more information on these initiatives here.

Budget and Other Issues

I remain concerned about spending throughout the State’s budget. The good news for this year is that the Governor has introduced a budget that is balanced without raising taxes. However, without meaningful reforms to reduce spending or spur economic growth, the budget will become more difficult to balance without revenue increases in the years to come. I am hopeful that, as the session continues, we can work towards solutions that will protect the long-term fiscal health of our State without raising taxes on Marylanders.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to discuss some other notable issues that many of you have contacted my office about this session so that you can be aware of my position:

Unfortunately, we are again seeing far too many bills targeting the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Maryland. These include Senate Bill 784, an effort to impose an 11% excise tax on firearms, ammunition, and accessories, as well as House Bill 430, which would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance as a condition of wearing and carrying a firearm. These bills infringe on our Second Amendment rights – I strongly oppose them.

House Bill 81 would require all counties, including Calvert and St. Mary’s, to adopt a charter form of government. The people of each county currently have the ultimate say about the form of government they choose to have – this is where that authority should remain. I oppose this bill and any effort to impose charter or code home rule government on Calvert or St. Mary’s Counties without the consent of the voters of that County.

We have also once again seen an assisted suicide bill introduced – Senate Bill 443. I will continue to oppose this legislation.

Senate Bill 349 would restore prescription drug benefits for State retirees. As a retired Natural Resources Police Officer, I personally understand this issue and the frustration that many of you are facing. This bill will receive a Senate hearing on February 28. I would encourage those of you affected by this change to visit the Department of Budget and Management’s website for more information.

Senate Bill 1124 has been introduced at the request of concerned Calvert County citizens to require the removal of a County elected official from office for violating the County’s conflict of interest law. I appreciate the intent of this bill and look forward to supporting this legislation this session.

Senatorial Scholarship – Deadline April 1

My office is now accepting applications for Senatorial scholarship for the 2024-2025 academic year. This scholarship is available to students who permanently reside in District 29 and who either plan to attend a Maryland institution of higher education or has been approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission for unique major status.

More information, including the application, is available at Please read the informational letter and instructions carefully before applying. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2024.

I would encourage you to follow me on Facebook or check my website, . for my weekly updates from the legislative session. Thank you for your continued engagement on the important issues facing Southern Maryland. As always, it is an honor to serve you in Annapolis.