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Maryland Legislators Working On So-Called “Bathroom Bill”

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Editor’s Note: this is a guest post by Anita Schatz. As you may have heard Maryland legislators are working on The Fairness for All Marylanders Act, which has been nicknamed the “Bathroom Bill”. The bill has already passed the Maryland Senate, and is now sitting in committee in the Maryland House. Progressive Democrats are hailing this as a non-discrimination bill. Republicans are right to point out that this bill, which removes the gender restrictions of bathrooms, could open the door to sexual predators to lurk in female bathrooms. Anita has included the names and numbers of the committee with a brief note on their voting status if known. There is a link to more info at the bottom.

HB 1265 HEALTH & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE
Tell them to vote NO to Bill 1265 because it will open the door to sexual predators to enter private areas like locker rooms, showers, bathrooms, dorms and dressing rooms to do harm to children and women.
Tell them there is nothing in this bill to prevent the Transgender agenda from being added to public or private school curriculum either. The employment part of the bill will allow Transgenders to work in schools, as administrators, teachers, janitors, cafeteria works, etc. This is how they change the curriculum to indoctrinate the children.

D PETER A. HAMMEN, CHAIRMAN (410) 841-3772, (301) 858-3772 District 46 Baltimore City
D SHANE E. PENDERGRASS, VICE CHAIR (410) 841-3139, (301) 858-3139 District 13 Howard County
D ERIC M. BROMWELL (410) 841-3766, (301) 858-3766 District 8 Baltimore County
R ROBERT A. COSTA (410) 841-3551, (301) 858-3551 District 33b Anne Arundel County
D BONNIE L. CULLISON (410) 841-3883, (301) 858-3883 District 1 Montgomery County
D JOHN P. DONOGHUE (410) 841-3125, (301) 858-3125 District 2c Washington County
R DONALD B. ELLIOTT (410) 841-3118, (301) 858-3118 District 4b Carroll and Frederick Counties
R WILIAM FRANK (410) 841-3793, (301) 858-3793 District 42 Baltimore County N/A out sick
D JAMES W. HUBBARD (410) 841-3103, (301) 858-3103 District 23a Prince Georges’ County
R A WADE KACH (410) 841-3359, (301) 858-3359 District 5b Baltimore County voting NO
D ARIANA B. KELLY (410) 841-3642, (301) 858-3642 District 16 Montgomery County
R NICHOLAUS R. KIPKE (410) 841-3421, (301) 858-3421 District 31 AA County voting NO
R SUSAN W. KREBS (410) 841-3200, (301) 858-3200 District 9b Carroll County voting NO
R PATRICK L. McDONOUGH (410) 841-3334, (301) 858-3334 District 7 Baltimore & Harford Counties voting NO
D DAN K. MORHAIM (410) 841-3054, (301) 858-3054 District 11 Baltimore County
D PETER F. MURPHY (410) 841-3247, (301) 858-3247 District 28 Charles County
D SHIRLEY NATHAN-PULLIAM (410) 841-3358, (301) 858-3358 District 10 Baltimore County
D NATHANIEL T. OAKS (410) 841-3283, (301) 858-3283 District 11 Baltimore City
D JOSELINE A. PENA-MELNYK (410) 841-3502, (301) 858-3502 District 21 AA and P G Counties
R JUSTIN D. READY (410) 841-3070, (301) 858-3070 District 5a Carroll County
D KIRILL REZNIK (410) 841-3039, (301) 858-3039 District 39 Montgomery County
D SHAWN Z. TARRANT (410) 841-3545, (301) 858-3545 District 40 Baltimore City
D VERONICA L. TURNER (410) 841-3212, (301) 858-3212 District 26 Prince George’s County

Link to the text on the HB 1265
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2014RS/bills/hb/hb1265f.pdf
House site for all the information on the bill
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&stab=01&id=HB1265&tab=subject3&ys=2014RS

Outlook: Maryland General Assembly’s 90 Day 2014 Session

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

The Maryland General Assembly reports to work today to start off a 90 day legislative session for 2014. Democratic leaders are hoping to raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, and spend more money on school construction and other projects. Republican leaders are hoping to cut taxes, including the highly controversial “Rain Tax”, and will also take major issue with Maryland’s fumbled Healthcare Exchange and website. Below are some expanded highlights of what we can expect in the upcoming session.

Minimum Wage
Currently the minimum wage in Maryland is $7.25. There have been some proposals to raise it over $10 per hour. Gov. Martin O’Malley, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller have all stated that they would like to make this a priority for this year. Despite Republican opposition this will be likely to pass, the question is will it effect the whole state, and how much will it go up.

Rain Tax
There are possible changes to the “Rain Tax” storm water management fees in this session. Republicans plan to bring this issue to light given angry backlash from in some parts of Maryland. Republicans will likely call for a full repeal. Most likely there will only be small tweaks to the law, and they will likely only help non-profits. Will the citizens in the most effected counties make this a big issue for the Democrats?

Fracking
There is already a sort of moratorium on “fracking” in Maryland, which is the process of using hydraulics to fracture the ground deep below the surface to mine for natural gas. Governor O’Malley already has ordered an environmental study of the relatively new technique. Pennsylvania and other nearby states are already working hard on fracking, but environmental groups are expected to try to get legislation passed barring fracking in this state.

Legalizing Pot
Senate President Miller is likely to support marijuana legislation to keep up with Colorado and Washington’s new legalization. Hopefully they will follow House Speaker Busch’s suggestion to wait and see how the new laws effect Colorado and Washington.

Early Education
From the campaign trail, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown has been pushing for pre-Kindergarten in Maryland. You can expect to see some legislation toward creating a pre-K program that may be voluntary and would be half day.

Other Issues
The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Assembly may also debate increased school new construction and building a new jail in Baltimore to replace the current scandal plague detention center.

MD Senator E.J. Pipkin To Resign 8/12

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Maryland Senator E.J. Pipkin will officially resign on August 12th, 2013. He plans to move his family to Texas, where he will be pursuing a Masters Degree in Sport Management at Southern Methodist University. In a statement he wanted to resign now to offer time to his replacement to serve in office, and then run for reelection.

Here is a portion of his statement:

One’s responsibilities to family and oneself often change the direction of life. So, it is with regret that I am resigning as Senator from District 36. My last day will be Monday, August 12, 2013. I will carry with me both the bitter and the sweet memories of the past eleven years. My family will be moving to Texas, where I will pursue studies at Southern Methodist University for a Masters of Science in Sport Management.

I chose to resign now, rather than serve out my term, which ends in January 2015, in order to give the Republican who fills the 36th District Senate seat the advantage of serving the people until he or she runs for re-election.

Senator Pipkin frequently sparred with Senate President Mike Miller. The Washington Post reports that Senator Miller wishes him “nothing but success in the future. Senator Pipkin had a strong work ethic, was knowledgeable on the issues and served his constituents well.”

Now the question is, who will replace Senator Pipkin? The most obvious first speculation would be fellow District 36 representative Delegate Mike Smigiel. Delegate Smigiel, whom I had the pleasure to meet earlier this year, is a strong conservative candidate who has served Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties well since 2002. Yes, District 36 is spread across 4 counties. If Delegate Smigiel replaces Senator Pipkin, who would replace Delegate Smigiel? Will anyone else vie for Senator Pipkin’s seat?

Sources:
Senator E.J. Pipkin Press Release
Washington Post

Del. Don Dwyer Sentenced to Jail Time for Boat Accident

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Delegate-DwyerThe boating accident on the Magothy River injured 7 people including himself and 5 kids. His alcohol level at the time was .24, which is three times the legal limit. According to WBAL, Delegate Dwyer was sentenced to serve 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and 1 year of supervised probation. He has filed an appeal, and the sentence will be postponed while under appeal.

On January 8, Delegate Dwyer spoke out on Facebook about the boating accident:

In the past year I have faced both personal and professional challenges that were extremely difficult for me. As a result, and regrettably so, I turned to alcohol to cope. As many of you know, this culminated in a serious boat accident in August when the boat I was operating was struck by another vessel.

In that post, he said that in order to prevent a prolonged problem with alcohol, he voluntarily entered and completed an alcohol intervention program.

Delegate Dwyer also just held a “Gun Rights and Liberty BBQ” on May 11th, where they were selling raffle tickets to buy an AR-15 and AK-47.

Source:
Del. Don Dwyer’s Facebook Page
WBAL.com

Republicans in Maryland House of Delegates Elect New Leadership

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

On Tuesday, Maryland House Republicans elected a new minority leader, Delegate Nic Kipke, and a new minority whip Delegate Kathy Szeliga. Del. Kipke, 34, is in his second term, represents Anne Arundel County. Del. Szeliga, 51, is in her first term.

According to the Capital Gazette, this is the third attempt by Kipke to unseat the former minority leader Tony O’Donnell from Calvert County. Del. Szeliga is replacing former minority whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio from Talbot County. Republicans currently have 43 seats out of a total of 141 seats.

Delegate Nic Kipke said the following on his Facebook page:

Today, Delegate Szeliga and I were elected to be the leaders of the Republicans in the House of Delegates. I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues and also thankful to Delegates O’Donnell and Haddaway-Ricco for their dedicated service over the years.

In this new role, I’m committed to advancing policies that will reduce poverty, improve classroom education outcomes, and make our streets safer. We can make Maryland a better, more affordable, safer place to live. I’m up for the challenge and invite you to get involved.

Earlier in April, the Maryland Republican Party also voted in new leadership. Interim party chair Diana Waterman was elected chair at the Spring Convention.

Sources:
Del. Nic Kipke Website and Facebook
Capital Gazette

2016 Elections

Primary - 4/5/2016
General - 11/8/2016

Races to Watch

U.S. Senate

Barbara Mikulski (D) is retiring.

Top (D) Candidates
Donna Edwards
Chris Van Hollen

All 8 House Seats are up for election.

Current Representatives
1st - Andy Harris (R)

2nd - Dutch Reppersberger (D)

3rd - John Sarbanes (D)
Top candidates Dr. Mark Plaster (R).

4th - Donna Edwards (D) - running for Senate
Top candidates Anthony Brown (D), Glenn Ivey (D), George McDermott (?)

5th - Steny Hoyer (D)

6th - John Delaney (D) - may run for Senate
Top (R) candidates David Vogt (R), Kathy Afzali (R), Neil Parrott (R), Mike McKay (R).

7th - Elijah Cummings (D) - may run for Senate
Top candidates Calvin Ball (D), Corrogan Vaughn (R).

8th - Chris Van Hollen (D) - running for Senate
Top (D) candidates Kumar Barve, Valerie Ervin, Kathleen Mattews, Jamie Raskin
Top (R) candidates Frank Howard - potential