Last week, we were hit with the winterâ€™s biggest snow storm, much to the delight of my kids. I hope you were able to enjoy the time with your families and eventually dig out safely. Thanks go to all of the hard-working road crews for their tireless efforts to clear out the streets.
Despite the storm, the work in Annapolis did not skip a beat.
Yesterday was the last day to submit bills to be considered this Legislative Session, and already over 1,000 bills have been submitted by our Maryland Delegates and Senators. That is not necessarily a good thing, as I will outline below.
With your help, I am working very hard to help bring common-sense government back to our state. I am extremely thankful for your prayers and support, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.
1- Hoganâ€™s Vetoes â€“ Overridden Last week, a majority of the Democrats overrode Governor Hoganâ€™s vetoes of several very bad bills. Last session, the Legislature passed several bills that just did not make sense, financially or practically. Governor Hogan vetoed a few of these egregious bills at the end of the last session. However, by a 3/5 vote of the Legislature can vote to â€œoverrideâ€ any of the vetoes when they next convene. That is, unfortunately, what happened this year.
Please note, there are 50 Republicans, but 57 no or absent votes are needed to stop a veto override. Republicans picked up 7 seats in the last election from 43 to 50 in the House of Delegates. I plan to work to help pick up 7 more seats in 2018. If we have 57 votes, we will have enough votes to sustain vetoes without Democrat support.
Governor Hogan vetoed 5 bills after the 2015 Session that were overridden by the majority Democrat Legislature. Even Democrats who voted against some of these bills switched their votes in a partisan effort to overturn the bills. The bills are now law in Maryland as a result of the override:
Decriminalizing paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana and the smoking of marijuana in public. (Meaning, you will now get a harsher sentence if you carried an open beer can than if you were smoking marijuana on the Boardwalk in Ocean City. In addition, police will not be able to pull over a driver blatantly smoking pot while driving.)
Hotel tax on online booking services and local county hotel taxes. (This hurts our tourism industry, which is significant in both Eastern and Western Maryland.)
Restricting police from seizing criminal assets of cash or items worth up to $300 when making drug crime arrests of street-level dealers. (This allows the criminals to continue to benefit from their illegal activity, despite having been apprehended.)
$2 Million dollars in new debt for the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. The original request was or $500,000, but the Legislature increased the debt taken on for this local hall to $2 Million.
VOTING BY FELONS: This bill allows felons to vote before their parole, probation, or house arrest expires. (This bill just does not make sense. Prisoners who have not served their full time should not be allowed to vote, regardless of their physical location.)
What can you do?
Encourage Governor Hogan for standing against these bills, regardless of the pressure from the liberal establishment.
Continue to support and work for common-sense conservative candidates from across the state who will help to bring Maryland back to a practical government - we just need 7 more seats.
Pray for our state and our country.
2. Hogan Increases Jobs After losing jobs consistently during the O'Malley Administration, businesses are starting to believe that they can invest in Maryland again under the Hogan Administration. I am working to keep the good news coming through a simple formula: lower taxes + less gov't = more jobs. We are just starting to see the positive effect of a significant and very welcome change in philosophy coming from Maryland's new Governor.
"Led by the health care and professional services industries, Maryland added 54,900 jobs in 2015, with 10,500 of the stateâ€™s jobs being added in December, according to seasonally-adjusted data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Laborâ€™s Bureau of Labor Statistics."
Read more: http://thedailyrecord.com/2016/01/26/maryland-jobs-data/â€¦
3- Your Representation â€“ Corrected? Good news. The court case over Marylandâ€™s atrocious and non-sensical gerrymandering has finally been fast-tracked. Now the case will go directly to a 3-judge panel where an appeal would go directly to the US Supreme Court. Personally, I am the lead plaintiff on this case. This case is that important to me. The current lines not only make our state a laughingstock, but they silence our voices in our own government.
Why should you care? If we win, Governor Hoganâ€™s administration would draw new redistricting lines in this term. This means that you wonâ€™t have your vote drowned out by far-away, populous cities, or by communities who share nothing in common with you.
For Western Maryland, we will no longer be silenced by the extremely-liberal, large voting block in Montgomery County. For Frederick County, they could be combined with similarly rural areas, rather than being forced to fight against a highly-urban slice of Montgomery County. Communities all across Maryland could finally be combined in a common-sense manner, finally correctly representing the people of Maryland.
4. "We the People" Boonsboro
Delegate Neil Parrott and the rest of the Washington County Delegation, hosted the state winners of the â€œWe the Peopleâ€ Citizen and Constitution Competition from Boonsboro High School on January 29th, 2016. The Boonsboro team spent the day in Annapolis and received official resolutions on the House and Senate floor.
In the afternoon, the Boonsboro students and their teachers were able to meet Governor Hogan, then received a tour of the State buildings. Their trip was made possible by the Washington County Republican Central Committee and the Washington County Republican Club.
Congratulations to our Boonsboro High School team for winning the Maryland State competition. We are very proud of your hard work!
5. Thank you Commissioner Spong Last Friday I was officially informed of Commissioner Vincent â€œWoodyâ€ Spongâ€™s resignation. I would like to thank him for his sincere and intentional service to the people of our county. He was well-researched on the issues of government and public policy, was very responsive to the public, and was a voice for fiscal restraint and common sense. Woody Spong will be missed, and I would like to wish him well on the next chapter of his career.
Now,the Washington County Republican Central Committee has started accepting applications for appointment for the vacant Washington County Commissioner seat. To obtain an application package, one can apply by contacting Chairman Steve Showe at 301-667-0667 or visit the Committee's website at www.wcmdgop.com. All applications must be received by 5:00p.m. on February 19, 2016. The Central Committee welcomes public comments at email@example.com or (301) 739-2118.
The committee has done a fantastic job. Washington County now boasts of Republican leaders who are making a positive difference for our community and our state. Commissioner John Barr is now the president of the Maryland Association of Counties; former Sen. Chris Shank is serving as the executive director at the Governorâ€™s Office of Crime Control and Prevention; community and business leader Blackie Bowen just helped lead the governorâ€™s Regulatory Reform Commission; Commissioner Terry Baker is running for Congress; and Del. Brett Wilson served on the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, just to name a few.
As chairman of the Washington County delegation, I can assure you that the delegation is united with several major initiatives, and we are planning to work very hard this year to support Washington County businesses and families. We plan to work to:
1. Make Maryland a more business-friendly state so that our family members can have jobs and will want to stay in Washington County.
2. Support the Maryland police force by not allowing well-intentioned but harmful legislation that would hurt our officers following the Baltimore riots.
3. Maintain or expand our Second Amendment gun rights in Maryland so that individuals and families can protect themselves.
Just like every other group, Republicans come in all shapes and sizes, but our ideals unite us. In the words of Ronald Reagan, we believe that, â€œGovernmentâ€™s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.â€
To read more of my thoughts in my letter to the editor in 'The Herald Mail' click here.
Republican Club Monthly Meeting
DATE: Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
LOCATION:American Legion Dixon-Troxel Post 211
12 North Westside Ave.
Funkstown, MD 21734
Congressional District 6 GOP Debate
DATE: Thursday, February 25th, 2016
TIME: Doors open at 6 PM, debate starts at 7 PM
LOCATION:American Legion Dixon-Troxel Post 211
12 North Westside Ave.
Funkstown, MD 21734
Hagerstown Tea Party Meeting
DATE: Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
TIME: 7 PM
SPEAKER: Cindy Rose - A Case Against Common Core
LOCATION: North American Rod and Gun Club
12108 Belveder Road
Hagerstown, MD 21734