Thank you for allowing me to represent the 25th Legislative District as a delegate in the Maryland General Assembly. It is an honor and a privilege to work for the citizens of Prince George’s County. I am proud to serve as your advocate for education, the economy, our community, healthcare, energy and the environment.
Here is a summary of recent legislation on these issues:
The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future
Enhancing State aid to local school systems by $251.6 million in fiscal 2020, consistent with recommendations of
the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (Kirwan Commission). It also extends the term of the
commission and establishes The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future as a policy to transform Maryland’s education
system and align it with the recommendations in the commission’s January 2019 interim report
Local School Calendar Choice
Allowing each local board of education to set start and end dates each year for public schools in their county.
Local boards of education now have discretion to set school calendars better aligned with the specific needs of
Civilian Employees – Federal Shutdown Paycheck Protection
Ensuring that all civilian federal employees, who are required to report to work and are not receiving pay due to a
federal shutdown, are eligible to receive an interest-free loan from the Maryland Department of Labor.
Fight for $15 – Raising the Minimum Wage
Raising the State minimum wage from the current $10.10 per hour to $15 per hour by January 1, 2025 for larger
employers and by July 1, 2026 for smaller employers. Estimates are 22% of our State’s workforce will benefit
from increased family income. This increase is expected to affect 573,000 working Marylanders and nearly
Expansion of Childcare Tax Credits
Expanding the childcare tax credit for single parents ($92,000 federal adjusted gross income) and married parents
($143,000 federal adjusted gross income). This expansion is necessary to offset rising childcare costs.
Alcohol and Tobacco Commission
Establishing the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to license and regulate alcoholic beverages manufacturers and
distributors, as well as the tobacco and related products industries in the State. The establishment of this
commission comes from recommendations of a task force which studied the regulation of alcohol and tobacco
products and their effects on public health.
Tax Sales Protections
Reforming the tax sale process to protect low-income homeowners from losing their homes assessed at $300,000
or less. It also creates an Ombudsman to explain the process to homeowners and help them apply for tax credits
and other beneficial programs.
Tobacco Use by Minors
Raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for an individual to purchase tobacco products. The Food and Drug
Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report that, between 2017 and 2018, use
of tobacco products by high school and middle school students in the United States increased by 27.1% and 7.2%,
Preserving the Affordable Care Act
Protecting Marylanders with pre-existing conditions in the event that the Supreme Court overturns protections
provided in the Affordable Care Act. House Bill 697 of 2019 also renews The Maryland Health Insurance
Protection Commission for an additional three years to continue working closely with the evolving healthcare
Title X Family Planning
Enacting legislation to remove Maryland from the Federal Title X program in response to proposed changes by
the Trump Administration. This legislation creates a Maryland family planning program which will be funded
entirely with state funds and include providers like Planned Parenthood who provide comprehensive health
services for women. Maryland will be the first state in the nation to ensure continued access to these services.
State Prescription Drug Benefits - Retiree Benefits
Establishing prescription drug out-of-pocket reimbursement or catastrophic coverage programs for certain State
retirees and their dependents, or surviving dependents, who are enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug benefit
plan. Legislation delays implementation of the three plans while litigation regarding the State’s changes to retiree
prescription drug benefits is pending and requires that there be at least nine months before open enrollment before
the bill is implemented.
ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY
Clean Energy Jobs
Increasing the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard goal from 25% by 2020 to 50% by 2030. This
legislation will preserve and create jobs in the clean energy sector while reducing Maryland reliance on fossil
fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas).
Protecting the Chesapeake Bay
Enacting legislation to protect and restore 5 oyster sanctuaries. Significant public investments have been made in
support of these large-scale restoration projects and this legislation protects those investment by making them off
limits to oyster harvesting in perpetuity.