MD: Local lawmakers reconvene for 439th Legislative Session
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – “It’s awesome to be back so blessed to be able to represent my neighbors and family up here in Annapolis,” said District 38B Delegate Carl Anderton.
Three months, two legislative caucuses, one goal in mind: To address the number of issues both the state and local communities in Maryland are facing, and find the best way fix them.
“Health care is a big one, spending’s a big one, the environments a huge one,” said District 37B Delegate Johnny Mautz.
Whether it’s their second or third year heading back to session or their first, local legislators say they’re ready to be the voices for the eastern shore.
“In Ocean city, there’s a few issues there with funding for the convention center that I’ll be working on and there are some amendments to the special events bill that passed last year they ocean city is looking for,” said District 38C Delegate Wayne Hartman.
“We’re going to be dealing with some issues that really impact our commercial watermen, our poultry farmers our veterans, our small business owners,” said District 38 Senator Mary Beth Carozza.
Other hot button issues lawmakers plan to tackle this session include providing access to quality healthcare, and making prescription drugs more affordable.
“That will be difficult, I’ve never known price controls to do much work. We’re fortunate to have the drugs available and we need to make some provisions for what we ask for,” said District 38 A Delegate Charles Otto.
“Making sure we continue to have 95 percent of the citizens in Maryland have access to health care whether it’s Medicaid or Medicare or private insurance,” said District 37A Senator Addie Eckardt.
During the first day, demonstrators had no problem making their concerns heard about bringing clean renewable energy to the state. And lawmakers say they’re ready to address this issue with the upcoming Clean Energy Jobs Act.
“We need to always look holistically at how everyone is doing their part and how we can get to the cleaner energy that we need to have,” said District 37A Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes.
Ultimately lawmakers add that this year, they’re just looking to make the best decisions and moves for the local districts that they serve.
“It’s my job to try and kill bad legislation, legislation that is going to pass try to make it workable, create clear paths to compliance for the business community,” said District 37B Delegate Chris Adams.
And although it’s only the first day local legislators say they’re excited for what the next 90 days will bring and the change that will come along with it
And as the new legislative session is underway, the Eastern Shore Delegation is getting ready to hold the first of what will be a weekly meeting in Annapolis this Friday. Officials say this upcoming meeting will be an organizational one to decide who will be the officers of the organization. They add that the weekly meetings provide a chance for lawmakers to identify the key priorities that need to be addressed here on the shore. While also providing a chance for local leaders and organizations from the area to speak to the delegation and have their concerns heard.
“We are able to hear directly from our constituents in this meeting and we’re able then to coordinate on strategy that best represents the eastern shore,” said Carozza.
“We’re going to be meeting with the president of the university of Maryland eastern shore to hear what her concerns are and where she need support from us as legislators,” said Sample-Hughes.
Officials add that these meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend. The first meeting will be held this Friday, January 11th at 9 AM at the Lowe House Office Building in room 421.