General Assembly Update – Week Eight

Dear Friend:

Happy March. Just as it is supposed to be getting warmer, we have a snow storm blow through the state! Seems about right for this time of year. This has been an eventful week so I thought I would give you an update.

  • The Governor’s Tax Bill – Information update
  • House Bill 1251 –Provides a bond to pay for repairs to East-John Youth Center’s Pools
  • House Bill 104 – Allow individuals who purchase a license through the electronic licensing system to give a voluntary donation
  • House Bill 991 – Proposed ban of the possession of magazines over 10 rounds

The Governor’s Tax Bill

Unfortunately, this week Governor’s Hogan’s tax bill was voted down in the Senate Budget and Tax Committee. However, a compromise bill (Senate Bill 184/House Bill 365) from Senator Edward Kasemeyer and Delegate Jay Walker did passed in their respective chamber. It will increase the Maryland State standard tax deduction to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples. While this version will not provide as much tax relief as the Governor’s version, it will give $1.2 billion in tax relief for Marylanders.

House Bill 1251 – East-John Bond

Yesterday, March 10th was Bond Day in Annapolis and I presented HB125 with the assistance of East-John Youth Center Board members, alumni of the center and the Calvert County United Way. The purpose of the bill is to assist East-John Youth Center funds to finance the repair of their pool. East-John Youth Center is in Lusby and provides youth with educational and recreational activities. Their pool has fallen into disrepair and has been closed for the past four years. With the assistance of HB1251, East-John will begin the pool restoration project this summer.

House Bill 104 – Natural Resources – Electronic Licensing – Voluntary Donations

HB104 has passed in the House of Delegates and is now in the Senate. The idea of the bill came out of my meeting with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Delegate Robinson, who is on the Board of Foundation, and I presented this bill earlier in session. It will allow anyone who purchases a license, permit, or registration on the Department of Natural Resources electronic license system to give a voluntary donation to the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 trust fund. All money is split 50-50. This bill has broad bipartisan support and I am hopeful that it was pass the Senate and be signed into law.

House Bill 991 – Weapon Crimes – Detachable Magazines and Regulated Firearms – Possession

House Bill 991 has received an unfavorable report from the Judicial Committee. The bill sought to ban the possession of magazines that hold over 10 rounds. Needless to say, this was one of the most disturbing bills I have seen this year. Thankfully, people stood up and made a difference. In fact, 746 people showed up in person to testify on the day the bill was heard. It was your letters and testimony that stopped this bill dead in its tracks.

Heading into Cross-Over week, I will busier than ever and am sure there will be a much to discuss next week. Take care and stay warm.

Delegate Jerry Clark