Tick Tock Toward Adjournment… (April 6, 2017)

April 6, 2017
Dear Friend:
In these final hours before we adjourn Monday at midnight, the pace is a bit frantic. In addition to my legislation and key progressive priorities, we will be debating vetoes by Governor Hogan.
Funding Construction Projects & Community Priorities
The General Assembly passed Maryland’s capital budget for Fiscal Year 2018, approving just over $1 billion in construction spending. $285 million will go toward new buildings and renovations at our public schools. 
The capital budget also funds bond bills to support local projects. By partnering with elected officials and staff from Gaithersburg and Rockville, we made a successful case for both of our 2017 initiatives. Rockville will receive $100,000 toward necessary conservation of the King Farm Farmstead Dairy Barns. Gaithersburg was awarded $200,000 to turn the former Consumer Product Safety Commission site into a community park & recreation center. 
Joined bill sponsor Sen. Feldman (D-Montgomery), D17’s Del. Barve, and Del. Carr (D-Montgomery) as Gov. Hogan signed important Metro legislation.


First Bill Signed in 2017 Will Help Metro System

Gov. Hogan signed into law an emergency bill, SB265, which creates the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. The Commission will include members from Maryland, Virginia, and DC and will provide safety oversight of the entire Metro system. Passage of this bill will ensure that Maryland receives $4.8 million in promised federal funding for maintenance and operation of the transit system.

The General Assembly has already sent 27 bills to Governor Hogan for his signature. Here are a few highlights… some of which I suspect (fear!) that the Governor may veto:
Protecting Women’s Reproductive Health
If Congress votes to defund Planned Parenthood as has been threatened, Maryland must be ready to continue to support much-needed health care services. SB1081 would require the State’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to establish a Family Planning Program to guarantee that all Marylanders (both female and male!) have access to reproductive health care.
Preserving Public Education
While Gov. Hogan has already stated his opposition to The Protect Our Schools Act, SB871, it was passed with enough votes in both the House and Senate that we should be able to override his veto. Under the federal “Every Student Succeeds Act,” each state must create a plan to track student growth and improve struggling schools. SB871 would ensure that student success is measured by more than just standardized test scores and would include factors like class size, school climate surveys, and access to advanced courses. It would also prevent the State Board of Education from privatizing low-performing public schools. 
Defending Maryland from Federal Action
With so much change and uncertainty at the national level, it’s important that we are prepared to take legal action in order to protect Maryland residents. Under HB913, the Maryland Defense Act, Attorney General Brian Frosh would be authorized to participate in legal actions when federal government policies threaten the public interest or welfare of our residents. 
What is a day in the life of a State Senator like?
Whether it’s voting on the Senate floor; 6 hours of Committee hearings; a (too short!) staff meeting; or a strategy session with an advocate; I bring my “shadows” along for the ride. Please be in touch If you would like to join me for a day in Annapolis when next year’s session begins. 
On the Senate floor with Rockville Councilmember 
Julie Palakovich-Carr
With Anthony Santos, a student in the National Guard’s Freestate ChalleNGe Academy
With Kaleb Shaw, a Gaithersburg
 CEO who volunteers on my Scholarship Committee
With community activist Alan Levine… right after he celebrated his 80th birthday!
Protecting Your Privacy Online… Even When Congress Isn’t!

Yesterday, I signed on as a co-sponsor of SB1200, the Internet Consumer Privacy Rights Act of 2017– emergency legislation to reverse recent national action. The President just signed legislation to repeal Federal Communications Commission protections that prohibit Internet Service Providers from collecting and storing customer data. SB1200 would restore these protections in Maryland, preventing these companies from collecting our browsing history, location data, and other information without our explicit permission. 

You can follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for photos and updates throughout the session, as well as fun and interesting events in District 17. Please check my website to learn about Senatorial Scholarships, internship opportunities, and more! Any questions or comments can be directed to me via email.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
Rockville & Gaithersburg
P.S. After the term “bossy” was used to describe a young girl on the Senate floor, I told my colleagues about the #BanBossy campaign, which encourages girls to lead.  I reminded my colleagues that some “bossy girls” grow up to be State Senators!