Sine Die (Adjournment)!
Today is the last day of the 2015 Legislative Session. Tonight, at midnight, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch will bang their gavels one final time, and the 90-session will come to a close.
Sine Die is a moment that is celebratory in nature, but it marks the end of an all-at-once exhausting, fulfilling and disappointing legislative session. It is exhausting because we’ve all worked long hours — putting our energy and passion into moving forward the legislation that makes Maryland a great place to call home. It is fulfilling because some of that legislation made it through (more on that later in the week). Finally, it is disappointing because many good bills don’t make it out “alive.”
I will send a follow-up later this week with more details.
For now, I wanted to share a few important successes that are sure to become law. I was the primary sponsor on two bond bills this year, one for modifications to the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in the City of Rockville to enhance disabled access to the parking area and back entrance. We asked for $250,000 for the project, which is expected to cost about $900,000. Between the House and the Senate, we were granted $175,000. The City of Rockville has already budgeted the remaining cost in its capital budget.
We also asked for $100,000 in funding for the Jewish Federation for Group Homes (JFGH) to rehabilitate several residential properties around Montgomery County. These small group homes provide independent living facilities for people with disabilities, regardless of faith. I am delighted to report that we were allocated the entire $100,000.
I also co-sponsored bond bills for Cornerstone Montgomery and Interfaith Works, Josiah Henson Park, The Writer’s Center, and Jubilee Association of Maryland Community Center. Each of these Montgomery County groups was allocated funds for their worthy projects.
Unity in Response to Hate
When a vandal spray-painted awful, anti-Semitic symbols on Shaare Torah synagogue in Gaithersburg earlier this week, leaders from many of the groups reflecting Montgomery County’s diverse population reacted with shock, sadness, and disgust. Personally, I wondered why, where and how we were failing to education people so that we don’t have to put up with this sort of thing. I spoke about this incident on the Senate Floor (2:24.00 to 2:25.36). It was heartening to hear about the outpouring of support from the greater Gaithersburg community. People came to help clean up the walls and offer sympathy. This demonstration of love and inclusion should renew our hope that our community is united against bigotry.
MS Walk: Rockville 2015 This Saturday!!
I will be cutting the ribbon and participating in the “Walk MS 2015” in Rockville’s Town Center this Saturday, April 18. I would be grateful for your support. To donate to Multiple Sclerosis or join me on the walk, please visit my WalkMS page.
You can keep up with news, upcoming events, and legislative developments by visiting our website, www.CherylKagan.org. Stay in touch with me via Facebook at State Senator Cheryl C. Kagan, on Twitter at @CherylKagan, and on Instagram at @CherylCKagan.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
Rockville & Gaithersburg
PS: Do you know about my concert series, “Folk ‘N Great Music,” that showcases national touring singer/songwriters? My next concert features two incredibly talented guitarists and storytellers. On Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 4pm, I will be hosting Jack Williams with special guest Jacob Johnson. Learn more and get tickets here. To be invited to future concerts (100% of the suggested ticket price goes to these performers), you can email me here.