Annapolis Update: March 30, 2015


Chag Sameach/Happy Passover!  I hope that those of you who will be observing this  Jewish holiday of freedom will find time for a Seder with family and friends to reflect on the significance these upcoming eight days represent.

Budget Passes Senate and House

The Senate voted on the state’s $40+ billion budget, passing it unanimously with a number of significant changes from Governor Hogan’s original proposal.  The differences between the House and Senate will be worked out in a conference committee.  So far, things are looking pretty good for Montgomery County. 

As I’ve written previously, the Montgomery County delegation was united in making support for public schools our top priority.  I am delighted to report that, to date, we seem to have succeeded in our mission.  Education funding– originally cut sharply in the Governor’s plan– has been restored.  The Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI), which awards funds to jurisdictions based on the cost of living, was a huge victory for our schools and students.

Funding for municipalities through the Highway User Revenues, was threatened in a preliminary version of the budget.  Because I understand the importance of these funds to cities like Rockville and Gaithersburg, I advocated directly to the leadership of the Budget & Taxation Committee. Restoration of this funding means that our cities will receive support for  vital transportation projects ranging from snow removal and plowing to repairs to our bridges and roads.     

Report from Committee

News out of Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs: Maryland looks poised to maintain the moratorium on fracking.  This was affirmed in the House Environment and Transportation Committee, chaired by our own District 17 Delegate Kumar Barve.  I am proud to have co-sponsored the Senate version of this bill.  After the legislature acts, I am hopeful that Governor Hogan will sign the bill, which will protect our precious lands for three more years.

This week, we will continue our long conversation on Charter School reform.  Our Senate committee has spent weeks significantly narrowing the Governor’s original proposal.  I have a record of consistently opposing Charter Schools for fear of the negative impact on our public schools, and  I will keep you updated on developments in these final days of the legislative session.

Update on Bills I’ve Sponsored

My “Fertility Parity” bill passed the Senate 37-10; a companion version was approved by the House.  This week, we will be seeking passage in the opposite chamber so it can go to the Governor.

Next up is my bill on Language Accessibility for State Websites.  After passing the Senate (39-8), the proposal next goes to the House Health and Government Operations Committee.  Several of the witnesses will share their testimony at our hearing.  We are hopeful to a similarly favorable response from the House of Delegates. 

Please be sure to keep up with news and legislative developments by visiting our website,  

Scholarship Money Available

Do you know students enrolled at Montgomery College or the Universities at Shady Grove?  If they live in District 17 and voted in 2014 (if eligible), please point them toward my Senatorial scholarship application here.  The deadline for submission is April 6, so please don’t delay! 



Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
Rockville & Gaithersburg

PS:  You can stay in touch with me via Facebook at State Senator Cheryl C. Kagan, on Twitter at @CherylKagan, and on Instagram at @CherylCKagan
Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter