“Egg-citing” Updates from Annapolis!

April 2, 2021
Dear Friend:
In the midst of yet another tragedy, we could each benefit from an extra moment of reflection. Whether or not you observe Passover, Easter, or Ramadan, I hope you’ll join me in praying for our Nation’s Capitol.

Funding our Community Priorities
I sponsored Legislative Bond Initiatives in the Senate for Interfaith Works, the City of Rockville, and the City of Gaithersburg. We unanimously approved the Capital Budget today, which included $1.1M to support the:
  • Interfaith Works Vocational Services Center;
  • Lincoln Park Community Center;
  • Pedestrian Bridge at Great Seneca Highway; and
  • Pleasant View Park.

Reluctantly Confirming our Secretary of Health
Maryland’s COVID cases have increased daily since Gov. Hogan’s short-sighted decision to reopen retail and restaurants at full capacity. Advising him has been Acting Health Secretary Schrader, whose confirmation hearing before the Senate’s Executive Nominations Committee included tough questions. Despite my many concerns about his lack of communication and collaboration, I reluctantly supported his confirmation.
UPDATE: Anyone 16 or older can now register for a COVID vaccination appointment. Please remain patient as you attempt to secure a time slot at your chosen location.
Importing Disgraced Trump Appointee?!
CDC’s Trump-appointed Director, Dr. Robert Redfield, perpetuated the harmful rumor that COVID “most likely” originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. Why is this relevant? Gov. Larry Hogan recruited disgraced Redfield to serve as one of his key COVID-19 advisors! Bringing Redfield here, especially as anti-Asian hate crimes are skyrocketing, is unacceptable.

Defeating a Bad Bill
For decades, women who have made the difficult choice to give their baby up for adoption were guaranteed confidentiality if they chose. SB331 would have stripped birth mothers of their privacy without notification, allowing adoptees unfettered access to their birth records. I led the floor fight that ultimately rejected this legislation with a decisive vote of 16-31.
Debating into the Wee Hours
The Senate stayed in session until almost 1am on Wednesday and just after 11pm on Thursday, debating the details of much-needed police reform. Ultimately, the Senate approved, (32-15) nearly along party lines, Speaker Jones’s comprehensive legislation that addresses police discipline, training, and accountability. Our work on this issue will continue next week.
A view of Lawyer’s Mall when the Senate adjourned early Thursday morning.
Repealing our Confederate-Themed State Song
While it may not be the most important policy issue before the General Assembly this year, the House of Delegates finally passed my State Song repeal bill with a veto-proof vote of 95-38. It is decades past time to remove this deplorable ode to the Confederacy from our law books. Any future State Song should celebrate the beauty, diversity, and history of our home.

Preaching to the Senate
I was honored to have my Rabbi, Adam Raskin of Congregation Har Shalom, deliver a Zoom Invocation to the Senate. As we celebrated the Jewish liberation from slavery and debated police reform, his message of unity resonated with each of us.
Watch for next week’s email for a surprise guest that I will be welcoming to the Senate!

Please follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for photos and posts. My website has information about local Coronavirus efforts, internships, scholarships, and more. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be notified of new episodes of “Kibbitzing with Kagan.” And, you can always send questions or comments to me via email.

Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: I am humbled that the American Jewish Committee (AJC) will present me with its prestigious 2021 Hyman Bookbinder Award for advocacy and public service. Consider supporting and “attending” this virtual event?