#ItsTime, right? (March 7, 2018)

March 7, 2018
Dear Friend:
Like most women I know, I have dealt with incidents of sexual harassment like inappropriate touching in the workplace. After all the national conversation and consequences for powerful men, wouldn’t you think that most guys would be more cautious and respectful?
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case last Thursday, when a lobbyist put his hand on my back and slid it down to my tush. It wasn’t the first time this former legislator had touched me inappropriately.
While the #MeToo movement has swept our country, no one in the Annapolis community had named a harasser. I believed it was finally time and spoke out. Learn more about the incident and my statement in the Baltimore SunWashington PostBethesda Beat, and elsewhere.
Turning Anger Into Action on Sexual Harassment
Fortunately, countless women and men have expressed their support and shared their own stories. The Women’s Caucus has crafted legislation that would reform our reporting and investigative process. A successful hearing on HB1342/SB1138 included testimony from legislators, lobbyists, and advocates who agree that #ItsTime to take action!
Legislative Spotlight: Fair Reimbursement for Nonprofits
Nonprofits employ 10.6% of Maryland workers and enhance our communities through social services, the arts, education, and health care. Unfortunately, many organizations with State-funded grants or contracts receive limited reimbursement of ‘indirect costs’— expenses for fundamental needs like office rent, accounting, and staff. The federal government enacted a guaranteed reimbursement rate of at least 10%. I have proposed SB1045 to match this in Maryland. By covering a portion of an organization’s realcost of fulfilling a grant or contract, staff can stay focused on their critical work… rather than scrambling to fill funding gaps.
Hoping for Bipartisan Progress on Gun Safety
The brave students who survived the school shooting in Florida have truly changed the conversation on gun control nationally– as well as in Maryland. Even Governor Hogan announced his support forproposals to reduce gun violence. I have co-sponsored two bills: SB707, a ban on ‘bump stocks” andSB1036, which could take guns from perpetrators of domestic violence.
Political Update: Talented Candidates Are Running in 2018!
With the filing deadline behind us, we know the line-up for the all-important June 26th primary. As expected, there will be dozens of hotly contested races locally and around the State. Seven impressive Democrats are competing to challenge the Governor; at this early stage, poll data showsundecided” in the lead. In Montgomery County, a daunting 38 candidatesare competing for the four at-large County Council seats. I will share my thoughts on the candidates as we get closer. In the meantime, you can register to vote, sign up to vote by mail, and update your registration online.
Increasing Access to the Primary Ballot
During the 2016 Primary, I met discouraged constituents who came out to vote for or against a Presidential candidate. They didn’t realize that, as an unaffiliated voter, they were not allowed. At the same time, an unregistered voter who hadnever previously engaged could show up, choose a political party, and cast a vote in a primary at any time during Early Voting. My bill, SB1061, would put unaffiliated voters and new registrants on equal footing by giving the growing number of unaffiliated Marylanders (26% in 2017) the franchise in primary elections. Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, and the NAACP were among those who testified in support.
Mourning the passing of a Senate colleague…
Senator H. Wayne Norman Jr. (R-Harford & Cecil Counties) suddenly and tragically passed away. He was always kind, thoughtful, funny, and deeply committed to bettering our State. I send my sincerest condolences to his family and staff and will miss his presence in the Senate.
Please watch for my updates during the final month of session! I am committed to keeping you informed throughout the 2018 Session. You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for photos and posts. Check my website for information about internships, Senatorial Scholarships, and more. And, you can always send questions or comments to me via email.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Rockville & Gaithersburg)
P.S. Check out this video by the City of Rockville congratulating our neighbor, Haley Skarupa, on being an Olympic gold medalist as part of the women’s U.S. ice hockey team!