My 2018 Plans (Dec. 12, 2017)

December 12, 2017
Dear Friend:
As 2018 approaches, I am preparing for another active year. Along with an ambitious legislative agenda in the State Senate, I am hosting another major (“UnNaugural“) concert in January– and, of course, elections are around the corner!

Like many of you, I was shocked and dismayed by the results of the 2016 presidential election. On Inauguration Day, I produced and emceed an “UnNaugural Concert.” Five performers and over 500 guests raised funds to support five of the progressive causes most threatened by the new Administration. On January 20, 2018, I will host another UnNaugural Concert! Please plan now to join us for another memorable and inspiring evening.

In just a few weeks, the Senate will reconvene for the last year in a four-year term. Once again, my legislative agenda is bold and diverse:
  • Advancing 9-1-1 Service: Last year, the Senate unanimously passed an amended version of my bill; time ran out in the House of Delegates. In 2018, I will continue my efforts to modernize our life-saving 9-1-1 emergency system and ensure adequate funding.
  • Bolstering Nonprofits: After successfully creating the Nonprofit, Interest-Free, Micro Bridge Loan (NIMBL) fund, a revolving loan program to support organizations that have earned government grants and contracts, I will introduce new legislation to aid the nonprofit sector.
  • Improving Our Electoral System: I hope to expand access to the ballot in primary elections and streamline background checks for international election observers. Also, at a recent hearing, my colleagues expressed a great deal of interest in learning more about my proposal to allow “Ranked Choice Voting” in Montgomery County.
  • Balancing Transparency & Privacy: The Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) encourages transparency, but there must be updated standards to safeguard private information. My legislation will ensure that residents’ Social Security numbers, emails, and phone numbers are kept private. Other legislation will ensure that crime victims’ identities are appropriately protected on police-worn body camera footage.
  • Increasing Government Accessibility: In light of the no-cost “Language Access” law I enacted in 2016, many State websites are translated for non-English speakers. I will propose expanding the law to make our State even more accessible to residents and tourists.
  • Changing Our Offensive State Song: The time to change Maryland’s official State Song with its Confederate references is long overdue. I will introduce a bill that creates a process to select a new song that better reflects Maryland values.
  • Protecting Consumers: As always, I am working to protect you– whether from deceptive pricing or data breaches.
  • Ending Discrimination: I am troubled by the increased amount of public funding siphoned off to private schools in Maryland and find it reprehensible that these schools can discriminate. My bill would force schools to choose between biased policies and taxpayer funds. Also, in partnership with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, I will seek to outlaw auto insurance that charges higher rates based solely on gender.
 Additionally, I am outraged and embarrassed that Maryland law permits rapists to retain parental rights of a child conceived as a result of their crime. Shockingly, this will be the tenth year that the General Assembly will consider a bill to end these rights. With the recent national conversation about sexual assault and harassment, there should be added pressure to pass it in 2018.
I will keep you updated throughout the legislative session with weekly emails. You can also follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for photos and posts. Check my website for information about internships, Senatorial Scholarships, and more. Any questions or comments can be directed to me via email.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Rockville & Gaithersburg)
P.S. Can you join me on January 4th at Chick & Ruth’s Delly in Annapolis to enjoy a “Senator Cheryl Kagan milkshake” and raise funds for my campaign? Alternatively, please consider making an online donation in any amount to support my work!