Remembering… & Enacting Change
May 25, 2021
Since the General Assembly adjourned, my staff and I have kept really busy. The District 17 Delegates and I have reported on the legislative session in various virtual meetings. If you missed our Virtual Town Hall, you can watch it on my YouTube channel.
Additionally, the Next Generation 9-1-1 Commission I chair has been preparing for our fourth and final year to enhance Maryland’s 9-1-1 systems. I have also convened a group of key stakeholders to discuss how we can implement a first-in-the-nation statewide 3-1-1 system for non-emergency customer service needs.
Mourning Floyd’s Death: A Year Later
It has been one year since George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Important new legislation was passed this session that will protect both individuals and our law enforcement. I am very proud of our dedication to addressing police reform in a meaningful way.
Click here to see my photos at the George Floyd site during my visit last summer.
Signed, Sealed, & Delivered!
Last week, the Governor signed five of my bills into law! Learn more below and in my 2021 Session Wrap-up.
Strengthening Our 9-1-1 Infrastructure
The Next Generation 9-1-1 Commission I chair recommended making the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) an independent, Cabinet-level entity that will report directly to the Governor. My bill also shifts the 9-1-1 Board to become an autonomous entity under this new Department. Maryland will join 14 states that have already made this important structural change.
Expanding Telehealth Services
Last year, I enacted emergency telehealth legislation to allow easy access to telehealth services. Unfortunately, the MD State Department of Education placed unnecessary barriers to School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs), preventing them from offering telehealth to students. This year’s emergency legislation eliminates the restrictions, allowing SBHCs to provide primary, behavioral, and dental care via telehealth for students across the State.
Expanding Our Recycling Market
After China banned the import of U.S. recyclables, mountains of unsold materials were abandoned in warehouses across the country. The costs are high– in Montgomery County, bales of recycled mixed paper used to bring in $155 per ton; they now yield only $10 per ton. In partnership with Vice-Chair Del. Stein, this new law requires the Department of the Environment to assess the current recycling market and encourage the use of locally-sourced recyclables. Additionally, they will launch a marketing campaign to entice “green” businesses to come to Maryland.
Supporting The Technology Sector
Repealing our Confederate-Themed State Song
While it may not have been the most important issue, the General Assembly finally repealed our State Song. It is decades past time to remove this deplorable ode to the Confederacy from our law books. (In fact, my predecessor, Sen. Jennie Forehand, also sponsored this legislation several times!) Any future State Song should celebrate the beauty, diversity, and history of our home.
Chatting with the Community
- Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones;
- Dawson’s Markets‘ Bart Yablonsky; and
- Round House Theatre‘s Ryan Rilette.
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Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: Interested in being appointed to a State Board or Commission? Check out the “How-To” PowerPoint on applying; be sure you let me know so I can put in a good word!