Last Friday, the Governor released his proposed FY2020 budget of $46.6 billion. It included the first installment of additional funding for our public schools as recommended by the prestigious Kirwan Commission. To address the opioid and drug epidemics facing our state, the budget also included an additional $248 million for addiction treatment. With leadership from Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman, the budget featured $2 million for a much-needed new police station. Maryland’s continued fiscal responsibility has allowed the State to maintain its AAA bond rating.
#MeToo Reforms Are Changing Annapolis
After I spoke up about being touched inappropriately by a lobbyist, the General Assembly enacted one of the most comprehensive sexual harassment laws in the country. Among other aspects, legislators and staffers are now required to attend a 3-hour training session. The facilitator used real life examples of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors to educate attendees on the seriousness of the issue. This will surely help to change the culture in Annapolis.
Educating Hotel & Motel Guests About Recycling
We know the recycling guidelines at home, but what about when we travel? Most of us would gladly recycle in the hotel or motel if we knew how. I am sponsoring a bill to require hotels and motels to inform their guests as to what is recycled on premises. This bill would increase compliance and no longer force many hotel and motel employees to pick trash out of the recycling.
Overcoming Division in our Community
On Monday, I attended a gathering at Richard Montgomery High School to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. The very next day, a swastika was spray-painted in bright orange on one of its walls. It is tragic that someone defaced this school at a time when we all desperately need to come together to celebrate our diverse population. We still have a long way to go before we judge each other solely by the content of our character rather than by gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or nationality.
Supporting our Hungry Neighbors and Federal Employees
In honor of Dr. King and to support our furloughed federal employees, I volunteered to collect canned goods for Manna Food Center . Their work provides our community with access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food. There is an even greater need for donated food during the federal government shutdown. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to local nonprofits serving our neighbors facing an unprecedented financial crisis.
P.S.: Yesterday , I held a press conference to discuss my legislation to bring Next Generation 9-1-1 to Maryland. Afterwards, the first bill in the package (SB5, which would shield ” gory & gruesome ” video footage from the MD Public Information Act), was heard in my Education, Health, & Environmental Affairs Committee.
Sen. Kagan (D–17) returned to elected office in 2015, where her energy, dedication, and experience in all sectors– public, private, and nonprofit– have made her an effective advocate for the residents of Gaithersburg and Rockville.