Signed, Sealed… Not Yet Delivered
May 14, 2019
During the 2019 legislative session, I passed a “slew” of bills ( according to award-winning Maryland Matters ) that will benefit our great State. Five more of my bills were signed yesterday, but there are still hundreds pending with the Governor. Below are some details.
- Saving Lives by Updating Our 9-1-1 System
Three people (including longtime Rockville activist Carl Henn) have died in my district when 9-1-1 failed. A statewide commission that I chair unanimously approved a 65-page report last December with 23 recommendations. These formed the basis for three bipartisan legislative proposals. After five years of hard work, I was delighted that Governor Hogan signed them into law, allowing us to transition to “Next Generation 9-1-1” (or NG911).
- Creating High-Tech Jobs in Maryland
The Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) was established in 1998 to support Maryland’s growing technology sector. A devastating State Audit revealed that they invested millions of taxpayer dollars outside of Maryland; lacked appropriate oversight; and allowed significant conflicts of interest. I worked with Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones (now Speaker!) to address these issues. Our legislation received unanimous support in both chambers. This new law will ensure that Maryland taxpayer money creates Maryland jobs .
- Increasing Linguistic and Ethnic Diversity in our Police Departments
I worked with Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo, a former police officer, and Tom Manger, longtime Montgomery County Police Chief and President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, to diversify our police forces. My “Freedom to Serve” legislation allows Legal Permanent Residents who have been honorably discharged from the military and applied for citizenship with the opportunity to become police officers. In addition to expanding the applicant pool to address recruitment shortages, we will hire officers with better connections to our communities.
- Waiting to Become #FoamFreeMD!
One notable piece of legislation that still awaits Governor Hogan’s signature would ban Expanded Polystyrene Foam (“Styrofoam”) food service products in Maryland. Del. Brooke Lierman and I wrote in Maryland Matters urging Governor Hogan to sign this environmental legislation into law. “Styrofoam” is dangerous for both our environment and our health. It breaks down into tiny particles that are difficult to collect. They get eaten by fish who mistake them for food; we then eat the fish and consume the harmful chemicals. If you want Maryland to become the first with a statewide foam ban, pleasecontact Governor Hogan and encourage him to sign this legislation.
This Saturday is the 10th annual Gaithersburg Book Festival. I hope to see you at this free, fun, and family-friendly event ! Please consider following me on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram for photos and posts.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
( Gaithersburg & Rockville)