Third Down & Heading Toward the End Zone! (February 6, 2018)

February 6, 2018
Dear Friend:
I hope you enjoyed the exciting Super Bowl, as I did. It seemed appropriate to use a football analogy today; we’re on (or one!) third down and headed toward the end zone (adjournment). There is a LOT of work between now and then.
Today, the first of my 9-1-1 bills will be heard in the Senate. If enacted, SB285 will bring together the State’s leading experts on emergency communications. But, no matter how busy we are in the Senate, I am always aware of events closer to home…
Helping the 33 Rockville Families Displaced by Fire
Friday afternoon, a fire blazed through the Fireside Park Apartments in downtown Rockville, displacing dozens of our neighbors. Although they have gotten temporary housing, many have unmet needs, including toiletries, clothing, furniture, and bedding. Please consider dropping off gently used items between noon and 3 pm at the David Scull Community Center (1251 First Street). Volunteers are also needed. Rockville Housing Enterprise’s Tosha Dyson can provide you with more details at (301) 424-6265, ext. 107.
Spotlight: Protecting our privacy while offering transparency
The Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) is an important tool that ensures government accountability through transparency, but it must be carefully balanced with respect for our privacy. This year, one of the Maryland Municipal League’s top priorities is my bill, SB 477, which would ensure residents who sign up for government services like emergency alerts don’t have their personal email addresses accessible to spammers and scammers. The Maryland Association of Counties is making a priority of my bill, SB788, which would also safeguard our Social Security numbers, home addresses, and some police camera footage that includes victims or innocent children. In addition, we wouldn’t want to see gory or gruesome acts on our evening news. Calls to 9-1-1 will include more personal data in the future, and we should act now to protect our private information. (Read more about that next week, when my entire email will focus on my five 9-1-1 public safety bills.)


Working with the Women’s Caucus
Last night, I met with legislators from around the State for the fourth and final workgroup to craft policy recommendations regarding sexual harassment we face in Annapolis. On an unrelated note, last week, women legislators wore red to raise awareness about women’s heart health. #MeToo
Ending Rapists’ Parental Rights…Finally!
At long last, the tenth year may be the charm! By the end of this week, I expect that House Bill 1 & Senate Bill 2 will be signed into law as an emergency measure. It will go into effect immediately.
Staff Changes
After losing a key aide to a terrific position with the Maryland Municipal League, I am pleased to announce that I promoted Katherine “Kat” Donnelly, my former legislative aide, to serve as my Chief of Staff. Longtime national policy activist Ron Zucker is my new Legislative Aide. We initially met decades ago through Americans for Democratic Action. Working for me will be his first foray into Maryland politics.
Two Rockville Athletes on the international stage!
Congratulations to Rockville’s Mack Hollins, a member of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles! Watch for another Wootton High School alum, Haley Skarupa, who made the U.S. women’s hockey team earlier this month. Go Haley, and go Team USA!
As I indicated at the start, this week marks one-third of the way through our 90-day session. I hope you’ll watch for my email updates and 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. I’m approaching my 1,000th post on Instagram. Feel free to check out my daily photos and add your comments!