Visitors, Vetoes, and Voting!

January 31, 2020
Dear Friend:
Inspiration as the Senate Begins Its Day!
Once again, I was proud to welcome my Rabbi, Adam Raskin, to deliver the invocation to the Maryland State Senate earlier this week. As always, he was thoughtful and inspirational as he discussed combating hate and division. We at Congregation Har Shalom are lucky to have him at the helm!
Overturning Governor Hogan’s Vetoes
Yesterday, the Senate voted to override five bills vetoed by Governor Hogan. He attempted to impede progress that would support Maryland’s DREAMers; protect the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster population; help inmates reintegrate into society and get jobs; remove confusion around State employee grievances; and keep handguns from those who might misuse them.
  • Expanding the Dream Act (SB537): Creating more opportunities for undocumented students and making it easier for them to qualify for in-state tuition under the Maryland Dream Act. These residents pay over $300 million in state and local taxes and deserve tuition equity.
  • Creating a Balanced Oyster Advisory Commission (SB830): Reestablishing the Oyster Advisory Commission and requiring consensus among environmentalists and watermen. 
  • Banning the Box (SB839): Prohibiting employers, with 15 or more full-time employees, from requiring a job candidate to disclose a criminal record on an initial application.
  • Simplifying Grievance Procedures (SB891): Streamlining the resolution of workplace issues raised by State employees. 
  • Repealing the Handgun Permit Review Board (SB1000): Taking politics out of our gun permitting process and shifting to independent judges. The Handgun Permit Review Board overturned the concealed carry permit decisions of the Maryland State Police a shocking 80+% of the time!
Building Momentum
EHEA (the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee, where I serve as Vice Chair) heard three of my six election bills including SB56 (simplifying ballot language), SB89 (requiring that our new voting machines be Ranked Choice Voting compatible), and SB91 (informing inmates of their voting rights upon release). One of my consumer protection bills (SB34), which passed the Senate unanimously last year, prohibits unnecessary scanning of driver’s licenses and IDs. It had a successful hearing in the Finance Committee. I also testified on my bill (SB47) as the Chair of the NG911 Commission to extend our work for an additional two years.
Focusing on Schools, Not Schedules!
Governor Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot can’t seem to handle the decisive legislative message that allowed our local school boards to determine school schedules. This is a political move that’s trying to somehow undo our veto override. Instead of petty politics, I hope that Franchot and Hogan will focus on how we can afford to implement the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations to fund our public schools!
Be sure you’re engaging with me on social media! I’m very active on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. You can also 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
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
P.S.: Women legislators (several Senate colleagues here) dressed in suffrage colors of purple, gold, and white to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote. Sen. Kathy Klausmeier (not pictured) and I have been serving on the 19th Amendment Commission that is coordinating the year of commemorative events.