Who Should Decide?

February 14, 2019

Dear Friend:
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you will be able to spend time with loved ones. This week, we had a lively Senate debate about who should decide our local school calendars, and I had hearings on some of the bills I’m sponsoring.
                Debating Our School Calendars
I was proud to join 30 of my Senate colleagues who voted “yes” on SB128 to reverse the ill-conceived Hogan Executive Order and restore the authority of local school boards to decide the calendars for their own counties. Yes, let’s enjoy Ocean City and other wonderful Maryland vacation destinations. But let’s be sure to allow flexibility for snow days, teacher conferences, and religious holidays!
Spotlight: Addressing TEDCO Audit Findings
Along with the House Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones, I have introduced legislation to address our investments in Maryland tech start-up businesses. The State Audit Report released last Friday flagged a number of serious concerns. Fundamentally, I believe that Maryland taxpayer funds should be used primarily to create Maryland jobs! In doing so, we must safeguard the millions of taxpayer dollars and prevent conflicts of interest.
Testifying to Ban Expanded Polystyrene “Styrofoam” Statewide
Montgomery County has banned expanded polystyrene foam food containers, as has Prince George’s, Baltimore City, Annapolis, and more. My bill ( SB285) would expand the ban statewide in order to protect public health and the environment. You can watch my testimony here about how the foam doesn’t biodegrade, hurts wildlife, and pollutes our highways and waterways. I am delighted to be working with a broad coalition of environmental advocates and forward-thinking business leaders . Together, we can make Maryland safer, more environmentally friendly, and even more beautiful!
Our first panel of advocates testifying with me to ban foam statewide.
Thanks to Trash-Free Maryland, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and many other advocates for supporting a #FoamFreeMD!
Chairing the 9-1-1 Commission
As you know, I have been very involved in the effort to update our 9-1-1 systems to better technology and capabilities. The statewide Commission, which I’m honored to chair, met to continue our work in moving toward Next Generation. In addition to new issues, we made plans for our hearings on February 26 in both the Senate and House. This morning, I spoke before the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) convention in Washington, DC. NENA is the only professional organization, with over 13,000 members , focused solely on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues.
Please stay in touch with me throughout the 2019 Session ! You can also follow me on  Facebook ,  Twitter , and  Instagram   for photos and posts. You can 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.: The Delegation voted unanimously to support my legislation that would authorize Montgomery County to shift to Ranked Choice Voting. The bill will be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee next Tuesday. You can learn more here .