Wrapping Up!

April 15, 2022
Dear Friend:
Did you know that members of the Senate sponsored 1,022 bills, and the House introduced 1,495 this Session? Read on to learn about what we accomplished!
Addressing Marylanders’ Priorities
Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022: This 104-page groundbreaking legislation that became law without the Governor’s signature will reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2031; transition the State’s fleet to electric vehicles by 2036; allocate resources for low- to moderate-income communities; and much more.
Time to Care Act of 2022: Paid family and medical leave are vital for the well-being of Marylanders. After overriding the Governor’s veto, Maryland employers will be required to provide 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a newborn; get medical treatments; or care for loved ones in their final days.
Banning “Ghost Guns”: Beginning June 1st, untraceable “ghost guns” will be banned, and any firearm made after October 22, 1968 must have a serial number. I am proud that Maryland took strong action even before President Biden!
Protecting Reproductive Choice: The Abortion Care Access Act will allow nurse-practitioners, nurse-midwives, and physician assistants to provide abortion services. It allocates $3.5 million to train these professionals. I proudly cast my vote in favor of this legislation that overrode Gov. Hogan’s veto.
Funding Maryland Infrastructure: With help from the Federal Infrastructure Bill, local governments will be able to improve roads and bridges without increasing our gas tax.
Safeguarding our Elections
I sponsored a package of election bills to improve our already effective voting systems in Maryland. I am thrilled that these initiatives will become law in time for the Primary Election on July 19th!
Funding Fairness for Voting Systems: By codifying a 50/50 cost split between the State and Local Boards of Elections for purchasing and operating expenses, our county governments will no longer fear unfunded mandates from the Executive Branch. This was the first bill to pass the entire legislature this Session!
Establishing Guidelines for Election Recounts: Some elections have such a narrow margin separating the winner and loser that a government-funded recount seems reasonable. Sometimes, the margin isn’t quite as close, but the candidate may be willing to invest financial resources to have the results confirmed. Now there will be a clear framework for the development and financing of recounts.
Curing, Processing, and Reporting Ballots: Even with 61% of Marylanders choosing to vote by mail in the 2020 Presidential Election, current law does not allow Local Boards to process ballots before Election Day—potentially delaying the reporting of results. Now local staff will be able to review, open, and scan ballots eight days before the start of Early Voting. Additionally, voters will have the opportunity to “cure” a missing signature on the oath of a mailed-in ballot, ensuring that it is counted.
Updating our 9-1-1 Systems to Save Lives
Endorsed by the Next Generation 9-1-1 Commission that I chair, my Omnibus legislation with nine components will become law. It will enhance cybersecurity; require implicit bias training; authorize local governments to increase funding for 9-1-1 Centers; provide mental health support; reclassify 9-1-1 Specialists as First Responders; and much more!
Advocating for Animals
Cat declawing involves a painful surgery that amputates the last bone of each paw. Maryland became just the second state in the nation to ban this barbaric and unnecessary practice. I sponsored this in memory of my “Coronakitty.”
In addition to helping our feline friends, we prohibited dog owners from leaving their pups unattended outdoors in extreme weather for more than 30 minutes and banned the sale of certain wildlife products.
Supporting our Nonprofits
Too often overlooked, our nonprofit sector is a vital portion of our economy, human services, and quality of life. Throughout my tenure in the Senate, I have worked closely with Maryland Nonprofits and other advocates to provide funding and equity for these organizations. Each year, I have sponsored at least one bill that would have a significant impact on their operations and sustainability. This year, my three bills each passed the Senate unanimously but inexplicably died in the House of Delegates.
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Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: Three of the world’s major religions are celebrating sacred holidays. Warmest wishes for meaningful observances of Passover, Easter, & Ramadan!