MGA’s 437th leg­isla­tive ses­sion “over­all suc­cess­ful” for District 6

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By MIA MCCASLIN mm­c­caslin@ches­

Af­ter the 437th ses­sion of the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly con­cluded on Mon­day, April 10, the District Six del­e­ga­tion is cel­e­brat­ing this as “an over­all suc­cess­ful ses­sion,” ac­cord­ing to Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-6).

On the last day of the ses­sion, the fates of hun­dreds of bills were de­cided. Some passed and were signed into law by Gov. Hogan on Tues­day, April 11 and oth­ers died on the floors of the House and Se­nate.

The District Six del­e­ga­tion feels con­fi­dent that a ma­jor­ity of the bills

that they be­lieved neg­a­tively con­cerned the re­gion and the state were not passed in­clud­ing HB172, mod­i­fy­ing Sec­tion Eight hous­ing re­quire­ments, and HB1362, which would have de­clared Mary­land a sanc­tu­ary state.

“If I had to sum­ma­rize the end [of the ses­sion], I would call it a peo­ple’s up­ris­ing,” said Del. Robin Gram­mer (R-6). “There were some peo­ple try­ing to sneak through con­tro­ver­sial bills at the last minute and the pub­lic back­lash halted that.”

The ses­sion end brought more good news for the del­e­gates. Del. Bob Long (R6) passed two of his seven in­tro­duced bills in the fi­nal day of the ses­sion: HB1253, which al­lows for the dis­posal of aban­doned sunken ves­sels; and HB1323, which pro­vides a five-year tax credit for home­own­ers who re­vi­tal­ize di­lap­i­dated hous­ing.

Del. Long also lauds the pass­ing of other bills not spon­sored by him­self: SB317, re­quir­ing the Gover­nor to ap­pro­pri­ate at least one mil­lion dol­lars per year for the Part­ner­ship for Work­force Qual­ity Pro­gram, which will help Spar­rows Point la­bor­ers; SB307, the Road­kill Bill; and HB879, the Pub­lic In­tegrity Act to pro­mote trans­parency be­tween gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and their con­stituents.

Sen. Salling also feels good about what the ses­sion was able to pro­vide for the con­si­tu­ants of District Six. “We were able to pro­mote jobs in the state of Mary­land and job training for vet­er­ans as well as help­ing pro­mote tax re­lief for vet­er­ans,” Sen. Salling ex­plained. “I’m glad that we were about to pro­mote more busi­ness in the area with Trade­point as well.”

He went on to ex­plain that they were “able to kill some su­per bad bills” and “sus­tain” other bills that he says “wouldn’t be friendly for busi­ness.”

Sen. Salling was also pleased with the bud­get which he called “good and sound,” and, once again, taxes were not raised statewide.

The ses­sion did not bring ev­ery­thing the District Six del­e­gates were hop­ing for, how­ever. Del. Gram­mer’s bill fo­cus­ing on ren­o­vat­ing fore­clo­sure prop­er­ties just ended its sec­ond ses­sion with­out be­ing voted into law.

“Al­though my bill didn’t get voted in, a dif­fer­ent fore­clo­sure re­form was passed,” Gram­mer ex­plained. “It re­quires that peo­ple go through the courts, and while I don’t think it’s the best mech­a­nism it is some kind of mech­a­nism that we can use to bring change.”

“I’m just not nec­es­sar­ily happy about it,” he con­tin­ued. Gram­mer stated in a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view that he would keep in­tro­duc­ing and amend­ing this bill un­til it was passed.

As of press time, Del. Ric Met­z­gar (R-6) was un­avail­able for com­ment.

Two town hall meet­ings will be held in District Six to dis­cuss and de­brief af­ter the ses­sion.

The first was hosted on Wed­nes­day, April 12 at 6 p.m. at the Vic­tory Villa Rec Center in Mid­dle River.

The sec­ond will be hosted on Thurs­day, April 27 at 6 p.m. at the North Point Li­brary lo­cated off Mer­ritt Blvd. in Dun­dalk, MD.


Del. Bob Long of District Six at­tended the Tues­day morn­ing sign­ing of bills by Gov. Hogan.

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