Week 4 of the 2019 MGA Legislative Session!
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today we conclude week four of the 439th Legislative Session, and once again, I am so grateful to serve you on in the Maryland State Senate.
Since our last newsletter, I had the pleasure of hosting my neighbors, friends and community leaders at the University of Maryland BioPark for our 40th District Session Kick-off event. My colleagues and I had the privilege to connect with our district residents one-on-one while presenting our legislative priorities and upcoming agendas.
Furthermore, I had the opportunity to introduce two new bills this week--one will allow Baltimore City to crack down on the sales of unpackaged (loose) cigarettes, the other will be a catalyst for fair prescription drug health insurance coverage. For more in-depth details about each bill, please see links below.
Each week my team and I will keep you informed of the various legislative activities in Annapolis as well as upcoming events happening in our community. Enjoy this week's newsletter and see you on Monday at Baltimore Day!
Senator Antonio Hayes
My New Bills!
Every bill that becomes a law starts with a drop in the “hopper.” This week 2 more of my bills were "dropped" and have started their legislative journey!
SB0310: Baltimore City - Unpackaged Cigarettes - Prohibition on Sale
SB0405: Health Insurance - Prescription Drugs - Formulary Changes
Read more about bills I am sponsoring and co-sponsoring by clicking the link below!
Coppin State University, January 26th:
"Figuring out how to succeed in college is vital to how you will move forward in life and in your desired career." - Senator Hayes gave an encouraging welcome to the new students of Coppin State University last Saturday morning during their spring orientation.
Thank you to everyone who joined us last Saturday during our 40th District Session Kick-off!
Thank you to all who attended the 40th District Session Kick-off event! The session allowed residents of the 40th District to receive a look into what our delegation plans to tackle during this year's session. A special thank you to the representatives from the Maryland State Retirement & Pension System, Maryland College Savings Plan, and Baltimore City Community College for partnering with us. We are committed to making our community outreach and engagement at the top of our agenda this session, therefore our team created a data analysis from the feedback we received from Saturday's meeting that will be posted in next week's newsletter.
We would also like to thank Mayor Catherine Pugh, City Council President Jack Young and State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby for joining the delegation in keeping our community informed and in-touch.
Baltimore City State Senate Delegation Highlights:
To watch this week's meeting, click below:
During this Legislative Session, the Baltimore City State Senate Delegation will be meeting every Thursday in Annapolis. This week the delegation invited William Cole, President of the Baltimore Development Corporation and Martha Nathanson, Vice President of Gov. Relations and Community Development at LifeBridge health--to discuss the issue of Pimlico redevelopment and to make sure that the Baltimore City community is at the forefront of the project's agenda.
In addition, Jason Perkins Cohen, Director of the Mayor's Office of Employment Development gave an impressive presentation in support of the Baltimore City Youth Summer Employment bill (SB0229).
Also, in order to stay updated on events, legislative progress and receive the live-stream link, follow the delegation's new social media handles: Twitter @BmoreSenators /Instagram: @BaltimoreSenators and Facebook: Baltimore City Senate Delegation
What's New In Annapolis?
New Statues: Fredrick Douglas and Harriet Tubman will be honored in the Maryland State House
Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland board of Public Work have approved the creation of Fedrick Douglass and Harriet Tubman’s statues. In response to this approval, Delegate Julian Ivey issued a letter requesting that the project be delayed. Ivey states that although the “… project’s concept is long overdue”, the proposed $575,000 would not go to a Maryland based business, would have no Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) participation, and the development was not presented to the Legislative Black Caucus for Maryland.
Miller says Senate will Live-Stream starting in 2021
Following the lead of the house, Senate President Thomas V Mike Miller announces that the Senate will start live streaming in 2021. Gov. Hogan’s spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said, “It is imperative that legislation is passed this session to ensure that Maryland’s commitment to openness and transparency is the law of the land and not left to the whims of individual legislators”.
Democratic Legislative Priorities
Curbing the cost of prescription drugs
Protecting health insurance, including key ACA reforms such as protecting the ban on pre-existing conditions
Protecting our family's health by limiting tobacco use to those over the age of 21 years of age
Boosting working families' incomes by increasing Maryland's minimum to $15
Banning child care costs for parents by increasing the childcare tax credit
Cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, by banning Styrofoam and other pollutants
Gov. Hogan State of State Address
In his State of the State address, Governor Larry Hogan discussed gun control, education, tax relief and transportation. He continues to (push) the importance of bipartisanship explaining that the solutions were neither Republican nor Democratic, rather “commonsense solutions that worked for the people of Maryland”.
Hogan then concluded his speech with some encouraging and uplifting words for Maryland legislators, "Let’s keep changing Maryland for the better and continue setting an example for Washington so that America can once again set an example for the world."
Pimlico Plan proposed in Baltimore City Delegation Meeting
While discussions are still being held to determine the home of Preakness, lawmakers want to ensure that if it stays in Baltimore, the redevelopment of Pimlico will benefit the Park Heights community. Legislators from Baltimore City and Baltimore County met with the Baltimore Development Corporation and LifeBridge Health last week to discuss how our communities will be at the forefront of the investors' priorities.
Maryland Democrats push for emergency legislation to allow federal workers to collect Unemployment Insurance
As the longest government shutdown has come to an end, legislators are working to allow federal employees to collect unemployment insurance.
Baltimore wants full control of Police Department
State Delegate Talmadge Branch introduced legislation that would give Baltimore City control of its police department. Since the inception of the Baltimore PD, the state has maintained regulation over the bureau. This transition of power would require police officers to adhere to law passed by the city council.
Staff Member Spotlight:
Fiona Mesfun, a senior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has taken leadership in the Baltimore City State Senate Delegation as the Executive Director. She has taken on several tasks, such as coordinating the weekly meetings & bill hearings, working directly with the Chair to ensure that Baltimore City related bills are heard and voted on by the delegation, running point for the weekly newsletter and posting social media updates. She has shown her capabilities by transforming her passion for mentorship and women empowerment into her very own Ladies With Attitude Foundation; which is an organization that aims to stimulate sisterhood and success through service, mentorship and scholarship. Fiona also teaches a Women Studies course at the Joy Dine Focus Leadership Foundation in Baltimore. She is an advocate for gender equality, literacy, education and community service. We are pleased to welcome her to the team and she looks forward to serving the City of Baltimore.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
Youth can become a legislator for a day! Youth will learn about the power of advocacy and civic engagement.
Feb. 14th, 8:15am - 2pm
Maryland Arts Day is the largest annual gathering of arts professionals in Maryland. With more than 500 participants, representing every county in the state and Baltimore City, this statewide arts advocacy event connects artists, educators, administrators, volunteers and trustees with lawmakers from every legislative district in Maryland. Maryland Arts Day needs your participation to show strong support for the arts in Maryland and the impact they have on the economic and cultural vitality of the state.
for more information, please visit:https://mdarts.org/events/maryland-arts-day/