2018 General Assembly Session: Week 5February 22, 2018
I was out with pneumonia for the latter part of this week (yuck!), but that didn’t stop things from happening! Thankfully I have an excellent legislative aide, Sean Mullin, who testified for me on a very important bill; and a great delegation vice-chair, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, who handled a busy Montgomery County delegation meeting for me with ease. Thank you Sean and Dave!
Speaker Mike Busch and the House of Delegates honoring the world-class University of Maryland Medical Center Transplant Team last Tuesday.
Today we’re honoring my lifesaver - my sister - & the amazing University of Maryland Medical Center transplant team responsible for my successful liver operation. Everyone here knows someone who’s had their life touched by our state’s top notch health care professionals. #MDGA18 pic.twitter.com/PXYjlRB4Ld— Mike Busch (@SpeakerBusch) February 6, 2018
My bill, HB 104, was voted out of subcommittee. It’s a small bill that would allow people signing up for licenses with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to make voluntary donations to protect the Chesapeake Bay. DNR estimates that this legislation will lead to an extra $200k or more in funding each year to restore our Bay. Many Marylanders are happy to donate to worthy causes, but you need to ask and this bill does that.
Also on Tuesday we honored the University of Maryland Medical Center Transplant Team, and in the Environment &Transportation Committee we heard a bill that would decrease the amount of time it takes to get organs to hospitals so that they can perform lifesaving transplants. Speaker Busch’s life was saved last year by his sister’s organ donation and the top-notch quality of medical professionals in Maryland.
While we have great medical institutions in this state, we can’t forget that access and affordability are still a huge problem for so many people. That is why I always support legislation that would create a public option for Marylanders. This session my District 39 colleague, Delegate Kirill Reznik, filed HB 660 which would create a public option called Healthcare Maryland.
HB 106 Hearing
I was at the hearing for HB 106 which would help get transplant organs to hospitals more quickly – a matter of life or death. This is the Speaker’s bill, and he was in committee to testify.
The Women’s Legislative Caucus led by Delegate Ariana Kelly met early Wednesday morning to approve recommendations to combat the scourge of sexual harassment and assault that has plagued legislative bodies across the country. Their recommendations were approved unanimously and will move on to a commission established by the presiding officers of the House and Senate. Delegates Carol Krimm and David Fraser-Hidalgo chaired the work group that led to the recommendations. I was in the audience as an observer and was delighted that some of the recommendations from a letter I penned in November of 2016 were added to the list. That letter was initially signed by 15 members, and eventually 27 during the 2017 legislative session. The letter was never distributed publicly, but here it is below.
My bill, HB 13 – Vehicle Laws – Licenses, Identification Cards, and Moped Operator’s Permits – Indication of Applicant’s Sex was heard in the Environment & Transportation Committee. Unfortunately I was out with pneumonia, but Sean Mullin did a great job testifying for me. The bill seeks to do two things:
- Prohibit the state from requiring proof of a person’s sex when applying for a driver’s license.
- Allow for a person to list their sex as unspecified on a driver’s license.
I watched the hearing from bed and was pleased at how well it went, although I was surprised at some of the questions from my colleagues and was reminded of how far we still have to come as a society in terms of understanding and fully accepting the trans community. Washington DC already does this, along with Washington State, Oregon and California. Maryland should do it too!
Also on Thursday HB 104 was voted out of committee. It’s scheduled for debate on the House floor on February 13th, and with a little luck my first bill of the session will get voted out of the House on the 14th. How’s that for a Valentine’s Day gift? Let it be our gift to the Chesapeake Bay.
I was still out with pneumonia on Friday and had to miss the Montgomery County House Delegation meeting. In my three years as Chair of the Delegation this is the first meeting that I’ve missed, and hopefully the last. Needless to say, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo did a great job in my place. Here’s what happened at the meeting. You can find out about what the Delegation is up to here.
Duck and Cover?
The tunnels between the State House and the adjoining office buildings have been around for awhile… and so has this sign.
If you’re a District 39 resident and you’d like a tour of some of the nooks and crannies of our State Capitol, just call my office at 301-858-3021. I always want to hear from constituents, and what better way than during a stroll around the grounds?
A view of the State House from Chancery Lane – an alley connecting State Circle and Main Street.
Let’s take a walk around Annapolis!
Categorized in: Annapolis Updates