The New Year is officially underway and the task of legislating is proving to be one of great consequence in 2018. This year’s legislative session formally convened on Wednesday, January 10. Over the course of this 90-day period, our team will be hard at work building upon a steady record of legislative achievements, a sampling of which we have listed below.
Back in Session
The pace of activity in Annapolis has been rapid. I was proud to join the vast majority of my colleagues in voting to override Governor Hogan’s Paid Sick Leave veto and effectively enact the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act. The override, which also passed in the Senate, will allow the original legislation to go into effect and provide necessary benefits to low-income, hourly workers, many of whom balance work responsibilities with raising a family. Under the new law, employers who hire more than 15 full-time workers will now be required to provide a minimum of five days of earned sick leave per year. Legislation such as this is just one example of sound policy that contributes to a healthier population and better working conditions throughout the State of Maryland. The override passed in the House 88-52 and in the Senate 30-17.
Following the Paid Sick Leave vote, both houses of the General Assembly acted on a veto override concerning the Maryland Fair Access to Education Act (better known as the “Ban the Box” initiative for college admissions). This legislation prohibits higher education institutions from using information about the criminal history of applicants on specified admissions applications. In doing so, prospective students will have the opportunity to have their applications reviewed in totality rather than being automatically rejected because of a prior criminal incident. In the House, the override passed with a total vote count of 90-50. The Senate passed the override 32-15.
Speaking of higher education, our office is already beginning to receive applications from new and continuing college students seeking a District 45 Scholarship. The application must be submitted no later than April 13 and can be found here.
Back at Home
I was happy to join neighbors in Oliver, Belair-Edison, and New Broadway East for a number of projects in remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making MLK Day a day of service and a reminder of the strength of community when our efforts are joined.
We celebrated a milestone by knocking on our 6,000th door. The number of people who have been both willing and excited to spare a few moments to take a photo sharing their support for the Senate run has humbled me. If you would like us to drop by to take a photo so that you can share your support too, just let us know. Particular thanks goes out to Belair-Edison resident Terrence Benn and Councilman Bill Henry for their recent support.
Mapping out our door knocking strategy so that we can meet even more residents of the 45th District has become easier now that we have officially opened the #TeamMcCray Campaign HQ. In addition to serving as a perfect opportunity to share our vision (and tasty snacks) with fellow residents, the HQ unveiling also doubled as a successful fundraiser prior to heading back to Annapolis for session.
ICYMI: Our campaign announcement video recently surpassed 2,000 views! If you weren’t one of them, you can watch the full video here.
Our work in Annapolis and on the campaign trail continues to gain notice by voters and the media. Prior to the Paid Sick Leave vote, I authored a commentary that was published on Maryland Matters’ website that you can read here. I also joined the “Elevate Maryland” podcast to discuss everything from the upcoming election to violence reduction in Baltimore and solutions for improving the city.
One More Thing…
If you are one of the 320,000 drivers who have received a parking citation in Baltimore, you are eligible to take advantage of an amnesty program that will waive any late fees associated with your outstanding fine(s). The program, which was announced by Mayor Pugh, will allow you to simply pay the base fine of the ticket on February 1 or February 2 without being on the hook for any additional late fees or charges.
Listening. Learning. Leading.
Delegate, 45th Legislative District