With February well underway, much of the focus has been on preparing to turn our ideas for legislation into state law. Below, I am proud to share a number of the initiatives that our team has been working on. Each of these initiatives is critical to our vision of a more equitable and efficient State of Maryland.
#TeamMcCray’s Legislative Agenda
I’m proud to share that on February 7, the Maryland Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 39, which is #TeamMcCray’s first piece of legislation to be passed this session. SB 39 will require the Baltimore City Police Commissioner to reexamine the boundaries and composition of each police district following the completion of each decennial census. This will help ensure that law enforcement resources are being deployed in the most effective manner. You can read coverage of the legislation here. The bill is now up for deliberation in the House of Delegates.
We also introduced Senate Bill 229, which will add another $6 million to Baltimore’s YouthWorks program and provide 10,000 bus passes for young people seeking employment over the summer. As we continue to look for solutions for the squeegee kids and thousands of other young people in our city who have idle time during the break, the State has a responsibility to step up and provide assistance in their job search. You can read more details about our proposal here.
Finally, Senate Bill 43 will allow the Mayor and City Council to require Baltimore Police officers holding the rank of “Commander” to reside within the city limits. This is a crucial step in rebuilding trust between law enforcement and communities. Commanders in the BPD are an essential part of the department’s leadership and it is important that those holding such a high degree of responsibility are a part of the communities they are tasked with serving. I was happy to learn that both Mayor Pugh and Commissioner-designate Harrison are in agreement that BPD leaders should be city residents.
You can view the full list of legislation that we have introduced this session by clicking here.
“Fight for $15”
Of course, one of the most popular pieces of legislation being discussed this session is our initiative to raise the minimum wage in the State of Maryland to $15. I am especially proud to serve as the sponsor of this important policy priority – and look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and House to ensure its passage. Supporting the “Fight for $15” will have an immediate impact on working-class families and a long-term effect on many communities throughout our state. This month, I wrote an op-ed for The AFRO discussing why I’m so passionate about this bill.
Visiting the Institute of Notre Dame
This month I also had the chance to stop by the Institute of Notre Dame to learn more about their mission and the incredible work being done by their students. I was particularly impressed to meet with Destiny, a senior from my legislative district who is planning on a career in broadcasting. We are fortunate to have talent all around us in the City of Baltimore, and the students and staff of IND are a great example of it.
One More Thing…
Each year, members of the Maryland General Assembly award scholarships to students in their district who are (or will be) enrolled at an in-state undergraduate or graduate program. If you would like to apply for a scholarship for the 2019-20 academic year, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listening. Learning. Leading.
Senator, 45th Legislative District