The first quarter of the year is flying by, as we are already more than halfway through March! Things are moving fast, and so much is being done on your behalf. I’d like to keep you abreast of a few efforts that have taken place within the last few weeks.
Here are a couple of updates:
As Baltimore continues to face unique issues within public safety, regulation of crime, and the management of our jails, there is a pressing need for effective legislation that can combat and resolve roadblocks—promoting better coordination and communication amongst our public safety agencies. I introduced Senate Bills 585, 586, and 587, three legislative initiatives to increase efficiency, accountability, and awareness within our courts, law enforcement and state agencies.
Senate Bill 585- Warrant Apprehension Reduction Grant focuses on fostering greater communication between our courts and police departments. Senate Bill 586- Criminal Procedure – Pretrial Release of Defendant – Notice will increase transparency and notice amongst our law enforcement agencies as it pertains to violent offenders within our communities. Senate Bill 587 — Division of Parole and Probation – Duties – Offenders Under Supervision Parole and Probation Performance Act brings about accountability within state agencies and ensures we’re setting measurable goals in supervising offenders. I am happy to have the support of the Senate President, Mayor, and the Police Commissioner on this, and look forward to the progression of these bills as the legislative process continues.To hear what I had to say about this bill package on WBFF FOX45, click here!
The E-Z Pass Debacle is ongoing and the fight for the relief of Maryland’s drivers continues! The MDTA Board is considering different toll bill relief options. It is imperative great consideration is paid to waiving penalties for backlogged bills, and Senate Bill 59 is a reinforcing measure to ensure that. Fortunately, Senate Bill 59 – Maryland Transportation Authority – Options for the Payment of Tolls and Civil Penalties passed through the Senate Chambers with a vote of 47-0! As this legislation makes it way to the House, I will continue to push to address and resolve this issue—it’s only fair! To read more about this effort, check out WMAR’s report here.
In February, the CIAA basketball tournament was held in Baltimore for the first time in 70 years. Major, historical events are key attractions that bring more opportunities to our City, and I was glad to welcome the CIAA back to Baltimore. Bringing joy and excitement to the area, the CIAA reminded all those, who may have forgotten, why Baltimore is called “Charm City”. We are beautiful city with so much to offer, and it was my pleasure highlighting that at the CIAA Basketball Tournament & Stakeholders Reception last month!
Great news! Governor Hogan recently proposed a $480 million supplemental budget, $99 million of which will be allocated to Baltimore City Public Schools. This decision was made after critiques were made on his failure to uphold the required budget for the blueprint of Maryland’s future education reform plan. I am so glad that this investment is finally being made and am truly grateful for those who relentlessly advocated for our youth, pressuring the Governor to take accountability and make the right decision. For more information on this, here is an article by The Washington Informer.
As Chair of the Baltimore City Senate Delegation, I have the pleasure of hosting our weekly virtual bill hearing. In case you missed it, here is the link to the Delegation’s meeting that took place on February 4th. For more on Senate Bill 222 – Baltimore City – Board of License Commissioners – Licensee Hours of Operation, Senate Bill 276 – Baltimore City Public School Buildings – Notice of Demolition – Repeal, and Senate Bill 430 – Baltimore City – Alcoholic Beverages Licenses – Transfer, click here to see a live recording.
The youth are the promise of our City and I believe they deserve to have the best opportunities and exposure. It was an honor and privilege to be able to sponsor a trip to Ski Liberty for the students at Baltimore Design School. It was genuinely heartwarming to receive such a wonderful thank you letter from the students, who expressed how they enjoyed and benefitted from the new experience. We must do all that we can to make sure that Baltimore’s youth grow to be all they can be and want to be. I look forward to continuing to pay it forward for our City’s students in the future!
I recently featured as a guest on the podcast “Diversity Be Like” with Sequoia Houston. Sequoia’s podcast is about the nuances and complexities that revolve around diversity in our current society. This podcast has a special way of tackling diversity issues in their various forms and delving into how individuals can create spaces that are comfortable and safe for all. During the interview, I spoke about my life story—highlighting the blessing that is this position and the work I am doing to ensure the progress of our city. For more, listen to the episode by clicking here.
It was awesome to receive a visit from some of the folks within the Maryland Association of Counties and be surprised with an award. I appreciate MaCo’s acknowledgement of my efforts, and they’re continued partnership with the General Assembly in producing wins for the counties that make up our great State.
It was great to formally recognize the Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical H.S. Football Team and their milestone achievements on the Senate Floor, earlier this session. The Mervo Mustangs won the 4A/3A State Championship—bringing home the school’s very first state title in history! The team went through a lot this past year, facing the passing of teammate Elijah Gorham, yet still soldiered on to secure the #1 rank in the division. They’re efforts are commendable and deserving of praise! Congratulations to Mervo H.S., Coach Nixon and this talented, perseverant team.
I was especially proud to formally recognize the 45th’s own home team, the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School Football Team, on the Senate Floor a few weeks ago. The Poets secured their eleventh 2A/1A State Championship title under the leadership of Coach Smith. The players wrapped up their season with a record of 13-0, ranking them as #1 in division! Kudos to the Dunbar Poets for achieving this great feat, yet again! I cannot wait to see their continued path to success.
In closing, I am exceedingly proud of the progress we are making as a city, and especially proud of the accomplishments of our brilliant youth. I hope the rest of the month of March yields more wins, and the April springs forth opportunities and growth for the 45th District!
Listening. Learning. Leading.
Cory V. McCray
Senator, 45th Legislative District