Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Survey Results

Survey Results


Thank you to all of those who filled out the survey.  Over 410 people completed the survey and here are the results!  There were lots of great comments. We really appreciate your input.

If you have not filled out the survey and would like to weigh in on any of the issues please click on the link at the end of the result summary. 
 

 
  1. Do you support increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2023?
Yes:                            84%
No:                             10%
Not sure:                      6%

 
  1. Do you support “Death with Dignity” legislation? 
Yes:                         75%
No:                          11%
Not sure:                 14%

 
  1. Do you support putting the issue of the legalization of marijuana on the ballot?  
Yes:                          72%
No:                           17%
Not Sure:                  11%

 
  1. Should all the members of the Prince George’s County School Board be elected?
Yes:                           59%
No:                            13%
Not sure:                    28%

 
  1. Do you think Maryland should offer $3-5 billion in incentives to lure Amazon to Montgomery County?
Yes:                         18%
No:                           50%
Not sure:                  32%

 
  1. The legislature is debating increasing the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) from the current goal of 25% by 2020 to 50% by 2030 or 100% by 2035.
Current goal: (25% by 2020)     16%
50% by 2030                              36%
100% by 2035                            26%
Not sure:                                    22%

  1. Do you support the banning of marriage for people under 18 years of age? 
Yes                                            66%
No:                                            16%
Not sure:                                   18%

 
  1. Do you think it should be a traffic violation to stay in the passing lane in a three-lane highway other than when passing a slower car in the middle lane and returning to the middle lane?
Yes:                                           30%
No:                                            53%
Not sure:                                   17%

 
  1. Do you support legislation that prohibits keeping citizens in jail beyond their sentence if they do not have their immigration papers?
Yes:                                           67%
No:                                            15%
Not sure:                                   18%

 
  1. Do you support legislation that would allow a rape victim to terminate the parental rights of the attacker? (Last week the General Assembly voted unanimously to pass this legislation.  Governor Hogan has said he will sign the bill into law.)
Yes:                          95%
No:                             1%
Not sure:                    4%

 
  1. Do you support the construction of the high-speed MagLev train?
Yes:                          35%
No:                           33%
Not sure:                  32%

Take the survey

If nothing happens when you click on the link, you can type this into your browser:  

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7WDVW7W

 
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District 47 Night in Annapolis

 Free Event – Light Buffet Dinner

Monday, February 12th
6pm - 8pm

  
Miller Senate Office Building
 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis

Bring Photo ID

Limited Bus Service Provided 

Call 301-858-3340 to Reserve Your Seat/RSVP

 
For information on parking, visit parkannapolis.com .
 
 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Survey On Current Issues in Annapolis

We Need Your Input

     When you elected us in 2014 you gave me and Delegate Fennell the authority to vote on issues that come before the General Assembly. Many issues are not very controversial, at least in terms of our district, and we have a good idea how people want us to vote. But as in past years, I am doing a survey so that you can let us know how you feel about important issues that directly affect you. Click on this Take the survey link to take the survey.

    Below are the survey questions with some additional details. I haven’t included bill numbers, since it’s still early in the 2018 legislative session, and many of the bills don’t have numbers yet.

If you would like to know more about any of these issues, send me an email (jtarlau@gmail.com).
 

  1. Do you support increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2023?
  2. Do you support “Death with Dignity” legislation?  (This would allow terminally ill patients above the age of 18 to request medication to end their life. The patient must have six months or less to live, must be mentally competent, and must provide oral and written consent from at least two doctors. Although most people know of such laws from western states like Oregon and Washington, DC also allows “death with dignity.”)
  3. Do you support putting the issue of the legalization of marijuana on the ballot?  (Allows an individual in the State who is at least 21 years old to use marijuana, possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, and cultivate up to 6 marijuana plants)
  4. Should all the members of the Prince George’s School Board be elected? (Currently, 9 out of 14 members are elected, and the remaining are appointed.)
  5. Do you think Maryland should offer $3-5 billion in incentives to lure Amazon to Montgomery County?
  6. The legislature is debating increasing the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) from the current goal of 25% by 2020 to 50% by 2030 or 100% by 2035. (The current goal was vetoed by Governor Hogan, but passed with an override in 2017.) These percentages indicate how much of the total electricity sold by the utility must be supplied by renewable sources such as solar or wind power. Do you think we should change the current goal?  Note that such laws also restrict how much energy costs can be passed along to the consumer.
  7. Do you support the banning of marriage for people under 18 years of age?  (Many states across the country are raising the age requirement for marriage, although this issue is hotly debated across the political spectrum. Arranged marriage of underage children to older persons, often for money, has become an increasing problem. Currently in Maryland, people can marry at 16 with parental consent, and even younger in case of pregnancy or the birth of a child.)
  8. Do you think it should be a traffic violation to stay in the passing lane in a three-lane highway other than when passing a slower car in the middle lane and returning to the middle lane?
  9. The Federal government wants to enlist the help of law enforcement by requiring them to detain undocumented immigrants who have been jailed for any reason, holding them in jail and contacting ICE. Do you support legislation that prohibits keeping citizens in jail beyond their sentence if they do not have their immigration papers?
  10. Do you support legislation that would allow a rape victim to terminate the parental rights of the attacker? (See, for instance, the Washington Post editorial from 1/3/18, “2018 has to be the year Maryland ends parental rights for rapists.” Maryland is currently one of only seven states that do not prevent rapists from gaining custody of children conceived by the rape, although the state has passed a number of strong laws otherwise protecting rape victims.)
  11. Do you support the construction of the high-speed MagLev train that would go from Washington to Baltimore in 15 minutes, and would go underground when it passes through District 47?  (For more information go towww.bwmaglev.info and www.stopthistrain.org )

If nothing happens when you click on the link, you can type this into your browser:  
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7WDVW7W
 
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District 47 Night in Annapolis

Monday February 12 from 6pm - 8pm

Free Event – Light Buffet Dinner

Miller Senate Office Building

11 Bladen Street, Annapolis

Bring Photo ID

Limited Bus Service Provided 

Call 301-858-3745 to Reserve Your Seat

For information on parking, visit parkannapolis.com.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Maryland Legislators Unveil Bills to Offset Changes in Federal Tax Law

Maryland Legislators Unveil Bills to

Offset Changes in Federal Tax Law 

 
Maryland Democrats last week introduced a package of bills aimed at reversing the impact recent changes to the federal tax code will have on taxpayers and state coffers, their latest effort to roll back changes imposed by President Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress.

The three bills would: 1) restore personal exemptions on state taxes; 2) lower the threshold on taxing the inheritances left by super wealthy residents; and 3)  allow taxpayers to receive a state tax credit for donations made to a new state-run charity that would benefit public schools.

1 – Restoring Personal Exemptions:  Because of the elimination of personal exemptions in the Federal tax law, the Maryland personal exemption will also be eliminated.  The exemption is $3,200 for the head of household and spouse QITH an additional $1,000 for each person over 65.  It is estimated that residents of the state claim about $680 million in personal exemptions on their state returns.  This bill introduced by Delegate Jay Walker will restore the elimination of the Maryland personal exemptions.

2 - My legislation affecting wealthy Marylanders uncouples the state from federal estate-tax rules. Under current law, Maryland — which has more millionaires per capita than any other state — is supposed to follow federal estate-tax rules beginning in 2019.  Those new rules raise the threshold for taxing inheritances from $5.49 million to $11 million. Maryland, which currently taxes inheritances greater than $4 million, would lose as much as $60 million a year if it uses the new federal threshold, Most Marylanders believe that if you are left over $11 million in an estate paying some taxes on it is not a real hardship. I have tried unsuccessfully to uncouple Maryland from federal estate-tax rules in previous sessions, but this year the Democratic leadership is backing the idea.

3 – The third bill is a proposal that a state-run charity that would be created by which would benefit public schools.   It is designed to allow donors to offset the $10,0000 limit the federal tax law places on deductions for state taxes and real estate starting this year.  The details on this bill have not been worked out.

There will be other proposals put forward in the next couple of weeks to make sure that Marylanders are not hurt by the harmful aspects of the Republican tax package.


 
Governor Hogan's Education Cuts

Last week the governor released the fourth and final budget proposal of his term and continued his record of slashing funding for important education programs. Using his power to propose changes in mandatory spending through the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (known as the BFRA), his plan would cut $17.1 million in FY2019 and $88.9 million over the next five years if adopted. Here’s how it adds up:

*Quality teacher recruitment and retention grants: $5 million cut in FY2019, $20 million cut in FY2020-2023
*National Board Certification Teacher stipends: $2.1 million cut in FY2019, $16.8 million cut in FY2020-2023
*After-school and summer programs: $5 million cut in FY2019, $15 million cut in FY2020-2021
*College readiness scholarships for low-income students: $5 million cut in FY2019, $20 million cut in FY2020-2023


We will do everything possible to restore these cuts.
 
Community Meeting on MagLev Super Train

Saturday January 27 11:00 AM
 
Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail (BWRR) Inc. has proposed the construction and operation of a high-speed superconducting magnetic levitation (SCMAGLEV) train system between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. There are no stops planned in Prince George's County although our residents will be deeply impacted. Everyone is encouraged to attend the local meetings to find out more about the SCMAGLEV. It would directly affect a large swath of Bladensburg--including the Waterfront Park, homes and business, the community center, high schools, and apartments--as well as the other established communities along the proposed routes.

Bladensburg's Mayor Takisha James and the Town Council will hold a community meeting regarding this super train on Saturday, January 27, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., in the Bladensburg Community Center gym, 4500 57th Avenue (301-277-2124). Contact Mayor James at Bladensburg Town Hall (301-927-7048) for information about the meeting. The Bladensburg meeting will feature an in-depth presentation on the project by representatives from the Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. Public officials are encouraged to attend. Following the presentations time is allocated for questions from the audience. 

 

 
Delegate Fennell Leads Fight for $15 Minimum Wage

            Delegate Fennell is a lead sponsor of legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr by the year 2023.  It will also be indexed for inflation in future years so we do not have to keep on coming back to raise the minimum wage.  In addition it will increase the minimum wage for tipped wages.  The bill will go to the House Economic Matters Committee on which Delegate Fennell is a member.  It will be a big battle this year but we are hopeful it will be successful.
 
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District 47 Night in Annapolis
 
Monday February 12 from 6pm - 8pm
 
More information will be distributed next week regarding signing  up and transportation.

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Maryland Educators Endorse Fennell-Tarlau Team
 
Delegate Diana Fennell and I are honored to have been endorsed by the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA). Our District 47A Team is committed to full funding for our schools and to support our educators in every way possible.
 
Since Bail Reform, Maryland Holding Fewer People

Who Can't Afford Bond

Maryland's judges and public defender say the bail reform adopted last year is working - cutting in half the number of people who are jailed because they can't afford to post bond.

In the past, the state’s criminal justice system has held thousands of defendants because they couldn’t afford to pay bail, a practice that Attorney General Brian E. Frosh and former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. have criticized.
Maryland’s Court of Appeals voted unanimously last year to overhaul the bail system, requiring judges to consider whether defendants are able to pay bail when they set conditions for release.

"As a result, about one-fifth of defendants are being held because they can’t or don’t pay bail, down from 40 percent in the months before the reforms were enacted," espoused Judge John P. Morrissey, Chief Judge of the District Court of Maryland.  About 53 percent of those who appear before a bail commissioner are released from custody, up from 44 percent before the reforms, he said.

Paul B. DeWolfe, the state’s public defender, called the statistics “positive results” and proof that “the rule is doing what it set out to do.” Bail is intended to ensure defendants appear in court, not to be used as a tool to hold them in jail.

 “There has been a dramatic decline in the use of money bail,” DeWolfe told the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee after Morrissey briefed the panel on the trends. “More people are getting out faster.”

DeWolfe said data his office has reviewed also show that the bonds being imposed are significantly lower, usually falling within what defendants can afford.

But the flip side of the trend is that more defendants are also being held without bail — about 20 percent of those appearing at bail hearings, up from 7.5 percent before the rule change.

Judges say that reflects an end to the practice of setting bail at hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars for the defendants deemed most at risk of committing further crimes or endangering the community. In the past, judges would impose such steep bond requirements because “they were a million dollars’ worth of nervous this individual was going to go out and harm someone,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey said the city and many other jurisdictions around the state need to improve pretrial services, where judges have a larger menu of tools short of detention that can be used to ensure defendants show up to court — including scheduled phone calls and house arrest. That could be difficult for Baltimore, but “it would go a long way,” he said.

 
 
 
Scholarships

Scholarship from our office are available for constituents living in District 47A, who are attending or will be attending a Maryland undergraduate, graduate, or professional school during school year 2017-2018. You can print out an application at my web-site www.jimmytarlau.olg or contact me at jimmy.tarlau@house.state.md.us  and request one by email.  Or you may call my office at 301-858-3326 and leave your email address.  This year, my scholarship application is due Friday, April 15th.