Friday, June 9, 2017

Hogan Vetoes Two Bills

Governor Hogan vetoes paid sick leave and ban the box legislation.

Last week Governor Hogan vetoed two important pieces of legislation that the General Assembly passed during the legislative session. 

The first bill was the Paid Sick Leave Act which  would have covered 700,000 Maryland workers.  It would have given employees in business of more than 15 people five days of paid sick leave a year.  Liz Richards, Director of Working Matters Coalition got it right when she said:  “Make no mistake – the victims of this decision are Maryland parents and children. Instead of being able to take the time they need to care for their families, these Marylanders will continue to be forced to make decisions like taking off work to visit their sick child in the hospital or paying the rent that month.”

The second bill was the Ban the Box Act.  This bill would have barred colleges in the state from asking about criminal history on admissions applications.  It is important to note that the bill would not stop colleges from doing background checks on prospective students. The legislation would have allowed colleges to reject applicants with criminal records as long as they did not “automatically or unreasonably restrict” admission based on that factor, and schools could have developed policies restricting such students from campus housing or certain academic programs, such as pharmacy studies and law enforcement.

The General Assembly will attempt to over-ride both vetoes when it goes back into session in January.

Governor Hogan Signs My Public School Employee Whistle Blower Act

Governor Hogan signed my Public Employee Whistle Blower Act (HB 1145). It protects public school employees from retaliation if they report abuses in the school system. I meet many school employees who tell me they are scared of making such reports because they feel they will be fired or suspended. Hopefully this legislation will help to improve our schools by exposing more of the problems that exist but aren't reported. Thanks to my friends at Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) for encouraging me to introduce this legislation.

Hogan signs hundreds of  other bills and allows others to pass into law without his signature

One of the most important bills authorizes state Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) to sue drug companies that dramatically increase the price of drugs. The anti-price-gouging measure, which is the first of its kind in the nation, is limited to generic and off-patent pharmaceuticals that are subject to “unconscionable” price increases. It allows the attorney general to take action if a manufacturer raises the cost of such drugs to a level considered unjustifiable.

Other important bills that became law without his signature were legislation to
     Allow pharmacists to dispense oral contraceptives without a physician's prescription;
     Make it easier for people convicted of possessing more than 10 grams of marijuana to have their records expunged by cutting the waiting period from 10 years to four;

    Place new restrictions on the use of antibiotics in raising farm animals as part of an effort to maintain their effectiveness in treating human diseases;

     Curb the suspensions and expulsions of children in pre-K through second grade. The legislation would require schools in most cases to offer specialized treatment to young children with behavioral problems rather than to simply send them home.

Some of the 200 plus bills he signed were:

     Three bills overhauling the state's dated system for procuring goods and services

     Making it easier for divorced people to resume the use of their former names and

     Requiring schools to grant an excused absence to students who have conflicts due to pregnancy or parenting responsibilities.

     A bill (first of its kind nationally) to protect bees and other pollinators on state land.

     Amber's Law, a measure sponsored by Del. Aruna Miller, which allows domestic violence victims to ask a judge to require accused abusers to wear a GPS-tracking device to monitor compliance with protective orders.

Warning:  Road Work on MD 202 (Landover Road)

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is providing a new driving surface as part of a $2.8 million safety and resurfacing project on MD 202 (Landover Road) between US 50 and MD 450. The work also includes resurfacing of the ramps to and from MD 202 to US 50. Weather and progress permitting, the 1.6-mile project should be completed by fall.
In addition to resurfacing, which will be performed at the end of the project, SHA is:

•         Replacing damaged brick medians;
•         Constructing new sidewalks and ramps;
•         Repairing or replacing damaged concrete curb and gutter;
•         Cleaning and repairing drainage inlets and pipes;
•         Installing new guardrail; and
•         Replacing all pavement markings once all final resurfacing is completed.
Crews may close a single lane Mondays through Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and two lanes Sundays through Thursdays between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.  Additional work or lane closure times may be needed throughout the lifetime of the project to expedite work and keep the project on schedule.
Initial project activity will include daytime sidewalk ramp, curb and gutter work and overnight ramp resurfacing and ramp pavement-marking work. You are Invited to
My Midsummer Dinner Celebration - Tuesday, July 11th
Please join me and
Congressman Anthony Brown
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Anne Kaiser
Senator Victor Ramirez
Delegates Diana Fennell and Carlo Sanchez

July 116 to 8 pm
Three Brothers Italian Restaurant
4521 Kenilworth Ave.,   Bladensburg, MD
Hear about my progress in Annapolis
Tell me about your concerns
Let me tell you about my plans for next year’s session
Meet your neighbors

$100 Supporter - $50 Friend
$5 for District 47 residents

Checks can be made out to:
Friends of Jimmy Tarlau, 4213 34th Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712