We are more than halfway through this year’s legislative session and Annapolis is getting to be a very busy place!
POWERing up for Offshore Wind On Monday, my bill to increase Maryland’s investment in offshore wind—the Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources (POWER) Act, HB793, had its hearing in the House and in the Senate on Tuesday. This bill is supported by a broad coalition of environmentalists, labor, industry, small businesses, consumer groups, and justice advocates. You can read more about our hearing and where we go from here in this article.
Arrive Fire: Short Term Needs; Long Term Solutions As an elected official, I try to both help people meet their immediate, short term needs and seek ways to improve policies for the long term. For example, two and a half weeks ago, there was a deadly fire at the Arrive high-rise apartment in downtown Silver Spring.
Short Term Help: I have stayed connected to people who were affected by the fire and continue to support them. You can help, too! Many families lost all their belongings and are still looking for new homes. Two organizations have set up funds to help victims of the fire:
MHP and Silver Spring Cares.
Long Term Help: Last week I introduced the Melanie Diaz Sprinklers Save Lives Act. It honors the young woman who died in the fire and aims to prevent such tragedies in the future. It requires owners of high-rise apartment buildings that don’t have sprinklers to: • provide tenants fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, • disclose the lack of sprinklers in leases and at building entrances, and • directs the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management, and the Fire Marshall to identify federal and state funds to cover part of the cost of sprinkler installation.
Another Walk in the Woods! I’ve been spending a lot of time in Annapolis, but still am finding time to get outdoors in D20. Pictured above is my recent field trip to check out potential pollinator-friendly paths under power lines, as envisioned by my bill HB 62.
Join me this Saturday, March 11th, 10:00 - 11:30 am for a walk and talk along the Paint Branch Trail. It’s a wonderful way to get some exercise in White Oak and gain some insight into what’s happening in Annapolis. R.S.V.P. here.
Celebrating Sheila E. Hixson Join me, Senator Will Smith, Delegates David Moon, Jheanelle Wilkins, Councilwoman Kate Stewart, and Sheila's family to celebrate the life, legacy, and overall wonderfulness of Sheila, our long-time D20 delegate, who died last November.
Sunday, March 12th 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. El Golfo Restaurant 8739 Flower Avenue, Silver Spring, MD
R.S.V.P. by March 10th here. This is not a fundraiser, but if you would like to make a donation in Sheila's name, go to Warrior Canine Connection.
Tracking My Legislation Several of my bills are moving through the committee hearing process. To see each bill’s brief fact sheet and actual bill language or to track its status, go to the “Legislation 2023” page on my website.
Upcoming Hearings (in the next two weeks) • HB 1186: increasing transparency and accountability at the Public Service Commission
Past Hearings (within the past two weeks) • HB 333: repaying bills wrongly charged to hospital patients • HB 169: investing in energy efficiency for low- and moderate-income housing • HB 793: expanding Maryland’s commitment to offshore wind
Passed out of House: • HB 63: incentivizing removal of Chesapeake Bay invasive species by building markets • HB 101: easing the switch for condos to solar and clean energy
Be in Touch My staff and I are here to serve you, particularly if you or anyone you know needs assistance—in the short or long term—with a state issue. Please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (410)-841-3423.