Stay Informed

Steve's News from Annapolis


I believe most of my colleagues would agree that the 2010 Session is off to a fast start. Committee hearings are underway, advocates fill my calendar to push for their issues and I have been finishing up bills I am filing. 

Open Government Act

Recently, I was part of a press conference on the Open Government Act, HB 344. It will provide greater access to committee votes and agenda, provide the chance to sign-up to testify on line and eliminate the fees now being charged. These will be substantial improvements to our system. As I said then, our democracy is strengthened when voters are better informed and see how we do our business. I am proud to be the lead co-sponsor of this bill.


I was pleased to see that County schools Superintendent, Dr. Hairston has delayed implementation of the AIM (Articulated Instructional Module) program. He has also agreed to meet with the County legislative delegation after he failed to attend our earlier meeting. The delegation wants to know the need for and value of this program. This issue and the need for classroom funds and school construction in the district remain top priorities for me.

Our Economy

In his State of the State, Governor O’Malley showed his usual oratorical passion and belief that, as a state, we have strengths that will help us weather this real economic crisis. This may be true in the long term but it is hard for many to feel upbeat with job losses mounting, foreclosures increasing in Maryland and the 42nd, and small businesses still struggling. I support his efforts to provide loan guarantees for small businesses, the Job Creation Tax Credit, and the relief he seeks in Unemployment Insurance. But these, alone, won’t solve the jobs crisis. Businesses must start to re-hire and we must do everything we can to support people getting back to work.

 State Budget

A tremendous amount of work is being done on the budget. While committees are reviewing for possible further cuts, advocates are pleading to save the services their constituents get, the construction funds they need and funds for libraries, roads, social services. The State will not be able to provide the level of service we have in the past. The Republican leadership, who has continually argued that the Governor and legislature have not done enough, has been asked to present its alternatives later this month. And, if you want to step in the shoes of the Governor and legislature and see some of the budget cutting and balancing dilemmas try the Maryland Budget Game. Go to and create your balanced budget! (If you are having trouble with the link, go to and scroll down to the budget game link).

 Storm Water Management

I have also been actively involved in the planned implementation of new stormwater management regulations. Stormwater remains one of the worst causes of pollution in the Bay. Our past regulations were not sufficient. Many developers and local governments are fighting the proposed regulations. We want to reduce pollution but not stop Smart Growth. I believe the new redevelopment will work and not be a deterrent. However, there is legitimate concern for projects where millions of dollars have been spent but the rules are now changing. In this tough economy, we do not want to kill efforts but still, need to reduce our pollutant load.

I welcome your comments and, of course, if I can be of assistance, please contact me at

Best wishes,


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