Monday, March 21, 2016

Carl Anderton Field Notes

Session Week #10

Tomorrow is “crossover day” of the 436th Maryland General Assembly. Crossover is the date by which bills must be approved by either the House or Senate to be guaranteed consideration in the other chamber. As such, this past week both legislative bodies continued their feverish pace. On the House side, we added multiple legislative sessions as well as a floor session on Saturday.

This past Tuesday the "Wicomico County Board of Education referendum bill" (HB1352) was heard in the House Ways and Means Committee. It would allow the voters to participate in a referendum to choose how the school board is selected.

The three choices would be:

  • Keep the selection as it is- with Governor Appointments.

  • Change to a hybrid with five members chosen at the ballot box and two appointed locally.

  • Switch to a fully elected school board with every member being chosen by the voters.

We passed the bill out of the House during our first Saturday legislative session yesterday by a vote of 134-1!

You may have read that the Senate version of the bill previously passed their chamber. Now both bills will crossover to the other for consideration. We remain cautiously optimistic of the ultimate passage of the bills.
    

(The final vote tally for HB1352 known as the, "Wicomico County Board of Education Referendum Bill")

While the Saturday session was productive and we were able to pass the school board bill, it also meant that our team was unable to participate in the Fruitland Easter Parade. We were there last year and had a great time meeting everyone. I look forward to attending in the future.

Saturday night I was able to make it back from Annapolis in time to attend the 86th Annual Wicomico Farm Bureau Banquet. It was great to see all of our local farmers and their families. Congratulations to Malinda Hurley on being named the 2016 Wicomico Farm Bureau Ambassador! Blan Harcum, Jr and Beechnut Farms also received a well-deserved award for their 25 years of hosting over 65,000 children, parents, and teachers on their dairy farm in Mardela Springs.
  

(Paul and Michelle Chesnik were two of the famers who attended the 86th Annual Wicomico Farm Bureau Banquet)

This week I'll be meeting with Maryland Department of the Environment Ben Grumbles and attending an economic development breakfast with Secretary of Commerce Mike Gill. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the county CAFO meeting Tuesday night, but I am sending my Legislative Director Bunky Luffman so our office will be represented. 

The Board of Public Works will be considering a request from the Department of Natural Resources to commit Program Open Space funding to construct improvements to Schumaker Park. The parking lot is in need of attention and would be resurfaced, along with curbing and sidewalk repairs. The total cost of the project is $80,000 with the requirement that the County would have to pay a 10% match. The park is home to one of the most frequently used picnic pavilions in Wicomico County. In addition, it offers a walking trail, playground, freshwater pond, and a disc golf course. It is a great place to gather with friends and family and I am hopeful that we’ll be able to secure the funding and address the needs of the park.

Keeping in constant communication with a perpetually open door is our way of #makingithappen. We will continue to advocate for the Eastern Shore, poultry farmers, and our Shore way of life. I appreciate that you have taken the time to read our newsletter and thank you for your support. Please contact our office with any ideas, issues, or concerns that you have. We’re here to work for you.

Blessed to be your voice in Annapolis,

Carl

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