Monday, April 4, 2016

Carl Anderton Week 12 Review

Session Week #12

We just wrapped up the 12th week of the 436th Maryland General Assembly and look forward to the upcoming week, which is the last full week. Legislative session ends on Monday, April 11th, which is called “Sine Die”. As I wrote last week, we will be working right up until midnight on Sine Die. When session ends we will re-open our Salisbury office. Look for that announcement in the coming weeks.
 

(Here, I was talking to Delegate Mary Beth Carozza, who I am blessed to sit beside on the House Floor.)

 

This past week we worked on both the operating (SB190) and the capital budgets (SB191). They both passed with bipartisan support and await the Governor’s signature. The budgets include funding for local projects including: Salisbury University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and Shorebird Stadium, among others. I talked about the budget in an interview with WMDT, specifically mentioning that Governor Hogan’s budget included no new taxes for the second year in a row. In addition, the Baltimore Sun reported, “The budget leaves a $400 million surplus, as well as puts $1 billion into a rainy day fund. It also includes enough money to limit public college and university tuition increases to no more than 2 percent…”

The Bay Bridge is a frequent topic of discussion on the Eastern Shore.  This week I was interviewed about the importance of the Bay Bridge by Fox 45. The initial bridge was opened for service in 1952, while the second followed in 1973. The bridge is not only a vital link between the people living on each side, it is also critical to the transportation of Eastern Shore goods and services to the larger markets on the other side. It also allows Eastern Shore residents access to jobs on the other side. It’s important that we begin the conversation now about how we are going to handle the ever-increasing traffic, while addressing safety concerns of the aging spans.

This coming week we will see a flurry of activity on bills that have yet to pass both chambers.

One of the bills that I co-sponsored will be voted on in the Senate this week is (HB431) also known as the “ABLE” bill. HB431 has wide bipartisan support and members of both parties are among the 67 co-sponsors. It passed the House with a 137-0 vote and I am optimistic that it will pass the Senate as well. The bill draws its’ inspiration from the Federal ABLE Act. Here is an explanation of the act from the Maryland Department of Disabilities website:

On December 19, 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law. This federal law will give many people who acquired disabilities prior to the age of 26 the ability to open tax-exempt bank accounts wit​​​hout losing eligibility for federal means-tested benefits. Funds in these accounts can be used for disability-related expenses. Eligible individuals must open an account in their state of residence, and most states are still working to set up programs to administer these accounts.

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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