Friday, February 2, 2018

Senator Addie Eckardt, District 37 Weekly Wrap-Up

Senator Addie Eckardt, District 37

Weekly Wrap-Up

February 2, 2018
This Week in Annapolis
As we begin the second month of the 438th General Assembly, I am anticipating the bill hearings of several bills that will positively affect District 37 and the greater state of Maryland. The Senate is continuing to pass legislation as we, as Governor Hogan stated, work to “continue changing Maryland for the better”.

SB 2, the Rape Survivor Family Protection Act, passed the Senate on January 30, 2018 and will be headed to the House of Delegates. This bill would authorize a court, after a trial, to terminate the parental rights to a child if there was clear and convincing evidence that the child was conceived from rape. It is agreed upon by both parties that this is a “common sense” bill but it could have been made a better bill by amending it to include that the parent with rights terminated still be expected to pay child support. Governor Hogan has committed to signing onto this legislation as soon as it signs his desk.

On January 31, 2018, Senator Waugh (District 29) and I presented Senate Bill 212: Sales and Use Tax – Aircraft Parts and Equipment – Exemption to the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee. This bill would exempt the taxation of parts and labor for services performed on general aviation aircraft. Dawn Veatch, manager for SBY Regional Airport, came from Salisbury to testify in support of this bill, identifying it as not a tax relief bill, but a jobs bill. Through this legislation, we would be enabling the aviation maintenance industry to stay in Maryland and continue to work at local businesses for local aircraft. The Senate Budget & Taxation Committee voted in favor of this bill immediately after the hearing.

On February 1, 2018, Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs voted in favor of SB 171 which would benefit the Talbot County School Board by changing the start date of the term for members from January 1 to December 1 so that all members could participate in the budgetary process.

On February 1, 2018, I joined with my colleagues in the Senate Republican Caucus to introduce our legislative tax package; we agree with Governor Hogan that no Marylander should lose out on federal tax reform so we are proposing simple solutions to remedy this problem for as many Marylanders as possible. As Maryland is already a high tax state, this proposed legislation will return money to the pockets of Marylanders while simplifying state taxes.

The Senate Republican Caucus introduced our legislative tax package on February 1 with the intent to "Give It Back" to Marylanders.
Governor Hogan’s State of the State Address

On January 31, 2018, Governor Hogan gave his fourth State of the State address where he focused on the strength of Maryland and detailed the Administration’s policy agenda to continue improving the lives for all Marylanders. The Governor addressed the following topics: taxes, education, public safety, and a good bipartisan government. The Hogan Administration is calling for tax cuts for the fourth straight year and is asking for the General Assembly to eliminate taxes on the retirement income of our military heroes. To address education, $6.5 billion is allocated towards K-12 education while $365 million is dedicated to school construction funding. Governor Hogan announced his promise to introduce legislation strengthening Maryland gang statutes, protecting Marylanders throughout the state. The Governor stressed the need for putting partisanship and self-interest aside and joining with the majority of constituents to end the practice of partisan gerrymandering.  As Governor Hogan said, “Together, we have put Maryland on a new and better path, and we cannot afford to turn back now. Let’s keep moving forward, Let’s continue changing Maryland for the better.”
Governor Larry Hogan delivered his fourth State of the State address on January 31, 2018 to Maryland Legislators. I applaud all that he has accomplished and will work with him to build for the future.

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