This week, Chair Pendergrass, Vice-Chair Pena-Melnyk and I sent a letter to Acting Department of Health Secretary Dennis Schrader ahead of the Department’s briefing with the House Health and Government Operations Committee on February 2nd. We asked the Administration to provide more specific details on timelines and comprehensive plans for statewide vaccine distribution. Maryland is home to the world’s best healthcare delivery system, a thriving biotech industry, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). It is troubling that we are so far behind our neighboring states in the delivery of vaccines, and House leaders are pressing for more answers.
MARYLAND POLICE REFORM
This week, I introduced two bills to reform policing in Maryland – the Police Reform and Accountability Act of 2021 (HB670) and the Public Information Act (HB671). The Police Reform and Accountability Act is based on the recommendations of the House Workgroup for Police Reform and Accountability. The bill works to bring greater transparency and change to policing across Maryland by taking actions like repealing the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights and banning chokeholds. I introduced House Bill 671 to reform the Public Information Act and provide greater access to police officer personnel records. Under the proposal, some police personnel records will be required to be accessible to the public.
RESOLVING THE HBCU LAWSUIT
Last year, Governor Hogan vetoed important legislation for our HBCUs (HB1260). This session, I reintroduced HB1260 as HB1 to resolve the ongoing litigation around Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities. House Bill 1 establishes a special fund to require the Governor to dedicate $577 million over 10 years to the four historically black colleges and universities. The money is to be spent to eliminate the vestiges of program duplication and level the playing field for all students, particularly students at Maryland’s HBCUs.
COMMITTEE HEARING SCHEDULE
See the committee hearing schedule for the week of January 31 HERE.
Follow @mdgahearings on Twitter account to stay up to date on the MGA committee hearing schedule.