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We've been in session for two and a half weeks and a lot has happened in a short time. Governor Hogan introduced a budget that once again cuts priorities in teacher training and mentorship and cuts a portion of the Attorney General's budget targeted to protecting Maryland from President Trump's abuses.
Prince George's County Teacher of the Year (and district 22 resident) Carolyn Marzke visited Annapolis this week. I enjoyed spending time discussing the teaching profession and hearing her perspective on the successes and challenges facing our schools. Congratulations to Ms. Marzke!
Earlier this month, I mailed out my hard copy Annapolis Advocate, a companion to this electronic newsletter. I discuss my work on an education reform commission, the proposed maglev high-speed train that would cut right through our district, and even offer some movie and book recommendations. Click here for the pdf.
Below you'll find a recap from our Annapolis Reception as well as a summary of some of the bills I'm working on.
Please let me know your thoughts.
Members of our district gathered in Annapolis on Martin Luther King Jr Day to honor Dr. King. Special thanks to Dr. Alvin Thornton who gave the keynote address and to Mario Repole of Three Brothers for providing another delicious meal.
Thanks to Greenbelt Access Television for filming the event.
Below you'll find descriptions of some of the bills I'm introducing this year. Over the next few weeks I'll introduce additional legislation. You can always find an updated list here.
SB317 Higher Education Degree and Job Certification Without Debt Act
Student loan debt is the second highest household debt after housing loans. This bill seeks to ensure that low and middle income students are not burdened with debt upon completion of community college or a four-year institution. The bill provides tuition-free community college for an associate’s degree or advanced certification. It also freezes tuition at four-year colleges for 3 years.
A hearing is scheduled for Feb 7.
SB256 Presidential Tax Transparency Act
For 40 years all major party candidates have released their taxes. This bill requires any Presidential candidate who wants to appear on the Maryland ballot to provide copies of their federal income tax returns for the previous five years. If this bill passes, candidates who don't release their taxes won't be on the Maryland ballot.
A hearing is scheduled for Feb 1.
SB195 Business Relief and Tax Fairness Act
By taking advantage of a series of loopholes, a significant number of Maryland’s largest corporations do not pay any corporate income tax, resulting in a $75 – $150 million loss to the state. This bill will force big, multistate and multinational corporations to pay their share by prohibiting them from shifting income to subsidiaries based in low-tax states (combined reporting). The bill also assists small business owners by eliminating a $300 annual filing fee for businesses with 10 or fewer employees.
A hearing was held on Jan 24. Click here to watch.
Election Day Voter Registration
This bill allows qualified individuals to register and vote at a polling place on election day. Currently, Maryland permits same day registration during the early voting period before election day. Same day registration increases voter turnout, remedies inaccurate voter rolls, eliminates arbitrary deadlines that cut off registration, and assists lower-income citizens, young people, and minorities.
This bill will be introduced later this week.
Healthy Maryland Act
The United States remains the only industrialized nation that does not have universal health care. This legislation creates the Healthy Maryland program, which will provide health care services to all residents of Maryland under a single payer system.
Are you or one of your children expecting to attend a Maryland college or university next year? Are you interested in financial assistance to help with tuition?
If you live in the 22nd district -- the communities of Berwyn Heights, Edmonston, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Lanham, New Carrollton, Riverdale Park, Seabrook, or University Park -- you can apply to my scholarship committee for a Senatorial Scholarship.
These scholarships usually range from $500 to 2,000 for each of four years. The application is available at senatorpinsky.org. Applications are due by April 1, 2018.
My scholarship committee, made up entirely of citizen volunteers from the 22nd legislative district, will be selecting the scholarship winners.
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Authorized by Citizens for Pinsky, Anna Frankle Treas.