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2018 Maryland General Assembly Updates

CCDCC MDGA2018Posted 13 April 2018

The Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day session officially closed on Monday, April 9th. Here’s a run-down of several keys bills we’ve been following and their outcomes.

Education Funding:
The General Assembly passed through a proposed constitutional amendment which will now go to the people to be voted on in the November elections. The amendment would guarantee that any revenue raised into the Education Trust Fund through casino gaming must be directly sent to schools above and beyond funding through the state’s General Fund. That currently amounts to about $500 million a year, a big first step to addressing the $2.9 billion annual funding shortage facing Maryland schools according to a state-commissioned study.

Gun Legislation:

The General Assembly agreed to ban bump stocks, accessories which effectively turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones. Lawmakers also approved a “red flag” law, which would allow judges to order the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others. Also approved in the 2018 session is the creation of a state commission with subpoena power to investigate allegations of Baltimore Police Department corruption that arose from the federal probe of the Gun Trace Task Force. Finally, the General Assembly approved funding to provide armed officers in schools which don’t currently have them. That bill would also require that public schools have lockable classrooms and hold age-appropriate active-threat drills.

Access to Democracy:
Among several bills introduced this session regarding voter access, two stand out. The first is a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for Election Day registration. Currently, while you can both register and vote on the same day during the early-voting period, that option is not available on Election Day. This amendment would correct that disparity and will go to the voters to decide this November. Be sure to register before Election Day to have your say on this issue! The second voter-access bill is an automatic voter registration system. This legislation will streamline the voting registration process by seamlessly registering voters or updating voter registration when Marylanders interact with state agencies, such as the MVA, the healthcare exchange, or local social service agencies. Maryland will become in “opt-out” state, as citizens will need to decline to be registered, as opposed to our current “opt-in” system.

Taxes:

Maryland’s tax code is linked to federal law, which meant the disastrous tax bill approved for federal taxes would have inflated state taxes for many Marylanders. The General Assembly agreed to changes to alleviate the hike, giving 58 percent of taxpayers a break that amounts to $40 and targeting relief to the working poor and some retirees.

Other Issues:
The General Assembly banned the use of conversion therapy for minors, that is the cruel practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual or gender identity. They also approved the regulation of social media sites, such as Facebook, making Maryland the first state requiring social media platforms to track all political ads, keep copies of them and record which users are being targeted. State elections officials could use this data to track bad actors or detect foreign interference.

Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’ve been following throughout the 2018 Legislative Session.

 

 

 

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Civil War Spies Reminisce over Tea and Crumpets

Posted 10 May 2018CCDCC Spies and Tea

Spies recounted their stories at the Calvert County Democratic Women’s Club fundraiser last week. The community came out in their garden skirts and tea hats to support the Democratic Scholarship Fund and enjoy an enormous spread of snacks and sandwiches.

CCDCC Spies and Tea

While the audience sipped and snacked, two actresses performed as historical Women in History. Vernice Jackson‘s brilliant portrayal of Mary Elizabeth Bowser was gripping. Mary Elizabeth was an enslaved woman working in the Confederate White House in Richmond where she spied on Jefferson Davis for the Union. Having received anCCDCC Spieas and Tea education in the North and possessing a photographic memory, Mary Elizabeth was a valuable asset to the Virginian abolitionist espionage efforts. Her intense tale is fascinating and Vernice Jackson played it beautifully.

The Club’s own Helenmary Ball performed the riveting role of Elizabeth Van Lew. Elizabeth Van Lew was an abolitionist who used her fortune and connections as a lady in Richmond’s high society to build an elaborate spy network for advancing the Union cause. Being willing to give up both her family's wealth and her high social standing, Elizabeth was solely dedicated to seeing an end to slavery in the United States. Helenmary captured that essence and enthralled as both a genteel Southern lady and a scheming Union spy.

The performance is a production of Women in History, a non-profit corporation dedicated to education of all people through the dramatic re-creation of lives of notable women in U.S. History. To read more about either Elizabeth Van Lew or Mary Elizabeth Bowser, visit the Women in History website

Proceeds from the Tea go to the Women’s Club Scholarship Fund. Each year, the Club awards four scholarships: one to a graduating senior from each of Calvert’s four high schools. The 2018 recipients will be receiving their awards at the next Women’s Club meeting, Tuesday, June 5th.  

 

 

 

CCDCC Elects New Member

Posted 26 April 2018

CCDCCThe Calvert County Democratic Central Committee was pleased to welcome Delegate Mike Jackson to our monthly meeting in April. Del. Jackson took the time to deliver a synopsis of successful legislation he sponsored during the 2018 General Assembly Session. This GA session saw the introduction of over 3,000 bills and the passage of over 800. Del. Jackson proudly sponsored eleven of those himself, and also worked hard on other important pieces of legislation such as the Rape Survivor Protection Act, the Bump Stock Ban, and the Fix the Fund Act. You can read more about the 2018 session of the General Assembly here.CCDCC Rick Piereck

Another important agenda item this month was the election of Associate Committee Member, Rick Piereck. Rick is a public servant in the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office where he prosecutes serious felonies like attempted murders, armed crimes such as robberies and carjacking, and drug distribution. Rick holds a law degree from the American University Washington College of Law. The Calvert County Democratic Central Committee is elated to have Rick join our efforts to promote Democratic values throughout Calvert County. We know he will be an important asset.

 

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Local Support for March for Our Lives

Posted 30 March 2018

CCDCC March for Our Lives       CCDCC March for Our Lives     CCCDCC March for Our Lives

Last Saturday, March 24th, saw a movement that began with the teenagers in Florida but extended to all ages all across America. Hundreds of thousands attended March for Our Lives rallies in nearly 800 locations, the largest being in Washington D.C.  Many local Democrats were there to stand up for safe schools and an end to gun violence.

CCDCC at March for Our Lives

“I volunteered to register people to vote at the March for Our Lives!  We met up in the morning at the Georgetown University Law Center to pick up supplies and receive training.  It was a very well-coordinated event.  [The organizers] did a great job speaking to the volunteers to get us excited about what we were about to do. It may have been the biggest voter registration effort in history.”  -Kim Blair

“This is a movement I feel strongly about and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to show my support with one of my best friends. The entire day was moving and it really impacted me. I have faith in March for Our Lives and I am confident that change is coming.” - Yavor Gray (on the left), CASC Historian, HHS FBLA Historian

 

Want to share your stories or pics? Get in touch today!

 

CCDCC at March for Our Lives        CCDCC at March for Our Lives       CCDCC at March for Our Lives

 

 

2018 Goldsetin Dinner Recap

Posted 25 March 2018

CCDCC Goldstein Dinner

The Calvert County Democratic Central Committee hosted our 20th Annual Louis L. Goldstein Dinner on Thursday to recognize Democrats' service and dedication over this last year. Local Democrats were honored as well as state representatives during the joyful dinner. While there was great fun and celebration at last year’s progress and next year’s potential, the stirring moment of the evening was the silence spent in reflection for Jaelynn Willey, the 16-year-old student who was shot at Great Mills High School earlier that week.

Congressman Steny Hoyer requested that everyone in attendance observe a moment of silence after being informed that Jaelynn Willey had been taken off of life support. “A moment of silence is appropriate, but we need action.” Hoyer followed up with a reminder that much work needs to be done to ensure safety from gun violence in our schools and communities, cautioning that it may be an uphill battle, but one we can fight and win together.

CCDCC Goldstein Dinner        CCDCC Goldstein Dinner

Senator Mike Miller presented Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh the Standing for Justice Award. Frosh has worked tirelessly in ensuring that freedoms and rights are exercised equally across all of Maryland’s citizens, and in standing for Maryland against the devastating effects of the President and his administration. The Calvert County Democratic Central Committee offers AG Frosh our gratitude and appreciation.

CCDCC Goldstein Dinner

You can find the Calvert Recorder's article on our event here

  

Our photo gallery of the 20th Annual Goldstein Dinner is coming soon…

 

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February Dem Club Meeting Recap

Posted 12 March 2018

CCDCc
Photography by Jackie Cutlip-Niles

The Calvert County Democratic Club was excited to host Kevin Kamenetz at the February Club meeting and hear what he had to say about his successful track record as the County Executive of Baltimore County and his plans for moving all of Maryland forward as its next Governor. Kevin spoke about education, growing the economy, the health of the Bay, stopping gun violence and several other important issues, and fielded a ton of questions from Club members. To find out more about Kevin and his campaign, visit his website here.

Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting is Tuesday, March 27th at Adam's Taphouse. Join us at 6:30 to grab some food or a drink before the meeting officially kicks off at 7. We'll be sharing more details about the meeting's agenda next week.

Phone Banking Volunteers Needed

We've made over 2000 calls so far in 2018, but we need YOUR help to reach our next milestone. We're looking for several more volunteers to help out in our weekly sessions, which are being held Sundays from 12-2 and Wednesday evenings from 6-8 at the Central Committee's headquarters in Prince Frederick. Even if you can only come once a month or for an hour, you'd be a huge help. All you need to do is show up and we'll take care of the rest - no experience required.

Please sign up at the link below or email calvertdemclub@gmail.com for more details.

https://doodle.com/poll/cqaddia7fa8mh3hv

 

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Posted 25 February 2018

CCDCC Geberal Assembly

We’re halfway into the 2018 General Assembly Session, so if there's a bill you want to see passed it's time to get the word out! The House and Senate are debating many important issues like Maryland's commitment renewable energy, allowing school employees to carry guns in school, the minimum wage. We’re working to keep you informed on the decisions that will affect your life. Check out a summary of some of the legislation presented so far to stay current on the issues you care about most. And be sure you know who your representatives are and how to get in touch with them.

 

 

 

 

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Issues Task Force Preparing for 2018 Elections

CCDCCPosted 01 February 2018

The Calvert County Democratic Central Committee has had a small group working on issues development for the last year. The goal of the Task Force is to provide Democratic candidates background knowledge on a range of issues which may be of importance to their constituents, but may not be in their specific background. They determinedly avoid taking a stance on any of these issues so that the candidates have the room to develop their own positions and speak to how they feel about the issue.

Throughout the first half of the year the Issues Task Force focused on the issue of addiction with an emphasis on the opioid epidemic. By identifying the stakeholders on the issue in Calvert County, interviewing them, building background through research, and coalescing those pieces together, the team was able to put together a document which summarizes the problems, the attempts at solutions in the past, and the hypotheses for solutions in the future. From here, candidates can read the information and come to their own conclusions about the extent of the issue and the solutions they will propose

In September, the issues team made the final interim report on addiction. Members of the Women’s Club very kindly agreed to take over the maintenance of the addiction issue to keep the report and files current for the candidates moving forward. This was accomplished through those Club representatives joining the task force along with two representatives from the Riverside Club. That addition helps provide freedom to the team to pursue additional issues, while also bringing new thoughts and perspectives to the team going forward. The Democratic Central Committee is very appreciative of both clubs joining this important effort.

In October, the team had grown to the point that it was feasible to handle two issues concurrently. They began by tackling affordable housing and then added education. While both of these issues are very broad in their own right, both could play very large roles in the 2018 elections in Calvert County. The Central Committee is working hard to ensure that Calvert Democratic candidates are well-prepared for any questions voters may pose.

 

 

MD Legislators Respond to the State of the Union Address

Posted 31 January 2018 from MarylandMatters.org

Several members of the Maryland congressional delegation issued statements Tuesday night about President Trump’s State of the Union address. Here are excerpts:

Sen. Ben Cardin (D) on Twitter: “Rolling back rules that are meant to protect public health, clean air, clean water and the environment is not an accomplishment. It’s a problem that will cost American lives and hurt our economy.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D): “The first year of the Trump Administration has been one of most significant tests of our democracy in our lifetime. In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Trump was eager to take credit for things he had nothing to do with and ignore the harm he has imposed on the country over the last year. The American people deserve a leader who spends less time patting his own back and more time having their backs. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen from President Trump has been anything but real leadership.”

Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D):  “For the last year, President Trump has displayed no leadership, demonstrated an unwillingness to compromise, contested known facts, corroded the national discourse, emboldened violent extremist voices, and pushed policies that favor the top 1%, big corporations and special interests. Today’s speech does not change anything.

“President Trump and Republicans now have a choice: work with Democrats to push forward the shared priorities of the American people, or continue with the dysfunctional business-as-usual that is guaranteed to leave more families behind and weaken our country.”

Rep. John Delaney (D) on Twitter: “Great speech by my friend and colleague . You made us proud.”

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D): “While the state of Donald Trump’s presidency may be perilous, I have no doubt that the state of our union remains resilient.  America perseveres not because of this President but in spite of the damage he is doing to our economy, our national security, and our democratic norms.  Democrats will continue fighting for all Americans and to make our union ‘safer, stronger, and prouder,’ not in rhetoric but in reality.”

Read more at Maryland Matters.

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Update: HB1 / SB2 Moves to Floor in Both Chambers

Posted 26 January 2018

HB1/SB2 - Family Law - Child Conceived Without Consent - Termination of Parental Rights (Rape Survivor Family Protection Act)

 

Great news! House Bill 1/Senate Bill 2 - Family Law - Child Conceived Without Consent - Termination of Parental Rights (Rape Survivor Family Protection Act) was heard in the both the House and Senate Committees and passed out of both. The bills now go to the floors of both chambers for full votes. Now is the time to email or call your state Senator and Delegates and urge them to support HB1/SB2. To look up who represents you in Annapolis, click here to go to the Maryland General Assembly website and enter your address. Let them know you support this legislation and urge a favorable vote.

 

HB1/SB2 provides that if a child is born as a result of a rape - referred to as "nonconsensual sexual conduct" out of concern that the bill not have criminal implications - the parental rights of the assailant will be terminated. This means that if the mother makes an adoption plan, the rapist will be excluded from participation in the adoption process. If the mother chooses to raise the child, the rapist would be prevented from being awarded custody or visitation except in limited circumstances where supervised visitation is determined to be in the best interests of the child.

Under HB1/SB2, the standard to decide whether the rape occurred and whether to terminate the rapist's parental rights is "clear and convincing evidence" that the child was conceived through rape. This standard of evidence is higher than the normal civil standard-"by a preponderance of the evidence"-and is used in all other family law contexts for the judicial termination of parental rights. It would be disrespectful of rape victims to require a conviction as a standard in these cases because rape victims should have to meet the same standard used in other termination of parental rights cases-no more, no less.

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