Earlier this week, Sen. Barbara Mikulski assembled a rather exclusive Democratic leadership meeting in Annapolis. Democratic leaders remaining in office in 2015 only. It was billed as looking ahead to 2016 and beyond; but the day-after reports suggested more time spent pondering what went wrong in 2014. The leaders seemed to be looking for some secret, hidden answer. Or maybe, for a scapegoat. Continue reading
Tuesday morning, Gov. Martin O’Malley sent out an email recap of the 2014 General Assembly, highlighting bills that he will enthusiastically sign into law. He didn’t mention the bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, but I believe he will most likely sign that one too. — John
Below is the text of O’Malley’s email message. I’ve put some of the key words in bold text:
Yesterday afternoon, the State House voted to raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
This effort — which has now passed both chambers — is the culmination of a lot of hard hard work to forge consensus and bring people together to give hundreds of thousands of our friends, neighbors, and family members a well-deserved raise.
I will sign it enthusiastically — because no one who works full time should have to raise their family in poverty.
Yesterday also marked the conclusion of Maryland’s 2014 legislative session. Strengthening and growing our middle class was the North Star of our work — both in this session and for the past seven and a half years — and I’m pleased to report that we took meaningful action this year to move our State forward:
– We passed a bill to expand Pre-Kindergarten for 1,600 children in low-income families because investments in early childhood education make a huge difference throughout a person’s life.
– I’ll sign a comprehensive package to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence, furthering our work to keep families safe. Since 2007, we’ve driven down the rate of female and juvenile homicide in Maryland, and this year’s effort builds on that work.
– Maryland’s Wildlands are critical to preserving and protecting the last untouched landscapes and waterways of our great State. As Marylanders, we have a duty to ensure that these open spaces can be enjoyed by future generations and that is why we passed this measure to expand our State’s Wildlands by 50%.
– We passed a responsible budget that invests in job creation and innovation, expands opportunity, strengthens our State’s middle class and puts us on a path to eliminate our inherited structural deficit by 2017. And we did it without raising any taxes or fees.
These accomplishments did not happen by chance — they happened by choice.
Hope drives belief. Belief drives action. And action achieves results. We achieved together this legislative session, and I thank you for your help moving Maryland forward.
All the best,