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  • 2019 Maryland General Assembly Update Week Eight in Annapolis—First Bill, More Votes & Hearings

    March 04, 2019

    2019 Maryland General Assembly Update
    Week Eight in Annapolis—First Bill, More Votes and Hearings

    More and more bills are being brought to the full Senate as they make their way out of committee, including Senator Carozza’s first bill to clear the chamber. The Senator also met with constituents who came up to Annapolis to testify on legislation impacting gun owners, farmers, and commercial watermen.

    Senator Mary Beth Carozza’s first bill passed the State Senate on February 28. Senate Bill 336— Somerset County—Commissioners—Residency Requirements received a unanimous vote. Senate Bill 336 is a local bill that would restore a residency requirement for a candidacy for the office of Somerset County Commissioner.
    “This is a good government local bill that simply requires that candidates running for Somerset County Commissioner live in the district at least six months before the primary election, and if elected continue to live there the entire term of office,” said Carozza. “I want to thank the Somerset County Commissioners for bringing this commonsense legislation forward and appreciate their unanimous support for it.”

    The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee held hearings this week on legislation that would impact the Shore farming, poultry and oyster industries.
    One of the bills would require more burdens on our farmers by imposing additional nutrient management monitoring and enforcement. Senate Bill 546 would impose mandatory fines for non-compliance with nutrient management laws, require a new certification for commercial manure haulers and brokers, and establish costly new permits allowing the Maryland Department of the Environment to charge a fee of at least $5,000 for a proposed CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) that will house over 200,000 or more animals. This omnibus legislation is a huge and unacceptable overreach that will hamstring our farm families.
    I will continue use my position in committee and on the Senate Floor to support our Shore farm families and will fight against proposals and regulations that jeopardize the future of Maryland’s chicken industry,” Senator Carozza said.
    Senators Eckardt and Carozza are proud to support the Shore’s poultry industry! University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Dr. Heidi Anderson and Senator Carozza visited at Delmarva Poultry Industry’s “Chicken Day” in Annapolis.
    Carozza’s Committee also heard Senate Bill 542, which requires a new and expensive air quality sampling and monitoring system for large animal feeding operations (AFOs). This new bill could cost up to $10 million and does not take into consideration the recently-announced Lower Eastern Shore Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Project with the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment and Delmarva Poultry Industry (DPI) to monitor air in the vicinity of AFOs. The monitoring would be reviewed by the Maryland Department of the Environment with DPI and the Campbell Foundation jointly committing more than $500,000 to this project, a far cry from the $10 million cost to the taxpayers of the proposed legislation. This DPI-Campbell Foundation project is a response to those in the community who have concerns about air quality near poultry farms and is a commonsense, fiscally sound approach to air monitoring.
    We can address the concerns about air quality without spending millions of dollars, and we don’t need another layer of bureaucracy that would impose even more regulations and burdens on our farm families and poultry industry,” said Carozza.
    In a party-line vote, the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee voted against Senate Bill 167— Pathways in Technology Early College High (PTECH) Expansion Act of 2019. The P-Tech bill was proposed by Governor Hogan to expand the number of schools participating in “one of the most creative and innovative approaches to education, blending high school, college, and work experience in one.”
    This is a highly successful program that should be expanded to give more young Marylanders the opportunity for a better future,” said Carozza who cosponsored Governor Hogan’s legislation. “Despite this vote, I will continue to do all I can to make sure our students have every opportunity to be career ready.”
    Shore visitors to Annapolis this week included Second Amendment advocates Barry Gusst of Ocean Pines, Edward Torbert of Salisbury, William Hardy Jr. of Ocean Pines, Jamie Wink and Tony Webster of Princess Anne; Terry Stevens of Ocean City; Larry Ryan of Berlin; Debbie Gousha of Berlin; Somerset County Commissioner Eldon Willing; Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver, Director of Administration Wayne Strausburg, and Assistant Director of Administration Weston Young; Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan, OC Town Engineer Terry McGean, and OC Convention Center Director Larry Noccolino; Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis; Somerset County Sheriff Ronnie Howard; Monica Brooks of Wicomico County; Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastal Trust; local bankers Amy Senseny, Amy Catlin, Christina Rogers, Melissa von Bank, Dana Fickenscher, Nadine Kordich, Sarah Matthews, Hanna Ford, and Cory Walsh; Bay Area Center for Independent Living Executive Director Katherine Jones and Program Manager Rose Carey; University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Dr. Heidi Anderson; University of Maryland Eastern Shore Pharmacy student Seth Weinstock; John and Michelle Fager of Ocean City; Bob Lanza of Salisbury; Peninsula Regional Medical Center President/CEO Steve Leonard and Vice President Government Relations Chris Hall;
    Cathy Bassett of Salisbury; Sam Parker, farmer, Salisbury; Lower Shore school superintendents John Gaddis (Somerset), Donna Hanlin (Wicomico), and Louis Taylor (Worcester); and former Maryland State Senate Minority Leader and District 38 Senator Lowell Stoltzfus, his wife Sharon, and family of Westover.

    Senator Carozza met with Tony Webster and Jamie Wink of Winks Sporting Goods in Princess Anne who traveled to Annapolis to testify in strong opposition to legislation that would regulate the purchase of long guns.
    March 1 was a special day in the Senate Chamber when former Maryland Senate Minority Leader and District 38 State Senator Lowell Stoltzfus was greeted by his former colleagues and friends. He is accompanied by his wife, Sharon and family standing in the balcony.
    Weekends back home in the district are always special. Walking around the annual Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association convention in Ocean City, we saw so many friends and local business displays. Here are just a couple: