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  • 2019 Maryland General Assembly Update Week Six—Lincoln, Floor and Committee Work, Visits

    February 19, 2019

    2019 Maryland General Assembly Update
    Week Six—Lincoln, Floor and Committee Work, Visits

    We are nearing the halfway point of the 2019 legislative session as committee hearings and Senate Floor work accelerates. On Monday, February 11, Senator Carozza gave the Lincoln Day Address before her colleagues in the Senate Chamber. Senator Carozza also spoke on the Senate Floor in support of starting school after Labor Day and voted against the bill to reverse Governor Hogan’s Executive Order. In addition, she met with dozens of constituents who came up to Annapolis to testify on legislation and for various advocacy days.

    Senator Mary Beth Carozza’s Senate Bill 248 was heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on February 12. This legislation would establish the offense of a life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel as criminal negligence. At the hearing Senator Carozza testified about a case from her community involving two Worcester County road workers, Scott Tatterson and Wade Pusey, who were struck by a criminally-negligent driver. The violent crash occurred on February 22, 2016. It left Mr. Tatterson dead and Mr. Pusey with several life-threatening injuries.

    This legislation provides a just penalty for people like Wade Pusey who has suffered life-threatening and life-sustaining injuries as result of criminally-negligent driving,” Senator Carozza added.

    Senator Carozza also introduced Senate Bill 272— State Correctional Facilities—Correctional Officers—Background Check, which was heard in the Senate Finance Committee on February 14. This legislation would alter the current law by providing that the Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional services require an individual to pass a polygraph examination or extensive background check, or both – rather than just a polygraph examination – before being appointed to serve as a correctional officer in a correctional facility.

    (L to R)ECI Case Manager Krista Bozman, Senator Carozza, and retired ECI Captain Joanne Diggs testifying in strong support of SB 272.

    We have a serious staffing shortage at ECI and other correctional facilities around the State,” said Carozza. “My bill gives the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services the ability to use the extensive background check, rather than just a polygraph, in the hiring process and will help address the shortage of correctional officers at ECI and statewide.”

    Legislation that would repeal Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order to Start School After Labor Day passed the State Senate by a vote of 31-13. After voting against this bill, Senator Carozza said “Our constituents want us focused on the pressing education issues of the day like working on fair funding formulas for the Shore, safe schools, supporting teachers and strengthening CTE, not on reversing the will of the majority of Marylanders who support starting school after Labor Day.

    As a State Senator, Carozza has the opportunity introduce constituents who go before the Senate Executive Nominations Committee. This committee examines all nominations for appointments made by the Governor that require Senate confirmation and reports recommendations to the body. This week Senator Carozza introduced constituent Steve Rakow, Esq., who was confirmed to the Board of Trustees of the Office of the Public Defender and Rebecca Jones, who was confirmed to the State Community Health Worker Advisory Committee. Last week, Senator Carozza made the committee introduction and voted to confirm General Warner Sumpter (Ret.) to the Maryland State Board of Education.

    Annapolis was filled with Shore locals this week. This includes Somerset County Commissioner Rex Simpkins and County Administrator Doug Taylor, who came to testify in support of a local bill introduced by Carozza; Sharon and Wade Pusey of Worcester County; Wicomico County Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Bill McDermott of Girdletree; Ryan James of Ocean City; Michelle Ennis of Wicomico County Tri Community Mediation; student advocates from University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Salisbury University; Senate Page Elizabeth Smith from Salisbury; Retired ECI Captain Joanne Diggs of Salisbury; ECI Case Manager Krista Bozman of Eden; Analynn Redding of Ocean City; Kristin Sullivan and Kim Newcomb of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury; Jennifer Merritt of Crisfield; Crisfield City Manager Rick Pollitt; Somerset County artists Michel Demanche and Caitlin Kilby; Melanie Pursel, Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce; Ireland RnR Tours owners Mike and Victoria Healy of Berlin; Wendy Robertson and Cindy Beauchamp from Somerset County Tourism; Kristen Goller from Wicomico County Tourism; and Donna Abbott from Worcester County Tourism; Worcester County Commissioner Joshua Nordstrom, and Pocomoke City Manager Robert Cowger. Also, several locals traveled up to Annapolis for Taste of the Eastern Shore, including Carozza aides Allan Beres and Pat Schrawder, both from Ocean City.

    Senator Carozza and Senate Page Elizabeth Smith from Salisbury. 

    Senator Mary Beth Carozza, Delegate Carl Anderton, Jr., and Governor Larry Hogan with Salisbury University students in the State House.

    Senator Carozza met with tourism representatives from Somerset, Worcester, and Wicomico on Tourism Day.

    Comcast Interview with Senator Carozza this week in Annapolis: