2019 Maryland General Assembly Update Week Three-More Bills and Briefings
2019 Maryland General Assembly Update
Work in the Maryland State Senate is beginning to pick up as more legislation is introduced by the members. This includes Senator Carozza’s first bill: Senate Bill 248—Criminal Law—Life-Threatening Injury Involving a Vehicle or Vessel—Criminal Negligence. Senator Carozza also urged the Kirwan Commission to propose fair and equitable education funding formulas for the Shore, and was appointed to a key Women’s Caucus subcommittee.
CAROZZA INTRODUCES FIRST BILL IN SENATE
On Friday, January 25, Senator Mary Beth Carozza introduced her first piece of legislation in the Maryland State Senate. Senate Bill 248—Criminal Law - Life-Threatening Injury Involving a Vehicle or Vessel—Criminal Negligence. This legislation would establish the offense of a life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel as criminal negligence. A violator is guilty of a misdemeanor and if convicted is subject to a maximum of 18 months imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine. The current penalty for criminally negligent driving causing life-threatening injuries is a $500 citation. Similar legislation was introduced by Carozza during the 2017 Maryland General Assembly Session, HB 585, and passed in the House of Delegates unanimously with a vote of 140-0.
This issue was brought to her attention by constituents who were victims of criminally negligent driving. Scott Tatterson and Wade Pusey of Worcester County were struck by a driver who made a criminally negligent decision to drive knowing about his own inability to operate a vehicle or vessel. The violent crash, which occurred on February 22, 2016, left Mr. Tatterson dead and Mr. Pusey with several life-threatening injuries. This legislation will be heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in the upcoming weeks.
CAROZZA CALLS FOR FAIR AND EQUITABLE EDUCATION FUNDING
This week, the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee was briefed on the Kirwan Education Commission. During this briefing, Senator Carozza called for the Kirwan Commission to recommend fair and equitable education funding solutions. The current state wealth formula relies heavily on the assessed values of Ocean City properties, which erroneously ranks Worcester as one of the wealthiest counties in the State. This equation does not factor in that nearly 45% of Worcester students are enrolled in Free and Reduced Meals (FARM). Senator Carozza will continue to use her position in the State Senate to advocate for fairer funding formulas for the Shore.
TEACHERS OF THE YEAR VISIT ANNAPOLIS: So proud to honor Maryland's Teacher of the Year, Dr. Richard Warren, Jr. of Crisfield High School and Academy, along with Wicomico and Worcester Teachers of the Year: Lisa McKinnon of Parkside High School and Karen Holland of Cedar Chapel Special School.
SENATOR CAROZZA APPOINTED TO WOMEN’S CAUCUS SUBCOMMITTEE
Senator Carozza attended the first full Women’s Caucus meeting of the 2019 legislative session. At this meeting, she accepted the position of vice chair of the Violence against Women Legislative Subcommittee. This committee will review legislation pertaining to violence against women. “Public safety is job number one, and I plan to use this position to review and support legislation to reduce violence against women across the state,” Senator Carozza said.
Week Three-More Bills and Briefings