Take 5 with Delegate Robbyn Lewis: Session Update

  1. 2019 Priorities

This session, our Democratic Caucus outlined its priorities. Thousands of individual bills will be drafted and introduced, but we share a collective vision to improve the lives of hard working Marylanders. In addition to the following specific legislative efforts, my commitment to fully funded, equitable public schools is unwavering. I look forward to implementing the Kirwan Commission recommendations.

  1. My Bills

My focus, as always, is on health, transportation and the environment, and my bills reflect this. Of course, I’ll work hard to support all of our collective legislative goals. But I’ll also continue my efforts to improve bus service, protect kids from lead poisoning and ensure that human health is centered in policymaking. Two of my bills are described below. Please contact my office if you have questions about my bills, or would like to support them.

HB 257 – Protections for Donated Food: Wasting food is bad for our environment and our economy. This statewide bill addresses one particular waste stream: food prepared by certain nonprofits. This has the potential to amplify related efforts, such as Baltimore’s Rockefeller Foundation-funded Food Waste Recovery program.

Hearing Date: Wednesday, February 6th – 1:00 pm – Judiciary Committee

HB 130 – Dedicated Bus Lane Study: The quality of Baltimore’s bus service affects thousands of students and working people. Dedicated bus lanes can improve bus speeds and frequency, but only if those lanes are protected. This city-specific bill requires the MTA and Baltimore DOT to create a plan that will do so. A similar bill that I introduced last year passed the House, but stalled in the Senate. This year, we’ll get it over the finish line.

Hearing Date: Thursday, February 7th – 1:00 pm – Environment & Transportation Committee

  1. Committee Business

I now serve on the Health & Government Operations Committee (HGO). Since it’s still early in session, there have been no bill hearings yet. Instead, we’ve had briefings on complex health policy topics like Medicaid, medical cannabis, and the opioid crisis.Within HGO I sit on two subcommittees: Public Health and Minority Health Disparities and Health Occupations & Long Term Care. In addition, I have been appointed to serve on the House Opioid Workgroup – it is an honor to be chosen as well as a chance to develop a new field of expertise.

  1. Meet My Team

Behind every effective legislator is an awesome team. This year I’m so fortunate to have a team of four brilliant, talented people on my side. I truly don’t know what I’d do without them. Forgive me while I brag a bit!

Gaby Feliciani is my Legislative Director and right-hand woman. She not only provides technical support developing draft legislation, she keeps all of my office communications, constituent services and operations under tight control.

I created two Fellowships this year, one in health policy, and the other in health law.

Jenny Wen, Health Policy Fellow, is an MPH-MD degree candidate at Johns Hopkins University. Jenny will provide technical support on a number of health bills as well as my opioid workgroup efforts.

Jen Mahan, Health Law Fellow, is in her third year at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She’ll conduct policy research on maternal mortality and other reproductive health matters.

Will Edmonds, Legislative Intern, is a freshman at Johns Hopkins University. He commutes to Annapolis via bike & bus. Will plans to triple major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He’s been a huge help in conducting background research and managing constituent correspondence.

  1. What’s New in the 46th?

Scholarships: We are now accepting scholarship applications for the 2019-2020 academic year! Any high school senior, current college student or graduate student who lives in District 46 is eligible, visit my website to apply by May 15, 2019.

Transit Planning: MTA’s Regional Transit Planning process is underway.  Due to cancellation of the Red Line, it’s more critical than ever to think regionally. You can help shape the future of transit and mobility. Click here for more information.

Johns Hopkins Police: Johns Hopkins University has proposed the creation of a university-based, private police force. I need to know what you think of this. Click here to fill out a 10 second survey.

Upcoming Events

Legislative Black Caucus Youth Day (Registration Now Closed)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Maryland House of Delegates

6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401

 

Team 46 Town Hall

Saturday, February 23, 2019

10:00 AM -12:00 PM

National Federation for the Blind

200 E Wells St., Baltimore, MD 21230

Senator Bill Ferguson, and Delegates Luke Clippinger, Brooke Lierman and Robbyn Lewis will hold their annual legislative briefing. Free and open to the public.

Click here for more information

YouthWorks Application

Baltimore City offers a summer employment program for young people ages 14-21, called YouthWorks. Last year, over 11,000 young people all around our city applied, but unfortunately there were only around 9000 jobs available. If you are an employer, please offer a job to a young person! You can change a life, and help change our city.

Both employers and young people should sign up now – the online application is now available at http://youthworks.oedworks.com/.