Happy 2019! On Wednesday January 9th, the Maryland General Assembly reconvenes in Annapolis for the 90-day legislative session. I am really excited to get to work on legislation that will improve the lives of Marylanders.
With the new term come new responsibilities. I’m happy to report that I’ve been appointed to serve on the Health & Government Operations Committee! I’ll put to good use my expertise in public health as we fight to protect access to quality, affordable health coverage and control prescription drug costs. Of course, I’ll continue my efforts to improve public transit, protect our environment and adapt to climate change, because these issues are central to ensuring human health.
Over the next 90 days, please watch for my updates and stay in touch. Let me know what legislative issues are important to you. And feel free to visit me in the House of Delegates in Annapolis!
On December 8th, the Baltimore City Delegation held its first ever Town Hall. Over 100 engaged people from around the city shared their thoughts, questions and concerns. This gathering marks an important shift from the past, and demonstrates our delegation’s commitment to transparency and responsiveness.
To further that commitment, I am working closely with my City Delegation colleagues to update our bylaws and create a real website and social media platform. The people of Baltimore deserve leaders who value public input. We’re working on this as well. Stay tuned!
Photo: Max Green, District 46 Central Committee Member
3. Protecting Kids from Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning hurts kids — it is a toxic heavy metal that interferes with brain development. Even at low exposures, lead hampers learning and impulse control. Kids in Baltimore and all around the state of Maryland need more protection. That’s why I’m re-introducing my lead risk reduction bill. This common-sense legislation will require quicker action when children are exposed to lead.
4. Improving Public Transit
Getting around Baltimore is tough if you don’t own a car. I know this, because I am car-free. Thirty-three percent of Baltimore residents depend on public transit. Fifty-thousand people — almost 19% of all city workers — use transit to get to work. Thousands of children take MTA buses to school. If the subway breaks down, or the bus is late, students lose out on learning, and workers can lose their jobs. We can’t wait – we’ve got to improve our bus service now. That’s why I introduced a bill last year to protect dedicated bus lanes. Although that bill passed the House unanimously, it stalled in the Senate. I’m exploring legislative ways to ensure better bus service, perhaps by re-introducing last year’s bill. If this topic interests you, stay in touch!
5. Putting Health First
If a company wanted to build an energy generating facility near your home, wouldn’t you want to know about potential health impacts beforehand? What if the state wanted to build more highways – wouldn’t you want to know whether the increase in cars driving past your home, or near your child’s school, could affect air quality and increase the risk of asthma?
I believe that human health should be considered whenever public dollars are spent on large energy and transportation projects. That’s why I’m introducing legislation to require Health Impact Assessments (HIA) whenever the state Public Service Commission or Department of Transportation plan such projects. Enshrining health considerations in policy making is one of the best ways to protect our health and environment. Please contact me if you want to support these bills!
Baltimore Women’s March
The members of the District 46 team – Senator Bill Ferguson, and Delegates Luke Clippinger, Brooke Lierman and Robbyn Lewis will hold their annual legislative briefing. The team will present updates, and answer questions on important bills and policies that are being considered during session. Free and open to the public. Contact Delegate Lewis’ Office for more information.