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Reznik Report from District 39 - It's A New Year Edition

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a great end to 2016.  With the new year, comes the start of a new legislative session.  The 437th session of the Maryland General Assembly will convene next Wednesday, January 11th and will continue for 90 days until Monday, April 10th. 

During that time, as I always do, I will send out a weekly update on the important highlights of the week and the status of my own legislative priorities.

For now, I wanted to provide one last monthly update for December.  It was, as always, a very busy month in our community.

MoCo Board of Education Calendar for 2017-2018.  In response to Governor Hogan’s Executive Order concerning the beginning and ending of the annual school calendar, the Montgomery County Board of Education has adopted the school calendar for the 2017-2018 year.  Because the Governor has decreed that school must start after Labor Day and must end no later than June 15th , and because the Board needed to include the minimum number of instructional days required by State law, as well as take into account holidays, weather and emergency-related closing, etc., several major changes were included.  Some of these changes include a shorter winter and summer break, and only holidays mandated by State law. 

To see the calendar CLICK HERE.

MDBioLab stops at Magruder High School. The MDBioLab is a mobile lab that travels around the state to provide hands on science instructions to students.  It is sponsored by the MDBio Foundation and funding comes from the State, private donations, and grants.  On its recent stop at Magruder High School, I had the opportunity to tour the lab and watch a class grow and analyze bacteria. This kind of hands on instruction is critical to a well-rounded education and I applaud the MDBio Foundation for its work.

Local Bill Hearings in Rockville.  On December 5th and December 7th, the Montgomery County Delegation held our annual local bills hearings in the County Council chambers in Rockville. 

Local bills are bills that are proposed at the State level but only affect Montgomery County.  The topics ranged from alcohol regulation to hunting to education policy.  For a full list of local bills being proposed CLICK HERE, along with other information about the Montgomery County Delegation.

Tour of Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.  I had a great opportunity to visit Montgomery College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus this month.  Each of Montgomery College’s three campuses (Rockville, Germantown, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring) is as large as or larger than any other Community College in the State, and combined is far and away the largest in Maryland. 

The TP/SS campus is the most limited in space and ability to expand hemmed between a residential community on one side and a commercial area and major artery on the other. In addition, a number of the buildings on campus have long lived past their expected use.  I will be working with my colleagues this session to see if we can get additional resources to replace the aging math and science buildings so that students have decent, modern facilities to be able to learn and grow.

Committee for Montgomery Breakfast.  The Annual Committee for Montgomery breakfast took place in mid-December.  This breakfast is often considered the unofficial kickoff to the legislative season.  Attended by nearly 1,000 guests from throughout Montgomery County, including business, government, non-profit, and civic sectors, this year’s theme was regional cooperation, with a keynote address presented by County Executive Ike Leggett and newly elected Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Reception for Montgomery County Olympians.
  If you are a fan of Jeopardy! then you might have seen the Final Jeopardy! clue on December 20th’s episode – “If this State was a country, it would have been in the Top 10 in Gold medals with 14 – 9 of them by 1 man and 1 woman.”  Of course, we all know that the answer is “What is Maryland?”

Our great State had an incredible showing at the Olympics in Rio this year, and four of those Olympians call Montgomery County home; Katie Ledecky (swimming), Jack Conger (swimming), Helen Maroulis (wrestling), and Ashley Nee (canoeing).

All four were honored by Montgomery County in December and it was announced that the four of them will be the first to be inducted into the newly formed Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame.  No doubt past Olympians and athletes from Montgomery County, like Dominique Dawes, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Shawn Springs, Freddy Adu, and of course, Walter Johnson, will be quick to follow.

AELR Committee Hearing Fracking Regulations.
  The AELR Committee (a Joint Legislative Committee tasked with final review of all regulations proposed by the Executive), held a hearing to review the final proposed regulations on fracking implementation in Maryland.  The two year moratorium adopted by the Legislature expires this year and the Department of Environment has proposed regulations to govern fracking, should it go into effect.  The hearing was highly contentious and well attended by numerous people with opposing points of view.  Though the AELR Committee has no authority to either approve or ban fracking and cannot even cancel the regulations (only hold them for a period of time), the hearing was a good preview of what we can expect during the legislative session on this contentious issue.



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