Reznik Report from Annapolis – 2017 Session Week 8

March 3, 2017

Things have gotten very busy in the last couple of weeks and as a result I wasn’t able to send an update last week, so this update has several weeks’ worth of updates.

My Bills

Sexual Office Reclassification. I’m happy to announce that HB 647, my bill to update Maryland’s laws around the classification of sexual offenses, has passed out of the House the Judiciary Committee and will be considered by the entire House next week. You can following along with this bill through the legislative process HERE.

Energy Storage Tax Credit. Last Thursday, my bill establishing a tax credit for the installment and usage of energy storage systems, HB 490, was heard in the Ways and Means Committee. This week, the Senate version of the bill, SB 758, sponsored by Senator Guy Guzzone of Howard County, passed out of the Budget and Taxation Committee unanimously and will be considered on the Senate Floor next week. That bill can be tracked HERE.

State Procurement Reform. This week, my bill reforming the state procurement system, HB 1021, was heard in the Health and Government Operations Committee. HB 1021 would streamline the way the state purchases goods and services through our procurement processes, making our processes more efficient, more transparent, and saving the state money.

I am working very closely with the Lieutenant Governor’s office on the issue of procurement reform, a topic we both feel very strongly about. Though we started out with very different visions of how procurement should be reformed, I believe we are very close to achieving a compromise on a strong plan for reform. You can track the progress of the bill HERE.

Appropriations Committee

Over the last two weeks, my subcommittee on Appropriations has concluded all of our budget hearings for the budgets of the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Human Resources, Aging, Disabilities, Housing and Community Development, and other agencies such as Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, and the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. On Monday, my subcommittee will be meeting to make budget decisions that will then be presented next Friday to the full Appropriations Committee.

Priority Issues Update

Earned Sick Leave Bill. The full House of Delegates voted 88-51 to enact a fair and progressive policy to provide earned sick leave policy for all Marylanders. HB 1 passed the House of Delegates and is moving onto the Senate Chambers for consideration. I was proud to cast my vote in favor of this important bill, which will encourage a healthy, secure workforce, and stronger, empowered families. Marylanders should never have to choose between going to work and recovering from an illness or caring for a loved one.

Opioid Addiction. When Governor Hogan was running for office, he said that he would declare a state of emergency on the opioid epidemic on day one of his administration. On Thursday, the Governor finally done so over two years later. He promised to add $10 million to the fight on opioid addiction, and we hope that he can bring down a supplemental budget shortly to tell us how he plans on paying for it.

While this is happening, Speaker Michael Busch has convened a special task force to examine this issue and coordinate the effort to examine the right approach to dealing with this epidemic. I’m pleased to announce the Speaker has appointed me to a special task force and I look forward to working with my colleagues to find comprehensive, safe, and effective solutions to such a complex situation.

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