Attached is the MFRW Weekly Legislative Update for April 3.
SB 1012 to revamp the Congressional Districts enacted by the Legislature in December passed through both chambers in the blink of an eye last week and are awaiting a decision by the Governor. While the map under SB 1012 looks better with fewer contorted shapes, it is not as fair as the Citizens Redistricting Commission maps and splits numerous counties into multiple pieces. The Dems also appealed the Judge's decision to overturn their original, very gerrymandered congressional districts. Yesterday on CNN, Governor Hogan said he would talk with the Legislative leaders to see if they would drop their appeal. So, it should be an interesting week and we still have to hear from a separate judge on State Legislative Districts.
The Constitutional Amendment to fully legalize recreational marijuana (cannabis) achieved final passage and will be on the ballot in November. The Governor cannot veto a constitutional amendment.
The accompanying bill to implement full legalization of marijuana (HB 837) also passed enrolled. All the proponents see is green -- dollars-revenue. Legalization will make using marijuana more acceptable and therefore increase its use particularly among young people. The marketing of marijuana brownies, etc. will be a magnet for children. Marijuana is much stronger today than it was in the 1970's and can cause escalation of anger and violence in some young people with frequent use.
HB 937 - Abortion Care Access and Training Program with its $3.5 million annual tax dollar funding passed and is awaiting the Governor's action. You can urge the Governor to veto this legislation by going to the website:
http://governor.maryland.gov. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "contact us", and then click on "Contact the Governor" and submit your message. Or you can call the Governor's office at 410-974-3901 or 1-800-811-8336.
Bills will move very quickly this week, so it is important to keep your eye on bad bills we don't want to pass as well as cheer for the progress of good bills.
Among the "good" bills that passed last week and was signed by the Governor is SB 405 to provide a credit of $1,000 against state income tax for individuals 65 and over, or who are totally disabled, whose incomes are $100,000 or less. Couples filing jointly with incomes up to $150,000 will received a credit of $1750.
There are many more actions in the Weekly Update.
Thank you to each of you for all of your efforts to make conservative views known.
Maryland Federation of Republican Women