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Liz Bobo
Maryland State Delegate for
Legislative District 12B

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Reflections on Zach

April 4, 2014

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." 
Jackie Robinson

Above is the quote which appeared under Zach's photo in his Centennial High School yearbook. He graduated eight months before he learned that cancer had returned to his brain. So this selfless quote was chosen by a young man in the prime of his life with limitless opportunities before him, not by one who was living with the knowledge that he had cancer.

Now more than three weeks since I stood by Zach’s bedside immediately after he had taken his last breath, I am aware of an increasingly peaceful feeling. I continue to be with him at every sunrise and sunset and all times in between even as I carry out the responsibilities and activities of my very last days in the legislature. I move through my days with acute awareness of all around me, and it is beautiful.

The thought of Zach's awareness being as broad as the sky and his understanding as deep as the sea is such a comfort to me. I am learning as never before in my 70 years on this earth to hold an opening and let love and peace flow through me.

Thank you, Zach, for being such a loving and joyful soul and such a great teacher of life.

This week Zach's sister, Julia, retweeted one of his tweets from November 13, 2012: 
"Funerals get you thinking how you are going to be remembered."

We now know.

Hello from Annapolis

The daffodils and crocuses are finally blooming in Annapolis, weeks later than most years. The cherry blossom trees lining the plaza in front of the State House have tiny green leaves on them now. I wonder if the blossoms will be opening before the end of the last day of the legislative session on Monday. This is a strikingly clear visual reminder that we are not in control, and that is not a bad thing to remember.

I went to lunch this week with a newly appointed young (early 40's) delegate from Montgomery County, David Frazier-Hidalgo, who was born in Ecuador. He studied history at a liberal arts college and spent three years working as a policeman. Among many other philosophical matters, we spoke of the difference between knowledge and wisdom. I will leave the legislature feeling optimistic because David is here.

With three days remaining until sine die (midnight on the last day, April 7th ), the outcome of several major issues is yet to be decided. Word has it that we will likely be in session on Saturday, but not Sunday. Having a free Sunday would certainly be welcome, though I'm not counting on it.



Annapolis End of Session

Of the four issues covered in this Sun editorial below, I am most disappointed in the weakening of the minimum wage bill. I agree with the governor on this one.

The Sun: The legislature's to-do list [Editorial] 

Minimum Wage

Arguably the most important social and economic justice issue before us this session, this bill is currently in much weaker condition than when the governor introduced it in January. One of the leading senators from Southern Maryland has managed to tie it to another issue thereby threatening its passage. I am holding a strong mental image of the body as a whole having the wisdom to restore this legislation to the governor's version and pass it into law.

Washington PostWho cares about the value of work? 

Washington Post: Md. minimum-wage bill clears key Senate hurdle; implementation would take until 2018 

The Sun: State leaders reach agreement on minimum wage, pay for caregivers; Senator Middleton says deal reached with administration 

Open Space

Hopefully we will have the wisdom to restore a significant amount of the funds deleted by the governor from this crucial environmental program. I am so grateful to Ann Jones who is leading the statewide Partners for Open Space that is spearheading this restoration effort. Ann grew up in western Howard County and her dad, Ridgely, was a member of the Howard County Council before I served there in the 70's.

The Sun: Marylanders need to speak up for open space; A program designed to save trees and farms under constant legislative attack 

Health Care

The sign up period has ended and the governor's administration has finally made the decision to terminate the state's very troubled website and follow the Connecticut model. Hopefully Maryland will be able to recover from the damage caused by the previous website.

Washington Post: Maryland gears up for health exchange redo 

Washington Post: Board of Md. health-insurance exchange votes to hire Deloitte to overhaul it 

The Sun: Troubled Maryland health exchange could spark political fallout; The buck must stop somewhere for abandoned Obamacare website 

Campaign Financing

Just when it appeared that campaign finance regulations were as weak as possible, this damaging step is taken.

Washington Post: Supreme Court ruling gives small number of wealthy donors new ways to drive campaigns 

The Sun: Court strikes political donor caps 

Howard County

Newly Proposed Shuffle in Transportation Program

With just months remaining before the election I don’t see justification for such major changes to a transportation system that has been working reasonably well for many years.

The Sun: Regional bus services shaken up as Howard launches new transit agency; Some pushing Annapolis effort to stall transition from nonprofit 

Mental Health and the Columbia Mall Tragedy Update from Last Week

After last week’s newsletter I got this message from a constituent who works with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).

“Thank you very much for including the item on mental health with the link to the Sun article. HB620, the medication over objection bill, passed both houses. The issue of clarifying the term “danger” is going to be addressed through regulations, and hopefully, we will be able to participate in developing those. The Assisted Outpatient Treatment issue was combined with assertive community treatment in a bill for further study for implementation. We didn’t get everything we wanted, but made progress this year."

The Sun: Legislation pushes involuntary mental health treatment; Mental health community divided over issue 



Delegate Liz Bobo
Annapolis Office  410-841-3205
District Office   410-997-2626


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