Maryland State Delegate for
Legislative District 12B
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Hello Again from Annapolis to All of You Back Home
When we left Annapolis on Tuesday morning, the magnolias and ornamental cherry trees were in full bloom. Blooms were somewhat later in Columbia due to the lack of impact from proximity to the bay. On Wednesday the blossoms simply burst forth in our yard and all over Columbia. Truly magnificent.
I had wondered how it would seem knowing that I was participating in my 19th legislative session with only one more ahead of me. Not once have I second guessed my decision not to run for office again after completing this term, though I thought I might have felt some nostalgia. Not so. I found my work during the session gratifying, though sometimes disappointing, and not once did I think "I am really going to miss this." I am very grateful to experience such clarity about this big decision. Colleagues ask me "what are you going to do when you're no longer holding public office?" I respond, "Live my life. I'm not clear just what the particulars will be, and I know they will come to me."
I am enjoying catching up with friends. Yesterday I had a lovely long lunch with my longtime dear friend, Grace Kubofcik. As I write this I am looking out the big window in my home office at a beautiful begonia hanging basket she gave me in celebration of my completing my penultimate legislative session.
Of all the bills that passed this year, the repeal of the death penalty in Maryland touched me most deeply. I have been a sponsor of this legislation for many years and it was very gratifying to have it pass while I am still in office. I realize that there are many who disagree, and I respect them. I have simply never been able to understand how government can encourage others not to kill by taking a human life itself.
So much was happening in the Environmental Matters Committee at the end of session that I had no time to prepare the e-newsletter last week. After this message I will return to sending a legislative update on or near the first of each month until the 2014 legislative commences next January.
Last weekend Lloyd and I attended the memorial service for our long time friend Bob Barnes, a very loving and kind human being. At the end of the service Bob's wife, Marilyn, asked if anyone wanted to say a few words about Bob. I was so happy to hear Barbara Rudlin say that the last time she had seen Bob was at my annual picnic last September, and that even though he had his oxygen with him, he stayed to the very end so he could get to talk with Ben Cardin. I love those simple and warm picnics. After this year's, which by the way will be on September 22nd, I will have one more before leaving public office. Now that may bring on some nostalgia.
The two articles above give a quite comprehensive explanation of the final days of this year’s legislative session. It may have been the busiest session of the 19 in which I have served.
The third paragraph in this article refers to a loophole in Maryland’s campaign finance law. I have been the lead sponsor on legislation to close this unjust loophole for about 14 years. The bill passed out of the House of Delegates several years only to die in the Senate. I find it very gratifying that my legislation was incorporated into the Speaker’s comprehensive campaign finance reform bill this year, and that it finally passed out of both chambers and will be signed into law by the governor.
For the third consecutive year, I have increasingly deep concerns about the way the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is conducting itself with regard to some environmental legislation in Annapolis. I strongly disagree with the letter to the editor above written by its executive director. Virtually every other environmental group in the state, including Environment Maryland, the Sierra Club, and the Pew Foundation, also took strong positions against the subject bill as potentially very destructive to the bay as well as flying in the face of open government. I have spoken with them about this and plan to do so again.
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