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Liz Bobo
Maryland State Delegate for
Legislative District 12B

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Save the Date for Liz’s Annual Picnic
Sunday, September 21st 
from  2-4 at Cedar Lane Park 
5081 Cedar Lane, Columbia, Md 21044

"I would love to see ALL of you and your families at my final annual picnic. We always have fun and great conversation at this Gathering of Good People Who Care About Good Government."

 

Hello to All of You from Home in Columbia

What a gorgeous day here in Columbia.

As I write this, Lloyd is sitting in the sun on the deck outside my office reading over the message Ann will send you in a few minutes.

Sun, beautiful sun.

Flowers will now enjoy a burst of blooms after all the rain.

How fortunate for those of us who were blessed with freedom from damage from the massive storm. Hope for good repairs to those of you who may not have been so fortunate. Nothing like the weather to remind us we are not in control.

On Sunday, May 4, from 5 to 7 @ Merriweather Post Pavilion, there will be a celebration of the 100th birthday of Columbia's beloved founder, Jim Rouse. I and some other elected folks will do brief readings of some of his inspirational quotes. I hope we all, including us readers, take them to heart.

Enjoy the month of May.

Be well and Peace.

Liz

Reflections on Zach

Today, May 1, 2014, is Zach's 21st birthday.

This was the first morning in some days that we could see the sun rise, at least partially. Zach was clearly with me as I watched it rise among gray clouds. Now at noon the sky is mostly blue and the sun is shining brightly. The quotation of a monk from two thousand years ago continually arises in my mind of Zach's "awareness as broad as the sky and understanding as deep as the sea."

As time passes, my awareness of the presence of Zach's beautiful soul does not diminish. It remains steady and peaceful.

As time does pass, one aspect which becomes clearer for me is the astounding way in which Zach touched others, particularly in his last two years on this earth. My mind involuntarily calls up remembrances of more and more examples of Zach, through various words and actions, showing his love and caring for others. It could take the form of lyrics from a song, a line of poetry, a joke, a gesture. One aspect that all of these remembrances have in common is the very precise way in which they apply to the person who received them. I have heard friends, cousins, old and young, recount their experience of receiving such a "gift" from Zach. Most often they recall his message clearly and frequently, running it over and over in their minds and being inspired anew by Zach.

More and more it becomes clear to me that Zach truly was "living the dream," not just saying it, even in the presence of brain cancer.

I cannot say too often "what a blessing to be his Grandma."

On Sunday, May 4, Chris, John, Julia, family members and friends, will go to Washington D.C. to run or walk in the Race for the Cure of Brain Cancer. We have done this many years since Zach first had brain cancer at the age of 11. Since its return when Zach was 18, the Zach crowd has grown larger. One year he was the speaker at the awards ceremony after the event. This year he will be with us in spirit, and as you know, Zach's spirit is very bright. 

Regional Bus System

Although restructuring the system for regional transportation in our area of the state may be beneficial, rushing it through in the heat of a campaign is not my idea of good government.

The Sun: State requires study of regional bus system before funding new Howard agency; County officials say they will move ahead with RTA, cover any funding gap while study is conducted

Campaign Finance

Just when we thought it would be difficult for campaign financing in our nation to be any worse, along comes the Supreme Court wiping out the few limitations we have. Not surprisingly the states are now following the federal example.

This is a perfect example of the roles of government and capitalism. Though they may embrace it, big business and the very rich are not responsible for this decision which will expand economic injustice in our nation and states. The judicial branch of our government is responsible.

The Sun: State won't enforce $10,000 limit on campaign contributions; Decision follows landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling

Utility Industry

Reading the articles and editorial below in The Sun takes me back to the earlier days of my 20 years in the Maryland legislature. It was 1999, and the pressure was on for Maryland to deregulate the electric utility industry. The halls were crawling with high paid lobbyists for the industry, and consumers showed up with only a weak disorganized voice. It was well known that in other states where this industry had already been deregulated, consumers had suffered in terms of both cost and quality of service. Nevertheless, we approved the legislation with a few legislators, I among them, voting against the bill.

The Sun editorial in particular points out how, based on the Baltimore region's experience with BGE, residents of the PEPCO region have an opportunity before the finalization of the "deal" to garner beneficial commitments from the industry. Once the bill is passed and signed, they have minimal leverage, if any. The last article on this topic gives an example of some such recent relief from bill spikes during last winter’s cold spell.

The Sun; BGE parent company to acquire D.C.-based Pepco; Second try at a merger, 16 years later, faces regulatory hurdles

The Sun: An opportunity for Pepco customers [Editorial] Our view: Based on BGE's experience with multiple buyout offers over the years, Pepco customers should push for big concessions in the Exelon deal 

The Sun: Md. regulators offer some relief to customers after energy bill spikes; Consumers complained about difficulty canceling contracts

E-Cigarettes

I was the lead sponsor on Maryland’s first legislation to regulate e-cigarettes back in 2010: HB 720, Nontobacco Nicotine Products. The bill failed to get a favorable report in the HGO Committee and therefore did not make it to the floor of the House for a full vote by the membership. Similar bills have been introduced in years since with me serving as a co-sponsor. As recently as this year, Delegate Aruna Miller from Montgomery County was the lead sponsor on a similar bill and I again signed on as a co-sponsor. Again the bill failed in committee. I predict that it becomes clearer that the tobacco industry is promoting these e-cigs because they serve to get young people hooked.

The Sun: Smoking, no. Vaping, maybe. Without federal, state or local regulations, rules for using e-cigarettes are in flux

Maryland’s Downwind Air Pollution

Now, for some good news. In The Sun article below are the Supreme Court's support of EPA curbs on out-of-state air pollution being life-saving news for downwind states like Maryland.

The Sun: Breathing easier [Editorial] Our view: Supreme Court's support of EPA curbs on out-of-state air pollution is life-saving news for downwind states like Maryland

Democracy and Capitalism

I have not yet read the subject book of the op ed in The Sun. I plan to.

More and more I find myself agreeing with the final sentence: "In the end, it's a failure of democratic governments to act responsibly not the shortcomings of capitalism that is failing America's workers and middle class." That is not to say capitalism is all good, but rather that government, including many of our elected reps, fail to use the authority they have to regulate it.

The Sun: Democracy, not capitalism, is failing the middle class [Commentary] A new book by French economist Thomas Piketty is compelling because it's incomplete

Peace.

Liz

Delegate Liz Bobo
Elizabeth.Bobo@house.state.md.us
Annapolis Office  410-841-3205
District Office   410-997-2626

 

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