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Liz Bobo
Our State Delegate
for Legislative District 12B
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meeting rescheduled from 2/16/2012

Legislative Community Meeting
February 23, 7:30 to 9:00 pm
Kahler Hall
, Harper's Choice Village Center
5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia 21044

I will be holding my annual Legislative Community Meeting on February 23 from 7:30 to 9 at Kahler Hall in the Village of Harper’s Choice.

We will discuss issues that are currently before the Maryland General Assembly.  More information will be available on the major issues by that time.  As many of you know, we get a good turnout at this meeting each year and have a good discussion on a wide range of issues.
I hope you will join us this year.

My office in Annapolis has received a request to provide a signer for the hearing impaired at this year’s meeting.  If you know of anyone who would be willing to do this, please contact Ann Goldscher at elizabeth.bobo@house.state.md.us  or by phoning 410-841-3205.

 

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and to find specifics about the bills Liz
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visit the Maryland General Assembly
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See the calendar
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February 3, 2012

This has been a very interesting week carrying out my responsibilities in Maryland’s capital with a constant and acute awareness of Zach and his family back in Ellicott City (see NewsofZach).  It has been a revelation to observe myself setting priorities and making decisions.  My awareness of Zach has actually helped me think about the many crucial public policy choices more clearly and sharply. Because of Zach's hospitalization, there was no legislative update for the week of January 27.

Major Statewide Issues for this Legislative Session

On Wednesday, the Governor gave his State of the State address.  Although I don’t agree with all that the Governor has proposed in his budget, I told him that I appreciate and admire his courage in making tough proposals.  We have ten weeks of hard work ahead of us in Annapolis in determining the budget.  May we have courage, wisdom, and compassion in making our decisions.

 News Articles Relating to Major Budgetary Issues

The dangerous fiscal path.  (Even though this editorial pertains to the federal budget, it also reflects on Maryland’s budget. We must learn from the past and avoid putting our children and grandchildren even deeper in the position of having to bail out the economy in the future.)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/cbos-debt-projections-warn-of-the-dangerous-fiscal-path-that-looms/2012/01/31/gIQAn9LCgQ_story.html

The cost of transportation. (It is simply not sustainable to rely on more and more paved highways. Public transit must be a bigger part of the transportation equation.)
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-gas-tax-20120131,0,7529845,print.story

Streetcars to return soon to the District. 
(…and possibly to the Baltimore area where I rode them as a child?)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/streetcars-to-return-soon-to-the-district/2012/01/27/gIQAXupeWQ_story.html

The flush tax blues
(This editorial points out loudly and clearly that our precious Chesapeake Bay cannot be saved without an investment.)
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-flush-20120126,0,242719.story

Setting a minimum standard wage. (A clear and compelling editorial on a fairer distribution of the wealth.) www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-minimum-wage-20120129,0,103583.story

Reining in college costs: an agenda for Maryland. (Senator Jim Rosapepe from Prince Georges County is a friend with whom I work closely.)
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-college-costs-20120131,0,4277141.story

A casino-for-hospital deal is a sucker bet. (Even though this proposed casino is in Prince Georges County, it will affect the entire state.)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/casino-for-hospital-deal-is-the-latest-sweet-talk-from-gambling-interests/2012/01/27/gIQAC65ziQ_story.html

Environmental Matters Committee  

This week all of the committees began committee bill hearings. You may review the committees’ agendas at http://mlis.state.md.us/ and click on Hearing schedule.

The Environmental Matters Committee on which I serve heard two bills of significant interest:

HB1 Environment – Recycling in Apartment Buildings and Condominiums.  
This bill would require apartment buildings and condos to provide recycling facilities for their residents.  It could go a long way in expanding the amount of waste that we  recycle in Maryland.

HB 55 Motor Vehicles – Use of Text Message Device While Driving. 
This bill strengthens the prohibition of this dangerous practice by making it clear that it is a primary offense applying to all drivers regardless of age.  I have been voting for bills prohibiting the use of cell phones since 1999, when former Delegate John Arnick was the first lead sponsor.  It is gratifying to see that we are finally getting truly serious about the danger posed by using these devices while driving.

CLIMATE CHANGE TOWN MEETING ON FRACKING held January 31 at East Columbia Library

Many of you are probably aware of the Academy Award-Winning Documentary, Gasland, about “fracking”, a potentially dangerous and destructive method of gas extraction.  During last year’s legislative session, I co-sponsored a bill which would have addressed the potential extraction of natural gas from shale formations in Maryland.  The bill passed out of the Environmental Matters Committee on which I serve and out of the full House of Delegates as well.  Unfortunately, it did not fare well in the Senate.

This year, Delegate Heather Mizeur from Montgomery County is putting in several other bills to address this matter, and I am co-sponsoring them.  Much more information is available now about how seriously dangerous this practice can be for the environment.

On January 31, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the League of Women Voters, and several other groups sponsored a town meeting in Columbia where Delegate Mizeur and acclaimed environmentalist, Mike Tidwell, spoke about fracking and the bills that will be considered during this session.

I was so encouraged to see such a good turnout of people who are deeply interested in seeing that Maryland moves cautiously, if at all, in allowing fracking.  I for one believe we should not permit it at all.  Just as we need to move in the direction of mass transit, we need to foster alternative energies.

Click here for Liz's email update from the week of January 20.

Click here to read Liz's email updates for the 2011 Legislative Session (January - April 2011);
click here to read Liz's email updates for the remainder of 2011 (April - December 2011).

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