Happy New Year. I would like to wish all of you a happy, and most importantly, a healthy New Year.
Now that the holidays are behind us, it is time for the Maryland General Assembly to get to work. This is an election year and some legislators across the state will be introducing a lot of bills to propose laws so they can show their constituents how hard they are working before the election.
I am not going to do this. I am only going to introduce a few bills because I don’t have to show how hard I am working right before an election. I am a full-time delegate who maintains a district office in my garage at no expense to the taxpayers and attend a lot of events and activities all year long, not just before an election.
It costs about $5,000 to research, draft, and rewrite each piece of legislation. That is a considerable expense and I am a fiscal conservative which is why I don’t accept state funds for a district office. Every year since I had been elected, I return unused funds from my budget back to the state coffers. Also, I have voted against every tax increase because I believe it is the people’s money and not my money.
With that said, I pre-filed the “Heartbeat Bill” modeled after Texas Senate Bill 8 which states that a doctor cannot perform an abortion if a heartbeat can be detected. I believe life is precious and holding my first infant granddaughter solidified the importance of human life. This bill would exclude rape, sexual assault, incest, or health of the mother.
Another bill that I will send to bill drafting is the Father’s Protection Act. This bill will create a state commission of volunteers to serve to assist fathers with visitation rights and assist in more equitable child support payments.
During COVID, some fathers were not given visitation rights with their children, despite paying child support. Also, in some cases, the mother makes more money than the father, and fathers are still required to pay higher child support. I believe there should be fairness in this case. There are fathers who tell me that their child support payments are so high that they are facing homelessness. They are trying not to take on a second job so they can spend time with their children. To me this is about fairness, and not intended to protect deadbeat dads.
Small businesses are driving our economy. I vote for all tax breaks and tax credits to help mom and pop businesses to be successful. I oppose all bills that make Maryland a sanctuary state and give an unfair advantage to illegal aliens who are here breaking the law.
With COVID numbers on the rise, all committee, subcommittee and caucus meetings will be virtual. We will only attend in-person sessions for voting purposes. Like the first day of school, I am excited to attend the first day of the Maryland General Assembly, which runs from January 12 to April 11, and serve the people who elected me with their trust. I am looking forward to a good 90-day session.