Day 33 – Oysters Leases

As we enter the second half of the 2020 Legislative Session, Senator Bailey is continuing to introduce legislation that will address the concerns of District 29.  One bill that he is sponsoring that will be very beneficial to our District is Senate Bill 711, Aquaculture Lease Applications – Notices, Protests, Meetings, and Conflict Resolution.  This bill is intended to address the conflicts between waterfront property owners and applicants for oyster leases that have become far too common in our area.  Oysters are very important to the Chesapeake Bay and our region as a whole.  Often when the General Assembly gets involved in promulgating new laws, there are unintended consequences that arise.  This legislation hopes to deescalate the controversy that was created ten years ago in the creation of the current oyster leasing laws.  Senator Bailey has worked diligently with other Senators and Delegates to come up with a bill that he believes will help bring both sides together and resolve conflicts which may come between them.

This important bill will be heard on Tuesday, February 25 at 1:00 p.m. in the Senate’s Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee in Annapolis.  Senator Bailey urges you to attend or provide written testimony in support of this bill to show how critical the implementation of this legislation is to District 29 by providing the committee stories from our area about how these conflicts have affected us.  Please email the Senator’s office at jack.bailey@senate.state.md.us if you are interested in providing testimony in support of this legislation in Annapolis.

This week, Senator Bailey introduced three Legislative Bond Initiatives in an effort to secure funding for projects in District 29.  Senator Bailey has requested $250,000 in bond funding for the Calvert Marine Museum for the Museum’s Paleontology Collections and Research Center, $100,000 for a press box at Chopticon High School’s stadium, and $50,000 for needed improvements and upgrades at Historic Sotterley Plantation.  If successful, these projects would be included in this year’s Capital Budget.  Senator Bailey will advocate for these three projects before the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee in March.

At this week’s meeting of the Southern Maryland Delegation, Senator Bailey and the other legislators representing Southern Maryland received an update from St. Mary’s College of Maryland on enrollment, curriculum, innovation, and their budget.  The Delegation also heard from the outgoing and incoming CEOs of the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.