Week 7 Update

On Thursday, two more of Senator Bailey’s bills passed the Senate.  Senate Bill 79 – Higher Education – Senatorial Scholarships – Program Accreditation and Senate Bill 454 – Marine Contractor License – Authorization, Requirements, both, passed unanimously.  These bills will now go to the House of Delegates for their consideration.

Senator Bailey presented two more bills to the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee this week.  On Wednesday, the Senator presented Senate Bill 581 – Public Safety – Law Enforcement Agencies – Positive Community Feedback, which would require police agencies to keep a record of positive feedback that the agencies receives about its officers and allows the release of that information under the Maryland Public Information Act.  This bill would help to provide a total picture of an officer’s work and would be beneficial to recruitment, retention, and the future of policing in our communities and State.

On Thursday, Senator Bailey presented Senate Bill 579 – Vehicle Equipment – Highway Maintenance and Service – Green Flashing Lights along with representatives of the Maryland State Highway Administration.  This bill is intended to help protect State and local highway maintenance workers by authorizing their service equipment and vehicles owned by the State or local governments to use green flashing lights simultaneously with yellow or amber flashing lights while in use, a practice that has been shown to improve the safety of these workers in other states.

Funding for SMADC

On Tuesday, the Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 378, which would permanently fund the operations of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC).   Permanent funding will give SMADC and our agricultural community certainty and predictability going forward as they advance significant projects for Southern Maryland, such as the Regional Agricultural Center that will be located in Charlotte Hall.  Senator Bailey was proud to co-sponsor and vote for this important bill to support their continued work in and around the Southern Maryland Counties.

NRP Supplemental Funding Request

Senator Bailey and a bipartisan group of his Senate colleagues have sent a letter to Governor Hogan requesting additional funding for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, so that the NRP can acquire the equipment to better serve the needs of our communities.  This advanced equipment will result in more efficient searches and the ability to conduct searches in detrimental weather conditions.  This has become a significant issue in our area following the problems that have been encountered in searching for people who have gone missing in our local waterways. It is Senator Bailey’s hope that these funds will be included so these equipment upgrades can be purchased to ensure that when tragedy happens family and friends can be reunited with their loved ones as soon as possible.

National Law Enforcement Day

Yesterday was Law Enforcement Day in Annapolis. Senator Bailey was honored to meet with law enforcement officers from across Maryland to recognize them and thank them for their service.  As a retired law enforcement officer himself, the Senator has been a strong supporter of our police and all first responders and will continue to support their important work in the Senate.

Honoring Miss Maryland Teen USA 2021

On Tuesday, Senator Bailey presented a Senate resolution to Miss. Maria Derisavi for being named Miss Maryland Teen USA 2021.  Maria is a St. Mary’s County resident who served as a page for the General Assembly last session and who worked as an intern in the Senator’s office over the summer.  Senator Bailey was honored to have the opportunity to lead the Senate in congratulating Maria for this honor.

Update on Masking in Schools

Today, the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR) voted to approve the State Board of Education’s request to return decisions about mask mandates to local school systems.  Senator Bailey has supported removing the statewide mask mandate in schools and is happy to see the State Board of Education and the Committee take this action.

Piney Point Road Bridge Maintenance

The State Highway Administration will be beginning a maintenance project on the Piney Point Road (Maryland Route 249) bridge on St. George Island on Tuesday, March 1.  Crews will work weekdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. During work hours, crews will direct traffic with a flagging operation when needed.  The preventative maintenance work includes extending the bridge’s protective jackets to reduce corrosion of the underwater piles, applying new grout, and repairing the sidewalk.  This project is expected to be completed by late summer. 

E-Z Pass Penalty Grace Period

In response to recent issues that have occurred with toll collection in Maryland, the Maryland Transportation Authority has announced that they are implementing a Customer Assistance Plan, which includes establishing a grace period that waives all civil penalties for all customers who pay all their unpaid tolls by 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2022.  More information about the actions taken by the MDTA is available at https://mdta.maryland.gov/blog-category/mdta-news-releases/mdta-board-members-approve-customer-assistance-plan.