From the Desk of Councilman Izzy Patoka

From the Desk of Councilman Izzy Patoka

[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Letter From The Councilman  Thank you to everyone for your sharing your thoughts on the fiscal challenges that Baltimore County faces. I want to thank County Executive Johnny Olszewski and my County Council colleagues for their work on this year’s budget. I’m proud we came together in a bipartisan, collaborative way to find solutions that will put us on track to do big things in the years to come. No one takes pleasure in increasing taxes. It was a very difficult decision and a last-resort measure. The easiest decisions for an elected official to make are those that benefit the minority of the present, and the most difficult decisions are those that benefit the majority of the future. But as a result, our county is headed on a sustainable fiscal path and a bright future with record investments in education, public safety and public works. This year, we faced an $81 million budget deficit between revenues and expenditures based on funding commitments that were made in the past and actions that are required to address the current need. These challenges stem from a stagnant revenue stream that dates back to 1992, the last time there was any adjustment to the income tax. In 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards was built for $110 million. Today, it costs more to build a high school than it did to build a professional baseball stadium. To address this situation, we implemented a number of initiatives. One was to create impact fees. For years, Baltimore County has been one of the only major jurisdictions in metropolitan Baltimore not to charge impact fees for new development. Impact fees help counties pay for schools, roads and infrastructure needed because of growth. I co-sponsored legislation with Republican Baltimore County Councilman David Marks requiring developers to pay impact fees for new residential construction. The bill passed with bipartisan support and marks the first time in county history that we have had an impact fee. For cellphones, the administration’s initial proposal was to apply a $3.50 fee per phone line each month. Again, in a bipartisan effort, the County Council reduced the fee to 8 percent — equivalent to the landline fee. For the average customer, the cellphone tax will be an increase of $1.60 per month on the bill, plus about 80 cents for each additional line. It will apply only to the voice line portion of the bill, not data, text messages or anything else. This amendment reduces the fee by more than 54 percent on a single cellphone line and as much as 71 percent on multiple cellphone lines. In addition, the council also cut more than $14 million in the budget that was submitted by the administration, marking the first time in a generation that the council has made any significant cuts to the budget. These actions will help the county make up some of the revenue that was lost when the State Senate failed to pass a major school construction bill (HB727 — the Build the Learn Act, which passed overwhelmingly in the House of Delegates, 133-3) that would have provided the county with $400 million over the next four years. We need to address the needs of our schools. Bedford Elementary School does not have air conditioning. Summit Park Elementary has 10 trailers. These are not conditions that are conducive for our children to learn. We also need planning and design money for a new Dulaney High School and Towson High School. Many 2nd District families are zoned to Dulaney and Towson. Our children can’t continue to suffer any longer. Our crumbling, overcrowded schools must be addressed, and I believe the County Council’s bipartisan actions are a major step in the right direction. Thank you, Councilman Izzy Patoka Baltimore County Council Second District [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full][av_section min_height=” min_height_px=’500px’ padding=’default’ shadow=’no-shadow’ bottom_border=’no-border-styling’ bottom_border_diagonal_color=’#333333′ bottom_border_diagonal_direction=” bottom_border_style=” id=” color=’main_color’ custom_bg=’#9e9e9e’ src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” attach=’scroll’ position=’top left’ repeat=’no-repeat’ video=” video_ratio=’16:9′ overlay_opacity=’0.5′ overlay_color=” overlay_pattern=” overlay_custom_pattern=” av_element_hidden_in_editor=’0′] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] “First of its Kind” Regional Town Hall Meeting [/av_textblock] [/av_section] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] There is an unnatural line that separates the Baltimore County’s 2nd District and Baltimore City’s 5th District. The issues that constituents from this area bring forward do not stop simply because it crossed over the line the separates the County from the City. This is why it is vitally important that community leaders from both the County and City work closely together to tackle the issues of our region. This is why Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer and I co-hosted a regional town hall meeting with both Baltimore County and City residents. The event was hosted at the Edward A. Meyerberg Center May 13 and attracted more than 200 constituents. This event started an important conversation on how residents believe the City and County can better collaborate on issues such as public safety, education, job creation and respectful development. [/av_textblock] [av_hr class=’full’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ font=’entypo-fontello’ admin_preview_bg=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] “Working together across the unnatural line that separates the county and city, I am confident we can come together to create positive, meaningful change for our constituents” – Councilman Izzy Patoka [/av_textblock] [av_hr class=’full’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ font=’entypo-fontello’ admin_preview_bg=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] County Executive Johnny Olszewski and City Council President Brandon Scott attended the event and shared their views on the importance of regional collaboration. Additionally, multiple department heads, as well as leaders from the police and fire departments, were present to answer questions and hear the concerns of residents. Working together across the City and

Maryland Governor’s Office: June Small Business Bulletin

[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Small Biz Bulletin – June 2019 Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs sent this bulletin at 06/03/2019 10:05 AM EDT [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full][av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Message from Special Secretary Rhee Recharge Yourself this Summer It’s easy for entrepreneurs to convince themselves that they cannot step away from the business to do something as frivolous as take a vacation. In reality, vacations are a time to recharge and renew yourself for the many challenges that come with owning a small business. The human brain is not designed to work at full capacity 100% of the time. It needs to rest and recoup in order to avoid burnout. Disconnecting from daily work-life responsibilities is a great way to sharpen strategic thinking, inspire creativity, and enhance performance. You’ll also feel better both emotionally and physically. Whether you go near or far, carving out time to take a vacation is like recharging your entrepreneurial batteries, and you deserve it! Sincerely, Jimmy Rhee Special Secretary [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full][av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=”] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Globally Recognized Community Economist to Keynote Ready, Set, GROW! Workshop Money is the topic of our Ready, Set, GROW! Access to Capital Forum on June 20. It’s a topic few understand as well as community economist and keynote speaker, Michael H. Shuman. Shuman is an attorney, author, and entrepreneur. He has been writing and speaking about community-based economics for more than 30 years. His insights on how money moves within the small business community is powerful. Join us for his presentation along with the opportunity to meet with federal, state and local lending partners at the Governor’s Coordinating Offices in Crownsville at 9:30 am on Thursday, June 20. Seating is limited and advance registration is required. Ready, Set, GROW! Access to Capital Forum [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full][av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=”] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Governor’s Service Awards Adds New Category for Small Businesses The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism is currently accepting nominations for the 2019 Governor’s Service Awards. In its 36th year, the Governor’s Service Awards will recognize Marylanders who have provided significant volunteer contributions to communities around the state during 2018. Nominations for the awards may be submitted in one of 14 categories, including Small Business, which will recognize a business of 50 employees or less that has made a substantial impact in the community by volunteering with local organizations and/or agencies. The awards will be presented at an event in the Fall. The deadline to submit nominations is June 7, 2019. Governors Service Award Nominations [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full][av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=”] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Business Lending Did you know the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has a division focused on business lending programs? They know that small businesses drive our economy and offer loans and business growth tools to both nonprofit and for-profit companies. Their focus is to improve and revitalize existing commercial districts and town centers through a variety of programs including Neighborhood Business Works, Microenterprise Loans, and the Maryland Capital Access Program. They support lending and financing through traditional lenders and can make the difference between a project launching or not. Contact the lending team directly to learn more. DHCD Business Lending Programs [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full][av_hr class=’default’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=”] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Small Business Events Mark Your Calendar Most business development takes place outside the office. We maintain a robust calendar of events on our website. It’s updated regularly, so be sure to check back often. Here are just a few upcoming events: 06/06/2019 – 35th Annual Maryland Small Business Wee Awards Luncheon 06/12/2019 – Is the GSA Schedule Right for You 06/13/2019 – MTA’s All Transit Contract Opportunities Outreach 06/13/2019 – Joint Base Andrews Small Business Summit 06/20/2019 – Ready, Set, GROW Access to Capital Forum 06/25/2019 – Building Financial Capacity 06/25/2019 – Write Emails that Get Read and Get Results 07/02/2019 – MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop Check out our full range of small business eventsonline at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov. [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full][av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Maryland is OPEN for Business. As a coordinating office for Governor Larry Hogan, the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs connects small businesses, including those owned by minorities, women, and veterans to greater economic opportunities. Learn more by visiting our website at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @goMDsmallbiz. 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Meet the Candidates – Baltimore County, District 2

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=”] [/av_textblock] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_image src=’https://northwestchamb.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/meetcandidates-300×160.png’ attachment=’1678′ attachment_size=’medium’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ animation=’no-animation’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_image] [av_heading heading=’District 2 County Council’ tag=’h2′ style=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] MICHAEL LEE, Republican I believe in accountability, fiscal prudence and setting proper goals for our county without self-serving interests or political grandstanding.  My main goal is helping Baltimore County be the most desirable county in Maryland to live and work.  I already have a job I love, so I’m not a career politician and have no plans to be one.  I’m pledging 50% of my Council compensation will go directly to benefit Baltimore County foreign language scholarships. We live in an amazing diverse county, with access to major East coast cities and international locations, but we need a different and stronger voice to help our schools be the best, our streets to be safest and our quality of life to be unparalleled.  Doing the same thing we’ve been doing, electing the same “officials” and “people” isn’t going to get that done. About Mike Lee: I moved in 2011 to Pikesville, MD with my wife. We have two children, with another due in June 2018. I co-own the company I work for, and we have no business with Balitmore City, County or the State of Maryland. I have never run for any office, nor was appointed to any office. I was raised Methodist, have attended Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Baptist and Unitarian religious ceremonies, and while I do believe in a God, I don’t currently claim any church as my place of worship. Maybe like most of us, time is “quickly moving.”  I have spent my time these past few years, happily raising my children, swimming, learning Korean and working on my house.  I happily don’t consider work “work” and consider myself “doggedly persistent” in my approach to any project or work. I’m running for this position because I believe my children, all the children of Baltimore County and all the people of Baltimore County deserve the absolute best education and quality of life of any county in Maryland.  My unique qualifications (successful small business owner, international experience and scientific method) combined with my appreciation for people make me a different candidate than the others, and I believe that difference can help hold all of us accountable to the residents of our wonderful county. [/av_textblock] [av_hr class=’full’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ font=’entypo-fontello’ admin_preview_bg=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] RICK YAFFE, Democrat Rick Yaffe grew up in Pikesville, and attended all 2nd District Baltimore County Public Schools.  He graduated from Pikesville High School in 1973, and the University of Maryland with a degree in Business Administration.  In the late 1990’s Rick joined the Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company and within 9 months took over as President of the Company and served in that capacity for 11 years.  He became an active volunteer fire fighter, EMT, and Paramedic.  He is also a member of Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company. Rick’s passion has always been helping others and in 2001 he opened a private ambulance company to do that. Today, Rick’s company, Butler Medical Transport serves Baltimore and Washington with trained health care professionals 7 days a week, 365 days a year with offices in Baltimore County.  Butler Medical Transport employs a staff of 300. Rick and his wife, Eileen, have been married for 36 years and reside in Owings Mills and have 3 children: Ryan 32, Brad 26, and Rebecca 26 and two dogs. Past and present affiliations: CCBC Trustee – Community College of Baltimore County Baltimore County Planning Board CCBC Foundation Board – Chair and member Landmark Preservation Commission for Baltimore County Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Company – Past President Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company Beth El Synagogue – member and previous Board Member Jewish Vocational Services – Board Member Hawford Vocational Technical School Advisory Board Member Kiwanis Club of Odenton [/av_textblock] [av_hr class=’full’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’30px’ custom_margin_bottom=’30px’ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=” icon=’ue808′ font=’entypo-fontello’ admin_preview_bg=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] IZZY PATOKA, Democrat Izzy Patoka grew up in Lochern.  He attended Campfield Elementary School, Sudbrook Middle School and Woodlawn High School.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree at Towson University.  Izzy is a parent, a planner, and public servant who has worked in business, civic life, and at the highest levels of state, county and local government to bring people together on behalf of making his community and county better places to live, work, and raise and family.  A community leader and tireless advocate he has worked with elected officials, business leaders, clergy and civic organizations on behalf of the priorities that matter to Baltimore  County, including public education, a stronger economy, affordable health care, efficient transportation, public safety, and a healthier environment. A planner by training, Izzy believes that Baltimore County’s beauty, character, and vitality are shaped by both our suburban and rural character – and the ways in which we are successful at carefully balancing our population centers with our important commercial centers.  As a champion of using community engagement to drive improvements in quality of life issues, Izzy believes strongly that Baltimore County’s long established Urban Rural Demarcation Line should continue to be a strong guide for maintaining our County’s diverse land use character. Izzy not only stands up for the values we share, he has a track record of getting things done.  That is why he was appointed to serve on Mayor Catherine Pugh’s Transition Team to develop recommendations to improve Baltimore’s quality of life as part f her Healthy Neighborhoods Committee.  Izzy founded Baltimore’s Office of Neighborhoods.  Our neighborhoods and communities are where progress happens. 

Maryland House of Delegates: End of Session Review

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=”] [/av_textblock] [av_one_fourth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Adrienne A. Jones Legislative District 10 Baltimore County _____ SPEAKER PRO TEM _____ Appropriations Committee Subcommittees Chair, Capital Budget Chair, Education and Economic Development Oversight Committee on Personnel _____ House Chair, Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics [/av_textblock] [/av_one_fourth][av_one_half min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_image src=’https://northwestchamb.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/maryland-house-of-delegates-logo-300×139.png’ attachment=’1449′ attachment_size=’medium’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ animation=’no-animation’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_image] [/av_one_half] [av_one_fourth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] Annapolis Office The Maryland House of Delegates 6 Bladen Street, Room 312 Annapolis, Maryland  21401 410-841-3391     301-858-3391 800-492-7122 Ext. 3391 Fax:  410-841-3157      301-858-3157 Adrienne.Jones@house.state.md.us _____ District Offices 8419 Liberty Road, Suite B Windsor Mill, Maryland  21244 410-655-3090 Fax:  410-655-3092 [/av_textblock] [/av_one_fourth][av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”] [av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” admin_preview_bg=”] April 13, 2018 Dear Friend: The 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session came to a close at midnight, April 9th.  It was a very busy and an extremely productive session.  It has been my honor to serve as one of your Delegates representing Citizens of the 10th Legislative District in Baltimore County, and in my leadership role as Speaker Pro Tem of the Maryland House of Delegates.  I appreciate all of you who took the time to contact me by telephone and by email to express your views regarding matters of importance to y ou. The General Assembly, as required, produced a budget that balanced the State’s Operating Budget for the next fiscal year, while protecting priorities such as K-12 education, public safety, public health and promoting economic development. In Annapolis, I serve on the House Appropriations Committee, and Chair both the Capital Budget, and the Education and Economic Development Subcommittees.  These are key committee assignments that afford me direct decision making ability on the services that you tell me are important to you.  In addition, I have spent the last year as a member of the important Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, also known as the Kirwan Commission.  This assignment has afforded me that opportunity to work diligently to improve educational opportunity for every student in the State of Maryland. I was proud of the fact that the General Assembly passed legislation that is part of recommendation made by the Kirwan Commission.  As a co-sponsor of the legislation, House Bill 1415 modernizes Maryland’s educational system by improving teacher recruitment, getting more resources to students in low-income schools, and expanding career technical education programs. House Bill 1415 encourages the top 25% of high school graduates from each county to pursue a career in education and increases awareness of financial aid programs for teaching candidates.  It also implements an Early Literacy Program in low-income areas to help students build a strong reading foundation and expand pre-k to give children the head start they need. The bill creates a competitive grant program for local boards of education to partner with community colleges and businesses to put students on a track for careers in technical education.  It’s important that we encourage more young men and women to get involved in the hands-on technical careers of tomorrow.  The work of the Kirwan Commission is not complete, and the final report will be presented later this year. As it relates to the Capital Budget, I had the task of crafting a One Billion, One Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Nine Thousand Dollar ($1,080,179,000) Capital Budget.  It is a budget that once again maintained Maryland’s “Triple A” Bond Rating and will continue to create jobs for the State. I was able to provide funding for the following Capital projects that directly impact Legislative District 10: Franklin High School – Concession Stand/Bathroom (running water, electricity and sewage) Randallstown High School – Electronic Marquee for the purchase and installation of a school digital sign at the intersection of Offutt and Winands Road, parallel to Winands Road Road and safety improvements for the intersection of MD 30 and Mr. Gilead Road As it relates to School Construction I was pleased to be the House sponsor of HB 1783, the 21st Century Schools Facilities Act.  This legislation was the result of the 21st Century School Commission or Knott Commission, and will provide $400 million in school construction and an additional $10 million in school safety funding.  The Knott Commission’s recommendations were the results of a bipartisan group of construction experts, business leaders, and local officials who met over a year ago. This legislation also transfers the responsibility of making school construction decisions to the interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC), which will be expanded to include five appointees from the Governor and four appointees from the Senate President and Speaker of the House. Key Legislation that I sponsored or co-sponsored included: HB 403 Primary Sponsor Community Colleges – Facilities Renewal Grant Program The Community Colleges Facilities Renewal Grant Program provides State funds to community colleges for improvements, repairs, and deferred maintenance projects, and requires the Maryland Higher Education Commission to administer the Program. HB 430 Primary Sponsor Education – Child Care Subsidies – Mandatory Funding Levels The Child Care Subsidy Program requires the Governor to increase funding for the Child Care Subsidy Program in fiscal year 2020, fiscal year 2021, and fiscal year 2022 so that subsidy rates in those years are raised to at least the 30th, 45th and 60th market percentiles, respectively.  Maryland’s child care subsidy rates are around the very lowest in the country.  While the federal government suggest that states set subsidy rates so that they provide access to 75% of the state’s child care programs, Maryland’s current rates give