April 13, 2018
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 Maryland parents access to only 10% of the State’s child care programs. Increasing subsidy rates will provide higher-quality and lower cost child care to low income families.
- HB 1341 Primary Sponsor College Affordability – Maryland 529 Plans and Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit – Revisions
Provides an avenue for savings for college, and a consumer friendly marketing plan to the public.
- HB 1685 Primary Sponsor Maryland Prenatal and Infant Care Coordination Services Grant Program Fund (Thrive by Three Fund)
Establishing the Maryland Prenatal and Infant Care Coordination Services Grant Program Fund to make grants to counties and municipalities to provide care coordination services to low-income pregnant and postpartum women and to children from birth to 3 years old.
- HB 0679 Co-Sponsor County Board of Education – Length of School Year – Adjustments
Authorizing a county board of education to extend the length of the school year for up to 5 school days beyond June 15 without approval from the State Board of Education, requiring a county board to submit a written application to the State Board of Education for permission to increase the length of the school year for more than a certain number of days in accordance with certain provisions of law or to decrease the length of the school year.
- HB 532 Co-Sponsor Elective Franchise – Registration and Voting at Precinct Polling Place
This is a Constitutional Amendment that gives the General Assembly the power to allow a qualified individual to register and vote at a precinct polling place in Election Day.
If you would like more information on the Fiscal 2019 budget, or other legislation that passed this session, including bills that I have sponsored or co-sponsored, please go to the Maryland General Assembly website at www.mgaleg.maryland.gov. Click on Legislator tab, click on my name, and then click on Session Legislation.
Please contact me at my District Office if I can assist you in any way, 410-655-3090. You may also contact me by email at Adrienne.Jones@house.state.md.us. Again, thank you for allowing me to be of service to you.
Adrienne A. Jones
Speaker Pro Tem
Maryland House of Delegates
10th Legislative District