Recap - Maryland General Assembly House of Delegates Panel

Posted Date: 
October 16, 2015

Guest Speakers: David Fraser-Hidalgo (D15), Marc Korman (D16), David Moon (D20), Maricé Morales (D19), Will Smith (D20) 
Topic: The Upcoming 2016 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session

October 16, 2015 Recap  

The vice-chair of the Legislative Affairs Meeting, Leslie Weber, welcomed MCCC members and introduced the panelists:

Montgomery County members of the freshman class to the House of Delegates in the Maryland General Assembly, David Fraser Hidalgo (D15), Marc Korman (D16), David Moon (D20), Maricé Morales (D19) and Will Smith (D20).  Andrew Platt (D17) was unable to attend.  The meeting opened with each of them sharing first impressions of Annapolis, how that informs their work, what they are working on, and how we as a Chamber and members of the business community can help.

The delegates each shared insights into the committee structure, working with organizations and advocates and advancing issues of interest to them and their constituencies.  Topics mentioned spanned a range of initiatives and included efforts to lower the interest charged on underpayments to the Comptroller (Fraser Hidalgo), regulatory reform (Moon), infrastructure and WMATA (Korman), Kelsey Smith Act (Morales) and Death with Dignity (Smith).

A few of the delegates mentioned the impact of the size of the freshman class – almost one third of the General Assembly is new to these offices.  The freshmen have enough critical mass to shape the culture and impact how decisions are being made. An additional factor is the fact that Maryland now has a divided government with a Republican administration and Democrats controlling both the Senate and the House.  A key issue is the structural deficit and how that will be managed given the competing interests of infrastructure needs and calls to reduce taxes.  Despite that challenge, many expressed interest in finding points of consensus with their colleagues who serve on their committees and within the delegation and House.

There was the sense that the Montgomery County Delegation to the General Assembly is working more effectively with the Montgomery County government and that the delegation is working to speak with one voice on big issues like school construction and transportation funding.

Attendees asked questions regarding the political dynamics and how that impacts work. Most predicted that efforts like paid sick leave, paid family leave and pay equity will all be moved forward.

As generalists, the delegates all stressed the importance of members of the business community sharing their concerns and experiences through visits to Annapolis, working with the delegates during the interim and providing testimony on particular bills to better inform decision making.  The cost and risks of running a business along with unintended consequences of some recent laws were discussed at length which was a useful exchange of information. 

The delegates expressed gratitude for the opportunity to come to meet with members of the Montgomery County Chamber and encouraged businesses to be in touch with them on issues of concern. The Montgomery County Delegation website is www.montgomerycountydelegation.com.

For upcoming MCCC Member Exchange Meetings, click here.

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