News from Annapolis
Delegate Trent Kittleman - District 9A
March 30, 2021
Back to School!
Interesting Facts: What we do for 90 days
Education: Conversation on School Choice
The Last "Landlord Elimination" Bill
Just for Fun
In the District: Carroll Parents Providing Private Proms
Legislative Scholarships
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Back to School!
What a sight for sore eyes!! It's back to school in Howard County for three of my grandkids this morning. Yes, it's only for two days a week, and yes, they have to wear masks -- but seeing them get on the bus this morning provided a hint of normalcy!
Interesting Facts:
What we do for 90 days
It is said, the two things we should not watch
being made are Sausages and Laws.
If we never know what goes into sausages, we can still live happy and fulfilled lives.
If we don't know what goes into laws being made? Not so much.
The Rubber Stamper
Every Bill Passes. Contrary to what you were taught in civics, the Floor Chamber of the Maryland House of Delegates is not where important things happen. The Floor of the House is where the members rubber-stamp any bill that is voted out by one of the six standing committees.

No bill brought to the floor for a vote ever gets voted down. Ever.

It wasn't always this way. My husband, Bob, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1982. In the first year of his first term, there was a bill to reduce benefits to the state employee pension plan. The state employee unions went wild. but

Nevertheless, the bill was critical to the financial health of the State and as the day for the vote drew near, Speaker Ben Cardin pulled out all the stops to get the votes he needed to pass the bill. When the day finally came, no one was quite sure how the vote would go. The bill did pass -- by ONE VOTE.

That doesn't happen today. Ever.
No Floor Amendment Passes. It is easy to understand that every bill supported by Democrat Leadership will win -- the Dems have a supermajority.

What is less understandable is why the majority leadership refuses to allow any floor amendment to pass. Ever. Regardless of how reasonable the amendment might be. Even if they know it would make the bill better.

For at least the last seven years, the Democrat leadership has ruled its members with an iron fist. Democrats who don't go along, get punished. Check out an article from my 2020 Newsletter titled, "Why 'conservative democrats' can't vote their consciences."  It's listed in the Contents as "Dirty politics get a rare exposure."
The only actions not pre-programmed on the floor are the debates. But the caliber of these floor debates makes them worth watching.
About the Bills
How Many? This year -- thus far -- there have been 1380 bills introduced in the House, and another 964 in the Senate. In addition, there have been a total of 412 bond "initiatives." These used to be called, bond bills.

Who Files Them? ? Although there are no limits on the number of bills a legislator may file, the numbers are surprisingly evenly spread out among the members. The largest number of bills from one delegate is 30. Most delegates filed between 10 and 20 bills. Every member filed at least one bill this session (with the exception of a member who has been out, ill the entire session).

How Do the Votes Go? There has always been an assumption that most of the votes we take are unanimous; that we just disagree on some of the major bills. I don't know if that has been true in the past, but it is definitely untrue this year. Exempting local bills, between February 25 and March 25, we voted unanimously on only 36% of the bills. Between March 17 and March 25, there were 30 or more "no" votes in 60 of the 241 votes taken. In other words, 25% of the bills that passed the House during this time were strongly opposed by at least 30 of the 41 Republican delegates.
"Preventing School Choice
is simply wrong."
This year, the Howard County Chamber replaced the annual luncheon that COVID eliminated, by engaging in a half-hour conversation with each delegate and senator in the county.

Above is a short clip from that interview. It is a small portion of my comments about school choice. If you're interested in seeing more of the interview, it is on my website. The "half-hour" stretched into a 40-minute conversation, and during the last 10 minutes, Chamber CEO, Leonardo McClarty, raised questions that often arise when school choice is being promoted. It's an interesting "debate."
The Last "Landlord Elimination " Bill
HB 18 Landlord and Tenant – Eviction Action – Right to Counsel

If you're thinking of renting your home while you travel abroad; if you're thinking of buying a rental property as an extra source of income, you might want to think again.
HB 18 gives lower-income tenants the right to have legal representation in eviction proceedings, at the expense of the state or local government. In addition to the questionable policy of arming tenants with attorneys to fight for their right to remain in a rental property without paying rent, the bill is flawed in other ways

  • This bill goes beyond merely establishing the right to counsel for evictions and would create a cadre of publicly funded attorneys charged with bringing suit against housing providers.
  • The bill establishes a Task Force charged with evaluating the program on an annual basis and recommending changes but fails to include even one housing industry representation on the 15-member Task Force.
  • The Fiscal Note for the bill is unable to give a firm cost for the program because of the variables. Information from counties, however, estimates that the cost for Frederick would be $1.8 million a year, and for Baltimore City, over $5.7 million annually.
Just for Fun
How many State Symbols can you identify?
(and don't ask Siri! -- or Alexa!)

Maryland State Tree
  1. White Oak
  2. Red Leaf Maple
  3. Loblolly Pine

Maryland State Gem
  1. Quartz
  2. Agate
  3. Coral

Maryland State Boat
  1. Skipjack
  2. Cutter
  3. Sloop

Maryland State Insect
  1. Lepidoptera Butterfly
  2. Bumble Bee
  3. Checkerspot Butterfly

Maryland State Horse
  1. Thoroughbred
  2. Quarter Horse
  3. Appaloosa

Maryland State Dog
  1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  2. English Cocker Spaniel
  3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Maryland State Exercise
  1. Swimming
  2. Walking
  3. Biking

Maryland State Sport
  1. Archery
  2. Fencing
  3. Jousting

Maryland State Team Sport
  1. Soccer
  2. Baseball
  3. Lacrosse

Maryland State Drink
  1. Water
  2. Beer
  3. Milk
District 9-A
Kittleman Legislative Scholarship
District 9-A Residents
High school seniors, current undergraduate students at a 4-year college, a community college, or a private career school are eligible to apply for a Legislative Scholarship. Please click here for the application.
Please EMAIL your applications to Trent.Kittleman@House.State.MD.US
For questions regarding the application process, call my Annapolis office and speak with Chelsea Leigh Murphy, my Legislative Aide, at 410-841-3556.