February 12, 2021
Today, the Maryland General Assembly took action and two of the most vital policies of my legislative career were enacted, making history in the process.

Fundamentally, the Blueprint for Maryland's Future and Digital Ad Tax are about helping Maryland's students in our most underfunded schools, families who don't deserve to bear the brunt of the economic burden caused by COVID-19, and our small businesses who already pay their fair share in taxes to our State.

Every member of the General Assembly was elected to serve all Marylanders by solving problems today to expand opportunity tomorrow. That is what we did today.
The Blueprint for Maryland's Future
I ran for the Maryland Senate in 2010 because teaching in Baltimore City Public Schools made it abundantly clear that we were failing our responsibility as a society to provide all children an education that enables them to maximize their potential. In one of the wealthiest states in the wealthiest country on the globe, our historic disinvestment in public education for children living in poverty was an indelible stain.

By overriding the Governor's veto of the Blueprint for Maryland's Future this afternoon, the Maryland General Assembly made clear that the status quo is unacceptable. If COVID-19 was the Governor's reason for vetoing the Blueprint, it is also the moral imperative for overriding that veto.

The same students and schools that have long faced underinvestment in their educational outcomes have been disparately impacted by virtual learning over the last year. At a time when our students, especially students of color and those living in areas with high concentrations of poverty, are experiencing immense learning loss, the worst thing we can do is reverse course on the Blueprint that was created to address these exact issues.

The enactment of the Blueprint and commitment to its full implementation over the next decade is a promise fulfilled to begin building a more equitable and fair State for all of our children. Today marks the start of our next chapter - implementing the Blueprint's plan with accountability and fidelity.
The Digital Ad Tax
As highlighted in today's New York Times, Maryland is also now the first state in the country to make sure big tech pays their fair share while making billions of dollars a year using our personal data to sell digital ads. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have seen their profits drastically increase during the COVID-19 pandemic while our Main Street businesses are struggling to keep up.

This targeted tax on companies that make over $100,000,000 a year only from digital advertising is a vital mechanism to make sure big tech pays taxes in Maryland, just like our local businesses. At a time when Maryland’s budget is being impacted in unforeseen and astronomical ways due to COVID-19, Maryland families and small businesses can foot the bill, or big tech can start paying their fair share.

I am unbelievably proud of my colleagues today for taking on some of the largest national and multinational companies and bring us one step closer to demanding they contribute back to our civic society.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the 46th Legislative District's residents in the Senate of Maryland. It is the honor of a lifetime and days like today are a reminder of what we can accomplish when we work collectively to better to lives of our most vulnerable Marylanders.