August 16, 2022
The last few weeks have proven the power of legislative action at the federal level. As President of the Senate of Maryland, I have consistently said that our top priority must be solving problems today that expand opportunities tomorrow.
Yesterday, I joined Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Kweisi Mfume, and Mayor Brandon Scott to celebrate the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act through Congress. It has taken decades for Congress to address the urgent crisis of climate change, but it is truly a transformational package that will lower the cost of prescription drugs and reduce our federal deficit at the same time. Maryland is well-positioned to take advantage of the new federal funding thanks to our passage of the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 last Session and I look forward to President Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law this afternoon.
Another unsung climate bill, the CHIPS and Science Act, has also been signed into law and will bolster the United States’ semiconductor industry. A 21st century economy requires forward-thinking policy that decreases our national dependence on foreign manufacturing of critical technologies. At the same time, the CHIPS Act makes vital investments in a clean energy future and will be transformative when combined with the Inflation Reduction Act measures.
Finally, after unnecessary delay, Congress passed the PACT Act which has been signed into law by President Biden to expand benefits to our nation’s veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxic chemicals. Too many American veterans face health crises because of their service to our country abroad. The least we can do to honor that service is ensure they have the care they need and deserve when they come home.
2022 Primary Election Roundup
The July 2022 Primary Election was nearly a month ago and Maryland has once again demonstrated that every single vote counts. Multiple jurisdictions including Montgomery, Frederick, and Prince George’s counties required recounts in certain races because of the close results, including a race that had just a one-vote differential. Our individual power to impact representation in government has rarely been more apparent and I hope the same enthusiasm is present as we head into the November General Election.
I would also be remiss not to echo the sentiments of this op-ed in the Bethesda Beat thanking our neighbors who made this election function. As the authors say, “Every poll worker, election judge, canvasser, volunteer, candidate and vote counter deserve our deepest thanks for making democracy work.” Their commitment to our State deserves the highest of praise, and each of us can get involved as a poll worker or election judge in November. Click here to find out how.
Election workers’ lives were made harder by Governor Hogan’s veto of legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly in the 2022 Legislative Session to address early canvassing of mail-in ballots and curing of defective ballots. The delays in tabulating ballots and certifying results were wholly avoidable and we will, once again, pass this critical legislation in the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session to facilitate the smooth administration of Maryland’s elections moving forward.
Budget Mischief
Governor Hogan has ordered State agencies to withhold the release of capital budget data to legislative analysts using executive privilege. This tactic of hiding the football does nothing to help our State, its institutions, or our residents. Instead, the Maryland General Assembly and our next Governor will be working at a disadvantage under a condensed 90-day timeframe to pass a budget that is in the best interest of Marylanders. Just like our election officials referenced above, the General Assembly can, and we will overcome this needless roadblock in January.
Maryland Workforce Investments
A top priority in the upcoming Session will be making vital investments in Maryland’s workforce. The recently announced $23 million workforce training initiative to support our offshore wind industry exemplifies the kind of programs we need to train our residents to compete in the 21st century economy. I am also glad to see the program targeted to marginalized and underserved communities, including formerly incarcerated individuals, veterans, and disconnected youth.
As Maryland faces workforce shortages in crucial occupations like nursing and teaching, we must make similar investments to create more intentional and diverse pipelines into those professions. The Maryland General Assembly has taken transformative steps in recent years to increase salaries, benefits, and quality of life for individuals working in those positions, but there is more to be done.

From the expansion of apprenticeships and career and technical education (CTE) to increasing incentives like tuition assistance or public service loan forgiveness, we must find innovative approaches to guarantee Marylanders who need medical care and world class teachers will have access to those services.
SNAP Benefits Concerns
As The Baltimore Banner recently confirmed in their reporting, Marylanders receiving SNAP funds are facing an acute crisis accessing benefits. I am incredibly concerned about the sharp drop in enrollment within Maryland’s jurisdictions facing the greatest need.

My office has seen a drastic increase in constituents facing challenges accessing previously approved SNAP benefits, as well as those who have had those funds stolen through no fault of their own. This issue must be immediately addressed so our most vulnerable residents can put food on the table and maintain a roof over their and their families’ heads.

The Senate of Maryland will exercise our oversight responsibility as the Finance Committee holds a hearing to get to the bottom of these recertification issues on the afternoon of September 20.
More News
As a long-time supporter of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), I was thrilled to see the announcement of Jonathon Heyward as its new conductor. He will make history as the first non-white person to lead the BSO in its 106-year history. Representation at the highest levels of our institutions is so important in our City, and hopefully will inspire countless young people to pursue music and the arts.
I am concerned by reports that nonprofits in Baltimore City are facing delays of 18-months to two years in receiving payment for services offered. These organizations are on the frontlines of serving vulnerable residents and government must support, not hinder that work.
At the most fundamental level, Baltimore City’s municipal services must function for all our residents and neighborhoods. Cleaning and greening initiatives are integral to that mission, and I am glad to see $14.7 million in federal funds be set aside to supplement community trash removal in some of our disinvested communities.

The expansion of electric and hybrid vehicles on Maryland’s roadways is a step forward for our environment, but has the potential to clog our high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes usually reserved for carpools and buses. As of October 1, 2022, these vehicles will no longer be able to access HOV lanes unless the required number of passengers are on board.
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff was recently in Baltimore City visiting Civic Works at one of its service sites. As an AmeriCorps alumnus, expanding service year opportunities has been a top priority since joining the Maryland General Assembly. I am excited for the newly funded Maryland Corps program to get off the ground in the coming years to make the promise a reality.
It is fantastic to see the White House recognize the talent of Maryland residents, including Dr. Monica Goldson, CEO of Prince George’s County Public Schools, and Paige Blake, a rising senior at Bowie State University. They are new members of a national board advising the Biden Administration on how to best support America’s historically black colleges and universities
If there is anything we can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact my office via email,, or by phone, 410-841-3600.