News from Annapolis
2018 Session:  Week  5             Delegate Trent K ittleman - District 9A
Delegate Trent Kittleman
  • Test strip to I.D. Fentanyl
  • Solar's Unintended Consequences
  • Survey: Ban Youth Football? 
  • Childcare: Over-regulation hurts us all
  • Fun Facts
  • Legislative Scholarship Information
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        "People who buy heroin on the street don't get warned that it may contain fentanyl, the potent opioid responsible for most overdoes deaths in Maryland and nationwide.
     "But a thin strip, akin to a pregnany test, could quickly and reliably tell them."   (Article in the Baltimore Sun, Sun. Feb. 11)
"Unintended Consequences"
Solar panels eat up thousands of acres of farmland.
          Energy providers in Maryland had been working hard to comply with the State's requirement that by 2022, a minimum of 20% of retail electricity sales be renewable energy, with a particular emphasis on solar.
          Then, last year, the legislature overrode Governor Hogan's veto of a bill that increased the requirement to 25%, and reduced the deadline by two years, to 2020. Before being amended, the bill included language that the State should be producing 40% renewable energy by 2025.
          There was no discussion of the unseen environmental cost.
          Solar energy requires thousands of solar panels, laid virtually flat and close to the ground (see photo), and requires hundreds, and soon, thousands of acres of land to put them on.
          Already, large farms are being bought up and "planted" with solar panels rather than corn, soybeans or grains. The Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMEDCO) just recently completed its second solar facility in Waldorf, a facility double the size of their first commercial-size solar farm in Hughesville. Those two facilities occupy 150 acres.
          During the hearing on the bill to raise the renewable requirement, SMEDCO testified that "to achieve solar compliance of 2.5 percent by 2020, we estimate that we will need 60 megawatts of solar requiring 423 acres of land,"--  the size of 400 football fields.
          SMEDCO also noted that if the State increases the renewable mandate to 50% by 2020, the number of solar panels needed would require 10,000 acres of land. Ten thousand acres is 12 times the size of New York's Central Park.
          Let's not put all of our eggs into the solar basket until we are sure the loss of arable land to almost-impervious acres of solar panels won't do permanent damage to the environment.
        Two bi lls have been introduced into the General Assembly this year hoping to deal with the difficult issue of head trauma injuries that young people are often exposed when playing contact sports. 
          One bill ( HB 552 ) focuses on training c oaches and educating those involved in the youth contact sports such as football, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse.  Local school systems would be responsible for creating "Concussion and Risk management Training."
          A second bill 
( HB 1210
proposes an outright ban on contact sports in elementary and middle school.  The ban would only apply to playing fields owned or operated by the local government.
OVER-Regulation Hurts us all
The COST of Childcare
        In 31 states, parents have to shell out more annually for infant child care than for a year of tuition and fees at a mid-priced state college, according to a report released last fall by  Child Care Aware America , a national organization of child-care resource agencies. In New York, daycare for young children costs $8,000 more than in-state college tuition. Infant child care in Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska and Oregon also costs thousands of dollars more per year than a state college education. (In red states, daycare costs more):
          The difference in the cost of daycare and higher education among states is due to variances in costs of living, differing state regulations, and disparities in state spending on higher education.
          Child care costs have jumped over the past couple decades. In 1985, the  average weekly cost of daycare in the US was $87 in 2013 dollars. In 2010, child care cost $148 a week. That may help explain why more moms are choosing to stay at home today than at any point during the past 20 years.
The REGULATION of Child Care
        "Child care quality depends on child care regulation as plants depend on water:  an insufficient amount guarantees problems, but an excessive amount may also be problematic."  (more)
How is Maryland Doing?
          The Woman's Caucus of the Maryland General Assembly invited two successful day care operators to speak at our meeting.  Although the speakers were not critical of the state rules and regulations, their presentation brought up serious questions.
          Perhaps the most serious problem currently facing licensed operators is the number of unlicensed day care centers popping up all over the state.  
          "Research shows that regulation promotes quality but that trade-offs exist." 
          Although there is no data on why so many unlicensed centers have started operating, the number increases as regulations proliferate.  Virtually every new regulation creates a cost that the providers must pay; that cost must be borne at least in part, by the parents whose children are enrolled. 
          Day care is not a luxury; it is a need.  Parents who can no longer afford to pay for licensed child care are going to find someone to care for their children so that they can continue to work.  
          This reality must be weighed against regulations that are "desired" but not "necessary."  
          Our speakers provided us with a power point report that included an "Insight on Child Care as a Business."
            It began by noting that there are 49 pages of licensing regulations for "Child Care Centers," and 30 pages of licensing regulations for "Family Child Care."  Regulations for the "Initial License" were reproduced on the first slide, as follows:
          For a legible text of the above slide as well as the entire 49 pages of regulations for "Child Care Centers," click here.
          "Family Child Care" has a different set of regulations -- these are only 30 pages long.  To review the Family Child Care regulations, click here.
          "Quality improvements that undermine availability or affordability should be evaluated with care."
          For example, is it really necessary to have extensive regulations deI've copied the entire section below, for those who are really, really interested in regulations.  But what this section essentially does is say that kids shouldn't spend the whole day on Twitter or Snap Chat -- they should go outside and play.  Just what any good mother would tell them.
          But the regulation is more specific.  T he rule states that children "2 years old or older may not be permitted to view more than 30 minutes of age-appropriate, educational passive technology per week."  Passive technology means television, videos and streaming media.  Nor may any child be permitted to view: any technology during a meal; any media that advertises unhealthy or sugary food or beverage. 
          Strictly limited TV time is every good mother's ideal way to raise her child . . . but one that she gave up on when the child turned big enough to program her phone (at about 1 1/2). 
          This is the type of regulation that falls into that category of "nice" but not "necessary."  And the reason such regulations are harmful is because of the extensive reporting requirement for every exception.
Fun Facts
Political Fun Facts
  • Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender
  • Daniel Webster, who ran for president and lost three times, declined the Vice Presidency twice, thinking it a worthless office.  Both presidents who offered it later died in office, meaning that if he had accepted, he would've become president after all.
  • Richard Nixon was so good at poker that most of his first campaign for the House of Representatives was funded by poker winnings from his time in the navy.
  • Theodore Roosevelt read at least one book every day.
  • John Kennedy ordered over 1,000 cuban cigars for personal use just hours before he made them illegal.
  • In ancient Athens, the world's first democracy, they had a process called ostracism, where once a year the people could vote on the politician they thought was most destructive to the democratic process.  The "winner" was banished from Athens for 10 years.
How to apply for a Trent Kittleman Legislative Scholarship 

          District 9A residents attending a college, university, trade school or equivalent in the State of Maryland are eligible for the Delegate Scholarship.
          Current high school seniors and full-time (12+ credits per semester) or part-time (6-11 credits per semester), degree-seeking under-graduate students, graduate students, and students attending a private career school may apply. 
            Click here for the application.  For questions regarding the application process, please call my Annapolis office and ask to speak with Chelsea Leigh Murphy at 410-841-3556.  

DEADLINE:   Please be sure to have your compleated application  postmarked by  April 9, 2018.
Delegate Trent Kittleman
District 9A, Western Howard County and Southern Carroll County (Sykesville)
Room 202, Lowe House Office Building
6 Bladen Street,   Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3556  *   Trent.Kittleman@House.State.MD.US
Interim Office
3000 Kittleman Lane,  West Friendship, MD 21794
301-661-3344  *
Administrative AideChelsea Leigh Murphy