2017 End of Session Letter
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
The 2017 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly has just concluded and while some things my colleagues and I worked to accomplish fell short, I would describe this session as successful in many other ways. At the beginning of the session, I was appointed Chair of the Civil Law and Procedure Subcommittee, thus a member of the leadership of the Judiciary Committee and the Maryland House of Delegates.
As your delegate, I have an opportunity to help address individual concerns every day. In fact, much of our work done is focused on constituent services. During session, as well as when session is adjourned, much of our time is devoted to responding to your emails, telephone calls, and letters that express concerns regarding legislation, personal matters, and issues in the community. By way of example, my office was successful in responding to a constituent request to have a new bus shelter and bench installed at a bus stop on Ingleside in Catonsville. In addition, we have worked with a variety of state agencies to address constituent concerns like street racing on I-70, storm drain backups, trash dumping, MTA bus service, grass cutting along Route 40, and the maintenance of Western Star Cemetery. Raising these concerns have helped me to help you address our community’s needs and this has been extremely helpful. I do not take any of this for granted.
By John Bleiweis
The approval of legislation that will allow a Guinness brewery and tourist attraction in Relay and concern about the state's medical marijuana licensing system were among top issues facing Catonsville and Arbutus area legislators as the 2017 Maryland General Assembly came to a close this week.
By Justin Lee
April 10, 2017 - A bill passed in the Maryland House of Delegates and currently under consideration by a Senate committee would see a task force formed to study police use of surveillance technologies, such as facial recognition software, according to a report by Capital News Service.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A bill making its way through the Maryland legislature would create a taskforce to study police use of surveillance technologies, such as facial recognition software.
The bill, HB 1065, establishing the Task Force to Study Law Enforcement Surveillance Technologies, passed in the Maryland House and is now under consideration by a Senate committee.
2016 End of Session Letter
Dear Friend and Constituent,
The Maryland General Assembly 2016 Legislative Session has concluded and I wanted to take the opportunity to share what has transpired since our last session. I want to thank each of you for your phone calls, emails and personal visits to share with me what's important to you. It is through our communications that I know what is important to you. I truly appreciate the trust you have placed in me to represent you in Annapolis.
Since last session, I was appointed to the Commission Regarding the Implementation and Use of Body Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers and to the National Conference of State Legislatures' Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Additionally, I traveled to San Francisco during the fall of 2015, as a member of the Maryland Delegation for the National Conference of State Legislatures/ National Center State Courts' "Juvenile Justice Reform State Teams' Meeting" with Senator Delores G. Kelley, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, Court Administrator Pamela Harris, and Department of Juvenile Services Secretary Sam Abid. Each of these experiences informed some of the legislation that I sponsored or cross-filed. Finally, at the end of this session, I was also appointed Parliamentarian of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.
This session, the House Judiciary held hearings for 348 bills, many of which were very intense. As a member of its Committee's Criminal Justice Subcommittee, I had a role in formulating two major pieces of legislation, the Public Safety and Policing Workgroup - Recommendations and the "Justice Reinvestment Act". While I will discuss them both more in depth below, I am confident that our work will produce outcomes that greatly improve our criminal justice system.
Privacy advocates from the ACLU and other organizations have raised concerns about the Baltimore Police Department’s use of the stingray device and the secrecy that surrounds it. So in a rare turn of events last week, an Annapolis hearing room became a venue for law enforcement to publicly speak about the illicit gathering of cellphone data.
By Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun
Law enforcement officials and civil libertarians debated a bill Thursday that would limit how police use a tracking device that can locate a cellphone — and its user — to within six feet.
Major changes to legislation regarding the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights are now on the table.
It's not freshman year anymore for Catonsville residents Charles Sydnor III and Pat Young.
Heading into their second year representing District 44B in the Maryland House of Delegates, the two Democrats have a lot on their minds, mostly focused on their specialties — for Sydnor the Judiciary Committee and for Young the House Appropriations Committee.
In his seven years in office, President Barack Obama had not visited a mosque in the U.S. When he made the decision to do so, the mosque he selected, from the more than 2,100 across the country, was one just outside of Windsor Mill.