Patriot Picket Arrested!
Two 2nd Amendment activists were arrested during a peaceful protest on Monday night. Kevin and Jeff Hulbert are members of The Patriot Picket, an organization that supports 2nd Amendment rights. They have been staging peaceful protests in Annapolis for the past three years.I love these guys!
House Minority Leader Nic Kipke and I worked with all pertinent parties to make sure that the Capitol Police dropped the charges against Kevin and Jeff. This arrest never should have happened.Citizens have a sacred right to free speech which applies everywhere but especially around the Maryland State House. I want to thank Governor Larry Hogan and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams, who I believe all shared our outrage about this unacceptable incident and helped get the charges dismissed.
Unimpeded political speech is a cornerstone of our democracy and a sacred right held by all Americans. This arrest could have people thinking twice before they come to Annapolis to express their views. That would be a travesty.
Sign the petition! We are sending a message to the Capitol Police that this should NEVER happen again. We stand upon our Constitutional rights of Free Speech and Public Protest, which must be protected for everyone.
We are hosting a press event Monday night, February 12, at 6:30 PM in the Lowe House Office Building, room 145, for Jeff and Kevin Hulbert to tell their story. All are welcome.
High Voltage Power Line Projects
The first of a number of high voltage power line projects that are planned to traverse Northern Harford and Baltimore Counties is in the midst of the approval process.I am very concerned about the impact of these projects on our rural citizens and communities.
Senator JB Jennings and I have filed four bills addressing the high voltage power line project proposed for Northern Harford County. The Transource Project in Harford County has brought to light some serious concerns about how these type of power transmission projects are handled in our rural and agricultural areas. Respect for our landowners, both directly and indirectly impacted by these high voltage power line projects, must be first and foremost.
As a farmer and supporter of the agriculture and land preservation programs in Maryland, Senator Jennings is especially concerned about the impact of high voltage power line projects on land preservation programs.Farmers and taxpayers partner together to ensure that our rural landscape is preserved for future generations.
Senator Jennings and I are working together on a multi-pronged approach addressing proposals to build additional power lines in Maryland. The bill hearings in the House of Delegates for our four bills are Thursday, February 15.
There will be a pre-hearing conference at the PSC in Baltimore at 1:00 PM on February 16. The public is invited to this meeting but it is not open to oral public comment at that meeting. The PSC has set Wednesday February 7th as the deadline to accept applications from those seeking to intervene in the proceeding. Those who receive such status are considered parties to the case.
In addition we have asked that the PSC hold their public field hearing in Harford County and they expect that to take place sometime in the spring.
For more information, concerned citizens can find information at the PSC, Stop Transource, and Transource websites:
http://www.stoptransourcepa.org/ http://www.psc.state.md.us/top-20-cases/ http://www.transourceenergy.com/projects/independence/ https://www.pjm.com/-/media/library/reports-notices/2016-rtep/2016-maryland-and-dc-state-reports.ashx?la=en
Paid Sick Leave Update
This week, the Maryland Senate passed an emergency bill to delay the implementation of the Paid Sick Leave bill. But, the House must also pass this bill to allow the delay go into effect.Just a few weeks ago, the legislature voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the bill. The new law is supposed to go into effect on Sunday, February 11th. The bill passed by the Senate delays implementation until July 1, 2018.
There is simply not enough time for employers to implement this new law with less than three weeks time. I’m not optimistic that the House of Delegates will take up the delayed implementation bill next week. However, I am still holding out hope.
Every employer in the State is now required to have a paid sick leave policy. Employers with more than 15 employees must have a paid sick leave program. Employers from 1-14 employees must have an unpaid program.
Governor Larry Hogan understands the business community has many questions regarding the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, so he established the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance (OSBRA) within the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to assist small businesses in complying with the law, as well as an email address where employers may direct specific questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
To assist employers with compliance, the department is developing draft guidance documents and model policies, including an extensive Q&A document based on questions received through email@example.com, and will continue to provide answers to specific questions upon request. These documents will be emailed to stakeholders and published to DLLR’s paid leave website at: www.dllr.maryland.gov/paidleave
God bless you and your family!