This is an urgent CALL TO ACTION. On Wednesday, January 18th the Maryland Senate will vote on whether to override Governor Hogan’s Vetoes of 4 Senate Bills. In the links below, you will find the Governor’s full Veto Messages and the list of Legislators’ contact information. Urge your members to make calls or send e-mails.
On Tuesday, please call or e-mail the following Senators:
Your own State Senator plus any Senator you personally know
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller
Finance Committee Chairman Thomas M. Middleton
Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman Edward J. Kasemeyer
Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Chairman Joan Carter Conway
Below is a sample message. Adapt it to your own words. Your phone message or e-mail can be just the first paragraph below or add one or more bill’s detailed description. It is most important that we have a huge number of calls and e-mails reach the Senate this evening or on Tuesday. Later, we may need to call House Members if the Senate votes to override. There is one House Bill but a date for an override vote has not yet been set. More on that later.
Thank you for acting on these important issues.
Dear Senator __________,
Please uphold the policy vetoes of Governor Hogan. Several of these bills are excessive intervention into the responsibilities of the Executive Department of the State of Maryland (SB 907 and SB 910). SB 540 damages local government’s authority on planning and zoning. Respect for the separation of powers is important for the long term. They shouldn’t be violated because the Governor is of the opposite political party. Finally, we do not need any tax increases–directly–or as increases in the cost of electricity. Specifically, I urge you to uphold the Governor’s Veto on:
SB 540 – Morgan State University – Student Housing
This bill is an improper interference by the State Legislature into local zoning matter in Baltimore City. It could set a precedent for the Legislature to interfere in other local jurisdictions’ zoning and zoning enforcement eroding the authority of local elected officials. The bill prohibits Morgan State University from entering into any contract for student housing on a specific block of Havenwood Road unless a single unelected group, the Hillen Road Improvement Association, approves thereby emasculating the authority of the City of Baltimore.
SB 907- Transportation – Harry W. Nice Memorial Potomac River Bridge – Replacement
This legislation is unnecessary and unwise. Like HB 1013-2016, this bill once again puts politics ahead of sound decision making on transportation projects. It continues to erode the long-standing powers of the State’s Executive Branch’s and will encourage vote-trading to move favorite projects forward at the expense of fair and sound transportation decision-making for the entire state. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has already made considerable progress on the planning for the replacement of the Nice Bridge at a cost less than proposed by this legislation and without taking away funding (toll fees) from other transportation projects.
SB 910 – Maryland Education Development Collaborative – Established
This bill violates Article 8 separation of powers of the Maryland Declaration of Rights that states:
“That the Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers of the Government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other, and no person exercising the functions of one of said Departments shall assume or discharge the duties of any other.”
SB 910- Would have a member of the State Senate and House of Delegates as members of the Collaborative Board that would enter into binding contracts on behalf of the State – clearly an Executive Branch function. The bill also raises the issue of Legislators holding more than one office of trust simultaneously.
The Maryland Education Development Collaborative established by SB 910 will advise the Maryland State Board of Education, the General Assembly, and local school systems regarding education policies. This legislation also allows the Collaborative to accept any loans, grants, or assistance from public and private entities, thus opening Maryland’s education system to the possibility of influence of extreme agendas, educational and political. This is unwise and not in Maryland’s or their children’s best interest.
SB 921 – Clean Energy Jobs – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Revisions
This legislation is an increase in the cost of electricity for every ratepayer in Maryland. It is in reality a tax increase. It will affect citizens and businesses, particularly small businesses adversely. It will increase state and local government costs for electricity. The bill’s fiscal note states that State expenditures will “escalate to $2.2 million in FY 2021 and significantly thereafter.” If State Government costs will significantly rise so will those of citizens, businesses, non-profits and local governments—increases that are all ultimately paid for by citizens.