On November 20 in the Glendening Annex, St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Center for the Study of Democracy hosted a 2020 Maryland legislative preview with the State Senator John D. Bailey and delegates Jerry Clark, Matthew Morgan, and Brian Crosby.
Each senator and delegate discussed their bills and plans for the coming year. Senator Bailey started off by stating that they are “moving forward in Southern Maryland in all regards.” Then, Bailey began to speak about the importance of the move over law, the problem with the laws involving sex offenders, and the new assisted suicide bill. On the issue with Baltimore, he stated, “one thing we never address is Baltimore city, and we have to do it this year.” Bailey then went on about how the city of Baltimore lacks funding which has resulted in many school closings.
Delegate Clark discussed certain environmental issues around the area, including his support for funding more solar panels. He then mentioned the legislators’ efforts to improve education in the classrooms. He explained that children should always have access to computers and other technological materials that help them with their learning.
Delegate Crosby touched on the historic progress that has been achieved with the new legislatures. He then proceeded to discuss the process of new traffic laws and the fixing and building of roads. He also introduced the new micro business bill that “would deal specifically here with St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Historic St. Mary’s.” It is involved with “the payment process in doing work with a state agency.” He continued by saying they would “set up a working capital fund, we want to create a small grant for about $100,000… then establish a pilot program.” The new bill would allow small agencies to get paid by the capital fund immediately, rather than waiting 90 days as they have to do now. The last thing he mentioned is lobbying more resources for Southern Maryland and is therefore proposing new bond bills, specifically for the local charter school as well as for Chancellors Point.
The event concluded with an open Q&A for students and other citizens that attended. Questions ranged from the state’s new voting policies, to child custody laws, to the use of nuclear energy in Southern Maryland. Jaxon O’Mara (‘23) asked about what the legislators are planning on doing about gun legislation, mentioning the 2018 Great Mills Shooting as well the multiple gun scares on campus that happened this past semester. Delegate Crosby answered by mentioning that his last legislative session had discussed a “non-controversial” bill that would impose a mandatory background check for all people purchasing any type of gun. He said that that is something he supports as it is “a bi-partisan step in the right direction.” Delegate Morgan took his stance by stating that “the biggest problem we face in the state of Maryland is gun violence by criminals.” Then he clarified that there needs to be more focus on “cracking down on crime,” rather than implementing more gun restrictions.
First-year student, Jaxon O’Mara
Delegate Brian Crosby (D-MD)