Sunday, April 18, 2010

District 18 End of Session Letter

Following is the end of session letter from Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegates Ana Sol Gutierrez, Jeff Waldstreicher and Al Carr, all from District 18.

April 16, 2010

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This week marked the end of the 427th legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly. As always, it is an honor and privilege to represent the people of District 18 in the State House. The four of us – Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegates Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutiérrez, and Jeff Waldstreicher – work hard as a team to advance your interests. During the past 90 days, we have benefited from your advice and counsel during our deliberations. We appreciate the thousands of emails, postcards, letters, phone calls, and office visits we received.

Creating Jobs and Promoting Fiscal Responsibility

This session, our top priorities were creating jobs and promoting fiscal responsibility. That’s why we were proud to pass the Job Creation and Recovery Tax Credit, which has already been signed by Governor O’Malley. This important legislation created a $5,000 tax credit for businesses that hire an unemployed worker. We also reformed our unemployment benefits to make sure Marylanders have the safety net they need to get through these difficult economic times.

We also worked hard to be fiscally prudent. We passed a balanced budget this year, one that is 2.9% smaller than 2010. In doing so, we fought to protect Maryland's critical commitment to our most vulnerable citizens. We safeguarded funding for the developmentally disabled and for vulnerable children and seniors. Until our state revenues once again reach more sustainable levels, our state budgets continues to benefit from federal recovery dollars, especially in support of Medicaid, job creation, and transportation projects. Two of us -- Sen. Rich Madaleno and Del. Ana Sol Gutiérrez -- serve on the budget committees. We reined in future spending, cutting more than $566 million from the governor’s initial budget while leaving an ample Rainy Day Fund and not raising taxes.

Investing in Education

We secured a record level of state investment for Montgomery County Public Schools ($696 million). Indeed, our proudest achievement this term is our unwavering commitment to public education. Over the past four years, even in the face of severe budget challenges, we increased investment in our schools every year. This funding went to maintaining high-quality educational services, to our more than 142,000 students; constructing new schools, renovating old ones; , and making sure our teachers are paid competitively with other jurisdictions. You can continue to count on us to be vigorous advocates of public education in Annapolis.

Preserving the Environment, Promoting Alternative Energy

Your District 18 Team again championed environmental protection and alternative energy. Del. Al Carr serves as a strong voice on these issues on the Environmental Matters Committee. The District 18 Team fought for bills to dramatically reduce coal by-products, eliminate poisonous chemicals in children’s toys, reduce light pollution, and increase recycling efforts. We also worked hard on a bill that enhances our state’s renewable energy portfolio by encouraging more development of solar energy.

Ensuring Community Safety, Protecting Victims

We also fought hard this year to ensure the safety of our community and protect victims. A member of the Judiciary Committee, Del. Jeff Waldstreicher championed these issues. We successfully passed legislation that provides lifetime monitoring for sex offenders and protects our children. We also championed legislation to crack down on the heinous crime of human trafficking. Finally, we successfully passed a bill that doubles the time duration of a protective order for victims of domestic violence. We will continue to work hard to ensure safety and security for all residents of Montgomery County.

Fighting for Local Priorities

We also passed several pieces of legislation that directly impact our neighborhoods. We secured a capital bond bill for $275,000 for the renovation of Warner Manor in Kensington and were successful in passing legislation that could allow Montgomery County to keep the Sligo Creek Golf Course open. We secured passage of another local bill that will nurture small business growth in older revitalizing commercial areas like Wheaton.

* * *

Over the next few weeks, we will be preparing individual responses to many of the letters and emails we received during the session. We will also be posting items to our blog, Generally Assembled ( as well as our individual websites. In addition, the General Assembly's website ( contains a great deal of information about our work, including the soon-to-be-released 90 Day Report. We hope you will continue to share your thoughts and concerns with us. Our individual contact information is listed below.

Thank you again for your comments and support this year. We are proud to serve as your District 18 representatives in Annapolis.

Senator Rich Madaleno

Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez

Delegate Al Carr

Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher