On January 3, the state legislators representing Maryland’s Legislative District 19 held a community meeting to discuss their legislative priorities. The meeting, held at the Aspen Hill Library, drew a large crowd of nearly 100 attendees. Delegates Bonnie Cullison, Charlotte Crutchfield, and Vaughn Stewart and Senator Ben Kramer provided an overview of how they will work in the legislature to advocate for our district. Their top priorities include smarter transit design, environmental issues, and insurance reforms.
Each member of our delegation holds significant committee assignments in their respective legislative chambers. Del. Cullison, who is entering her third term in the House of Delegates, is serving as the Chair of the powerful Insurance and Pharmaceuticals Subcommittee of the Health and Government Operations Committee. Del. Crutchfield is serving on the Judiciary Committee, which has broad authority over state courts, the criminal justice system, and related judicial issues. As an attorney, Del. Crutchfield noted that her legal experience will serve her well on this committee. Del. Stewart has been assigned to the Environment and Transportation Committee, which also oversees housing and government ethics, and Sen. Kramer will serve on the Senate’s Finance Committee.
After discussing their legislative priorities and committee assignments, the “D19 Team” answered questions from the audience. More than half the questions related to pedestrian safety and traffic speeds, two issues that fall directly under the authority of the Environment and Transportation Committee. Del. Stewart noted that current state law actually prohibits counties from reducing speeds under 25 miles per hour (except in school zones). He plans to work with other lawmakers to introduce a bill giving Montgomery County permission to lower speed limits in non-school zones, in an effort to decrease the number of pedestrian fatalities. Other members of the audience raised issues about adjusting the legal name change process for transgender Marylanders who are currently required to pay for a public notice that states the reason for their name change, which then must be published in a local newspaper.
Additional questions around criminal justice reform, DUI laws, and the Kirwan Commission were raised. Each member of the D19 Team emphasized that they are ready and willing to work with the community to address these points, and encouraged attendees to reach out to their offices during the legislative session. The legislators noted that they are excited to work closely with the rest of the Montgomery County legislation, and look forward to hosting additional community meetings over the coming months. Each legislator’s contact information and office address is located on the Maryland General Assembly website ( mgaleg.maryland.gov) and on www.nfcca.org.
[Jones, who lives on Glenwild Road, is an at-large member of the NFCCA Board and was elected in June to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.] ■
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