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Friday, June 30, 2017

Senator Eckardt - June Newsletter

It has already been a busy and successful start to the interim! This newsletter provides highlights and updates of events and meetings that I have recently attended. 
Congratulations to all of the recent High School and College Graduates! I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors. Hope everyone has a safe summer season.
Bill Signings

Following the adjournment of the General Assembly, Governor Hogan has signed into law a number of key legislation. Senator Eckardt’s complete 2017 Legislative Package was signed by Governor Hogan. This package includes legislation that addresses blighted housing, tax sales in Maryland, and Bay Restoration Fund aid to local municipalities.

Governor Hogan vetoed the Paid Sick Leave legislation (House Bill 1). The Governor has urged the General Assembly to work with the administration to work on common sense paid sick leave. House Bill 1 would cost small business owners additional charges and regulations per employee. This risks the elimination of small business jobs in the State. House Bill 1 was not scheduled to go into law until January of 2018; therefore, the Governor is calling on the General Assembly to come to a compromise for all the citizens of Maryland by January.
2017 Regional Rural Broadband Forum Meeting

The Rural Maryland Council hosted the first Regional Rural Broadband Forum Meeting in May. Delegate Mautz and I worked hard this winter to pass legislation that addresses the internet, broadband, wireless, and cellular service connectivity issues throughout rural areas in Maryland. The Connecting Rural Maryland Act of 2017 legislation implements a task force, chaired by the Rural Maryland Council, that studies local service connectivity issues and ways to best address these concerns.

Many thanks to the Rural Maryland Council for bringing together all the players and getting ahead start on this important initiative. The task force shall submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by November 30, 2017.
Behavioral Health Advisory Board Meetings

This summer I have been attending the Behavioral Health Advisory Board meetings. This board is charged with developing the Behavioral Health work plan for the Department of Health. We have had extensive meetings and discussions hearing from many about the needs and concerns. The draft is being reviewed to date. The document is available online, as well.
Committee on Paid Sick Leave
Governor Larry Hogan has directed the Committee on Paid Leave, established by Executive Order 01.01.2017.08, to collect data from employers and workers throughout Maryland to better understand access to paid leave policies and how this benefit is best met by a fair and flexible statewide leave policy. Over the course of the next six months, the committee will be meeting with employers and workers to collect reliable data as to how a mandated leave policy would specifically impact the Maryland workforce.

The committee has developed an online survey tool for businesses and employees to use to solicit feedback. This survey is available at I encourage all local businesses and employees to complete this online survey!

July 19th - Tawes Crab & Clam Bake

August 24 - 27th: Senator Eckardt's Tour The Shore Bike Ride
Senator Adelaide C. Eckardt
District 37 – Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Wicomico Counties
410-841-3590; 410-221-6561
*To be added to Senator Eckardt’s Press Release, Events, and Updates, please*