Annapolis Update–1/27/12

Friends,
I write this as the third week of session comes to a close and the heavy lifting of working legislation through the process begins to ramp up. Governor O’Malley submitted his budget last week, giving us our first glance at the difficult fiscal decisions that will have to be made. I have heard from many who have serious concerns about some of his proposals, and while I am not on the committee that will be dealing with the budget, I will be working closely with my colleagues and relaying to them what I hear from constituents. So please continue to contact my office with any concerns, comments or ideas you may have. Like you, I don’t want to see Montgomery County stuck with an unfair burden.

Additionally, I am proud to be working with Food and Water Watch on a bill to protect Maryland’s citizens from the dangers of toxic waste water produced by hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”) is a process of natural gas extraction that employs toxic chemicals that can contaminate drinking water. Most of Maryland’s treatment plants are ill equipped for this waste and so it could be potentially dangerous to transport along our roads. I have serious concerns about the safety of fracking, but whether or not Governor O’Malley decides to allow it, we need to figure out how to safely treat the waste water before we risk a spill. I have heard from many who care deeply about the safety of our drinking water and the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and I don’t want to see a spill that harms either.

Best,
Shane

Annapolis Update–1/20/12

Greetings from Annapolis,

We had a tremendous second week of the legislative session as we kicked off the campaign to make Maryland the second state in the nation to become conflict mineral free.

Friends, the travesties in Congo have taken over five million lives, making it the deadliest conflict since World War II. The rare mineral trade is exploited by the Congolese militia, and serves as their main source of financing for arms used to intimidate, horrify and massacre the populous. These are the same minerals used in many popular electronic products including cell phones. It is my firm belief that we have a responsibility to ask our companies to source these minerals from mines that benefit rather than destroy communities. And so I am proud to be partnering with the Enough Project, and introducing legislation that would require companies doing business with Maryland to divulge where they get their minerals.

Over 40 people came out to our kickoff Wednesday evening to support the effort, and we look forward to fiercely advocating for it this session.

Further, it was great to hear from so many of you following last week’s update, and I hope to continue to as the session progresses.
Best,
Shane
p.s. Conflict minerals was a topic on Kojo Nnamdi this week, listen here.

 

Annapolis Update–1/13/12

Friends,
As this year’s legislative session gets underway I want to reach out and reiterate what a pleasure it is to be serving you in Annapolis. There are some vital issues on the table and I look forward to working hard on them on your behalf. Here is a quick overview of some top priorities:

  • First, some good news. Yesterday it was announced that Maryland’s schools were ranked first in the nation for the fourth straight year. This is a testament to the quality of our teachers, hard work of our students, and passion of our parents. To keep our public education system on this successful path, Governor O’Malley proposed increasing school construction funds. I feel strongly about improving our public education infrastructure and creating jobs in the process, and would love to hear from constituents on this proposal.
  • Once again, many of us will be fighting to extend equal marriage rights to all of Maryland’s citizens. As I clearly stated in the past, I firmly believe the right to marry is a right that must be afforded to everyone if we wish to live by the principle that, in America, all are equal under the law. I have heard from numerous constituents who have expressed frustration over the legislature’s failure to get this done last year, a frustration I share. To that end, I recently saw footage of a Vietnam veteran and a Republican presidential candidate discussing this matter. The veteran was venting about not being able to visit his loved one in the hospital, and discussing the injustice of this freedom being denied to a person who risked his life for it. This shouldn’t happen in America. This shouldn’t happen anywhere. And hopefully, after this session, it won’t be happening in Maryland.
  • Another paramount legislative matter will be looking for ways to invest in Maryland’s future while creating jobs in the present. Whether it be through school construction or allocating more for infrastructure development, we need to look for sound investments that will reinforce Maryland’s standing as a state with a sound economic foundation while decreasing unemployment. The recent jobs reports have been encouraging, but we still have a lot of work to do.
  • Another matter I will spending a lot of time on is a process of natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing. This practice (also known as “fracking”) is the source of numerous serious water pollution incidents across the country, and is under consideration for use in Western Maryland. Recently, there have also been reports of earthquakes linked to this drilling method. The burden is on the industry to prove that this can be done safely, and since they have yet do so, my concerns remain about the implications for Maryland’s citizens of this practice being used in their backyard. As a member of the Environmental Matters Committee, and the House of Delegates representative on the Chesapeake Bay Trust, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to work on this issue and will be doing so this session.

Lastly, I will continue to keep you updated throughout the session and will have more on my legislative priorities next week. Please continue to contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns you may have. We love hearing from you; building relationships with constituents is one of the best parts of this job.

Best,
Shane

Maryland Steps up for Peace in the Congo

I am excited to be sponsoring legislation this session to help bring peace to eastern Congo by addressing the link between our electronic products and the ongoing violence. I will be introducing the legislation to encourage companies to source minerals from mines in the region that benefit rather than destroy communities. Please join us to learn more about how you can support this effort and make Maryland the second state in the country to pass conflict-free legislation.
Best,
Delegate Shane Robinson

JANUARY 18th 6:30-8:30

Location:

Growlers
227 East Diamond Ave Gaithersburg, MD
United States

RSVP Here

See map: Google Maps

 

By Authority: Friends of Shane Robinson; Mary Robinson, Treasurer.