This week, Governor Martin O’Malley signed the DREAM Act and the Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act–commonly referred to as the PEPCO Bill–into law. I was a proud co-sponsor of both of these bills, and am thrilled that they are now law.
- The Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act requires the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to set strict reliability standards for electric companies doing business in Maryland. Penalties will be imposed on companies that do not meet these standards, and under this law penalties may not be passed onto the consumers. Residents of Montgomery County have suffered greatly during numerous power outages in recent history, and this bill begins the process of holding PEPCO accountable.
- The DREAM Act allows undocumented students that have been attending Maryland public high schools to attend community college at in-state tuition rates. For students to qualify for the DREAM Act they, or their parents, must prove that they’ve been paying Maryland taxes for three years. After two years in community college, qualifying students may continue their education at one of Maryland’s universities if accepted. This bill is a good step towards ensuring that more of our children receive as much education as possible. We know education leads to safer, healthier, more prosperous communities, and this bill helps solidify that foundation.
- Governor O’Malley also signed one of the three bills I passed this session. HB-881 sets up a regulatory framework for the bio-diesel/waste kitchen grease industry. If we are to successfully urge consumers to seek out greener energy sources, we need to address the issues that arise as a result. This bill targets the issue of waste kitchen grease theft from restaurants.
In the next few weeks I plan on announcing an the date for my first post-session event. I plan on making this an annual opportunity to meet with constituents, and hear directly from them about their concerns. Please look out for this announcement, and I hope to see you there.