Annapolis Update–2/6/12

Friends,

In Maryland there is no law indicating an intersection with a non-functioning traffic signal must be treated as a four-way stop. Last week I had my first hearing for a bill that would rectify that. I was pleased to have the Maryland State Police and AAA testify in favor of this common sense solution. I look forward to passing this bill and making our roads safer.

Also last week, Governor O’Malley delivered his State of the State address. I was honored to be in attendance and appreciate Mr. O’Malley making a strong case for marriage equality, the need to raise revenue for school construction and other public services, and the need to invest in renewable energy. We need to ensure that Maryland remains amongst the leaders in public education, and we need to secure a place for our state at the top of the green job pyramid.

Additionally, I continue to work on legislation that would limit the ability of industry to potentially use Maryland as a dump site for toxic wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”. The more I learn about this process of natural gas extraction, the more concerns I have. On Wednesday, in Washington D.C., filmmaker Josh Fox was detained for trying to film a hearing on water contamination in Wyoming as a result of fracking. This was a serious violation of freedom of the press, but it is good to see the media paying more attention to this issue. Yes, we need more energy sources; but we need energy sources we can sustain, not fuels that threaten the health of the Chesapeake Bay, one of our biggest job creators.

Also, I have been working hard with my colleagues, looking over the budget and reviewing job creation proposals. We need to concentrate on ways to keep lowering our state’s unemployment rate.

Please continue to reach out with any ideas, comments, or concerns you may have.

Best,
Shane