Vote Rebecca Smondrowski for District 2 Board of Education

Today I was proud to vote for my friend, Rebecca Smondrowski, for the Montgomery County Board of Education. She was first elected in 2012 and has proved to be a tremendous asset to our public school system and Montgomery County in general. She is a tireless public servant and one of the most accessible and responsive elected officials I have ever worked with. Before seeking office she was deeply involved in the PTA and understands the needs of our students first hand. She has a child who is an MCPS student and another who is an MCPS graduate. As a parent with a child in MCPS myself, and another who starts next year, this is very important to me. Please join me in casting a vote for Rebecca Smondrowski!

I don’t usual make appeals like this, but I am concerned about this election. Rebecca’s opponent, Brandon Rippeon, unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Congress in District 6 in 2012, and has been endorsed by the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee in this race. Mr. Rippeon does not have children or a background in education, supports school choice instead of children attending their local schools, and has inexplicable policy proposals such as making the study of Latin a mandatory requirement for all students. Rebecca Smondrowski is doing an excellent job and is vested in our school system. Let’s keep Rebecca on board!

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee does not endorse in non-partisan elections, so this puts my friend Rebecca at a disadvantage. Our school board is nonpartisan and should remain that way, but the Republican Party has decided to weigh in and make it partisan. Let’s make sure that we keep the school board working for everyone instead of creating a foothold for the GOP’s right-wing agenda for Montgomery County.

Visit http://www.rebeccaonboard.org/ to learn more about Rebecca, and why our students and schools need to keep her on the board of education. Thanks for your time, and happy voting!

Sincerely,

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Join Chairman Kumar Barve on November 15th at Growler’s Brew Pub for a Reception in Support of Delegate Shane Robinson

Friends,

It’s that time of year again for my annual celebration at Growler’s Brew Pub. Please save the date for Tuesday, November 15th!

I am proud to represent District 39 and Montgomery County. I hope I can count on your support as we continue our mission for sustainability in our environment and our communities.

To R.S.V.P, or for more information, please contact Justin Garcia at (410) 547-8884 or justin@martinlauer.com.

Click here to contribute.

Click here for a printable invitation.

Sincerely,
Shane Robinson
Montgomery County House Delegation Chair

11-15-16 event invitation

Vote for Chris Van Hollen for Senate on Tuesday

As you know, I’m supporting Chris Van Hollen in his bid to replace Sen. Barbara Mikulski who is retiring, because Chris wants to do something, not be something. I hope you are too! He has been an unquestionably effective Congressman and will continue to get things done as Maryland’s next Senator. The Washington Post called him “A talented successor for Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski,” and he has been endorsed by leading progressive activists, organizations, and elected officials throughout the state.

I urge you to vote this Tuesday, April 26th and vote Chris Van Hollen for Senate. Click this link to find out where you vote here in Montgomery County. Polls are open 7am – 8pm.

This election is close, and your vote will matter. Please be sure to vote and join me in voting Chris Van Hollen for Senate.

Sincerely,

Shane

Join Us on December 15th!

Dear Friends,

I wanted to remind you about my upcoming reception on the evening of Tuesday, December 15th at Growler’s in Gaithersburg.

This legislative session it was my privilege to work for Montgomery County as House Delegation Chair. With your ongoing support, I will continue working hard for District 39 and all of Montgomery County.

I hope you’ll be able to join me on December 15th.

To RSVP or for questions, please contact Katherine at (410) 547-8884 orkatherine@martinlauer.com. You can also contribute online here.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Shane

2014 Annapolis Report

Hard copies of  the 2014 Annapolis Report will be mailed to voters shortly. In the meantime, you can read the electronic version here.

You’re Invited to a Fall Fundraiser in support of Delegate Shane Robinson

Saturday, October 19th
2:00—4:00pm
at Growler’s Pub
227 East Diamond Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Special guests: Mayor Sidney Katz & Delegate Heather Mizeur

VIPs $2000
Hosts $1000
Sponsors $500
Patrons $250
Friends $125
*Suggested Minimum $25*

To RSVP email shane@delegaterobinson.com or call 240-429-2330

Checks should be made payable to:
Friends of Shane Robinson
9623 Shadow Oak Drive
Montgomery Village, MD 20886
Or you can donate to the campaign online here.

Annapolis Update — 3/19/13

Friend,

Last Friday, we passed a bill that repeals the death penalty.  I am proud to live in a state that will no longer sanction execution, and I would like to thank the organizers whose tireless work made this victory possible. No longer will we have to worry that an innocent man or woman may be put to death by the state.  And no longer will we have to waste money on a practice that has been outlawed by 128 countries.  Maryland is continuing to move forward into the 21st century and be a part of the impetus for progress.

We also passed the budget which now heads to Senate. Here are some highlights:

  • The plan continues record funding for public schools: $6 billion out of the $15.8 billion general fund will be allocated towards continuing us on the path that has resulted in Maryland schools being ranked first in the nation, $300 million of which will be earmarked for school construction. We are also dedicating funds to assure that tuition at state universities and colleges is prevented from increasing exponentially as has been the case in many other states–Maryland has gone from being the 6th costliest state in which to attend a public institution in 2007 to the 27th today.  Overall, public education would receive more funding than any budget to date.
  • In order to position Maryland to overcome the cuts brought on by sequestration, the rainy day reserve will be increased by 15 percent, to $920 million.
  • 83 cents of every general fund dollar would be spent on education, health and public safety.
  • Maryland would retain its Triple A bond rating–a signal to investors that they can remain confident in our fiscal health.
  • Programs credited with allowing Maryland to recoup 80% of the jobs lost during the recession would remain funded.
  • Local police aid would increase to a 20-year high and two new State Trooper classes would be formed (violent crime has decreased 25% in Maryland over the past seven years).
  • Environmental programs that position Maryland at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution would be prioritized.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and encourage you to reach out to my office.

Best,
Shane

On the Gambling Special Session

Dear Fellow Marylander,

I’m a member of the Maryland House of Delegates; your House of Delegates. I’m part of a citizen legislature that holds annual 90-day sessions to pass the state budget and strives to improve state policy. For the remaining nine months I work my regular job, help raise my family, and fulfill my duties as a Delegate on a part-time basis.

This year things are different. This year I’ve left my job and my family to work on an issue that failed during the 2012 regular session.  It is not an emergency; just another piece of policy that should be dealt with during the regular session.

The gaming industry–the reason we are back in session–is not about creating wealth; it is about transferring it from those who can least afford it to those that already have it. It is about promising wealth while delivering increased rates of divorce and substance abuse. And now that we have raised taxes for many Marylanders, we are in a special session to expand gaming and lower taxes on casinos. Unacceptable.

There are real emergencies in our state; issues that could be ameliorated through hard work in Annapolis:  People in my district and throughout Maryland, without power for over a week following the June storm, would likely agree that a special session to deal with endemic outages would be a more worthy use of our time and state funds. That was an emergency. This is most certainly not.

We need real economic development and infrastructure we can rely on.  These are serious issues worthy of our time and energy; issues one could see calling a special session for.  That we neglected to do so in favor of dealing with gambling is a disservice to those who sent us to Annapolis.

Sincerely,
Shane Robinson

Delegate Robinson in the Huffington Post on Fracking in Maryland:

The following piece appeared on Huffingtonpost.com, co-authored with Food and Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter:

Drilling and fracking for shale gas continues to expand across the East Coast despite consumer outcry over the environmental and health risks associated with this dangerous form of fossil fuel extraction. Now, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has identified new potential targets in central and southern Maryland, as well as the Eastern Shore, in addition to the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland. The oil and gas industry and their advocates can be expected to treat Maryland like a sacrifice zone in order to extract as much gas as possible unless we implement a permanent ban on fracking for oil and gas in the state.

Fracking is the controversial process of injecting a mixture of water and possibly toxic chemicals underground at high speed to break up shale, releasing methane and other gases along with radon. The process has already been linked to tainted drinking water in Wyoming and Pennsylvania. And storage of the wastewater produced by fracking is suspected in causing a series of small earthquakes in eastern Ohio.

For now, while the oil and gas industry has its prospects set on fracking in two counties in Western Maryland, they claim that their expansion will not include areas within the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. But this is just lip service. Consumer and environmental groups understand that over the long-term, the oil and gas industry’s run of record-breaking profits depends on acquiring new reserves.

That means it’s just a matter of time before they’ll be pushing to drill and frack in the basins identified by the USGS: the Gettysburg, which stretches south from the Pennsylvania border, passing beneath Frederick; the Taylorsville, which stretches south from beneath Annapolis to the lower Potomac; the Del Marva, which consists of several separate rock formations beneath much of the Bay and the Eastern Shore; and the Culpeper, which stretches north from Virginia under western Montgomery County near Gaithersburg and north to Frederick.

For Marylanders who would be exposed to the risks and costs of fracking and who want to learn more and weigh in on the future of our state, it will not be easy to distinguish between fact and fiction.

Thanks to the oil and gas industry’s well-financed public relations machine, you won’t hear how most of the new jobs the industry promises will go to out-of-state workers with oil and gas industry experience, not to local Marylanders. And you won’t hear them talk about how much of this gas will be exported to Europe, Japan and China.

Get ready to defend your state from the powerful lobbying arm of an industry that is deeply embedded in the halls of U.S. Congress and state and local governments across the country.

Brace yourselves for the hidden costs that will permanently change Maryland’s landscape and harm local economies. The oil and gas industry will underestimate the true cost of repairing local infrastructure from the damage unleashed by up to a thousand heavy trucks rolling in and out of small towns for each new well, many transporting hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic waste. And you won’t hear the industry and its advocates acknowledge the negative impacts on the sectors of the economy, such as tourism, agriculture and the fishing industry, that sustain rural Maryland communities.

Dig in for a big fight to defend your water, not only from the inevitable spills of waste as it is trucked across the state but also the long-term risk of contamination of underground sources of drinking water from injecting tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals into each well, not knowing how these chemicals will react and move over the following years and even decades. You will also need to defend your water from private entities that aim to gain control of public utilities and profit from the industry’s huge demand for water for fracking.

From start to finish, fracking is too risky for Maryland — it threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate we depend on. Marylanders should urge their representatives to support a ban on fracking. It is the only way to protect our state from the irreparable harm of a reckless industry.

Wenonah Hauter is executive director of the national consumer nonprofit organization Food & Water Watch. Shane Robinson is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing Montgomery County.

Special Session Update

Friends,

Governor O’Malley recently called a special session of the Maryland General Assembly which drew to a close yesterday afternoon with the passage of the Budget and Reconciliation Financing Act and the revenue bills. Had these bills not passed, $436 million in additional cuts to the state budget would have gone into effect this year. Make no mistake: These pieces of legislation were far from perfect, but the alternative was far worse.

What would have happened had we not acted? $436 million in cuts with the following consequences:

  • Job losses in the private sector. The highly successful $8 million biotechnology research and development tax credit, and the $10.4 million stem cell research program would have both been eliminated; disproportionately and negatively affecting Montgomery County.
  • Job losses in the public sector. Approximately 400 state jobs would have been eliminated, and state employees would have been forced to pay an additional $15 million for healthcare benefits.
  • Potential downgrade of Maryland’s AAA bond rating. Maryland is one of only three states that has maintained a AAA bond rating since the ratings began.
  • A 10-13% increase in college tuition. In Maryland, college tuition is still affordable for middle class families. Keeping higher education affordable is a must if we are to maintain our educated and qualified workforce–a serious economic advantage.
  • A 10% cut in community college funding. Our community colleges are some of the best in the country. Maintaining this affordable option is common sense, and the right thing to do.
  • A $138 million cut in K-12 education funding through the elimination of the Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI) which is a primary reason Maryland public schools have been ranked number one in the nation four years running.
  • A $20.8 million cut in local law enforcement funding.

The list goes on and on. To help avoid this we raised income taxes on individuals making over $100,000, and families making over $150,000. 84% of Marylanders did not have their taxes increased.

Was this a difficult vote for me? Yes. Do I think I made the right call? Absolutely. In these fiscal times we are faced with profoundly laborious decisions. But in these times we are also left to answer who we want to be as a people, as a community, as a state. When times are tough do we have the will to buckle down and protect our number one ranked school system, the safety of our communities, our investments in the future, our higher education systems, the safety of those most in need? Yesterday shows that we do.

Best,
Shane