Delegate Jerry Clark
District 29C, Calvert and St. Mary's
April 11, 2017
Thank you for contacting me during the 2017 Legislative Session. I am fortunate to represent so many who care about their community. Your input is vital to understanding the values and ideas of people in Southern Maryland.
Although I have been involved in government for many years as a County Commissioner, I have found that things are very different in the State Legislature. My first session has been an exciting ride. The St. Mary’s Delegation will be sending out the Annapolis Report this summer. It will highlight much of the state legislation that will take effect July 1st or October 1st. So for my end of session letter, I will take the opportunity to share Calvert and St. Mary’s local legislation and local State Budget highlights that passed this session.
- The Calvert County Delegation submitted five bills this year. Three of those bills passed. HB1439 authorizes the Calvert County Commissioners to issue up to $17.62 million in general obligation bonds for the acquisition, construction, improvement, or renovation of public buildings, facilities, and public works projects.
- HB1440 authorizes Calvert County to enter into longer term contracts with disposal companies. This will enable the county to receive lower rates for the transfer of waste and will extend the viability of the current Sweetwater Landfill.
- HB1423 requires the Calvert County Board of License Commissioners (Liquor Board) to post notices, send notices to stakeholders and hold a hearing at least three months before submitting a legislative proposal to the Calvert County Delegation for introduction as a bill to the Maryland General Assembly.
The St. Mary’s County Delegation submitted 20 bills this year. Eighteen of these passed. The majority of these bills were repeals of local code laws that were no longer necessary due to state laws. Eight bills were not repeals.
- HB108 transfers responsibility for dogs tags and licenses from the County Tax Collector to the Animal Control Division of the Department of Emergency Services and Technology in St. Mary’s. In addition, it would require the shape of tags to remain the same each year.
- HB526 and HB538 create new classifications of liquor licenses that allow art establishments and beauty salons in St. Mary’s County to be eligible to receive limited liquor licenses. These would only allow for sale and consumption on the property of the establishment.
- HB679 requires that some positions at MetCom to become contractual positions. Furthermore, it identifies personnel supervised by the Director of the Commission.
- HB914 requires the St. Mary’s County Commissioners to review and approve any MetCom loan application before it is submitted.
- HB892 authorizes the St. Mary’s County Commissioners to issue up to $26.3 million in general obligation bonds for the acquisition, construction, improvement, or renovation of public buildings, facilities, and public works projects. This bond bill is expected to provide funding for the Garvey Senior Center and the New Leonardtown Library.
- HB1055 modifies the calculation of the debt limit for St. Mary’s County.
- HB682 revises the County Sheriff, Treasurer and State’s Attorney salaries as a recommended by the St. Mary’s County Compensation Review Commission Report.
The Operational budget provides funding to support the daily operation of state supported agencies and facilities. Budgeted funding for Education (Primary, Secondary, Libraries and Community Colleges) in St. Mary’s County is $123M. Calvert County’s Educational funding is allocated at $98.8M. Transportation funding for St. Mary’s County totals at $1.9M and for Calvert County is $1.8M. The Route 2/4 widening in Prince Frederick is funded at $10.5M for 2018. Additionally, engineering for the Thomas Johnson Bridge is funded at $3.8M.
The Capital and Supplemental budgets this year provide direct funding for many well needed projects in Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties. Some of the special projects for St. Mary’s County include the New Leonardtown Library ($1,091,000), Garvey Senior Center ($800K), Park Hall and Hollywood Elementary schools ($400K each), Town Creek ($3.3M) and Patuxent Park ($2.2M) water systems, Point Lookout State Park Lighthouse ($3.5M) and several other park improvements. Calvert County special projects include the Solomons Wastewater Treatment ($4.2M), Calvert Detention Center ($500K), Northern High School ($8M), North Beach Fire Dept. ($50K), and Dares Beach Well Water Arsenic Treatment ($1.6M). Governor Hogan’s Supplemental Budget also allocated Calvert County Schools $240K.
I sponsored two bills this year. For a freshman legislator that is considered pretty good. One bill would have eliminated the fees for dissolving businesses. I wanted to help business owners having a difficult time. However, due to budget considerations, this bill did not pass. My other bill transfers the liability to hunt on leased land from the owner to the lease holder. The liability has already been transferred for other recreational uses. This bill is intended to provide additional revenue for farmers to mitigate crop damage they sustain each year. This bill passed on Sine Die, the last day of the session. Whew!
So much happened during my first 90 day Session. Almost 3,000 bills were introduced in the General Assembly. My committee, Environment and Transportation, had many exciting and controversial bills be heard. In all, it was a productive and educational session. I have learned a lot.
I am happy to have had the opportunity to serve in the Maryland General Assembly for you this legislative session. Thank you again for your contact. I look forward to working with you to ensure Southern Maryland grows and prospers. Please feel free to contact my office with any needs, questions or concerns.
Gerald “Jerry” Clark