By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryland State Sens. Mike Miller (D-District 27), James Rosapepe (D-District 21) and Douglas Peters (D-District 23) in addition to Maryland Del. Jay Walker (D-District 26) talked about the recently concluded Maryland General Assembly session April 25 at a forum sponsored by the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce at The Hotel at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.
David Harrington is the president and CEO of the chamber of commerce and Jason DeLoach of the Alexander & Cleaver law firm is the chairman of the board.
Del. Jay Walker, who represents District 26 in the Maryland General Assembly, recently talked about how small businesses fared in the recently concluded legislative session. (Courtesy Photo)
“We as a chamber need to know what is going on in Annapolis,” DeLoach said. “Large businesses understand that what’s going on with the legislature but small businesses don’t.”
Miller talked about some of the victories for the county that took place during the session. “We saved health care for Marylanders from Donald Trump,” he said, meaning that the assembly passed legislation that retained portions of Obamacare the president sought to gut. “We did that placing a tax on the insurance companies in our state for that.”
“We also funded WMATA , an incentive package worth billions for Amazon to come to Maryland, and a school safety bill that ensures a public safety officer at every public high school in Maryland.”
Miller said he was especially proud that the assembly passed free community college for poor and working-class residents and extra money for historically Black colleges and universities.
Walker is the outgoing leader of the Prince George’s delegation to the House of Delegates. Walker started his remarks by criticizing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) priority when it comes to jobs.
“Gov. Hogan has worked to see that jobs that are coming to the state go to Western Maryland and the Eastern Maryland but we need to bring those jobs to the DMV ,” Walker, first elected to the assembly in 2006, said.
Walker said the county delegation worked to secure funding for the new public hospital to be located in Largo, Md., next to the Largo Town Center Metro Center. “The hospital was slated to have 200 beds but now it will have 300 because of the efforts of my colleagues and me,” he said.
Rosapepe said his colleagues worked to put more money in school construction and to address overcrowding in schools, particularly in the northern section of the county. During his remarks, Peters gave the audience a quick tutorial on how the process works in Annapolis.
“This session, we had 3,100 bills to consider,” he said. “Obviously, we couldn’t get to all of them. If you have a bill that has a fiscal note of $250,000, it’s not going to be considered because of the high cost.”
There was a discussion about minority-owned businesses and getting their share of state contracting work. Walker noted a bill of Del. Jazz Lewis (D-District 24) that would streamline the state’s certification process with the federal governments’ so businesses in the state won’t have to go through duplicate processes.