District 39 legislators provide update on 2019 session

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by Mike Conroy

Montgomery Village residents are fortunate to have a team of legislators that work hard for all Marylanders, but especially Village residents. Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) works closely with the District 39 team of Senator Nancy King and Delegates Kirill Reznick, Lesley Lopez and Gabriel Acevero on many issues, including pieces of legislation that could potentially affect homes corporations and condominium associations in the Village. Recently, Senator King and Delegates Reznik, Lopez and Acevero briefed the MVF Board of Directors and Village residents about work accomplished during the 2019 Legislative Session.

Senator King noted that in her first year as chair of the budget and taxation committee, a $46.7 billion balanced, bi-partisan budget was passed. She said the budget protects the state’s most vulnerable residents, secures millions for recommendations for the Kirwan Commission (school funding) and was passed without any new revenue streams or tax increases. The budget includes $7 billion for education funding, $11.2 billion for Medicaid, $1.8 billion for public safety, $2.1 billion for transportation and much more.

Delegate Reznik was proud of the work accomplished to benefit healthcare and social services in the state—the largest part of the budget at approximately 40%. He said they were able to sure up reinsurance funding for the Affordable Care Act and the budget will continue to fund programs such as Medicare, SNAP, TDAP, TANF and housing assistance. Additionally, a $15 minimum wage act was passed in the state, which will phase in through 2025.

Reznik also noted capital monies were secured for a number of projects in and around District 39, including Centerway Park, Ovid Hazen Wells Park in Clarksburg and the new City of Gaithersburg Police Station.

Delegate Lopez was fortunate to have two bills signed into law and worked on two others that will be reintroduced next year. She was successful in passing a bill on school bus safety, making the $250 fine for passing a stopped school bus permanent. Lopez also passed an anti-child pornography bill, which expanded the definition to include digital images other acts. Next year, she will reintroduce bills regarding parity in food stamps and standards of police training for hate crimes.

Additionally, Lopez co-sponsored 80 bills this session and chaired the working group on gun bills, where she successfully led the floor debate against the Minority Leader.

Delegate Acevero was happy to have worked with both Senator King and Delegate Reznik on school funding issues, and noted he wanted to work with the community on legislation that had real community impact, especially in Montgomery Village where he also resides. During this session, Acevero worked on bills addressing collective bargaining rights, universal guaranteed income and transparency in police investigations (Anton’s Law).

Acevero was able to have legislation passed to require diaper changing stations in men’s restrooms and family facilities, a growing issue in today’s society. He said in total, he co-sponsored over 100 bills this session, and is looking forward to continuing his work and discussions on legislation that did not pass this year.

To reach out to any of the District 39 legislative representatives, visit www.montgomeryvillage.com, and choose “Local Resources” from the “About MV” menu on the blue bar.