This year’s Session is off to a fast-paced and busy start. I’ve been working hard on pieces of my own legislation, meeting with constituents and advocates on a wide range of issues, and considering and researching many of the important issues that will be before the House this Session. This week’s highlights:
Baltimore in Governor's Budget
The Governor made specific provisions in his Capital Budget for institutions in Baltimore. Below are some of the provisions found in the Governor's newly submitted budget:
Inner Harbor Infrastructure- the Inner Harbor is to receive funds to renovate and rehab existing facilities and construct a “destination park” as part of its infrastructure upgrades. This project is aimed at revitalizing a heavily used public space in the heart of our city.
Maryland Science Center- the funds to be received for the Maryland Science Center project will aid in replacing the two existing elevators at the Center. This project will ensure that the place is available and easily accessible to all visitors and eliminate the frequent disruptions caused by elevator outages.
National Aquarium in Baltimore – the aquarium is to receive funds to create a new exhibit which will replace the 30-yr old “Maryland Mountains to Sea Exhibit.” Included in this project will be infrastructure improvements to support the new exhibit. These renovations are needed to continue to promote the National Aquarium’s various missions.
Creative Alliance- the funds to be received for this project will renovate a vacant 6600 square foot building in the Highlandtown Arts and Entertainment District. This project will become the Education Annex for the Creative Alliance. It will also enable the Creative Alliance to increase its free educational opportunities.
Living Classrooms: Historic Ships in Baltimore- the capital budget includes funds for the USS Constellation which seeks to repair damage in the historic naval vessel.
Mount Auburn Cemetery- this budget also includes funds for renovations for the historic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Mt. Winans.
Baltimore Mayor Presents at Baltimore City Delegation Meeting
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake came before the Baltimore City Delegation last Friday and presented her agenda for the 2014 Maryland General Assembly. The Mayor presented an agenda that was aimed at curbing gang violence; crack down on outstanding warrants in the city, and an effort to create stronger neighborhoods with the inclusion of a capital budget line item for the Enoch Pratt's reconstruction of the Central Library, which serves as the State Library Resource Center. The Mayor highlighted increased efforts to make the streets safer in the upcoming year. The Mayor support legislation that will block wireless communications in jails and detention centers. She wants to preserve the $7 million in public safety grants for foot patrol, community policing, and violent crime initiatives. The Mayor also outlined her support for full funding of the school system's capital improvement budget request, and also showed full support for legislation that will raise minimum wage to $10.10 to give around 472,000 Marylanders the raise they deserve. The Mayor also showed strong support for the inclusion of $2 million in the MDOT’s budget for the expansion of the tremendously successful Circulator bus system.
As a legislator, it is my goal to make sure that students who have future plans that will benefit Baltimore City and the state of Maryland get the financial help they need for their education. I am delighted to announce that the application process for the Delegate Scholarship is ongoing for residents of the 46th District. If you are enrolled or plan on enrolling in a Maryland College or university you may qualify for a Delegate scholarship. If you or anyone you know is interested in applying please do not hesitate to contact my Chief of Staff, Charles R. Conner, III at Luke.Clippinger@house.state.md.us for more information.