The pace in Annapolis is beginning to really speed up, please find below some of the issues at the forefront:
Bills on the Move
Jake's Law: HB1212
Earlier this week, a press conference was held in Lawyer's Mall here in Annapolis. The picture above shows me during the press conference we had for Jake's Law. Susan Yum, Senator Richard Manno's office, and supporters joined my staff and I as we talked about the importance of moving this legislation along so that other families would not have to suffer the same needless loss as Susan Yum, when she lost her young son, Jake, to a automobile crash that could have been prevented. I have learned a great deal through this process, especially the frailty of life and how the need for instant gratification in our society today threatens the lives of everyone who shares the roads we all travel here in Maryland. Please find below links to some of the coverage we received that morning:
Protective Orders: HB 307
I am pleased to announce that several pieces of important legislation were heard this week in Judiciary and received favorable reports from the committee. I fought for both bills and I am pleased they are headed to the floor of the House for a vote.
HB 307, will lower the standard of proof needed to get a final protective order hearing from “clear and convincing evidence” to the a showing of a “preponderance of evidence.” Maryland is the only state to require “clear and convincing evidence” to get a final protective order - a high burden of proof for victims of domestic abuse to meet.
Cynthia M. Lifson, Legislative Counsel, Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence supported the bill throughout its journey to committee and stated, "The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, our state coalition that fights domestic violence throughout Maryland, joins in celebrating with Del. Clippinger the passage through the House Judiciary Committee of HB 307. This bill corrects a long-standing problem in our Code by changing the standard of proof in final protective order hearings to preponderance of the evidence. This standard is the one that is used in all other U.S. jurisdictions in domestic violence proceedings. Delegate Clippinger’s knowledge of the law, commitment to public safety, and ability to persuade his colleagues are hallmarks of his excellence. He is definitely a “go-to” guy!"
Person in Authority Bill: HB 781
Thursday, my bill, HB 781, received a favorable report from the House Judiciary Committee. As some of you may remember, this is a vital piece of legislation to keep our children safe in Maryland from those who would prey on their youth and innocence.
Protecting children from those in our society who would prey on their innocence has long been at the heart of my legislative efforts. I have worked extensively with policy experts, including those at Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA), to craft legislation that will protect children from predators who use their positions to exploit children and teens in their care.
I am very pleased that my colleagues and I were able to advance the necessary protections that the young people of Maryland need and deserve.
Community Meeting with State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein and Secretary Sam Abed of the Department of Juvenile Services
THE DATE OF THE COMMUNITY MEETING WITH STATE'S ATTORNEY BERNSTEIN HAS BEEN CHANGED.
After the overwhelming attendance at the community meeting two weeks ago, my office, with the much appreciated assistance of Senator Ferguson and Delegates Hammen and McHale, looked for a larger facility for the second meeting. We were unable to get a location large enough for March 5, mainly as many larger locations had Ash Wednesday services scheduled.
Thanks to the people of St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church (capacity 500), we have been able to re-schedule the meeting to Wednesday, March 19 at 7 p.m.
ALSO - The Secretary of Juvenile Services, Sam Abed, will be in attendance at themeeting on the 19th.
Both the State's Attorney and myself would like to have the meeting earlier. However, after the meeting two weeks ago, I want to be certain there is room for as many people as wish to attend, and the 19th is the day that works.