We moved some exciting legislation forward this week with hard work and your help! In the photo above, I answered questions and led the floor vote today in the House on Jake's Law.
On Wednesday night, the House Judiciary Committee voted 18 to 3 to approve my bill that would increase the penalties faced by drivers found guilty of causing an accident that results in death or serious bodily injury while using a cell phone. Today, on the floor of the house, I am pleased to announce that Jake’s Law passed the house on Third Reading with 111 votes. This is a tremendous milestone and the product of hard work by so many people.
This legislation is named after 5 year old Jake Owens who was killed in a fatal car accident on December 28, 2011 when the driver of an SUV crashed into the back of the Owens’s family vehicle. At the exact time of the accident, the driver had been using a cell phone and was so distracted that he hit the car without ever applying his brakes. The driver received a fine of $1,000 with no jail term.
The MVA reports that, for the five-year period from 2008 through 2012 there was an average of 53,878 traffic crashes per year and 19,790 of those accidents were the result of distracted driving. I believe that if this bill is passed it will help to reduce this number drastically and make roads safer for all Marylanders.
Third Degree Sexual Offense- Burglary
The House Judiciary Committee passed my bill HB 782 Third Degree Sexual Offense-Burglary. This bill establishes that engaging in sexual contact with a person without consent alongside a first, second or third degree burglary constitutes sexual offense in the third degree.
The current law states that engaging in unlawful sexual contact with another person without consent may be classified as a fourth degree sexual offense, which is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and/or a maximum fine of $1000. This bill that has just passed will convict a person who has sexually assaulted and burglarized someone at the same time as a third degree sexual offender. The third degree offense will be punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years.
I would like to remind you all that our community safety meeting is scheduled for Wednesday March 19th, 2014 at 7pm at the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church located at 2638 E Baltimore St, MD 21224.
The State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, Mr. Gregg Bernstein and Mr. Sam Abed, Secretary for the Department of Juvenile Services will be in attendance to answer your questions and address your concerns. If you have any questions prior to the meeting please do not hesitate to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Child care will also be provided but parents should please make it a point to RSVP for childcare well in advance of the event. Please email Beth Laverick at email@example.com
Thanks for all your help,