Highlights From Annapolis

November 2016

George N. Manis Honored With Lifetime Achievement Awardphoto_gmanis2
George N. Manis, co-founder of Manis Canning and Associates, was honored by the Maryland Government Relations Association for his more than 40 year career in Annapolis, in which he was an effective advocate for his many clients as well as a mentor for many younger lobbyists. Nick Manis accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his father, who passed away in 2014.

Senator Ulysses Currie to Resign From State Senate
In a letter to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Senator Ulysses Currie announced that he would resign from the Senate effective December 1, 2016. Senator Currie, who has represented District 25 in Prince George’s County for 30 years, stated that he felt he “could no longer carry out his duties with the strength and energy you all deserve.”

An article in the Afro indicates that former Delegate Melody Griffin and sitting Delegate Darryl Barnes are both interested in the position. Prince George’s County Council member Karen Toles was mentioned as a “darkhorse candidate.”

Board of Public Works Approves Budget Cuts to Address Revenue Shortfall
The Board of Public Works approved the proposed budget reductions announced by State Budget Secretary David Brinkley. The reductions, which total $82 million, will help address an expected revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year. The largest reductions will occur in the Medicaid program and the University System of Maryland. A summary of the BPW agenda item and a detailed list of the reductions can be located on the Department of Budget and Management’s website. Additional coverage can be found in the Washington Post.

State Lawmakers Briefed on Budget Outlook, Revenue Shortfall
Members of the Spending Affordability Committee (SAC) and the House and Senate budget committees were briefed by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) on the state’s economic and budget outlook for the current and following fiscal year. Analysts advised the members that permanent spending reductions may be necessary  to accommodate slow economic growth. According to DLS’s Spending Affordability document, spending will outpace revenues by 1.2% over the next several fiscal years. This is an annual budget gap of approximately $250 million per year. SAC, composed of members of the General Assembly and two public members, meets annually beginning in the fall to recommend a target for budget growth for each fiscal year based on the current and prospective condition of the state’s economy. The Committee is scheduled to hold its next meeting on November 17 to make its recommendations for fiscal 2018.

Regulations Proposed – Major Transportation Project Scoring and Ranking System
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has released proposed regulations to establish the Major Transportation Project Scoring and Ranking System required by the Maryland Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016 (CH 36, Acts of 2016).  Comments, accepted through November 28, 2016, may be sent to Eric R. Backes, Regulations Coordinator, MDOT, 7201 Corporate Center Drive, Hanover, MD 21076, or call 410-865-1158, or email to ebackes@mdot.state.md.us, or fax to 410-865-1113.

The General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review will hold a hearing on the regulations on November 18, 2016 at 10 am in the Joint Hearing Room of the Legislative Services Building in Annapolis.

Firaxis Games Founder, Sid Meier, Honored
Take Two Interactive, 2K, and the Entertainment Software Association hosted a celebrationfiraxis-event to honor Sid Meier, the founder of Firaxis Games, on the 25th anniversary of the Civilization video game series and the release of Civilization VI.  Bret Schreiber, Director of Education and Innovation, representing the Office of the Honorable Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, presented Mr. Meier with a special proclamation declaring Friday, October 21st as “Civilization Day” in the State of Maryland – the home of Firaxis Games’ studio.

Wunderlich to Depart Governor’s Legislative Office
Katie Wunderlich, who currently serves as Deputy Legislative Officer for Governor Hogan, has recently accepted the position of Deputy Principal Director at the Health Services Cost Review Commission.

Other Important Information and Websites
Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education – Meeting dates, meeting minutes, and other details can be found on the Commission website. Preliminary report is due December 31, 2016 and the final report is due December 31, 2017.

Commission to Modernize State Procurement – Meeting dates, meeting minutes, and other details can be found on the Commission website. The Commission’s final report with recommendations is due to the Governor by December 1, 2016.

21st Century School Facilities Commission – Meeting dates and agenda topics can be found on the Commission page of the General Assembly’s website.

To access press releases, executive orders, and other information from the Office of Governor Larry Hogan, visit the Governor’s website.

To access information on members of the General Assembly, committees, committee meetings, legislation, and other publications, visit the General Assembly’s Website.

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