One Month In

February 1, 2015
As January comes to an end, so does the second full week of the General Assembly and I wanted to let you know what's happening in Annapolis and how I've been spending my time.  I will be sending out periodic updates, but please follow my "Shelly Hettleman for Delegate" Facebook page to see regular highlights. 
 
It's been an exciting time.  I was sworn in, surrounded by my family, and enjoyed the first few days finding my way around the tunnels, meeting staff, learning what subcommittee I will be serving on -- Education and Economic Development of the Appropriations Committee -- and trying to get to know my 140 colleagues in the General Assembly.  Each day is developing its own rhythm and has recently included:
  • attending session each morning at 10:00 (except for Mondays, when it's 8:00 pm)
  • meeting with constituents who are lobbying as part of a larger group (i.e. midwives, school mental health counselors, educators, CPA's, etc.)
  • meeting with advocates who want me to be aware of specific issues
  • briefings in my committee (Appropriations) about the Chesapeake Bay, Medicare, Maryland's unique hospital waiver system, early childhood education and K-12 education
  • meetings with colleagues, many of which are get-to-know-you opportunities to build relationships with legislators throughout the state
  • meetings with colleagues and staff to research and craft my own legislative initiatives

I attended the new Governor's inauguration as well as the Comptroller's swearing in.  I've also attended my first delegation meeting where the County Executive presented his priorities.

The biggest issue of the day is the budget, which the Governor was required to introduce last Friday.  Being on the Appropriations Committee affords me the opportunity to be in the thick of things.  The state budget is very complex and the Governor wields quite a lot of authority over it. The legislature can only reduce funding, but we cannot add to it.  This week is our committee's first opportunity to be briefed by legislative analysts who are really digging into the multi-volume tome and help us understand the full ramifications of it.  My subcommittee has jurisdiction over education funding -- early childhood, K-12, higher education and economic development -- and I look forward to sharing more about our work in the weeks ahead.  As it currently stands, I'm quite concerned about the substantial cuts in education included in the Governor's budget.

I will be having periodic get-togethers in Baltimore (at different spots around the district) while we're in session where you will have a chance to share directly with me your thoughts and concerns about legislation, the community or whatever is on your mind.  Please join me Monday, February 9th, from 8:30 am to 9:30 am at the Corner Bakery in Pikesville, 1809 Reisterstown Road, 21208.

Please make note of my new contact information:

Delegate Shelly Hettleman
Lowe House Office Building, Room 311
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
410-841-3833
shelly.hettleman@house.state.md.us

facebook.com/shellyhettlemanfordelegate

Please stop by when you're in Annapolis -- we'd love to see you!  I look forward to hearing from you and hope you can join us on the 9th.

Mom

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