From Del. Kathy Szeliga:
The Original Resignation Letter
Our Maryland State House is the longest continuously used state house in the country. It was also the temporary capital of our country at one time.
Last week, a new display was unveiled in the Old State House. It is the actual speech written by George Washington as he resigend his military commission – prior to his election as our first President of the United States.
On December 23, 1783, General George Washington resigned his military commission to the Continental Congress in the Old Senate Chamber of the Maryland State House.
While the roll that day recorded delegates from only seven states – Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, the chamber was full to capacity with citizens wishing to show their gratitude for Washington’s service to his country.
The General’s hand which held the address shook as he read it. When he spoke of the officers who had composed his family, he was obliged to support the paper with both hands. But when he commended the interests of his dearest country to Almighty God, his holy keeping, his voice faltered and sunk, and the whole house felt his agitations.”
Immediately after the resignation, Washington left for Mt. Vernon, wanting to be there for Christmas for the first time in more than eight years. Washington’s resignation in the temporary National capital city culminated what was expected to be his farewell tour to public service. Little did he know that six years later he would resume his service to his country as the first president of the United States.
If you have not visited our capital city and our historic state house, I invite you to come visit. We can arrange a tour of the historic building and I can show you around our legislative buildings. The best time to visit is during session, January through April.
Human Trafficking in MD
It’s Happening Right Here!
Human trafficking most often involves the trade in humans for sexual purposes, or for forced labor. According to the United Nations, human trafficking generates $9.5 billion yearly in the United States alone. The Department of Justice reports that approximately 300,000 children are at risk of being prostituted in the US and that the average age of entry into prostitution for a child victim is between 13 and 14 years of age.
The Maryland Judiciary’s annual report, showed that there were 217 violations of the misdemeanor human trafficking statute and 32 violations of the aiding and abetting statute involving an adult victim in the District Court during fiscal 2014. Four bills have been introduced in this session in an effort to help combat this ever-increasing problem:
– HB0241 – Penalty for Human Trafficking
– SB0520 – Human Trafficking – Affirmative Defense
– SB0521/HB0456 Safe Harbor Policy for Youth Victims of Human Trafficking
Believe it or not, human trafficking of an adult is currently only a misdemeanor! HB 241 will change that to a felony. I am a cosponsor of HB 241. Human trafficking of minors is a felony. Last year, there were four individuals sentenced in Maryland for adult human trafficking. I believe this law is overdue.
How Many Laws do we Need?
Del Szeliga’s legislative agenda – light
So far, there have been 1159 bills introduced in the House of Delegates and 821 in the Senate. Some of these are duplicate bills filed in each chamber – called cross filed bills.
Remember, every bill has the potential of becoming a law. Do you think we need an additional 2,000 laws every year?
I am the primary sponsor of 6 bills.
HB 238 – will allow airports under the Maryland Aviation Administration to trim and cut trees that are hazards to navigation. Currently, only airports governed by the FAA – Federal Aviation Administration are allowed to do this. My bill will help the 16 smaller airports under the MAA.
HB 257 – will give homeowners near the Eastern Sanitary Landfill the opportunity to petition Baltimore County for a property tax credit. The County signed a contract with Harford County and recently began processing Harford County’s trash. The County is getting $9 million per year. It’s only right that the neighboring residents of Loreley Beach should be able to ask the County for a tax credit.
HB 454 – will prohibit the State of Maryland from charging drivers a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax. This is a concept that has been considered in the past. It’s a terrible idea for lots of reasons.
HB 735 – will allow people traveling through our state to transport legally owned firearms via vehicle or boat. The unintended consequences of the restrictive gun bill that passed a couple of years ago is that it prohibits lawful firearm owners from driving or boating through our state with certain firearms that are now illegal to own in Maryland.
HB 1011 – allows an adult child to obtain a copy of their parent’s birth certificate.
HB 1147 – is a matching grant request for $200,000 for Angel Park in Perry Hall. This new park will be located on Honeygo Blvd and will be similar to Annie’s Playground in Harford County – a playground fully accessible to handicapped children. Angel Park has already raised about $1 million in private contributions and this will help with the playground equipment purchase. There are usually $7 million in grants for community projects approved by the House and $7 million by the Senate.
I have cosponsored many other bills. If you’d like to see the whole list of bills I’ve sponsored and cosponsored CLICK HERE.
Thank you for your continued help and support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance to you and your family.
Delegate Kathy Szeliga