From State Sen. J.B. Jennings:
This week my colleagues and I debated Senate Bill 196, which prohibits the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) from requiring proof of gender from applicants for licenses, identification cards or moped operator’s permits, and would allow anyone to change their gender on their new ID’s even if it appears differently on alternate forms of identification. If an applicant identifies as an unspecified sex in the application, the MVA must ensure that driver’s licenses display an “X” in the appropriate location. The issue I have with this bill is it effectively legalizes falsification of state documents and compromises the accuracy of vital information. As reported by The Baltimore Sun: “Are we going to call them X-Men?” “When it comes to that information, I think it should be accurate,” Jennings said. In order to implement this change, the state would incur one-time costs upwards of $220,500 that the MVA would pay in order to update the licensing system and an additional $158,000 for the judiciary to update its system.
Some of these individuals do not identify either way; they feel as though they are neither male nor female. The other concern I have is they don’t have to have any additional documentation; so someone who has identified as one gender their entire life can now change their gender on their driver’s license to the opposite sex or even the illusive “X” specification. If people find it so offensive that they are required to identify as a certain gender, why don’t we get rid of gender identification completely rather than making up a new classification?
Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Minimum Wage
Thanks to everyone who came to Annapolis to testify at the Minimum Wage hearing. It was a full house in the Senate Finance Committee room with 26 pages of witnesses, which totaled over 204 individuals. The hearing began at 1:00pm and finally concluded at 8:48pm. People from across the state came to testify about how raising the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour would affect them. Opponents of the measure – many of them business owners – stated that raising the minimum wage yet again would force them to lay off employees or shut their doors. Passage of this bill would have dire consequences for Maryland’s economy, and I intend to keep fighting it. Now that we’ve had the hearing we are going to continue debating the bill and amend it over the next few weeks.
Around the District
?It was my pleasure to welcome representatives from The ARC of the Greater Chesapeake Region during their recent visit to Annapolis. The ARC is a wonderful organization that focuses on employment, community living and providing fulfilling opportunities for individuals with differing abilities to engage in the world around them.
Senator J.B. Jennings