Interim 2023: In Case You Missed It

Here’s what happened in between 2023 & 2024 session. there were congressional candidate announcements, deaths, & more…

Maryland General Assembly

A few moves in the MGA create a whole trickle down effect:
  • She began her position on December 18
  • She was in her 5th year in the MD Senate & 16 years in the House of Delegates
  • Senator Griffith was the Chair of Finance – leaving a vacancy to be filled

  • Beidle, Anne Arundel Democrat, Senator since 2019, and elected as Delegate in 2007

  • Fills Sen. Griffith’s vacancy
  • Serves on Judicial Proceedings
  • Senator Alonzo Washington moves from Judicial Proceedings to Finance

  • District 25
  • Serves on Ways & Means

Delegate Barve leaves the House of Delegates in May 2023 to join the Maryland Public Service Commission

Delegate Marc Korman replaced Barve as Environment & Transportation’s Chairman

  • Delegate Korman, D, Montgomery County
  • Served as House Majority Leader

Delegate David Moon moves into the House Majority Leader position

Delegate Sandy Bartlett now serves as Vice-Chair of House Environment & Transportation


Del. Dana Stein sworn in as Speaker Pro Tempore, replacing Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes


Delegate Regina Boyce now serves as Vice-Chair of Environment & Transportation

State of the Budget

Governor Moore introduced his second budget last week. The state is currently facing some substantial structural deficits over the next few years due to increases in mandated spending. The Governor’s budget decreases those deficits by about 30%. Now, the budget is in the hands of the legislature, and they will hold hearings and make decisions over the next couple months.
Need to know more? Email Tyler Bennett

2024 Congressional Race

Scroll through the list of candidates for Maryland’s Congressional District 3
U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes’ seat (he’s retiring after 9 terms)

In Memory

Former Senator, Doug Peters, passed away at the end of December 2023

Read more about his life here 

Delaware 2024 Election Overview

There is much to cover since the end of Delaware’s 2023 Session!

Leadership Changes:

This is how it went down last June:

  • Speaker of the House, Peter Schwartzkopf who served as Speaker for a decade, stepped down.
  • He recommended Majority Leader Longhurst, and that night, she was elected to Speaker position
  • This left a vacancy in Majority Leader role
  • Democratic caucus members elected Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown as House Majority Leader

House Democrats Elect All-Female Leadership Team, Setting Historic Firsts in Delaware

Valerie Longhurst
Speaker of the House
District 15

Valerie J. Longhurst is the first female Speaker of the House in Delaware history. She was first elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in November 2004 to represent the 15th District. The district consists of 24,000 people living in Bear and St. Georges. In 2008, she was elected as the House Majority Whip and served for four years. After the 2012 election, her caucus elected her House Majority Leader. In June 2023, she was elected Speaker of the House. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-15/

https://apnews.com/article/delaware-legislative-session-house-speaker-longhurst-6a2be3b6d0bc8336b70edb57dd05d1a6


Melissa Minor Brown
Majority Leader
District 17

Rep. Melissa ‘Mimi’ Minor-Brown is determined to make a difference by using her platform as a springboard for change, advocacy, and empowerment for her community. Rep. Minor-Brown knows what it means to work hard. She is an American success story, pulling herself up as a single teenage mother to evolve into a licensed practical nurse, to a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Executive Leadership, graduating Cum Laude from Wilmington University, to now serving as a legislator in Delaware’s House of Representatives. On a broader scale, Rep. Minor-Brown serves as the Region III Chair for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-17/


Governor’s Race

Governor John Carney’s two terms as Delaware Governor ends in 2024! Below are the candidates for Governor in Delaware.

Bethany Hall Long
Lt. Governor (2017-2024)

Dr. Bethany Hall-Long has served as Delaware’s 26th Lieutenant Governor since 2017. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served in the Delaware House of Representatives from 2002-2008 and in the Delaware Senate from 2008-2017. –https://ltgov.delaware.gov/biography/

In the news:
How Hall-Long’s refusal to release audit findings sparked elections reform talks

Check out her campaign website here.


Matt Meyer
Newcastle County Executive (2017-2024)
In 2016, Matt Meyer was a sixth and seventh grade Math teacher when he first ran for public office, defeating a heavily-favored three-term incumbent in a grassroots campaign to serve as the Chief Executive of Delaware’s largest county. – https://www.newcastlede.gov/125/Matt-Meyer—County-Executive
Check out his campaign website here.

Lt. Governor’s Race

Kyle Evans Gay
DE State Senator
District 5

After becoming a vocal advocate for the successful Equal Rights Amendment to the Delaware Constitution, Sen. Gay was elected to the Delaware Senate in 2020, becoming the first Democrat to represent the Fifth Senate District in more than 40 years.She currently serves as the chair of the Senate Elections & Government Affairs Committee, vice-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee, and a member of both the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. – https://legis.delaware.gov/AssemblyMember/151/Gay

Check out her campaign website here.

Debbie Harrington
Retired Army Colonel
As a Social Justice Advocate, Debbie Harrington, has been the “boots on the ground” in Delaware communities, organizing food donations, back to school supplies, health fairs, financial literacy seminars and environmental protection initiatives. She still serves on boards where she has been able to affect education and health policies for all people. She is known for getting the hard jobs done. – https://debbiefordelaware.com/meet-debbie/
Check out her campaign website here.

Sherry Dorsey Walker
DE State Representative
District 3
Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, is the first Person of Color elected to the Delaware House of Representatives from the 3rd District in 2018. As well, she is First Woman and the First Person of Color elected in the 6th District to the Wilmington City Council in 2012. She earned a Masters in Film from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware in English/Journalism. She is a proud product of St. Elizabeth School, where she attended for 12 years. – https://housedems.delaware.gov/members/house-district-3/
Check out her campaign website here.

Congressional Race to Watch

 

Colleen Davis
DE State Treasurer
Colleen C. Davis was elected State Treasurer in November 2018 and re-elected to a second term in 2022. Since taking office, Treasurer Davis has focused on three main priorities: bolstering retirement security and readiness, creating pathways to economic empowerment, and promoting a culture of financial excellence. Highlights of her first term include maintaining Delaware’s AAA bond rating, increasing return on the state’s investments by more than $58 million, and creating Delaware Expanding Access to Retirement & Necessary Savings (EARNS), an Auto-IRA program for Delaware private-sector workers not otherwise covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. – https://treasurer.delaware.gov/about-colleen-davis/
Check out her campaign website here.

Sarah McBride
DE State Senator

District 1As a state senator, McBride has passed legislation expanding access to health care, requiring mental health and media literacy education in public schools, promoting green technologies, and protecting workers and families. In just her first term, McBride also passed the landmark Healthy Delaware Families Act, providing paid family and medical leave to workers throughout the First State and marking the largest expansion of Delaware’s social safety net in decades. She currently serves as chair of the Senate Health & Social Services Committee, and a member of the Senate Banking, Business, Insurance & Technology, Education, Executive and Judiciary committees. – https://senatedems.delaware.gov/members/senate-district-1/

Check out her campaign website here.


Eugene Young
Director of Housing Authority
Delaware’s Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, Eugene R. Young, Jr. was appointed to
his current position by Governor John Carney in May of 2021. In cooperation with other state agencies and advocates, Director Young drives DSHA’s mission to provide and assist others to provide, quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to low- and moderate-income Delawareans. – https://leadershipdelaware.org/teams/eugene-young-jr/

Check out his campaign website here.


Local Government Relations

When we say we offer
LOCAL government relations services,
what do we mean…?

Navigating the Mid-Atlantic with Compass Advocacy

Whether you call them counties, boroughs, parishes, or municipalities– each local jurisdiction plays a crucial role in governing daily life.. These local jurisdictions vary by state, county, and city all across the country. Just to make matters more confusing, each local government has a different way of governing. They have different names, different structures, responsibilities, and strategies for getting things done. At Compass Advocacy, we provide state and local government relations services, where we foster strong connections with decision-makers in local governments across the Mid-Atlantic region, aiming to simplify and guide you through the intricate processes.


Maryland Local Government 

Understanding the three forms of Maryland government is key: County Commissioners, Code Home Rule, and Charter. From Calvert to Washington, our expertise spans various counties, ensuring comprehensive government relations management.

County Commissioners: Empowered by the General Assembly, this form allows legislation for specific counties.  While a board of county commissioners exercises both executive and legislative functions defined by State law, and may enact ordinances, its legislative power is limited to those areas authorized by the General Assembly, enabling legislation, or public local laws.

Our reach extends to these counties:Calvert, Carroll, Garrett, St. Mary’s, Somerset, and Washington.


Code Home Rule: Since 1915, counties have had the option of governing under code home rule, which enables them to exercise broad local legislative authority.

Our reach extends to these counties: Allegany, Caroline, Charles, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Worcester.


Charter: The charter government separates the executive branch from the legislative branch. Most typically, it consists of a county executive and a county council.

Our reach extends to these counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Talbot, and Wicomico.

Delaware Local Government 

The state of Delaware government affairs comprises  three counties: New Castle, Kent and Sussex. Our services extend to facilitate effective state government relations.

New Castle County

New Castle County manages local affairs by the County Executive and Council . The County Council is the legislative body and is made up of 12 members elected from each of the 12 districts, and the council president who is elected at-large. The county council is responsible for passing laws that help with the health and welfare of residents including topics like the budget, planning and zoning, and public entities such as public libraries.


Kent County
Distinguished by its name, the Levy Court, Kent County’s Levy Court consists of six commissioners elected by the district and one who is elected at large. They largely deal with zoning and development issues.


Sussex County
Sussex County, Delaware is governed by a County Council and a County administrator. The County Council consists of five members elected from five geographic districts. Each member serves a 4-year term. The County Council is responsible for the budget, policies impacting residents’ health and safety and growth and development goals for the county. The County Administrator is appointed by the Council and oversees the budget and policy implementation on behalf of the Council. Unlike other DE local governments, the County Administrator oversees services such as public safety, planning and zoning, and tax collection.

D.C. Local Government 

D.C. local government functions like many local governments with Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. However, their relationship with the federal government sets them apart from other local state jurisdictions.

Executive- The Mayor
The current DC Mayor is Muriel Bowser. Who is responsible for the daily administration of the district government and is elected by 4-year terms. This includes overseeing government agencies such as the Metropolitan Police Department, public schools, the Health Department, and the Department of Planning and Economic Development. The Mayor approves or vetoes laws passed by the Council and is ultimately responsible for executing those laws.


Legislative- The Council of the District of Columbia
The city of DC is split into 8 wards, or districts, divided up by population. The council is made up of 1 member from each ward, as well as 5 at-large members, including a chairman, that represent the entire district. Members serve four-year terms, with staggered elections taking place every two years. The Council is responsible for making laws on behalf of DC residents on a variety of topics including crime, education, parking, and the budget.

In 2016, DC finally got control over its budget, separating it from the federal budget. Once the budget has passed the council, it is now submitted to Congress for a 30-day passive review, not requiring Congress to act for the budget to take effect.


National Representation

Taxation without representation! Famously, DC has no voting representation in the federal government. Due to their incorporated status, DC is only allowed to elect a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton currently serves on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

https://mailchi.mp/compassadvocacy/compass-gr-august-navigator-9086948

Understanding State and Local Government in Maryland, Delaware and D.C

At Compass Government Relations, we specialize in government affairs, government consulting, and lobbying services, ensuring effective state and federal government relations management. For detailed insights, explore our Compass Navigator or contact us today to learn more about our state and local government relations services!

Maryland Session 2024 – Legislative Aide Internship

Compass Legislative Internship Job DescriptionCompass Government Relations Partners are looking for a reliable and motivated intern with an interest in government, policy, and Maryland politics. Interest and experience in social media content creation is a plus. Excellent candidates for this position are personable, and willing to follow directions working individually or as part of a team. Candidates should excel in a fast-paced, high-pressure work environment, and possess excellent writing and time management skills.

Candidates will be required to work a minimum of 15 hours/week required during Session (January-April), &
should have availability Tuesdays-Fridays from 9:00am – 4:00pm.

 

To apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and 2 professional references to compass@compassadvocacy.com with subject line: “Compass Intern Application”.
Application Deadline: October 30, 2023.

Federal Government Relations: Lobby Days

“All politics is local”
– Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill
At any level of government, from local to federal, curating relationships with your legislators is essential to the successful pursuit of your legislative priorities.

Lobby days provide advocates with the opportunity to directly engage with legislators and decision makers. Direct engagement with policymakers and their staff allow the unique opportunity to express concerns, share personal stories, and make persuasive arguments in support of the cause. This allows you, the advocate, to influence policy decisions directly.
Engaging with your federal lawmakers may seem like an insurmountable task if you don’t know where to start. But Compass Advocacy manages several federal client portfolios — we can help! We’ve had immense success engaging federal lawmakers across the country with constituents in their own district.
From fly-ins to DC for a lobby day with State delegations, to site visits across the country, Compass is ready to get you in front of the decision makers that matter most for your cause!

Delaware General Assembly 2023 Highlight

“In just the last few years, we have set new renewable energy standards for our utilities to follow, passed legislation to enable and expand community solar development, adopted a statewide climate action plan, reactivated and empowered a new energy advisory council, promoted the adoption of electric vehicles, and created new avenues for historically disadvantaged communities to reap the benefits of solar power. Now, we are working to create greenhouse gas reduction targets,  transition our state school bus fleet to electric and consolidate the oversight and planning of Delaware’s energy policy into a single office with new resources and direction.” she said.

“Thankfully, my legislative colleagues and Governor John Carney recognize that, as the lowest lying state in the nation, Delaware simply can’t afford to view renewable energy and environmental issues as a niche interest any longer.”

– Senator Stephanie Hansen,
Chair of the Delaware Senate’s Environment, Energy & Transportation Committee

 

Read More About Delaware Here!

Local Budgets 2023

In recent weeks, counties in Maryland have unveiled local budget proposals for FY24. The $63 billion Maryland State Budget passed during Session on April 3, 2023 – allowing local jurisdictions to tackle their own operating and capital budgets before the start of the fiscal year. Here are a few highlights & important dates from some notable jurisdictions in Maryland.

Anne Arundel County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 15, 2023

Baltimore City

Preliminary Budget
Approved no later than June 26, 2023

Baltimore County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Frederick County

Proposed Budget
Approved no later than May 31, 2023

Harford County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 15, 2023

Howard County

Proposed Operating Budget
Proposed Capital Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Montgomery County

Recommended Budget
Adopted by May 31, 2023

Prince George’s County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Need help securing local government funding in the future?
Our team has the experience and the relationships to help!

Read More Here!

Maryland 2023 Legislative Session: Wrapped

 

Maryland had many big-ticket-items in the queue this 2023 Session and proved to be a long (or short depending on who you talk to) 90-day Session. Read more to see what bills and policies are in the headlines following adjournment. As bill signing dates are released, your Compass Government Relations team will keep you apprised of what is being signed into law and when!

Abortion

  • Approved constitutional amendment to go on ballot in November 2024 to enshrine the right to abortion in the Maryland Constitution
  • Passed legislation to protect patients/providers from criminal, civil, and administrative penalties relating to abortion bans or restrictions in other states
  • Passed a data-privacy bill to protect medical and insurance records on reproductive health
  • Universities in Maryland required to have a plan for student access to birth control methods near campuses

Cannabis

  • Medical dispensaries can acquire dual licenses to sell recreational cannabis
  • Tax will be 9%
  • Adults 21 and over allowed to possess up to 1.5 oz and two marijuana plants

Guns

  • Private property owners can control whether firearms can be brought onto their property, including commercial establishments
    • Defines sensitive places where firearms cannot be carried
  • Lawmakers removed the “good and substantial reason” from state law
  • Tightened gun storage laws

Budget

  • $62.5 billion budget for next fiscal year
  • $900 million to help pay costs in future years of Blueprint for Maryland’s Future

$15 Minimum Wage

  • Rate of increasing minimum wage quickened from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2024

Paid Family Leave

  • Implement law passed last year
  • Require cost split evenly between worker and employer

Gender Affirming Treatment

  • State expanded procedures, revisions, and reversals covered under Medicaid

Clergy-Abuse Lawsuits

  • Lawmakers passed a measure to end the state’s statute of limitations for when civil lawsuits can be filed against public and private institutions related to child sexual abuse.

Offshore Wind

  • Maryland to generate 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2031
  • Upgrade energy grid for energy transmission from sea to land

April 2023 GR Navigator

2023 Delaware Session Updates

On March 7th, both the Delaware House and Senate resumed their 2023 session after their February break.

Here’s what Delaware is tracking, and what’s coming up:

Cannabis

  • Across the entire country, states including Delaware and Maryland, are enacting legislation to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Although unsuccessful last legislative session due to a veto by Governor Carney, the Delaware House is attempting once again to legalize the possession, sharing, use, and purchasing of up to one ounce of cannabis for those who are 21 or older. Emphasis is being placed on regulating the market and helping businesses adapt to this new measure.
    • Bills to Watch:
      • HB1: Removes all penalties for use or possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana. Those 21 or older may possess, use, display, purchase, or transport accessories and personal use quantities of marijuana without penalty
Voting
  • Voting is the core principal of America’s democracy but, historically, many barriers have been put in place to keep specific groups from voting. To this day, there is legislation in many states to restrict voting rights and make it more difficult. During this session, Delaware has a few bills that are focused on voting rights.
    • Bills to Watch:
      • HB43: Allows Delaware voters who are not affiliated with a political party to vote in a political party’s primary election. This bill will allow 170,000+ unaffiliated Delaware voters to have their voice represented in the primaries
      • SB57: This Act provides Delawareans with confidence that the votes they have cast will be honored when the Electoral College meets to decide the outcome of presidential elections
Sustainability
  • This session, Delaware has a couple of bills prioritizing actions to decrease the adverse effects of unsustainable and harmful practices. Earlier this year, the EPA awarded Delaware with a couple million dollars to upgrade infrastructure for the sake of public health and to protect essential waterways. Both Governor Carney and the Delaware legislature highly prioritize environmental policies.
    • Bills to Watch:
      • SB51: Prohibits single-use  plastics such as straws and coffee stirrers, and polystyrene foam containers in food establishments

 

March 2023 GR Navigator

Team Spotlight: Hannah Garagiola

Lobbyist Hannah Garagiola is the president of Compass Advocacy, a lobbying group she founded in 2018 that has offices in Annapolis, Rockville and Dover, Delaware. Her clients include the Maryland General Assembly, local governments throughout Maryland, Fortune 500 businesses, trade associations and more.

She is the former deputy chief of staff to the late Thomas V. Mike Miller, the former Maryland Senate president.

What is the most valuable habit you have developed?

The most valuable habit I’ve developed is definitely taking time for myself. It prevents burnout and allows you to better enjoy what you do. Early in my career, I hardly ever did that and now that I have more responsibility and two small children, I really have to take time to unwind. Whether it is to spend time with friends, date nights, working out, cook leisurely or get away, I am better and fresher when I can gain perspective from a mental break.

What is the biggest challenge facing government leaders in Maryland?

Government officials have to balance the various important priorities for the state. Whether it is great schools, a clean environment, less traffic, public safety or literally hundreds of other crucial issues, leaders in the state need to figure out how to manage those competing interests.

 

View the full list here.

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