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Legislative Newsletter #1



 

Senatorial Scholarship Applications are Live!


Our Senatorial Scholarship program is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year. These scholarships can be used to cover the cost of vocational training, trade certifications, education at a two or four-year institution of higher education, and graduate school. The deadline is May 1st, and you can view the application here.



 

“Operation Clean Sweep Maryland”


Maryland’s Department of Transportation recently launched a new initiative to combat litter on the roadways and increase the frequency of mowing. The budget for these activities has increased by 30%, and you can report litter or high grass on state roads by clicking here or calling 410-545-0300. This is a fantastic way to keep our already beautiful District 34 even more pristine.



 

Legislative Update


This past Thursday, my first bill (SB 535) had its hearing before the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee. Under current federal and state law, active guide dogs are exempt from pet fees and no-pet policies that housing complexes may have. However, once the dogs are forced to retire (often due to old age or injury), they are no longer protected under existing anti-discrimination statutes. Depressingly, blind Marylanders have been forced by their landlord to move, rehouse, or euthanize their retired guide dog. This gap in the law is excessively punitive and puts a tremendous burden on the blind in Maryland. Guide dogs are extensively trained and do not create disturbances, especially in their old age, that warrant removal from housing with no-pet policies. SB 535 extends anti-discrimination protections to cover retired guide dogs. If you would like to track this bill’s progress, you may do so here.



 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact my office at 410-841-3158 or marydulany.james@senate.state.md.us


Sincerely,

Mary-Dulany James


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