The last update I wrote about HB 1299 (Howard County Board of Education – Elected School Board Ho. Co. 11-17) was when the Maryland House passed the bill 137 – 1 – 2. Now the bill is making its way through the Maryland Senate. After a slight delay, the Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee finally took action and gave it a “favorable report” on April 6th. The final vote from the committee was 9 – 2. Who voted against the bill you ask? Here is the vote breakdown:
Senator Bates has been against this bill since day one. She has never and I am sure will never support this legislation. I guess I understand it. This will hurt GOP leaning “non-Partisan” Board of Education candidates given the voter demographics in Howard County. Had she supported the original bill, GOP leaning “non-Partisan” candidates would have at least done well in District 5. When District 5 voters can not get the Board of Education candidate elected that they support, they have one elected official that represents them to look at for this reason.
What the heck problem does Senator Waugh have with this bill? He represents District 29 (located in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties). Was this blind support for Senator Bates or does he have an actual reason for not supporting a local Howard County bill that does not affect him or those he represents? I sent him a request for information as to why he voted against the bill. If I get an answer, I will be happy to update this post with that answer.
I looked at the schedule for tomorrow (last day of the General Session) and HB 1299 is on the Maryland Senate agenda. I continue to hope this passes and the problems with the bill (candidates should be elected by district vote, not county wide vote) are corrected before 2020.
Stay tuned…more information coming soon.