Big wins for this civic activist

I just learned that four bills that I had been working on, supporting, testifying about, and otherwise cajoling, twisting arms, and persuading elected officials to support (or not support, as the case may be), have been passed by one or both houses of our state legislature. It looks very promising that full passage and signature by our governor of these important measures will be enacted this year! Pretty big “wins” for this lil’ ol’ civic activist! Four out of six, anyway.

So this year in Maryland, look for remedial tax relief for people whose homes are seized by eminent domain and who get billed for transfer and recordation taxes when they move to a new home.

Look for higher civil penalties against those who commit manslaughter by motor vehicle, such as when a car driver kills a motorcyclist.

Look for better recognition of joint owners of a real property when one adds his partner to the title to his home, and not have to pay many hundreds of dollars in transfer tax that married couples are exempt from having to pay.

Look for our state not to repeal its motorcycle helmet law.

I’m pretty happy with these “wins” that help many others live their lives in peace and with safety.

Don’t look for our state to ban driving while yapping on hand-held cell phones, and banning texting while driving. Very bad practices by thoughtless people. I’m very ashamed of the members of our state’s Environmental Matters Committee who voted against passing it, which killed it this year, despite the full State Senate approval. I’ve been workin’ this for six years, and need to continue. Bozos who yak while driving should … [expletive deleted].

I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that a bill to provide recognition for same-sex couples and equal treatment under the law did not make it past committee, much less be introduced to either house in the legislature. Much more work needs to be done here to educate the electorate and our elected officials that civil marriage is a civil right.