Helping Keep Our Communities Safer
Larry Sells, Pasadena Voice and PBA Legislative Chair
Delegate Nic Kipke has informed the PBA that crime problems we are facing in our community as a result of opioid and heroin addiction are an issue and one that Governor Hogan is addressing. The Governor’s task force has stressed the need for a three-pronged solution: prevention, treatment and enhanced enforcement. As a result, Nic is supporting HB687- The Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Death Act that has been introduced at the request of Governor Hogan. If passed, will increase the penalty and make it easier for our law enforcement to stop drug dealers selling drugs laced with deadly components by allowing a manslaughter charge to be brought against a dealer that sells drugs which result in the death of the user. This is important because manslaughter carries a much harsher penalty and will keep drug dealers in jail and out of our community for much longer period of time. This is just one piece of the greater plan to help address this emergency.
Additionally, there are two other key bills to enhance law enforcement that Nic feels are long overdue and will help protect citizens of Maryland from Sex Trafficking. The first bill, HB632- Protecting Victims of Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 expands the definition of sexual abuse to include sex trafficking and abuse. The second bill, HB369- Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2017 allows courts to admit evidence of a defendant’s prior history of sexual assault during prosecution for new sexual offenses. Both of these bills, if passed, can help law enforcement to better charge those individuals who commit these atrocious acts. By increasing penalties for these horrible crimes, Nic believes that it will better protect our community and more appropriately punish dangerous criminals.
Lastly, Nic feels that he is “95% sure” businesses will be mandated to pay workers for time off that they accrue to be used for sick leave. At this time he is not sure about what size of businesses will be affected and what exceptions there will be. Many businesses already offer a paid sick time off benefit but the bill that could pass would extend the benefit beyond what many businesses say they can afford and allow benefits to accrue year over year. Nic encourages people with an opinion to email your legislators NOW!!
Senate Finance Committee
House Economic Matters Committee
Your elected officials with their contact information is listed on page 16 & 17 of the PBA Directory.