Several Hot Topics Up for Vote in 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session

The Wild and Scenic River Boards Bill of Frederick County expected for a vote.

ANNAPOLIS, MD. (LG)  Maryland Delegate Kathy Afzali plans to introduce legislation this week in the Maryland General Assembly to add a section specifically addressing wild and scenic river boards in Frederick County. She says landowners on the Frederick County side of the river feel their views are not adequately represented.  “I think it’s pretty clear that the citizens along the Monocacy River are pretty upset with the County for the way the issue was handled,” said Afzali.

According to the Frederick County Government website, the Monocacy Scenic River Advisory Board was created in 1978, and consists of ten members.   Afzali says the Board is supposed to have two members who own properties contiguous to the River, two who do not own land next to the River, two from the local governing bodies, and one from a soil conservation district.  “I think what my bill would do is give the Delegation the tool to just say, hey, look, let’s put this in the statute so in the future there’s no ambuiguity with the make up of this River Board, and it should be diverse and it should be fair.”

The board’s task is to provide advice and recommendations to both County Governments on land use, land development proposals, and resource management issues that impact the Monocacy River.

Term Limits:

Delegate Afzali seems to be on board when it comes to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s proposal on term limits for the General Assembly.  Hogan wants to restrict lawmakers to two consecutive four year terms.  “The measure has been put forth several times before by Delegates and Senators.  I think Senator Michael Hough even put it in one year, and basically it says two terms is enough.  It’s time for you to go home and do something else.  Some people, like myself, are self imposed with term limits and other people, the voters, make that decision.”

Governor Hogan has said that the measure, which would be subject to a referendum of voters, would not force any current long-serving lawmakers out of office.  “But the Governor is saying, like a lot of people have been saying for a long time, is there might be time for some change,” continued Afzali.

Dozens of the 141 members of the State House of Delegates and more than a third of the 47 Senators have served more than two terms in Annapolis.

-Loretta Gaines