Local Delegate Sponsoring Some Education Bills In General Assembly

One would expand higher education opportunities for the unserved population.


Annapolis, Md (KM) Frederick County Delegate Ken Kerr (D) is sponsoring a number of education bills in the 2020 Maryland General Assembly. He says one measure would expand the number of teachers in Frederick County’s ten public high schools who could offer college classes during the day. That bill has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.

“My public-private partnership for higher education for the unserved student populations in Frederick County {would}  get them access to higher education without having them drive all the ways to UMBC and College Park, and not have an on line degree their only option,” he says.

Kerr also says his cover crop bill has been assigned to the House Environment and Transportation Committee for a hearing. It would allow farmers who plant wheat and barley as cover crops to be able to harvest them, and possibly sell them to breweries and distilleries. He says currently, Maryland’s  craft beverage industry must import their wheat and barley to make their products.

Another piece of legislation Kerr has introduced would add kratum to  the list of banned substances in Maryland. “Kratum is an unregulated substance that hits the same brain receptors as opium. So it has the overdose potential and the dependency potential. 90 people have died nationwide overdosing from this substance that you can buy over the internet and have delivered to your door. It’s completely unregulated,” he says.

According to a Google search, kratum is a tree and its leaves are used as a recreational drug and medication. People have used to it withdraw from heroin, morphine and other opioid drugs, and also as a cough suppressant. The on line search said there’s no scientific evidence to support these claims.

Kerr says legislators in Annapolis are very busy getting their bills drafted by the Friday deadline so they can go before legislative committees for hearings.

He says one of his bills that’s still being drafted would designate a state tartan, which is similar to the kilts worn in Scotland and other places around the world. According to Kerr, a man approached him and asked if he would sponsor legislation making a tartan design, which is similar to the Maryland flag, as the official state tartan. “And it’s very generous what he’s offering to do. If it becomes the official tartan, he’s willing sign over to the State of Maryland so Maryland can derive all the royalty revenue,” Kerr says.

Maryland already also a state bird (the Baltimore Oriole), a state flower (the Black-eyed Susan), a state drink (milk) and even a state dinosaur. (the Astrodon johnstoni).



By Kevin McManus