Frederick County Delegate Fair One Of About 30 New Legislators This General Assembly Session

He says he plans to sponsor four bills this 2023 Session.

Delegate Kris Fair (Photo from Md. General Assembly)

Frederick, Md (KM) Last week was a busy time for first-time Maryland .legislators such as Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair. He was one of about 30 lawmakers who were sworn into office as the 2023 Maryland General Assembly got underway. He says he is getting used to being a legislator. “Really, {you} spend your first couple of days meeting your colleagues, meeting some of the major players around Annapolis and getting a chance to talk to them more in-depth. And learning about your committee and subcommittee assignments,” says Fair.

Fair is one of three Delegates representing  District Three. The other two are Ken Kerr and Karen Simpson. Fair has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.

He says new lawmakers like himself should spend a lot of time listening. “Listen to their constituents. Listen to the legislators. Listen to leadership, and really understand the process before leaping in with tons and tons of legislation,” Fair says.

But he says that doesn’t mean doing nothing. For this first General Assembly session, Fair says he is sponsoring four bills. One would fund a study on public transportation options for the county. “We’re not going to build our way out of this traffic congestion in Frederick no matter how badly we want to,” he says. “That isn’t to say we don’t expand roads. But it says that we need to identify ways to reduce cars on the road in order to make efficient and consistent transportation options available.”

Another measure has to do with BYOB establishments. “I’m working with local neighbors in downtown Frederick to address issues around bring-your-own-alcohol establishments,” Fair says. “Those establishments have zero regulations around them. They’re causing a lot of challenges for community members as there’s been a spike in violence.”

And a third bill would decriminalize HIV in Maryland. “It’s been built into the criminal code, and we’re looking to take that out of the criminal code to de-stigmatize people living with HIV,” he says. “And to encourage others who may not know their status to go get tested.

HIV is the virus which causes AIDS.

Fair says decriminalizing HIV would also “encourage a good public health plan as to how to tackle HIV as we enter some of the final stages of this epidemic which has been plaguing our community since the 1980’s.”

A fourth bill would allow kids turning 16 to register to vote through the School System’s website.

Fair also says wants to better communicate with constituents “the impact your state government has on your day-to-day life, and assistance that it can provide when your state government tails you,” :he says. “I’m really there to help guide folks and educate folks on what is they can do to reach out to their state government to be a help and an assistance to them.”

Other initiatives:¬† ¬†“I’m working on repairing the oldest spire in Frederick that also holds the town clock, the city of Frederick clock. and working on getting that repaired,” Fair says. “I’m working with the folks at the Steiner House through the Frederick Women’s Civic Club and helping them get that historic property repaired as well.”

By Kevin McManus