Frederick County Legislators Provide Wrap Up To 2023 Md. General Assembly

They talked about the session’s  biggest accomplishments.

L-R Delegates Kris Fair & Ken Kerr; Senator Bill Folden  Helen Propheter is in the rear.

Frederick, Md (KM) A legislative wrap up was provided Wednesday to local elected officials and business people by members of the Frederick County Legislative Delegation.

Delegate Kris Fair said he sponsored a bill that would benefit small businesses, particularly ones that are closing their doors for good. He says companies that are ceasing operations still must pay a number of fees and fines before shutting down. “That bill passed this year, and allows us to waive all of those back fees and fines so ESTEC can simply close the business and we can protect those people. So that bill was very important,” Fair said to applause.

State Senator Karen Lewis Young said the Delegation was able to bring back $15-million in state funds  to Frederick County. “In particular, we funded some county projects to the tune of probably close to $5-million. Four-million alone for cyber security and public safety. We were able to fund all if not most of the city projects,” she says.

Her colleague, State Senator Bill Folden, said he was able to bring in funding for school construction. He said having additional classroom space is particularly important for young people. “Being a part of that, you see the future in their eyes, and it’s important that they have the best institutions and the best facilities to learn and grow and develop. And that we have the proper people there to mentor them and help them make solid, sound decisions for a better tomorrow,” he said.

One of the most notable actions during the 2023 Maryland General Assembly, according to Delegate Karen Simpson, was getting a guardrail along a section of US 15 where a tanker truck exploded and caught fire early last month. “Even though we were in Annapolis, making sure that we as a delegation worked together with our partners to take care of that. And I think of that was probably the best example of how we all worked together, “says Simpson.

The guardrail was installed by Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration.

Delegate Christopher Bouchat, who represents a District that takes in parts of Carroll and Frederick Counties, in particular Mount Airy, says getting a bill providing urban renewal authority to Frederick County and the Town of Mount Airy, was one accomplishment. “I remember years ago going through downtown Mount Airy, and it didn’t look that good. It looked a little bit depressing,” he said. “And through economic development and business community, it rose up the downtown in Mount Airy. And now we’re seeing a resurgence.   People are tired of going to the cookie-cutter malls and the plazas. They love the nostalgia of downtown main street.”

Nursing homes was also an issue brought up during the 2023 Maryland General Assembly. Delegate Ken Kerr said he sponsored a bill to let the state conduct audits of some nursing homes. “What’s been happening is that private equity funds have been buying up independent nursing homes. And they come, fire a bunch of people, and they give their stockholders big dividends. And then they tell Medicaid they can’t continue to operate at the reimbursement rate they’re getting,”: he says.

Kerr says the state can now audit these nursing homes to see how they’re spending their Medicaid money. He says this is an important bill because of the increasing number of senior citizens in Frederick County.

The legislative wrap up was sponsored by the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.

By Kevin McManus