Lt. Governor Brown Announces 2009 Legislative Priorities
Brown to led O’Malley-Brown efforts on domestic violence, military families.
ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 30, 2009) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown appeared before the Prince George’s County Delegation this morning to brief members on the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s legislative and budgetary priorities. During the 30 minute briefing, Brown also announced his legislative priorities for the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly. The lieutenant governor will be the administration’s point person on the two domestic violence bills introduced by Governor O’Malley on Monday. In addition, Brown will continue to serve as the administration’s most prominent advocate for veterans and military families.
“We understand that these are difficult times. During difficult times, though, its more important than ever to protect the progress we have made,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “We are the best educated and wealthiest state in America. By fighting for common sense measures to end domestic violence, we are taking another step toward our goals of also becoming the safest state.”
Brown will be the administration’s point-person on the domestic violence legislation and he plans to testify on the bills before the respective House and Senate committees. His decision to take leadership on this issue was influenced by personal events. Last summer, his cousin was shot and killed in Montgomery Village by her estranged boyfriend. The legislation, introduced earlier this week, would require judges to order the surrender and prohibit the possession of any firearms by individuals subject to a final protective order. A second bill allows judges (but does not require) to order the surrender and prohibit the possession of any firearms by individuals subject to a temporary protective order.
“Our military families and veterans have given all of us so much,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “We owe them a debt of gratitude. I am particularly excited to begin another session standing up for our greatest American heroes – the men and women who serve in our name and the family members who love them.”
Brown will support two bills that will enhance military families’ ability to transition into Maryland from another state. The first, which was introduced as an administration bill on Monday, establishes Maryland’s membership in the Interstate Compact on Education Opportunities for Military Children. The compact enables states to partner and provide the necessary consistency and reciprocity that ensure military children are not left behind when transferring to a new school in a new state. As the 2011 deadline for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) approaches, Maryland must provide a seamless transition to all new residents, including children. The second bill, set to be introduced by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, amends the state’s license reciprocity law to assist Maryland’s preparations for BRAC.
Lastly, Brown will support an expansion of the Veterans Behavioral Health Act, which passed during last year’s session. The expansion will make all veterans eligible for available behavioral health service. Under current law, only veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom are eligible.