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2006 Legislative Summary Letter

 Dear Friend,

Thank you for giving me the honor of representing you in the Maryland House of Delegates for the past 12 years. I am pleased to be serving the 11th District with my teammates Delegates Bobby Zirkin and Jon Cardin. We share a common vision to improve our community, and together we have achieved positive results. Your priorities are clear, and we have worked to reflect them.

We need:

* A health care system that is patient and provider friendly, affordable and accessible
* A clean, healthy, and restorative environment
* Open and accessible government
* Quality public education (my three children graduated from Baltimore County 
Schools)
* Safe streets, with emphasis on reforming youthful offenders, and having clear standards for group home performance and location
* Support for our most vulnerable neighbors, especially children and seniors
* Economic opportunities for all 

Some issues require the foresight that comes with experience, the ability to see the long-term picture over the lure of short-term promises. This has been borne out in the current crisis over BGE & Constellation Energy and projected rate hikes. In 1999, I voted AGAINST utility deregulation because it was clear that it would lead to the situation we see today. Unfortunately, this change went forward, and now I am working to minimize the damage.

We need affordable utility rates for our homes and businesses. There are ways to "ease the pain" in both the short and long term. Most immediately, the Constellation-Florida Power & Light merger should be slowed down, if not stopped, until the full implications are clear. Second, we must allow residents to pool their purchasing power in buying aggregations, something the utility companies have used their army of lobbyists to fight against. Third, we must restore the Public Service 
Commission to its rightful role of protecting customers. Last, we must begin to build for the future, emphasizing conservation, smart planning, and development of environmentally friendly, renewable sources of energy like solar power.

In the House, I serve on the Health and Government Operations Committee, Chair the Government Operations Sub-Committee, and serve on the House's Senior Leadership team. As the only physician in the House of Delegates, I bring a unique perspective.

Key bills of mine that passed were:

HB 813 Group Homes Improvement Standards: This is one of the most significant bills I have worked on during my time in office. The bill revamps how group homes are located and requires specific performance requirements to be included in contracts with group home operators. This approach will help communities that are over-saturated with group homes, such as northwest Baltimore County, and it will help the children in these homes receive better care.

HB 169 Procurement Security Requirements: Helps small businesses by assisting in getting bonded, thus creating more opportunities for Marylanders to thrive economically.

HB 819 EMaryland Marketplace: Increases competition for state contracts, thus saving taxpayers money and promoting economic development.

HB 869 MBE Program Extension: This legislation passed with strong bipartisan support and continues the path toward economic opportunity for all Marylanders.

For these previous three bills, I was pleased to work with and be recognized by the MD-DC Minority contractors, the Maryland Black Business Community and BmoreNews.com during Baltimore's Black Business Week.

HB 569 Boards of Education - Competitive Bidding: Saves schools money in purchases, meaning more money goes to classroom education. This bill enhances the school based buying consortium bill that I successfully passed a few years ago.

HB 549 Health Insurance Emergency Inpatient and Residential Crisis Services Admission: Facilitates care of mental health patients in emergency rooms by cutting red tape. I was pleased that paramedics, physicians and nurses as well as The Maryland NAMI (National Alliance of the Mentally Ill), Maryland Hospital Association, and the Baltimore City Medical Society have recognized me for my work in this critical area.

HB 883 Procurement - Locally Grown Foods: Supports local farmers by providing price preferences for the purchase of locally grown produce. The Maryland Farm Bureau and the Maryland Department of Agriculture were strong proponents of this legislation. This is part of my ongoing commitment to preserve the environment and open space. I work with the Valleys Planning Council, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Coastal Conservation Association on these issues.

I am grateful to Sharon Bloom, my Legislative Director for the past 12 years. Her hard work and sound advice has helped me immeasurably, and she is dedicated to helping the citizens of the 11th District.

Your help is vital. I really appreciate your input and feedback, and I have worked hard to keep you informed of legislative and community issues.

This is an election year. I urge you to register and to vote. Some election laws have changed. For example, it is easier to vote by absentee ballot. For full information, please contact the Baltimore County Board of Elections at 410-887-5700 and the 
State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-8683.

I believe I represent the core values of the 11th District and have put these values into action. I look forward to keeping my experience and perspective working for you.

Please contact me at 410-581-8712 or 
dan.morhaim@house.state.md.us.

Sincerely,


Dan K. Morhaim, M.D.
Delegate, District 11