Saturday, March 17, 2012

Field Notes From Delegate Mike McDermott

Field Notes
Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities
By Delegate Michael A. McDermott

Week 10 March 12-16, 2012

Monday Afternoon Hearing on HJ-12
A bill I have worked which would allow for a House Resolution to be adopted that condemns certain sections (1021 and 1022) of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act as being vague and potentially limiting Habeas Corpus for American citizens by authorizing detention of combatants who may be American citizens under the Rules of War. This means no right to a trial or attorney and unlimited detention until the suspension or resolution of hostilities in which our country is engaged. This is a hot button issue for many libertarians and those, like me, who get very concerned about provisions in the law giving unlimited powers to the Executive Branch in certain areas. These types of actions were taken during the Civil War (against Maryland legislators, ironically, and during WWII against Japanese Americans). The committee was almost non-existent when I presented the resolution (1-R and 5-D’s). I will wait and see if they vote it out to the floor for a full review.

Monday Evening Session
An unusual debate erupted on the floor during a Second Reader for SJ-3 which would provide significant raises (9%) to our judicial salaries. It seemed to take forever to even get a definitive date certain as to when the measure had to be adopted before an automatic raise took effect. It was embarrassing to see folks who could not count to “50” on a calendar. An amendment was offered to reject the raises on their face, but this was shot down. There will no doubt be greater debate tomorrow.
Veteran’s Support Plate Betrayed
HB-541 was voted down Monday afternoon in the Environmental Matters Committee when Chairman McIntosh brought the matter up when two of the supporting veterans of the committee were not present for the vote and one of the delegates backed away from her original support (a big no-no in the General Assembly). What a shame when all of the funds garnered from these registration plates would have gone to Maryland wounded vets. Currently, there is no money available for our veterans in our treasury. Simply a disgrace!

Tuesday Morning Session
Second Reader, Third Reader        
Debated Bills:
HB-226 received quite a bit of attention. The bill will allow people, who are technically citizens of the United States, to register to vote in Maryland even though they have never lived in the United States, much less Maryland. It sounds crazy, but we were told there are people who have never lived in the US that we should allow to vote in our state since they are US citizens. They tried to spin this as a military friendly bill, but that argument was blown up on the floor. In spite of the arguments, it passed 84-52.
The debate on HB-366 continued on Third Reader this morning, but it was clear that the fix was in. I made a final plea for deference to local sovereignty in regulations on fire sprinklers, but this was rejected. With full knowledge of the costs associated for a home owner wishing to buy a new home (increase from $5,000 to $20,000), the House passed the measure along party lines with a vote of 93-43. We have truly become a “nanny state” where all decisions are going to be approved and made by government if we do not change the make-up in the myopic General Assembly. If you want a system, buy it, but don’t demand it of your neighbor. It will impact building permits and take many out of a struggling housing market.
SJ-3 was one of the most egregious bills as it relates to process that many have ever seen in the House. The bill deals with proposed salary raises for judges. They would receive a $14,000.00 raise under this proposal at a time when our state is hurting, and our people are suffering. Many spoke out against these raises occurring during these economic times where budgets are dwindling. The problem with the bill is a matter of timing. The bill was held up by leadership in the Senate and the House until the last few days before the raises would become automatic. Since the Senate voted to give the raises in their bill, if we alter their bill, they stated they would have a hard time getting it passed with any alterations. If we failed to pass the bill as is, the Judicial Compensation Committee recommendations would take effect automatically. That would provide judges with a $29,000.00 raise. SJ-3 would provide a $14,000.00 raise instead. So…if the bill is voted down and sent back to the Senate, their failure to act would double the raise. If we vote the bill as presented, we consent to a significant raise as presented. We attempted to amend the bill to a 0% raise (Monday evening) and then a 1% raise this morning. Both amendments were rejected. It passed on a vote of 84-57. I voted, with many others, on principle to strike the bill down and send it back to the Senate. Our judges deserve due consideration, as do all of our employees. To separate them for a raise under these circumstances is over the top and a tough sell to the folks back home. It was intentionally brought out at the ninth hour so we would not have time to work out a compromise bill with both chambers. This was a disgraceful way to run a railroad.

Press Conference on the Alternative Budget
The Republican Caucus held a press conference immediately following session to present our plan for the 2012-13 Budget. Our plan calls for no increase in taxes or fees, increases some spending areas relative to education, and provides for a 2% salary increase for state employees. The plan calls for level funding based on last year’s spending. The highlights and comparisons with the O’Malley-Brown budget are brought out with clear comparisons offered. We are asking the state to live within its means just as the state is asking our families to get by with less. We will be attempting to amend the O’Malley-Brown Budget as the process rolls on to adoption.

Judiciary Committee Hearings, Tuesday
Today is Sex Offender Day…hearing about the need to enhance penalties, and hearing from Sex Offenders that we are too hard on them…HB-776 seeks to create a crime called Statutory Sexual Contact which would involve intercourse with a female victim who was 14 or 15 and the defendant is 4 years to 10 years older than the victim.  The bill would also create and utilize a “Non-Public Registry” that would be off-line to the public. This may have some merit if the Non-Public Registry is utilized following the offenders entry in the Public Registry for a certain period of time. HB-942 seeks to clarify sex offender registration requirements to eliminate the crime of Kidnapping from the registration requirement if there is no sexual offense attached. The trial judge would determine from the facts at sentencing whether or not a convicted person would be required to register as a Sex Offender. HB-611 would prohibit an attorney from knowingly receiving drug money to secure their representation of a defendant in a court of law. HB-667 would limit the total number of diminution credits for inmates who have committed a crime of violence or for a sentence qualifying a person for life time Sex Offender Registration. The bill makes the case for these changes due to an extensive use of these credits which often result in persons being released very early from their sentences. HB-1086 would require an inmate to lose their diminution credits for being found in possession of a cell phone. HB-656 seeks to clarify the way that Good Conduct Credits are applied to those incarcerated for a crime of violence. HB-1300 alters the definition of “victim” when it involves Human Trafficking to insure that victims have access to victim services and compensation. Many of these victims are often charged as prostitutes and other nuisance crimes as a result of their being trafficked by an offender. HB-1351 would prohibit Registered Sex Offenders from participating in any Halloween activities of any kind. It would even prohibit taking your own children trick or treating as a supervised activity. HB-591 would allow community based organizations to prohibit registered sex offenders from coming onto their premises. There were actually several sex offenders who came in to testify in an effort to limit the damage some of these bills would cause to their lives. It is too bad they did not have the same diligence with their liberty when they were committing their crimes that landed them on the registry in the first place. HB-664 would enhance penalties against a person who commits a violent act in the presence of a child. It provides certain provisions limiting the spousal privilege from testifying against their spouse in court for a violation of this law. It clearly seeks to provide some protection for minors being exposed to damaging domestic violence.
HB-1292 seeks to modify the statute dealing with expungements of criminal records. It seeks to separate offenses one is charged with and not keep them bound together as a single unit. Current law prohibits separating these charges for the purposes of expungement. HB-1293 seeks to enhance the penalty for the crime of Child Kidnapping to a 20 year felony. It is currently a 10-year misdemeanor. It is primarily targeting Child Trafficking charges where young women are being forced into prostitution. It makes sense to enhance these penalties since Human Trafficking in Maryland is already a felony.
Wednesday Morning Session
Second Reader bills offered and the scheduling of Third Reader bills.
Judiciary Hearings Conducted on Wednesday
HB-1326 would increase the fees for performing a marriage ceremony in Harford County and would allow the increase revenue to be applied to support the Harford County Historical Society. HB-1120 would mandate certain actions by law enforcement agencies in the event of a missing child report. Most deal with reporting requirements to the State Clearing House for Missing Children and also appears to mandate certain coordinated searches by volunteers. This bill is titled Phylicia’s Law and was named in memory of Phylicia Barnes who was a missing 17 year old from Baltimore City whose body was later found at the Conawingo Dam.  HB-1330  would require background checks of all child care providers who are informal care providers and not covered under current law. HB-1074 would make strangulation of a person a First Degree Assault. Currently an assault of this nature would be considered a Second Degree Assault punishable by up to 10-years. The First Degree charge carries up to a 25-year sentence. HB-1102 would create a civil penalty for a failure to report suspected Child Abuse. The penalty could reach up to $100,000.00 and would be enforced by the Attorney General. HB-999 is a bill I sponsored which would apply criminal penalties to the law requiring the reporting of suspected Child Abuse. Current law does not ascribe a penalty for those who knowingly fail to report abuse or neglect against a child. HB-1067 is very similar to HB-999 and seeks to put teeth into the current law by creating a misdemeanor with a fine for a failure to report. HB-1020 would create an Animal Abuse Registry to be maintained by the State Police where people convicted of Animal Abuse would be required to register in similar fashion to a Sex Offender. I think this is an over reach of government, although an off-line list available for review by those in the pet selling, sheltering, or adoption business may be appropriate.
Thursday Morning Session
The House welcomed the Ambassador from the island nation of Grenada, the Hon. Gillian Bristol who shared greetings with us from Grenada and spoke of economic development opportunities with her country and tourism.
Second Reader, Third Reader
HB-650 was the only bill that received any debate on the day. The bill allows for inmates who successfully complete a GED program to receive up to 60-diminutive credits on their sentence (60-days). Violent offenders do not qualify for the credits. I think it is a good bill and helps with focusing inmates on establishing certain goals and gaining better employment opportunities when they are released so they might not recidivate. I have to say, most republicans went the other way on this one, but I am willing to work with corrections officials to try reforms they recommend as was the case with this bill. The final vote count was 81-54.

Judiciary Committee Hearings Conducted Thursday
HB-1386 seeks to raise certain fees associated with the Register of Wills Office. In most cases, the fees would increase by 50%. The stated reason was the fact that the fees have not been increased in 25 years. I have never found the reason of “time” passing to be a good reason for raising a fee or a tax. The same holds true here.  HB-1242 addresses restitution issues in cases involving Identity Fraud crimes. The bill seeks to help with the restoration of victim’s identities and provides for restitution through the help of the Attorney General’s Office. HB-1338 would make it a 5-year misdemeanor to attempt to flee and allude a police officer in a marked vehicle and further clarifies that a person cannot flee or allude an unmarked police vehicle under specified conditions and warnings.
Ava’s Law HB-1334
A hearing was conducted on Ava’s Law which seeks to enhance the penalty for causing a life threatening injury with a motor vehicle while under the influence of illegal drugs. The current penalty is only 2-years and this bill would bring it up to 3-years which is the same penalty as someone who is under the influence of alcohol. Ava’s father, George Del Ricco came with Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Ogelsby and offered testimony about the accident that nearly claimed the life of his wife and 18-month old child. The bill will also be heard in the Senate next week as a Cross Filed bill by Senator Jacobs.
The hearing begins at 0036:42
A Call for Independent Audits, HB-1328
I had a bill hearing in the Appropriations Committee today where I introduced HB-1328 and called upon the committee members to pass the bill which would require the state to conduct independent audits by hiring outside contractors who would be paid a percentage based upon their saving the state money and finding hidden, forgotten, misplaced, or otherwise miss allocated funds. This concept is already employed in 8-states across the country. The hearing begins at 0251:18
A Bill in Support of the Hudson Family, HB-1349
I had a second bill hearing in Appropriations to seek redress and attorney’s fee compensation from the State of MD for the actions taken by the University of MD School of Law Clinic against the Hudson farm family who live in Worcester County. The law would require the University to pay for attorney fees up to $500,000.00 out of their appropriated budget funds in support of the Hudson’s efforts to defend themselves against a suit filed by the law clinic on behalf of the New York based Waterkeeper organization. The hearing begins at 0302:09
Wicomico County Elected School Board Straw Ballot Question
The hearing for HB-966 was held with no opposition in the Ways and Means Committee today. The bill simply asks that a straw poll question be placed on the upcoming November ballot asking the voters of Wicomico County if they would prefer an elected school board over the current Governor appointed school board. The bill was bogged down last year with changes which left the language of the bill very confusing. This bill is opposed by Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt but the request came to the delegation from the Wicomico County Council following a series of public hearings on the matter. The hearing begins at 0036:36

Eastern Shore Delegation Meeting, Friday
We were visited by the leadership of Chesapeake College and Wor-Wic Community College, President Barbara Viniar and President Ray Hoy. They expressed their concerns over the potential transfer of teacher retirement funds to the counties and asked that this be stopped or modified so as not to adversely impact the counties. Dr Bernard Sadusky, the interim Maryland Superintendent of Schools. He spoke on some of the educational reforms currently ongoing in our public schools. This is the third phase of these reforms. The superintendent also spoke of fiscal issues facing public schools and the need for a system of uniform accountability which treats all teachers across the state equally.

Friday Morning Session
Second Reader, Third Reader
There were no debates on any of the Third Reader bills, and only two of the bills received any opposition. HB-1 empowers county governments to require apartment or condominium owners of more than 10-units to participate in recycling. The other bill was HB-493 which creates a Study Group to address the needs of Apprenticeship programs in the state. Some thought this was a “union” bill although it was supported by non-union trades at the hearing. Both bills passed easily.
Bill Hearing in Ways and Means on Slot Machine Tampering
The Hearing on HB-257 was held on Friday afternoon. It was quick and clean with no one in opposition. The bill merely seeks to place Lottery Video Terminals under the statute which governs tampering with computers.

Senate Action
This past week was occupied by passing the budget in the senate. This included a number of tax and fee increases along with transfers of Teacher Pension responsibilities to the counties. Here is a few of the bills that will cost tax payers millions:
SB-523 Raises Income Tax rates for everyone making $3000.00 or more. Plus, the state was so successful driving millionaires out of Maryland last time, they now have a “special” new tax rate for “Half-millionaires” (those making more than $500,000.00 per year). I suspect you will see fewer of them in the near future as well. SB-848 will allow counties like Wicomico to bypass any Revenue Caps in place in order to fund their Board of Education Budgets. This is a real slap at the 7-counties that have citizen mandated Revenue Caps in place. SB-150 and SB-152 are the actual budget which increases spending a billion beyond last years budget.
Coming Up in the House Next Week...
The House will be reviewing and voting on various aspects of the Senate’s Budget proposals and will have an extended week as we work through next weekend. With all of these proposed tax and fee increases, next week promises to be one fight to the next.

TIME MACHINE Preview ... When Worcester Experienced The Reality Of War.

Air raid wardens deputized... state police preparing to stop all in-coming traffic...the largest black-out ever attempted in a Maryland county was being scheduled, affecting virtually every town and village in Worcester County.

Read more about this news from 1942 plus items from 1898, 1900, 1950, and 1960 this Sunday on The Pocomoke Public Eye!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

NASA/ Wallops Island Reschedules Launch

WALLOPS ISLAND, VA - NASA has rescheduled the launch of five suborbital sounding rockets from the Wallops Facility in Virginia as part of a study of the upper level jet stream to no earlier than the night of Sunday, March 18.

The high probability of unacceptable weather is preventing a launch attempt on March 17.

The Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) will gather information needed to better understand the process responsible for the high-altitude jet stream located 60 to 65 miles above the surface of the Earth.

As part the mission, the five rockets will release a chemical tracer that will form milky, white clouds that allow scientists and the public to see the winds in space. These clouds may be visible for up to 20 minutes by residents from South Carolina to southern New Hampshire and Vermont.

A decision on a March 18 launch attempt will be made Saturday evening, March 17.

More information on the ATREX mission is available on the Internet at:

Mother Praises Police for Saving Son's Life

I was in Pocomoke yesterday making my rounds with Councilman Malloy taking photos of the new restaurant and police department.  While walking the dock at the river we both noticed how swift the tide was.  The dark water of the Pocomoke River just seems to swirl  in spots and I have always been told it is the current underneath that is dangerous.  And if you have lived in Pocomoke any length of time you know the dangers of jumping from the bridge.  I've seen a few jump from there in my years of working downtown.  Many of us have watched them search those murky waters for the swimmer.

But there was one drowning that always stuck in my head (and he didn't jump from the bridge).... the swimmer who remarked to his friends  he would be "back for his boots" before he dove  from the river bank into the river claiming  he could swim to the Somerset County side.

I couldn't remember the young mans name.  But last night, while searching the internet for anything related to that hot summer  day  in Pocomoke I found the article below. 

How sad it is that some take their lives by jumping from a bridge and some lose their lives by jumping just for the sake of cooling off  on a peaceful summer day.

Even more upsetting are the events of this particular day written in the article below.  I had read about this incident before...  and sure enough!  A full account of this day is written in the book Why Do We Kill?  by Kelvin Sewell and Stephen Janis.  Two officers and a depressed young man could have all drowned that day.  The mother was so grateful...and her suicidal son also.  But that raises the question:  Was he thankful enough to turn his life around?

"If you think death isn't funny, you haven't been around it long enough.  Even in our last moments on earth, we don't lose our sense of humor.  Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, even in death we rarely escape irony." Why Do We Kill- CASE FILE 9 /Failed Suicide
*Homicide Detective Kelvin Sewell is currently the Chief of Police for Pocomoke City on Maryland's Eastern Shore.*

The Examiner
Wed, 2008-10-08 03:00
An hour after one Baltimore City man jumped to his death Saturday morning from a bridge over Edmondson Avenue, another tried to kill himself at the same spot.

But the attempted suicide of a 28-year-old man was prevented when two Baltimore City homicide detectives investigating the earlier death tackled the young man — saving his life and earning praise from his family and the police department.

“I’m very happy,” said the man’s mother, Jackie Craig. “I am very grateful and thankful for their heroic efforts. Even my son wants to extend his gratitude.”

Craig said two detectives, Kelvin Sewell and Joon Kim, wrestled her son to the ground before he could jump off the bridge while investigating the suicide death of another man, who police say apparently killed himself around 8 a.m.

The first man, whom police have not identified, is believed to have jumped from the bridge, because he landed on his feet, said Detective Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

“It’s horrifying that another man had just jumped and I send my condolences to his family,” Craig said. “It’s just terrible, but they wouldn’t have been there to save my son.”

As the two detectives were investigating the body found in the 3200 block of Edmondson Avenue, they encountered a 28-year-old man intent on jumping off the overpass, said city police spokesman Sterling Clifford.

Sewell offered the man a cigarette, but the man took off his shirt and tried to climb over the railing, police said.

Sewell then wrestled the man to the ground, with help from Kim, keeping the 28-year-old from jumping. He was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation, Clifford said.

Sewell was treated for a sprained knee and was later released from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in the city, Clifford said.

“Detective Sewell did a fantastic job Saturday,” Clifford said. “... He is fortunate that Sgt. Sewell was there.”

Craig said her son has been suffering from depression. Court records show he has a history of five arrests and recently had been released from prison on an armed robbery conviction.

“He’s been going through some rough times, a personal crisis,” his mother said. “I just appreciate the officers were there to prevent him from hurting himself.”


Flock of Sheep Dyed Green to Celebrate St Patrick's Day

The sheep are just one of the Scottish landmarks being used as part of a global campaign.

Tourism Ireland have are using the Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow Eye, Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura and the Hub as part of a world-wide campaign.

The sheep in Bathgate belong to Boghall Farm and can be seen on a hillside between junctions 3A and 4 of the busy motorway beside the Pyramids Business Park. They have been dyed green to celebrate the occasion on Saturday.

Other landmarks around the world which will be turned green include Niagara Falls, Empire State Building and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: "St. Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the start of the tourism season in Ireland and we’re delighted to be continuing our greening initiative again this year, with some new additions such a flock of Scottish sheep.

"Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world, whilst also showcasing our wonderful tourism product to a global audience."




Saturday Special

Pit Beef/ w Side

and Shore Beef & BBq's SPECIAL GREEN Drink ~ $7.95

Cheers !

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Star Spangled Banner

Pocomoke City has a brand new flag.
This photo was taken from inside my vehicle but downtown Pocomoke City is absolutely beautiful this time of year.

Oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave.......
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
~ The Star Spangled Banner~

From the Pocomoke City Police Chief Kelvin Sewell

March 10, 2012 to March 16, 2012

3-11-2012      Pocomoke Police Officers responded to the Newtowne Apartments in Pocomoke City for a reported trespasser. Upon arrival Pocomoke Police were notified by witnesses that the suspect was across the street from the complex. Officers located Maranuita Holland, 47, of Snow Hill, MD who was previously ordered to not return to the property. Holland was placed under arrest for "Possession of CDS paraphernalia".

3-12-2012      Pocomoke City Police while on routine patrol observed a Chrysler Town & Country Van that had been reported stolen earlier in the morning at approximately 1:26 AM. Officers made contact with the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle identified as Darius Ronald Cox, 22, of Pocomoke City, MD. Cox was placed under arrest and charged with "Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle", Unauthorized Removal of Property", "Driving without a Required License" and "Driving a rented Vehicle in Violation of Rental Agreement". Cox is currently being detained at the Worcester County Jail on $10,000 bond.

3-15-2012      Pocomoke Police Officers responded to Second Street involving a disturbance. Upon arrival, a 17-year-old female juvenile was found to be intoxicated and extremely belligerent. The juvenile was placed in the patrol vehicle for her safety due to being unable to walk on her own at which time she became violent and started kicking the windows of the patrol vehicle and Officers on the scene. The juvenile was arrested and charged with 2nd Degree Assault. She was released to Juvenile Services.

Chief Kelvin Sewell
Pocomoke City Police Department

Buzzed Driving Could Cost You $10,000

Six Tips to Prevent Driving Buzzed on
St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and driving buzzed on the holiday could cost you a pot of leprechaun’s gold – like up to $10,000 in legal fees, court costs, and increased insurance rates.

For many Americans, St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular night out to celebrate with friends and family.  Unfortunately, due to the large number of drunk drivers, the night out has also become very dangerous.


Here are six ways to help prevent buzzed driving in your community this St. Patrick’s Day:
  1. Post our new St. Patrick’s infographic (attached) on your blog or Facebook page
  2. Before drinking, plan ahead and designate a sober driver
  3. If you’re impaired, call a taxi,  sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely
  4. Use your community’s sober ride program
  5. If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate, contact local law enforcement
  6. Remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. If you know people who are about to drive or ride with someone who is impaired, take the driver’s keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination  safely
NHTSA needs your help in keeping the roads safe for everyone this St. Patrick’s Day by spreading the word that Buzzed Driving IS Drunk Driving.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the financial and life threatening implications of buzzed driving.
Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. Don't rely on dumb luck this St. Patrick's Day. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver and ask your loved ones to do the same.

Catherine Andrews
Senior Digital Media Manager
Home Front Communications

Have A Party At the Delmarva Discovery Center


Buzzed Driving....

NASA /Wallops Launch Rescheduled For March 17th

NASA scrubbed the most recent launch of the five suborbital sounding rockets from the Wallops Facility in Virginia as part of a study of the upper level jet stream.

The launch was scrubbed because of an internal radio frequency interference issue with one of the rockets. The next launch attempt is no earlier than the night of Saturday, March 17th. Poor weather is expected for Friday, March 16.

The Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) will gather information needed to better understand the process responsible for the high-altitude jet stream located 60 to 65 miles above the surface of the Earth.

As part the mission, the five rockets will release a chemical tracer that will form milky, white clouds that allow scientists and the public to see the winds in space. These clouds may be visible for up to 20 minutes by residents from South Carolina to southern New Hampshire and Vermont.

More information on the ATREX mission is available on the Internet at:

Final Update From Delegate Lynwood Lewis

By Delegate Lynwood Lewis

This will be my last report from Richmond. The 2012 Virginia General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn, sine die, on Saturday, March 10. It is physically impossible now to vote on a budget by that time, even if an agreement were reached, because of the requirements of proof reading and printing this very large document. The consensus seems to be that we will be back in a week or two in a Special Session (which is not so special anymore) and pass a two year approximately $85 billion spending plan for the Commonwealth. In the final analysis, the two budgets in many areas are not that far apart. Of the 2867 bills filed in the 2012 Virginia General Assembly, approximately 1600 have made it through the process. At the end, several bills remain in conference where small committees of Senators and Delegates work to hammer out the differences between the versions of a bill passed by each Chamber. Any bill which does not emerge from conference by adjournment is dead. I have been appointed to three Conference Committees on different legislation to attempt to work out differences between the two Legislative Chambers.

I introduced 15 Bills this session and Co-patroned several others. Two of the Bills were designed to help our veterans obtain commercial drivers licenses and receive college credit for military training. I put in a couple of Bills at the request of our localities and worked to obtain passage in the House of the Memorial Resolution to Congress regarding the beach access and parking issue on Assateague. Another of the Bills would protect residents rights in our State training centers. This Bill came as a result of an unfortunate experience by one of our families in the District and is an example of how laws are often made in our Citizen Legislature. I Co-patroned a Bill with Delegate Chris Stolle to examine the effects and make recommendations regarding the effect of flooding and sea level rise in the Tidewater area, specifically including the cities of Hampton Roads and also the Eastern Shore. Among the other Bills I Co-patroned was a Bill designed to create a new financing mechanism for nonprofit organizations to use in developing renewable energy projects and also a Bill to facilitate natural gas infrastructure in rural areas. In addition, while in Richmond, I had meetings with State Government officials on issues important to economic development.

The budget will hold important provisions for some local issues such as Spaceport funding, planning money for a new Eastern Shore Community College facility, Oyster Restoration, as well as the all important K-12 Public Education funding. In addition, the hoped for solution to the underfunding of our Virginia Retirement System will be part of the ultimate budget resolution.

In many ways this has been a challenging Session, highlighting the polarizing times in which we live. In addition to returning for a day or two to wrap up the budget, we will return on April 18th to consider any vetoes by the Governor and to elect Judges. I will be having my annual round of post-Session Town Halls after that date. After March 10, I will be back in my office in Accomac. Please feel free to contact me at or at our toll free number, (866)787-1094.

Thursday, March 15, 2012





Pulled Chicken Sandwich w/ Side
Drink ~ $7.50
*Add Applewood Bacon and Melted Cheddar Cheese
for only $1.25 extra*


Body Found In Pond Confirmed To Be Missing Man From Cape Charles

CAPE CHARLES — A deceased male recovered from a pond Wednesday has been identified as a missing local man.

The body has been identified as Tyrell Jerome Evans, 31, of Cape Charles, according to Northampton County Sheriff David L. Doughty.

The body was recovered at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday from a pond located in the area of Bahama Road, Cape Charles, Doughty said.

He said Evans’ body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Norfolk to determine cause of death, which is still under investigation.

Evans, also known as “Tootie,” was reported missing on March 6 by family members, Doughty said.

He said the search for Evans was a combined effort by several law enforcement agencies, friends and family members.

Assisting Northampton County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation was Accomack County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Charles Police Department, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and the Virginia State Police said Doughty.

The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office said Evans had a history of seizures in its press release last week about the search for the missing man.


Suspect Wanted In Bank Robbery

Photo released by the Northampton County Sheriff's Office of the suspected person who robbed the Sun Trust Bank on Rogers Drive in Nassawadox around 10:30 AM on Tuesday. Suspect is believed to be 5'7" to 5' 8".
 Suspect fled the SunTrust Bank with an undetermined amount of cash.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Northampton County Sheriff's Office at 757-678-0458.
Units assisting in the investigation: 
Exmore Police Department, Virginia State Police, Eastville Police Department, Cape Charles Police Department, the FBI and the Accomack County Sheriff's.