Ensuring shore voices are heard in capitol
As a Maryland State Senator representing Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset counties and with the end of the 2023 legislative session, I wanted to share my general approach to public service and the facts of how I advocate for our shore priorities with a new governor and administration, new statewide officeholders, and new Maryland General Assembly.
I represent the very best of Maryland in District 38 with such a strong cross-section of constituencies including tourism/hospitality; farming/poultry; fishing; forestry; major health care providers; public and private K-12 schools and three institutions of higher education; retirees; veterans; and among the most creative small business operators and job creators in the country.
To be effective in representing all my constituents, I must know and understand my district, and work with community partners, the private sector, and elected officials on both sides of the aisle to advance shared Shore priorities of the 11 municipalities and three counties in District 38.
For the past eight years, I worked with Gov. Hogan and his administration, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase public safety, expand workforce opportunities for our youth, support economic development, including Broadband expansion, and small business, ensure resources for our Maryland coastal bays, fight the opioid crisis, push for retiree and other tax relief to stay competitive in Maryland, and assist constituents and businesses through the pandemic.
With the election of a new governor and new Maryland General Assembly including my own reelection to the State Senate, I have been making the extra effort to ensure that the voices and priorities of the shore are heard in Annapolis. This includes coordination of priorities here at home, building new relationships, and renewing others with the governor, Lt. governor, and his team.
I have done this in both formal and informal ways including accepting an invitation to a faith-based event in Prince Georges County with the governor and Lt. governor prior to the governor’s inauguration; meeting with the governor’s cabinet secretary nominees and taking the opportunity to share shore priorities with them; and even joining Gov.Wes Moore and Lt. Go. Aruna Miller for the Special Olympics’ Polar Plunge in the chilly Chesapeake Bay waters in January.
Looking back at the 2023 legislative session, I am encouraged by many of the accomplishments impacting my three counties but also acknowledge that some initiatives will take more than one session to complete.
Perhaps, the most important achievement this session affecting the entire Lower Shore and statewide is the Eastern Shore Delegation’s team effort to secure critical funding and legislation to support TidalHealth’s trauma center, the Eastern Shore’s only trauma program which serves patients from every Maryland jurisdiction.
Back in the fall, months before the start of the January session, TidalHealth’s leadership informed the delegation that the trauma center was in jeopardy and needed funding to continue operations after being denied their repeated requests for appropriate funding from the Health Services Cost Review Commission.
Working together, we were able to secure an additional $9.5 million to assist Maryland trauma centers experiencing financial challenges, including TidalHealth which has been woefully underfunded by the state. In addition, I sponsored with Delegate Tom Hutchinson of Cambridge, and the Maryland General Assembly unanimously approved, Senate Bill 493 to study the adequacy of trauma funding across Maryland which is the long-term solution for ensuring fair funding for TidalHealth’s trauma center in the future.
Serving my constituents and advocating for our shared shore priorities remains my top priority. I encourage my constituents to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org as the best ideas always come from the front lines. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Sen. Mary Beth Carozza (R-38)