EXTREMELY URGENT! Save the Choptank Electric Broadband Bill
Due to COVID-19, the Maryland General Assembly has barred non-essential staff from Maryland General Assembly buildings. This means our lobbyists cannot enter the buildings or take part in critical discussions on our bill to allow Choptank Electric Cooperative to become Member Regulated to offer Broadband. The bill by Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes passed the House today and is pending in the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Hershey is fighting hard to move this bill. But companies that view us as competitors are trying to keep our bill from getting out of committee.
And, the Maryland General Assembly has just announced it will adjourn almost immediately. Anything not finished by this Wednesday (in 3 days) will die in Committee.
Please email and call all members of the Senate Finance Committee to urge them to pass SB 540 & HB 999 on Monday. Their emails and phone numbers are listed below.
1. Cut & paste this sample text below or create your own:
Please pass SB 540 & HB 999, the bill offered by the Eastern Shore delegation to allow Choptank Electric Cooperative to be member regulated so we can offer Broadband to our members on the Eastern Shore. As a cooperative member, I fully support this plan. The plan does not require state funds and it allows us to connect the unserved within our cooperative to the internet as quickly as possible.
In light of the recent COVID-19 response plan, emergency tele-health coverages were announced under Medicaid and “work from home” and “learn from home” policies were put in place by employers and schools to protect everyone’s health. The lack of broadband for so many people on the Eastern Shore has become a real problem. Passage of SB 540 & HB 999 led by Sen. Steve Hershey and Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes, will allow Choptank to begin to deploy broadband to make sure we can all fairly participate in these kinds of programs in the future.
Please add this to the list of “must pass” bills as you work to complete before you adjourn on Wednesday. Thank you.
2. Cut & paste this block of emails into your “To” line:
Antonio Hayes email@example.com;
Benjamin Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org;
Brian Feldman email@example.com;
Delores Kelley firstname.lastname@example.org;
Edward Reilly email@example.com;
J.B. Jennings firstname.lastname@example.org;
Joanne Benson email@example.com ;
Katherine Klausmeier firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Malcolm Augustine email@example.com ;
Pamela Beidle firstname.lastname@example.org;
Steve Hershey email@example.com;
3. Please call each member of the Committee as well and leave a polite message asking them to pass the bills to allow Choptank to bring Broadband to the Eastern Shore – SB 540 & HB 999.
You can reach Committee members at the following numbers:
Antonio Hayes (410) 841-3656
Ben Kramer (410) 841-3151
Brian Feldman (410) 841-3169
Delores Kelley (410) 841-3606
Ed Reilly (410) 841-3568
J.B. Jennings (410) 841-3706
Joanne Benson (410) 841-3148
Kathy Klausmeier (410) 841-3620
Malcolm Augustine (410) 841-3745
Pam Beidle (410) 841-3593
Thank him for his leadership on this bill - Steve Hershey (410) 841-3639