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RALLY TIME 02/28/2024
SB 349

Maryland Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Hearings 02/28/2024

Hearing begins 2:35:03

          What a fantastic day! I want to thank everyone that showed up for the Rally. I have been worrying nonstop about this rally for about a week. My sleep pattern had not been the best.  I didn’t sleep well the night before the rally and when I did get to sleep my phone rang early in the morning.  I had transport issues cause one company cancelled and it took the dickens to line another transport up.  Then the driver had problems getting me onto the transport and offloading me from the transport at Lawyer’s Mall.  Needless to say I was grumpy as I rode my scooter around the Governor’s mansion. As I turned the corner I heard all this applause.  I looked around to see who was causing the commotion and was humbled and gratified to realize that the person was me!  Wow.   I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT !!!!   

      The rally was a success. I want to thank the Strocks, a thank you goes out to my sister Kathy and her husband Howard, another thank you goes out to Jeannie Mastrionardi, another thank you goes out to Mary Frye, And BIG THANK YOU GOES OUT TO DEB HILL.  These people went above and beyond to help make this day a success.   

       Senator McCay and Senator Corderman stopped by to address the crowd and the rain held back its tears for about twenty minutes while chanted and sung.  But the day didn’t stop there.  A contingent of retirees visited Senator and House members offices asking for their support.  And a huge contingent of retirees stayed for the hearing where there were at least 40 scheduled to testify.  I testified by Zoom (I had no problems getting in and out of the transport  going back home but the driver then drove like we were in first place in the Indy 500! smh) Of course the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee moved our hearing to the end of the schedule and United We Matter, AARP, the Maryland State Police Alumni Association, The Maryland Trooper’s Association and yes, even the union testified to reinstate this benefit.  Senator McCray amended the bill asking for a year postponement to implement SB 946.  This would mean that you could stay on the State subsidy for another year until January 2026. So if the Fourth Circuit denies our appeal we still had enough time to petition the US Supreme Court before SB 946 was implemented.

        It is a good feeling to know that the people who showed up yesterday to the rally, to testify are committed to getting back our benefit.  But the fight still continues.  Remember to CALL, CALL,CALL the members of the Budget & Taxation Committee for a favorable report to this bill.

       Last thing, I continue to fight. Me and Deb Hill were on WCBM today around 11:00am discussing the rally, the bill and our continuing commitment to this cause.  I will send a link when it is available.  Remember you earned this benefit.  Fight for it.


Ken Fitch.  

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