April 8, 2008 - Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Baltimore
WE DID IT!! Last night, the child booster seat bill overcame the last hurdle and passed the Senate on a vote of 38 to 9. Earlier in the afternoon, thanks to the leaders of the House Environmental Matters Committee, Chair Maggie McIntosh and Vice Chair Jimmy Malone, the bill was adopted in the House by a nearly unanimous vote. The Senate took up the measure late in the evening after the House had added an amendment to restore key provisions extending the law to children through age 7 and including a height and weight restriction.
Senate Judicial Proceedings Chair Brian Frosh did an excellent job of managing the bill during Senate debate despite efforts by Sen. Robert Zirkin (D?Baltimore) to once again try to defeat the legislation. It was Sen. Zirkin's amendment adopted during Senate debate last week that resulted in gutting the upgrade and actually rolling back existing law.
We are grateful for the tremendous leadership of our sponsors Del. Bill Bronrott and Sen. Jenny Forehand. Del. Bronrott is a master political strategist. During this past week and particularly throughout the last 72 hours, he was working furiously with legislative leaders from both chambers to get the compromise amendment included in the House version and to ensure this bill was not abandoned when it became controversial.
Needless to say, this tremendous and miraculous victory is the result of all of your hard work, your untiring dedication to child safety and your relentless efforts to make calls, use your contacts, send emails to Maryland legislators and alerts to your colleagues every time you were asked. As the clock was ticking and the end of the session became our biggest challenge, it was your calls and contacts throughout the final days and hours that made the difference. Thank you and please know you were an essential part of this victory.
One last request (of course). Please take the time in the next few days or week to thank Maryland legislators that you called or emailed to express your appreciation for their help and support. If there is a bill signing ceremony for SB 789 we will let you know. Again, thank you.
Jackie Gillan, Jaime Alvis & Judie Stone
Jaime S. Alvis
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002