Former OC councilman to transition into new role as delegate of District 38C
(Jan. 4, 2019) District 38C Delegate-elect Wayne Hartman said he’s ready for his Jan. 9 debut in the Maryland General Assembly.
He has yet to receive his government email address, which he said presented a challenge for constituents looking to get in touch with him.
“So ... it[‘s] challenging as far as communicating and stuff, but it’s definitely exciting,” he said. “I’m going up to my office for the first time Jan. 3, [and] starting to move stuff in.”
Hartman said he’s enjoyed getting to know some of his new constituents that span across Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. He’s also attended several council meetings to find out “what the local needs are here.”
Since his election victory, he said he’s tried to prepare for his new position by spending time with various organizations, as well as hearing concerns and learning priorities.
Hartman also has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, which is expected to tackle issues including the heroin and heroin and opioid epidemic.
“I think, locally, I anticipate having a lot of impact … in that area,” he said. “That’s I think going to be a big item in front of us as that continues to be an epidemic through the all of Maryland.”
Among other legislative priorities, the former Ocean City Councilman has been asked by the resort council to seek an amendment to previously passed special events law.
“That ... should give me an advantage as far as going to interact with the committee members, and have a closer relationship with them, and trying to get our point across as far as the need for the amendment,” he said.
One thing Hartman said he’s not in favor of: raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
“I’m not an advocate for that at all,” he said. “You know, I think it takes away a lot of opportunities.”
As for his legislative ideas, Hartman said he wants to explore the possibility of changing privacy laws for university students as a way to bridge the gap between the university and parents to help prevent addiction and to be able to intervene in mental health-related issues.
He said he sees a need for this change because “most [students] are over 18 [years old], so the parents are excluded from a lot of information.”
For Hartman, he’s previously said he feels it’s important to fix what’s already broken before creating legislation, but he stressed priorities remain local.
“I think keeping decisions at a local level are ... one of my biggest priorities because ... the more decisions we can keep locally, the better off we’re going to be,” he said.
He added it’s simply about “keeping the businesses local and serving the needs of our constituents.”
Hartman, a Republican in a House controlled by Democrats, stressed the importance of reaching across the aisle to advance issues important to his constituents.
“Well there’s no secret, you know, the Republican party’s a minority there,” Hartman said. “The Democrats have the majority, so you know it’s going to be all about building those relationships … so that your fellow delegates will listen to what you have to say, [and] understand your needs.”