Newsletter—February 2020

General Assembly Important Updates

As we start week 5 of the 2020 General Assembly Session, we are closer to a full roster of legislators. Last week, Governor Hogan appointed Shelly Hettleman to the Senate seat in Baltimore County, vacated by Bobby Zirkin. Hettleman has served as Delegate in the 11th district since 2015. The Governor also appointed Chanel Branch to the House of Delegates, filling the seat in district 45 vacated by Cheryl Glenn. Branch is currently the Director of Support Operations for Strategy and Administration for the Maryland Department of Human Services. Branch’s father is House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch, also representing district 45 in Baltimore City. Finally, Sheila Ruth has been appointed to the district 44B seat in the House, filling the seat held by Charles Sydnor who was recently appointed to the Senate. Ruth is a web designer and long-time community activist. There remains one open seat in the General Assembly, the House seat now open in district 11.


February brings with it some important deadlines:

• February 3 is the Senate Bill Introduction date

• February 5 the Governor will deliver the State of the State Address at noon

• February 7 is the House Bill Introduction date

For a complete list of session dates of interest, click here.


People on the Move

Kara Aanenson has been promoted to the position of Director of Resource at the Department of Juvenile Services. Aanenson had been the Director of Family Engagement since 2016.

Jeremy Crandall has been named Director of State Affairs at the National Association of Community Health Centers. Crandall was most recently at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in the State Affairs division.

Shirley Bigley LaMotte has been appointed Director of the Renaissance Institute at Notre Dame of Maryland University. LaMotte has been Principal Counsel for Advocacy Options for seven years.

Carol McDermott, former team member at Public Policy Partners, is the new Montgomery County Delegation Senate Administrator in the Maryland General Assembly.

Julia Pierson has been named Consultant for Consortium for Housing and Asset Management. Pierson has headed Pierson Consulting Solutions for 14 years.

Dytonia Reed has been named Assistant Director of Government Relations for the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA). Reed previously served as Attorney Advisor for the U.S. Social Security Administration.  

Teresa Titus-Howard, President and CEO of The Coordinating Center, was recently appointed to the Maryland Advisory Council on Health and Wellness. 

Betsy Tolentino has been promoted to Assistant Secretary of Strategic Initiatives at the Department of Juvenile Services. Tolentino has held several positions in the agency for more than 8 years, most recently as Executive Director of the Office of Preadjudication Services and Reform.

In Memoriam

We at Public Policy Partners offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Barbara McCord. Barbara was a “founding mother” of The Coordinating Center and a passionate advocate with and for people with disabilities. She will be missed by all who were lucky enough to have fought along side her for people’s rights.



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