ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Lawmakers in the Maryland House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill sparked by a Maryland mom who came to WUSA9 with a problem getting her soldier son’s vehicle tested for emissions. The legislation is supposed to ease the burden on deployed military members and their families back home.
House Bill 133 allows service members to be exempt from Maryland emissions requirements in two scenarios: If they are deployed, or stationed in a state without a vehicle emissions program.
The movement started with Madelaine Waltjen Shedlick’s story. WUSA9 took it to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and in less than four months, officials had legislation to fix the problem in front of the General Assembly. It is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate.
"I called the MVA and they were not quite sure what to do with me," she told the House Environment and Transportation Committee earlier in February.
Madelaine said she was told she could fly to her son's base in Texas and drive the car back to Maryland, or her son could send a bunch of paperwork, while he's fighting a war in the Middle East. It was a hassle.
"The story told itself," Chrissy Nizer, of MDOT MVA, said. "We all respect our military. We appreciate the sacrifices they and their families make and this is just one other way, as a state, that we can really show that appreciation and take one of those challenging issues off of their plate."
Madelaine believes this will not only help her son, who deploys again next month, but all who serve.