GLEN BURNIE, Md. — Maryland officials are making changes after a WUSA9 investigation. We brought you the story of a military mom who was given the run-around trying to get her deployed son's vehicle tested for emissions. Wednesday, one week after our story aired, state leaders announced new proposed legislation to give her son and other service-members a waiver.
Madelaine Waltjen Shedlick was recognized and applauded during a press conference at the MDOT MVA Glen Burnie office Wednesday. Her experience brought to light a bigger issue.
“She was one mother advocating on behalf of her son, but really, you made a difference for all active duty military,” MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer told Waltjen Shedlick and the crowd.
State leaders said they immediately saw they needed to take action. They found her story so impactful, they created legislation in response to it.
“To have this move forward this quickly is just amazing and I know it will be life changing for a lot of people,” Waltjen Shedlick reacted.
As we first reported, Madelaine's son, 1LT Tommy Shedlick, is deployed to the Middle East. His Army unit is out of Texas, which is where he left his truck. It is registered in his home state of Maryland. Service-members are legally allowed to do that. MVA said the pickup was due for emissions testing. Madelaine tried to take care of it for her son and got the run-around.
“I worry about him,” Waltjen Shedlick explained. “I worry about his safety. I don't want to worry about an emissions test. I don't' want him to come home and find out his tags have been suspended because he didn't have an emissions test.”
She pleaded for changes. The proposed waiver announced Wednesday is the first step for her son and thousands of other active duty military.
The waiver would cover two situations: first, if the service member is deployed and second, if the service member is stationed in a state that doesn't do emissions testing. The proposal would allow those like 1LT Shedlick to defer the testing for one inspection cycle at a time.
“He'll be home for Christmas and this is like the best gift because he knows it's going to change his colleagues and other military personnel, it's going to make things so much easier for them and their families,” Waltjen Shedlick added.
Officials told us the bill has bipartisan and the governor's support. It will go before the next general assembly session, which begins in January. Madelaine plans to go to Annapolis to testify in support of this bill.
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