|Preceded by Paulene Menes|
Name Benjamin Barnes
Political party Democratic
Role American Politician
Party Democratic Party
|Born March 30, 1975 (age 40)
Peoria, Illinois, United States (1975-03-30) |
Residence College Park, Maryland, U.S.
Education University of Balti School of Law
Benjamin S. Barnes (born March 30, 1975) is an American politician who represents District 21 in the Maryland House of Delegates. A Democrat, he was first elected in 2006 and reelected in 2010 and 2014.
- In the legislature
- Legislative notes
- Lieutenant Governor's response to vote against HB 700
- Vote against HB 700
- In the Democratic Party
Barnes grew up in Prince George's County and graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in 1993 and then attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he got his B.A. in economics and political science in 1998. Barnes later graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law with a J.D. in 2003 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 2004. Barnes served as a political and legislative advisor to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. He is currently an attorney with the firm Hall, Butler, Macleay, Barnes & Maloney, based in Bowie, MD.
In the legislature
Barnes was a member of the House Judiciary Committee and its civil law subcommittee, and currently serves in the House Economic Matters Committee. He is also a member of the Special task force on Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Deputy Majority Whip.
Lieutenant Governor's response to vote against HB 700
In response to certain criticisms of Barnes, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown wrote a letter to the Laurel Leader (a local newspaper in Laurel, Maryland) defending Barnes' record on domestic violence legislation. Here is a paragraph from that letter:
"Del. Ben Barnes has been a strong champion and advocate on behalf of victims of domestic abuse. A simple review of his legislative record clearly shows his commitment to rooting out such violence. Too many Marylanders personally know what domestic violence looks like and Governor O'Malley and I will continue to work with members of the General Assembly, like Delegate Barnes, stakeholders, advocates and public safety professionals to end domestic violence in our communities."
Brown is also the O'Malley-Brown administration's point person on domestic violence policy issues.
Vote against HB 700
During the 2010 legislative session, Barnes was among more than a dozen representatives who voted down HB700. The bill would have made it easier for domestic violence victims to get protective orders. Women's groups throughout Maryland protested the decision. Maryland HB 700 sought to alter the standard of proof for issuing a final protective order from clear and convincing evidence to a preponderance of the evidence.
If the bill had passed, a judge could have found, from the preponderance of the evidence, that the alleged abuse occurred. The judge could then have granted a final protective order for relief from abuse to any eligible person. With this, Maryland continues to be the only state in the US to require this standard for issuance of protective orders.
Barnes, along with his fellow District 21 Delegates, voted for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants in 2007 (HB6).
In the Democratic Party
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barnes was elected and served as a pledged delegate for Hillary Clinton to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.