New Maryland Laws Effective October 1

[This List was Prepared by the Capital News Service]

Hundreds of Maryland laws are going into effect Tuesday, spanning subjects from criminal justice reform to election law to the state’s medical cannabis commission.

A generous number of the bills fall under the subjects of criminal justice and health. Senate Bill 707, which passed in the 2018 legislative session but is going into effect Tuesday, bans the sale of bump stocks in Maryland. Penalties for offenses such as hate crime threats and solicitation for murder are becoming more severe, while gambling is being decriminalized.

House Bill 116 will require jails to screen all inmates for opioid use disorder, while Senate Bill 909 will require health care practitioners to obtain consent before performing certain bodily exams on patients who are unconscious or under anesthesia.

Age limits are also being changed in a variety of ways. The minimum age for purchasing tobacco products will be raised from 18 to 21, while the minimum age of detention within the Department of Juvenile Services is being raised from 7 to 12, with exceptions for violent crimes. Minors are also now prohibited from using tanning facilities.

Here is a roundup of some of the bills going into effect Oct. 1, broken down by subject.

Alcohol, cannabis and tobacco

Tobacco age: HB 1169 — The minimum age for purchasing or being sold tobacco products, which includes cigarettes, cigars, electronic smoking devices or “vapes,” and any related paraphernalia, will be raised from 18 to 21, exempting active duty military members 18 or older with a military ID. Retailers must display signs announcing the law and are subject to inspection and civil fines if the prohibitions are violated.

Alcohol consumption: HB 88 — Drinking and holding an alcoholic beverage in public under certain circumstances or having one in an open container will now be considered a civil rather than a criminal offense.

Animals

Cruelty to animals — payment for care: HB 135 — In current animal abuse cases, animal shelters shoulder the costs of care and treatment for the animal, without the option of adopting the animal out, until the case and custody are decided. This law, which covers dogfighting and cockfighting, would put the onus of animal care costs on the defendant, until the court case is heard and custody is decided.

Farm animal antibiotics: SB 471 — Administration of antibiotics to farm animals in Maryland will be further limited under this bill. Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s) said during a hearing that the bill will close loopholes that allow antibiotics to be given preventatively by clarifying definitions related to risk and administration patterns. Veterinarians will also have more oversight, according to the Legislative Services department.

Nuisance insects: HB 1353 — The secretary of Agriculture is given authority to execute the program to control and remove insects that “pester or annoy only humans.” The new law establishes a Nuisance Insect Fund, requiring counties and municipalities to pay for 50% of the cost of treatment, and it receives $400,000 in funding from the annual state budget. —Emily Top

Business

Online sales tax: HB 1301 —Online sellers and facilitators will now be required to collect sales and use taxes on Maryland buyers.  Under the new law, some sales tax revenues will also be redirected from the general fund to the education-focused Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund.

Mover registration: HB 671 — Moving companies in Maryland will now be required to register with and pay fees to the Department of Labor.  Movers were previously not required to register, according to Legislative Services.

Ticket resales — consumer protection: SB 891 — This bill protects consumers from buying event tickets on the resale market that have not yet been secured by the seller. Under the new law, sellers will have to disclose the status of any “speculative” tickets they list online and are required to refund buyers within 10 days of the event if the ticket is not secured.

Citizenship and immigration

Immigrant status and law enforcement: HB 214 — Unauthorized immigrants who are victims of crimes and are willing to help law enforcement may apply for a certain type of legal status. Victims must submit to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services a certification from local law enforcement agencies, which are not currently required to complete the forms if the victim satisfies the criteria. This bill requires them to.

Officer citizenship: SB 853 — This bill relaxes the citizenship eligibility requirements for police officers. Previously, officers had to be U.S. citizens, but now they can either be citizens or permanent legal residents who have applied for citizenship and been honorably discharged by the military. If officers fail to obtain citizenship, they must be terminated by the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission.

 

Criminal justice

Stacey’s Law/murder for hire: HB 493 — If a person solicits or conspires with another to commit murder and someone dies, it will now be considered first-degree murder in Maryland with no statute of limitations. Previously, solicitation to commit murder was a misdemeanor with a statute of limitations of three years.

Electronic harassment: SB 103 — This bill broadens what constitutes electronic harassment in Maryland and toughens the penalties against it. A person who uses electronic harassment with the intent of inducing a minor to commit suicide can now be imprisoned for up to 10 years and/or fined up to $10,000. It builds off the original Grace’s Law, named after Grace McComas, a teenager who committed suicide in 2012 after “repeated and vicious harassment online by a neighbor,” according to a legislative analysis.

Laura and Reid’s Law: SB 561 — Named after a woman who was killed while she was 14 weeks pregnant, this new law will impose stricter penalties, including additional imprisonment of up to 10 years, on someone who has committed a crime of violence against a woman with the knowledge that she is pregnant. Laura Wallen, a Howard County teacher, had chosen the boy’s name of Reid for her child.

Post-conviction review: HB 874 — This bill authorizes courts to vacate a conviction if there is new information that calls into question the original ruling. The bill is rooted in the actions of the Baltimore City Gun Trace Task Force, where eight police officers were charged with crimes like filing false paperwork in 2017. Approximately 1,300 cases may have been affected, according to Legislative Services.

Decriminalizing gambling: SB 842 — Betting, wagering and gambling will be decriminalized in Maryland. The penalty for such offenses was previously imprisonment for up to one year or a fine of up to $1,000. Now, gambling is a civil offense with no possible jail time. Running illegal gambling operations will remain a misdemeanor with possible jail time under the new law. E

Hate crimes: HB 240 —It will be illegal to threaten hate crimes — not just to commit them. Threats will be assessed the same misdemeanor penalty of a maximum of three years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. Hate crimes rose nationwide by 17%, and in Maryland by 35%, from 2016 to 2017, according to the FBI.

Child pornography: SB 736 — Computer-generated images that are indistinguishable from identifiable children younger than 16, and engaged in sexual conduct, will now qualify as child pornography. Film, photo, video and “other visual representation(s)” currently qualify. Drawings, cartoons, sculptures and paintings do not. Penalties are up to 10 years in prison and $10,000.

Jury duty: SB 236 — More people will be eligible for jury duty. A jail sentence (or potential sentence) of longer than six months currently disqualifies citizens from service; citizens will now be disqualified for sentences of a year or longer. —Ian Round

Pedestrian safety: SB 460 — Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians will face a maximum fine of $1,000, up from $500. The fines will contribute to a Pedestrian Safety Fund, which will be used for traffic calming, enforcement and education.

Sale of children: HB 481 — The sale of a minor will be reclassified to a felony offense. Under current Maryland criminal code, the trade, barter or sale of a child for money or something of monetary value is a misdemeanor offense with penalties not to exceed a fine of up to $10,000 and/or five years’ incarceration.

Bump stocks: SB 707 –– The transportation, possession, sale, manufacture, receipt or purchase of “rapid fire trigger activators” that were not owned prior to Oct. 1, 2018, is prohibited. Otherwise known as “bump stocks,” these devices increase the rate at which ammunition is discharged from a firearm. Penalties include a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or three years imprisonment.

Juvenile detention: HB 659 –– State law currently permits the Department of Juvenile Services to house children as young as 7 in detention facilities with juveniles up to age 21. Maryland will raise the minimum age of detention to 12, allowing for the exception of those who commit violent crimes or who are at risk of fleeing the court’s jurisdiction.

Loaning weapons: SB 346 –– Owners of handguns and other regulated firearms may be prosecuted for loaning weapons to individuals who they have cause to believe are legally barred from possessing them. This also extends to situations when there is cause to believe that someone may use the weapon to cause harm to themselves or others. Maximum penalties may include a $10,000 fine and prison time.

Attempted suicide: HB 77 –– Maryland will no longer prosecute attempted suicide as a crime. The state previously recognized the act as a crime under English common law. There has been one conviction in the last five years. That defendant is serving a three-year suspended sentence and two years of probation.

Driving under the influence: HB 707 — The penalties for drunk and drugged driving offenses are becoming more severe. If you have prior convictions for operating either a vehicle or vessel under the influence, or if you commit a homicide in the process, there are now longer sentences and more costly fines.

Sex trafficking: HB 871 — Human trafficking offenses will now be termed sex trafficking; forced marriage will be a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. Between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, 22 people were sentenced to 39 counts of felony and misdemeanor human trafficking in state circuit court.

Education

Black History Month: SB 879 — Schools are required to incorporate interactive educational activities involving Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass into their Black History Month curriculum.

Student loans: HB 594 — Student loan servicer companies are now prohibited from engaging in any kind of unfair, deceptive or abusive trade practices. Using schemes to mislead student loan borrowers, misrepresenting or not including certain information, misapplying or refusing to correct payments and providing or refusing to correct inaccurate information are all prohibited.

Elections

Election Day pages: SB 364 — After completing training and an oath, kids in grades 6 through 12 can assist election judges on Election Day at polling places through the Page Program. Local boards of elections can choose to participate in the program, which can be executed with no additional cost.

Election law: SB 449 — Individuals may register to vote on Election Day at their local polling place with proof of residency.

Employment

University employee rights: HB 822 — The University System of Maryland now cannot fire exempt employees — those who are not eligible for overtime pay — without cause. Previously, these employees were hired on an at-will basis and could be terminated with or without cause. As of last fall, the University System of Maryland had 11,600 exempt employees, according to Legislative Services.

Criminal history — employment: HB 22 — This bill prohibits executive agencies such as the Health Department from denying applications for occupational licenses or certificates based solely on an applicant’s criminal history, as long as it has been at least seven years since the conviction and no crime other than a minor traffic violation has occurred since. The bill does not apply to convictions for violent crimes.

Organ donation — unpaid leave, insurance: SB 742 — All employees will be eligible for unpaid organ donation leave for 12 weeks in any year and up to 30 business days for bone marrow transplants. It also prohibits insurance agencies from refusing to renew insurance policies to a donor based solely on their donation, but this provision will not go into effect until January 2020.

Workplace harassment: HB 679 — Independent contractors and the staff of elected officials will be able to file complaints of employment discrimination. The bill broadens the definition of both “employer” and “employee” in employment discrimination, and is expected to cost at least $54,000 annually.

Environment

Composting: HB 510 — Landfills will be prohibited from accepting separated, compostable material — both yard waste and food — unless they can compost it themselves. As of January, the state had 18 composting facilities with five more planned. This is part of Maryland’s effort to divert waste from landfills. Maryland produces more waste per capita than the national average, and its landfills are near capacity.

Reusing water: HB 539 — Potable water and water from ice makers can now be diverted from residential septic systems and reused for beneficial practices such as gardening or composting. The water cannot be reused if it contains “constituents” that are harmful to the public health or environment, according to Legislative Services.

Noxious weeds: HB 808 — The Secretary of Agriculture is now required to create a list of the state’s noxious weeds. Violators of noxious weed regulations will face penalties that increase for multiple infractions.

Health

Rape kit testing: SB 569 — This bill establishes a five-year, $3.5 million annual fund to reduce the state’s backlog of more than 6,000 untested rape kits. The state expects the backlog to be significantly reduced after five years, reducing the need for additional funding

Consent before medical exams: SB 909 — Health care practitioners will be required to obtain informed consent before performing prostate, rectal or pelvic exams on patients who are unconscious or under anesthesia. Citing Forbes, the state’s Department of Legislative Services notes some “troubling cases” in which medical students and trainees have performed pelvic exams without the patient’s consent. Maryland becomes the sixth state to enact such a requirement. —Ian Round

Preventative HIV treatment for minors: HB 1183 — Minors will be granted the ability consent to preventative HIV treatment, such as PrEP, a daily pre-exposure pill for those at high risk of HIV, without the permission of an adult. Minors currently have that ability when it comes to many other health conditions, such as pregnancy, substance use disorder and venereal disease. —

Nursing home care: HB 592 — Residents at comprehensive and extended care facilities will now have additional rights, including receiving written notice before being discharged and at least a three-day supply of medications at the time of discharge. —

Opioid treatment in correctional facilities: HB 116 — Jails will be required to screen all inmates for opioid use disorder and provide methadone, naltrexone and buprenorphine. Treatment is currently required if a doctor determines the inmate is an addict, but medical assessments are not mandatory.

Prescription drug monitoring: HB 25 — The state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program will be required, rather than permitted, to analyze data in search of misuse or abuse of certain drugs, or violations of law or ethics by drug providers or dispensers. If it finds any of these, it must inform those providers and dispensers.

Tanning age: SB 299 — This law prohibits minors (younger than 18) from using a tanning facility, repealing a former provision that minors could do so with the written consent from a legal guardian.

Energy bill assistance: HB 1189 — This bill establishes a program within the Department of Human Services that helps medically vulnerable people get financial assistance with their energy bills so their services do not get halted. Qualified individuals have a severe health condition that will be aggravated if utility services are turned off due to nonpayment of bills.

Elevated blood lead levels: HB 1233 — Maryland lowers its elevated blood lead level standard to match those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More regulations go into place in July.

Corpse custody: SB 147 — A grandchild is added to the list of people who have a right to determine the disposition of a relative’s body.

Parental support for hearing impaired: HB 1384 — It will allow individuals 21 and younger to borrow hearing aids for up to a year. Parents of a deaf child can take a free college course that teaches language or communication

Vaccination reporting requirements: HB 316 — All doctors will be required to use ImmuNet, a database that tracks vaccines given to patients. Under current law, for most practitioners it is optional; parents will be allowed to opt out

Transportation

Electric low-speed scooters: HB 748 — Electric low-speed scooters, like those used in popular scooter sharing services, will now be categorized under the same classification as bicycles, giving the user the same rights and responsibilities as bicyclists on roadways. Accordingly, operators will have the same rights and restrictions as pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks.

Electric bicycles: SB 935 — Electric bicycles will now be categorized in three classes, dependent on motor functionality and speed, that determine where they can be used. A person younger than 16 is not permitted to operate a Class 3 bicycle — which has a motor that stops providing assistance at 28 miles per hour as the operator pedals — on a public highway.

Applicant’s gender on licenses, permits or IDs: SB 196 — Applicants will now be able to leave the gender designation on licenses, identification cards or a moped operator’s permit as unspecified. In those circumstances, the Motor Vehicle Administration will use an “X” in that location of the license, card or permit.

Photos for ignition interlock systems: HB 55 — All new ignition interlock systems will include cameras to capture still images to use as proof of violations during the process of the breath analysis to determine the blood alcohol level before the vehicle starts. Current participants will not need to update existing devices unless it fails, they get a new vehicle, or they are removed and re-enter the system.

Driver’s licenses: SB 237 — Those convicted of possessing revoked, suspended or canceled driver’s licenses will no longer face incarceration and will be assessed fewer points. These penalties currently carry a potential two-month sentence, although the state assumes the number of people imprisoned is “negligible.” The state currently assesses 12 points for these violations; it will now be required to assess three.

Other

Spousal inheritance: SB 317 — After fewer than five years of marriage, if a person with no living offspring but living parents dies without a will, the surviving spouse will inherit the first $40,000 of the estate. The rest is split between the spouse and the parents. After five years of marriage, that spouse would inherit all of the estate.

PIA and 9-1-1 records: SB 5 — If someone requests to see a 9-1-1 record for a victim of domestic violence, abuse or sexual crime through the Maryland Public Information Act, the employee accessing the record must contact the victim or their representative within 30 days of receiving the request and wait 10 days for their response on granting or denying public inspection. The employee may also redact portions of the record.

Diaper-changing stations: SB 330 — This bill requires public buildings constructed or having bathrooms renovated on or after Oct. 1 to install a diaper-changing facility in at least one public restroom. While there are currently no requirements for diaper-changing stations in public buildings, the Maryland Department of Transportation has indicated that only a small number of facilities do not already comply with the new law.

Governor Hogan Vetoes Eight Bills- Other Legislation Becomes Law

Last Friday was the last day that Governor Hogan had to either sign a bill that passed the Maryland General Assembly, let the bill become law without signing it, or veto the bill.

If a bill is vetoed the General Assembly  can over-ride the veto next January.   A veto-over ride needs 60% of the House and Senate.  The Democratic majority is somewhat over 65% in both chambers.

On Friday  Governor Hogan vetoed 8 bills and let 300 bills become law without his signature.  He had previously signed hundreds of other bills.

The eight bills Hogan vetoed were:

  • The elimination of the state’s controversial Handgun Permit Review Board, which reviews and makes the final ruling on police decisions over who can carry concealed handguns. Some legislators have been critical of the board and its political appointees and argued that there are better ways to monitor what individuals are allowed to carry concealed weapons, The legislation would have sent appeals to administrative judges, rather than the panel.
  • *Ban-the-box” legislation, which would have limited the ability of many employers to make initial inquiries about a job applicant’s criminal record.
  • Oyster management: legislation sought to create a new process for developing plans for managing Maryland’s oyster population and regulating the harvest.
  • A bill that would have allowed more immigrants who live in Maryland to be eligible for in-state tuition,
  • A bill that would have required an annual $3.8 million allocation for the state to expand its bike lane program.
  • A bill that expands the ability of state workers to file grievances.
  • A bill that expanded transparency over gubernatorial appointments.
  • A bill that would have required trains carrying freight to have at least two crew members if the train is being operated “in the same rail corridor as a high-speed passenger or commuter train.”
There were a lot of important bills that the Governor signed or let become law without his signature. Here are some of the bills I was following.

Governor Signed Legislation
Expanded Tax Credit for Child Care (SB870)
The bill would allow those Marylanders to claim more in credits, while expanding the credits to residents who make more than $50,000 but less than $141,000. That expands the number of Marylanders eligible for the tax credits from 23,000 to about 114,200 taxpayers.

Raising the Age of Selling Tobacco to 21 (HB1169/SB 895)

Ignition Interlock System (HB55)
Requiring that an ignition interlock system be equipped with a camera capable of recording still images of the person.

Patients Bill of Rights (HB145)
Requiring a hospital to provide patients with a patient’s bill of rights and to provide patients with a translator, a  interpreter

Tax Credits for Grocery Stores in Food Deserts:  (HB188)
This bill authorizes a tax credit in Prince George’s County for new food stores in what are determined to be ‘food deserts’ in the County.

U Visa Legislation (HB214)
This bill will ensure that victims of crimes or witness of crimes who help the police can get a visa to keep them in the country

Governor Did Not Sign Legislation but These Bills Have Become Law
Banning Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating Because of Status As A Surviving Spouse  (HB191)

Clear Energy Act (SB 516)  
The bill mandates that 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, by 2030.

Education Blueprint for Maryland Future (SB 1030)  
Legislation mandates over $725  million in state spending for education over the next three years. The funding follows the recommendations of the Kirwin Commission that has been reviewing the education priorities for the State.  The legislation calls for $255 million in increased funding from state taxpayers for public schools for fiscal year 2020 and overall $750 million in fiscal year 2021 to 2023.
Occupational Licenses or Certificates – Prohibition on use of Criminal Records (HB22)

Option for Gender Neutral Drivers License   (SB 196)
Bill allow residents to apply for licenses with gender identifiers of “M,” “F,” or “X.”

Prohibiting Deceptive Acts by Mortgage Lenders (HB425)

Prohibiting use of Styrofoam  (HB109/SB295) 

Prescription Drug Affordability Board  (HB 768)     
Maryland will become the first state empowered to limit what state and local government employees pay for certain prescription drugs. Policymakers consider the Prescription Drug Affordability Board an initial step to policing rising drug prices statewide and envision it as a national model to curb runaway drug costs.

Bills That Were Vetoed But the Legislature Over-rode the Veto and Are Now Law
$15 Minimum Wage 
HB 166/SB 280   General Assembly over-rode Governor’s veto and is now law.

Flexible School Calendar
Overturns the Governor.’s Executive Order (that mandates all schools to start after Labor Day) to allow a local school board to set the school calendar.  SB 128 General Assembly over-rode Governor’s veto and is now law.

Bills Vetoed by the Governor And Need a Legislative Over-ride (next January) to Become Law
Movement of Railroad Freight – Required Two Person Crew (HB66)
This bill would prohibit the movement of freight in the same rail corridor as a high speed commuter or passenger train unless the freight train has at least two workers.

Maryland Dream Act (SB 537)
Expands the people eligible for in-state tuition

2019 Legislative Recap

The 2019 Legislative Session is over and here is a re-cap of some of the bills that I have been following.  The last day of the session, ‘Sine Die’ (Latin for: without a fixed date for future action) is usually a day of celebration.  Bills have passed and legislators go home after 90 days of hard work.  This year it was tragically different.  Speaker of the House, Michael Busch, suddenly passed away on Sunday.  He had been the longest serving Speaker of the House in Maryland.  I knew him and respected him during my four years as a Delegate.  We did not always agree but he had the highest level of integrity (something that has to be cherished now a days) and tried to build consensus.  He always encouraged me to express my ideas and gather support from my colleagues as a bill needed 71 votes to pass.  He will be missed in the General Assembly.

Below is my list of bills.  There were hundreds of bills passed and many more that failed to pass.  The bills that passed do not become law until the Governor signs them, vetoes them or many times just lets them become law without his signature.   If you feel strongly about a bill that he is considering you might want to email him by going to his web-site contact page:  https://governor.maryland.gov/contact-the-governor or emailing directly: governor.mail@maryland.gov .  You can also find out more about any of the bills listed by going to the General Assembly web-site:  mgaleg.maryland.gov

If you’re interested in a bill that is not listed, send me an email.

Bills Passed and Are Now Law

$15 Minimum Wage 
HB 166/SB 280   General Assembly over-rode Governor’s veto and is now law.

Flexible School Calendar
Overturns the Governor.’s Executive Order (that mandates all schools to start after Labor Day) to allow a local school board to set the school calendar.
SB 128 General Assembly over-rode Governor’s veto and is now law.

Bills Passed and are Now Waiting for the Governor to Sign or Veto

Banning Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating Because of Status As A Surviving Spouse  (HB191)

Clear Energy Act (SB 516)  
The bill mandates that 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, by 2030.

Education Blueprint for Maryland Future (HB1413/SB 1030)  
Legislation mandates over $725  million in state spending for education over the next three years. The funding follows the recommendations of the Kirwin Commission that has been reviewing the education priorities for the State.  The legislation calls for $255 million in increased funding from state taxpayers for public schools for fiscal year 2020 and overall $750 million in fiscal year 2021 to 2023.

Expanded Tax Credit for Child Care (SB870/HB810)
The bill would allow those Marylanders to claim more in credits, while expanding the credits to residents who make more than $50,000 but less than $141,000. That expands the number of Marylanders eligible for the tax credits from 23,000 to about 114,200 taxpayers.

Johns Hopkins Private Police Force (SB 793)

Maryland Dream Act (HB 537)
Expands the people eligible for in-state tuition

Occupational Licenses or Certificates – Prohibition on use of Criminal Records (HB22)

Option for Gender Neutral Drivers License   (SB 196)
Bill allow residents to apply for licenses with gender identifiers of “M,” “F,” or “X.”

Prohibiting Deceptive Acts by Mortgage Lenders (HB425)

Prohibiting use of Styrofoam  (HB109/SB295) 

Prescription Drug Affordability Board  (HB 768)     
Bill was weakened to make this a study with recommendations. Originally this Board had the power to create “upper payment limits” on drugs that cost more than $30,000 for a single course and those whose costs spike dramatically. It was amended  to adopt a more research-oriented approach in which a panel of experts spends a year looking at what other states are doing to reduce drug prices. The panel would then make recommendations to the legsialture.

Raising the Age of Selling Tobacco to 21 (HB1169/SB 895)

Ignition Interlock System (HB55)
Requiring that an ignition interlock system be equipped with a camera capable of recording still images of the person.

Movement of Railroad Freight – Required Two Person Crew (HB66)
This bill would prohibit the movement of freight in the same rail corridor as a high speed commuter or passenger train unless the freight train has at least two workers.

Patients Bill of Rights (HB145)
Requiring a hospital to provide patients with a patient’s bill of rights andto provide  patients with a translator, a  interpreter

Tax Credits for Grocery Stores in Food Deserts:  (HB188)
This bill authorizes a tax credit in Prince George’s County for new food stores in what are determined to be ‘food deserts’ in the County.

U Visa Legislation (HB214)
This bill will ensure that victims of crimes or witness of crimes who help the police can get a visa to keep them in the country

Some of the Many Bills that Did not Pass This Year

Ban of Chlorpyrifos (HB 275)
This bill would  have banned chlorpyrifos, a brain damage-causing pesticide. The chemical has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, lung cancer, and lower IQs in children

Banning of Computer–Aided Fabrication and Serial Number (3–D Printed Firearms and Ghost Guns (HB740)

Collective Bargaining Rights for Graduate Students at UMD, St. Mary’s and Morgan State University (HB270)

End of Life Option  (HB 399)

Independent Environmental Study for Transportation Projects (HB1091)
This legislation is seen as a way of slowing  Gov. Hogan Jr.’s proposals to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270.

Making  the Use of a Noose or Swastika a Hate Crime (HB 4)

Partial Expungement (HB13)
This bill repeals the prohibition on expungement of a charge or conviction within a “unit” of charges unless all of the charges or convictions in the unit  are eligible for expungement.

Prohibiting  a school district from spending money to arm a teacher with a gun.(HB 367)

Prohibiting non-public schools that receive public funding from discriminating against students who are disabled, LGBTQ+, and other protected classes  (HB 295)

Prohibiting Use of Occupation or Education in Determination of car insurance rates- (HB 329)

Property Tax Credits for Teachers (HB223)
This bill authorizes Prince George’s County to issue a Property tax credit of up to $2,500 for teachers who decide to move into the County.

Repealing a Limitation of Campaign Contributions from Developers to County Executive  (HB277)

Safe Harbor Legislation (HB1273)
Bill Requiring to require schools and hospitals  to establish a policy that limits immigration enforcement on the premises to the fullest extent possible consistent

Coming Down to the Wire In Annapolis

There are only 8 days to go in the 2019 Legislative Session and we’re getting down to the wire.  Bills will be passing and dying quickly over the next week.

The big news this week was the veto and over-ride of the $15 Minimum Wage bill.  This is now law.  The minimum wage will go to $15 per hour by 2025.  The next increase will be January 1, 2020 when the minimum wage goes to $11 an hour from the current $10.10.

Another bill that went into law after a veto and an over-ride was the flexible school year calendar which will allow local school districts to decide the beginning and end of the school year.  (The Governor had previously passed an executive order mandating that all schools start after Labor Day.

The General Assembly also passed a state budget that includes $255 million more for education this year and are still debating mandating more money to be used for the following year.

Governor Hogan also signed into law that would provide interest-free loans to feds working without pay because of the Government shutdown. The bill arose from this winter’s prolonged federal government shutdown, when thousands of Maryland residents were required to work without pay — and were therefore ineligible for unemployment benefits because they weren’t available to look for another job

One controversial bill that failed was the End of Life Option.  The Senate had a tie-vote 23 to 23 and it needed a majority to pass.

I have listed the bills that I am tracking and have put them into four categories: 1) signed (or veto over-ridden) and are now law; 2) bills before the Governor; 3) bills that are still ‘in play’ and have to pass this week and 4) bills that will definitely not pass this year.  If there are specific bills that you want to know about let me know.

If you want to know any more about any of the bills go to the Maryland General Assembly Hweb-site:  www.mgaleg.maryland.gov   and type in the bill number.

Since there is only one week to go you may want to contact your representatives in District 47 and tell them how you feel about a bill of interest to you. You should email or call:

Senator Malcolm Augustine        Malcolm.augustine@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3745
Delegate Diana Fennell (47A)     Diana.fennell@house.state.md.us 301-858-3478
Delegate Julian Ivey (47A)          Julian.ivey@house.state.md.us      410-841-3326
Delegate Wanika Fisher              Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

If you do not know who are your representatives, you can go to www.mdelect.net   to find out who are your elected representatives   There is also a very good smart phone application MD GOV which lists all the Delegates and Senators, their Committees and their contact number.

1 – Bills Passed and Are Now Law

$15 Minimum Wage 
HB 166/SB 280   General Assembly over-rode Governor’s veto and is now law.

Flexible School Calendar
Overturns the Governor.’s Executive Order (that mandates all schools to start after Labor Day) to allow a local school board to set the school calendar.
SB 128 General Assembly over-rode Governor’s veto and is now law.

2 – Bills Waiting for the Governor to Sign or Veto

Banning Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating Because of Status As A Surviving Spouse
HB 191 – Passed the House and the Senate

Maryland Dream Act
Expands the people eligible for in-state tuition
SB 537 – Passed the Senate and House – Waiting for Governor to sign/veto

Option for Gender Neutral Drivers License
Bill allow residents to apply for licenses with gender identifiers of “M,” “F,” or “X.”
SB 196 The House of Delegates and the Senate passed this bill.   It now goes to the Governor for signature or veto.

3 – Bills Still Moving Forward in the General Assembly

Consumer Rights

Prohibiting Deceptive Acts by Mortgage Lenders
HB 425 – Passed the House – Senate hearing held

Criminal Justice

Occupational Licenses or Certificates – Prohibition on use of Criminal Records 
HB 22 – Passed the House – Senate Hearing held

Johns Hopkins Private Police Force 
SB 793 Passed the Senate  and the House – two bills have to be reconciled

Making  the Use of a Noose or Swastika a Hate Crime
  HB 4 Passed the House – Senate hearing held

Partial Expungement 
This bill repeals the prohibition on expungement of a charge or conviction within a “unit” of charges unless all of the charges or convictions in the unit  are eligible for expungement.
HB 13 – Passed the House – Senate hearing held

Education

Legislation mandates over $1 billion in state spending for education over the next two years. The funding follows the recommendations of the Kirwin Commission that has been reviewing the education priorities for the State.  The legislation calls for $325 million in increased funding from state taxpayers for public schools for fiscal year 2020 and $750 million in fiscal year 2021.
Some of the spending over two years are:

HB 1413 – Hearing Held
SB 1030 – Hearing Held

(While these bills have not been passed by either house.  They are a priority of leadership and are still being discussed even though the deadline for other bills has passed.)

Prohibiting  a school district from spending money to arm a teacher with a gun.
HB 367 – Passed the House

Prohibiting non-public schools that receive public funding from discriminating against students who are disabled, LGBTQ+, and other protected classes.
HB 295 – Passed the House

Environmental Issues

Prohibiting use of styrofoam
        HB 109                          Passed the House – Two bills have to be reconciled
SB 285                          Passed the Senate

Ban of Chlorpyrifos
This bill would ban chlorpyrifos, a brain damage-causing pesticide. The chemical has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, lung cancer, and lower IQs in children
House Bill 275             Passed the House

Clear Energy Act       
SB 516                       Senate passed the bill – Held up in House Rules Committee

Gun Control

Banning of Computer–Aided Fabrication and Serial Number (3–D Printed Firearms and Ghost Guns)
HB 740 –Passed the House

Requiring background checks for all purchases of long guns, including shotguns and rifles
HB 786 – Passed the House

Health Care

 Prescription Drug Affordability Board       
HB 768          Passed the House – Waiting for a Senate Hearing

Raising the Age of Selling Tobacco to 21
SB 895            Passed the Senate – Two bills have to be reconciled
HB 1169          Passed the House

Patients Bill of Rights 
Requiring a hospital to provide patients with a patient’s bill of rights andto provide  patients with a translator, a  interpreter
HB 145 – Passed the House

Tanning Beds – Prohibition of Use by Minors (under 18)
HB 124 – Passed the House
SB 299 – Passed the Senate – Two bills have to be reconciled after one of them was amended

Immigration Rights

U Visa Legislation
This bill will ensure that victims of crimes or witness of crimes who help the police can get a visa to keep them in the country
HB 214 – Passed the House

Safe Harbor Legislation
Bill Requiring to require schools and hospitals  to establish a policy that limits immigration enforcement on the premises to the fullest extent possible consistent
HB 1273 – Passed the House

Other Topics

Ignition Interlock System
Requiring that an Ignition Interlock System be equipped with a camera capable of recording still images of the person
HB55 Passed the House

Expanded Tax Credit for Child Care
The bill would allow those Marylanders to claim more in credits, while expanding the credits to residents who make more than $50,000 but less than $141,000. That expands the number of Marylanders eligible for the tax credits from 23,000 to about 114,200 taxpayers.
SB 870  – Passed the Senate
HB 810 – Passed the House

Elimination of Statute of Limitations for sex abuse against minors and create a two-year window to file suit for victims where a previous statute of limitations has expired.
House Bill 687  Passed the House – Senate hearing 3/28

Prince George’s County Local Bills

Tax Credits for Grocery Stores in Food Deserts:
This bill authorizes a tax credit in Prince George’s County for new food stores in what are determined to be ‘food deserts’ in the County.
           HB188 – Passed the House – Hearing held in the Senate

Property Tax Credits for Teachers
This bill authorizes Prince George’s County to issue a Property tax credit of up to $2,500 for teachers who decide to move into the County.
HB 223 – Passed the House  – Being voted on by the Senate

Repealing a Limitation of Campaign Contributions from Developers to County Executive (I am in opposition to this bill)
HB 227   Passed the House – Senate hearing held

Transportation

Movement of Railroad Freight – Required Two Person Crew
This bill would prohibit the movement of freight in the same rail corridor as a high speed commuter or passenger train unless the freight train has at least two workers.
HB 66 – Passed the General Assembly – Being voted on this week

Independent Environmental Study for Transportation Projects
This legislation is seen as a way of slowing  Gov. Hogan Jr.’s proposals to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270.
HB 1091 – Passed the House

Workers Rights

Collective Bargaining Rights for Graduate Students at UMD, St. Mary’s and Morgan State University
HB 270 – Passed the House – Senate hearing held

4 – Bills Not Moving This Year

Prohibiting Use of Occupation or Education in Determination of car insurance rates
HB 329 – Voted down by the Senate Finance Committee

End of Life Option
HB 399           Voted down by the Senate (it did not receive of majority of 24 Senators needed to pass)

Crossover Day – Some Bills Move Forward and Others Are Dead for the Year

Some Bills Move Forward – A Lot of Other Bills are Dead Until Next Year

Monday March 18th is called Cross-over Day.  Almost all the bills have to be voted on by either the House or the Senate to be timely heard by the other chamber.  If a bill has not been voted on by either chamber it is mostly likely is dead for this year.   Here is the status of the bills that I personally am tracking.  There are many other good bills but I don’t want to overwhelm everybody even more.    I have listed the bills that are moving forward and then list those that are most likely not going to go anywhere this year.  If there are specific bills that you want to know about let me know.

If you want to know any more about any of the bills go to the Maryland General Assembly Hweb-site:  www.mgaleg.maryland.gov   and type in the bill number.

If you want to contact your representatives in District 47 about any of the bills, you should email or call:

Senator Malcolm Augustine        Malcolm.augustine@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3745
Delegate Diana Fennell (47A)     Diana.fennell@house.state.md.us 301-858-3478
Delegate Julian Ivey (47A)          Julian.ivey@house.state.md.us      410-841-3326
Delegate Wanika Fisher              Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

If you do not know who are your representatives, you can go to www.mdelect.net   to find out who are your elected representatives   There is also a very good smart phone application MD GOV which lists all the Delegates and Senators, their Committees and their contact numbers.

Bills Moving Forward

Consumer Rights

Prohibiting Use of Occupation or Education in Determination of car insurance rates
HB 329 – Passed the House – Unfortunately it was amended to have the MD Insurance Agency study the issue not to actually make the changes

Banning Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating Because of Status As A Surviving Spouse
SB 607 – Passed the Senate
HB 191 – Passed the House

Prohibiting Deceptive Acts by Mortgage Lenders
HB 425 – Passed the House

Criminal Justice

Occupational Licenses or Certificates – Prohibition on use of Criminal Records 
HB 22 – Passed the House

Johns Hopkins Private Police Force 
Bill would enable Johns Hopkins University to set up a private police force
SB 793 Passed the Senate

Making  the Use of a Noose or Swastika a Hate Crime
  HB 4 Passed the House

Partial Expungement 
This bill repeals the prohibition on expungement of a charge or conviction within a “unit” of charges unless all of the charges or convictions in the unit  are eligible for expungement.
HB 13 – Passed the House

Education

Legislation mandates over $1 billion in state spending for education over the next two years. The funding follows the recommendations of the Kerwin Commission that has been reviewing the education priorities for the State.  The legislation calls for $325 million in increased funding from state taxpayers for public schools for fiscal year 2020 and $750 million in fiscal year 2021.
Some of the spending over two years are:

HB 1413 – Hearing Held
SB 1030 – Hearing Held

(While these bills have not been passed by either house.  They are a priority of leadership and will likely be passed even after the deadline for other bills.)

Flexible School Calendar
Overturns the Governor.’s Executive Order (that mandates all schools to start after Labor Day) to allow a local school board to set the school calendar.
SB 128 Passed the Senate and the House. On to the Governor for veto or signature.

Prohibiting  a school district from spending money to arm a teacher with a gun.
            HB 367 – Passed the House

Prohibiting non-public schools that receive public funding from discriminating against students who are disabled, LGBTQ+, and other protected classes.
    HB 295 – Passed the House

Environmental Issues

Prohibiting use of styrofoam
        HB 109                          Passed the House
SB 285                          Passed the Senate

Ban of Chlorpyrifos
This bill would ban chlorpyrifos, a brain damage-causing pesticide. The chemical has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, lung cancer, and lower IQs in children
House Bill 275             Passed the House

Gun Control

Banning of Computer–Aided Fabrication and Serial Number (3–D Printed Firearms and Ghost Guns)

            HB 740 –Passed the House

Requiring background checks for all purchases of long guns, including shotguns and rifles
HB 786 – Passed the House

Health Care

End of Life Option
HB 399           Passed the House

 Prescription Drug Affordability Board       
HB 768           Hearing held
SB 759           Hearing held
                      While normally bills that haven’t passed one of the two chambers would be considered dead.  These bills are a high legislative priority and still may be voted on before the end of the session.

Raising the Age of Selling Tobacco to 21
SB 895            Passed the Senate – Two bills have to be reconciled
HB 1169          Passed the House

Patients Bill of Rights 
Requiring a hospital to provide patients with a patient’s bill of rights andto provide  patients with a translator, a  interpreter
HB 145 – Passed the House

Tanning Beds – Prohibition of Use by Minors (under 18)
Research has shown that using an indoor tanning device before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 59 percent and the risk is even higher when tanning bed use begins before the age of 25.
HB 124 – Passed the House
SB 299 – Passed the Senate – Two bills have to be reconciled after one of them was amended

Immigration Rights

Maryland Dream Act
Expands the people eligible for in-state tuition
SB 537 – Passed the Senate

U Visa Legislation
This bill will ensure that victims of crimes or witness of crimes who help the police can get a visa to keep them in the country
HB 214 – Passed the House

Safe Harbor Legislation
Bill Requiring to require schools and hospitals  to establish a policy that limits immigration enforcement on the premises to the fullest extent possible consistent
HB 1273 – Passed the House

Other Topics

Ignition Interlock System
Requiring that an Ignition Interlock System be equipped with a camera capable of recording still images of the person
HB55 Passed the House

Expanded Tax Credit for Child Care
The bill would allow those Marylanders to claim more in credits, while expanding the credits to residents who make more than $50,000 but less than $141,000. That expands the number of Marylanders eligible for the tax credits from 23,000 to about 114,200 taxpayers.
SB 870  – Passed the Senate
HB 810 – Passed the House

Elimination of Statute of Limitations for sex abuse against minors and create a two-year window to file suit for victims where a previous statute of limitations has expired.
House Bill 687  Passed the House

Prince George’s County Local Bills

Tax Credits for Grocery Stores in Food Deserts:
This bill authorizes a tax credit in Prince George’s County for new food stores in what are determined to be ‘food deserts’ in the County.
           HB188 – Passed the House

Property Tax Credits for Teachers
This bill authorizes Prince George’s County to issue a Property tax credit of up to $2,500 for teachers who decide to move into the County.
        HB 223 – Passed the House

Repealing a Limitation of Campaign Contributions from Developers to County Executive (I am in opposition to this bill)
HB 227   Passed the House

Transportation

Movement of Railroad Freight – Required Two Person Crew
This bill would prohibit the movement of freight in the same rail corridor as a high speed commuter or passenger train unless the freight train has at               least two workers.
HB 66 – Passed the House

Independent Environmental Study for Transportation Projects
This legislation is seen as a way of slowing  Gov. Hogan Jr.’s proposals to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270.
HB 1091 – Passed the House

Option for Gender Neutral Drivers License
Bill allow residents to apply for licenses with gender identifiers of “M,” “F,” or “X.”
SB 196 The House of Delegates and the Senate passed this bill.   It now goes to the Governor for signature or veto.

Workers Rights

$15 Minimum Wage
HB 166/SB 280   
The Senate Bill passed the Senate  and the House Bill has passed the House and the Senate but the Senate amended the bill to let small businesses have an extra three years (until 2028) to get to the $15 level.  There will now be a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the two versions before it goes to the Governor for signature or veto.

Collective Bargaining Rights for Graduate Students at UMD, St. Mary’s and Morgan State University

HB 270 – Passed the House

Bills That Probably Won’t Pass This Year

Criminal Justice Reform

 Increasing pre-release facility services
HB 715 Hearing held
SB 419 Hearing held

Expungement of Nonviolent Convictions
HB 19 – Hearing Held

Consumer Rights

Prohibiting Use of credit factors in the determination of car insurance rates
HB 351 – Voted down in House Committee
SB 235 –Hearing held

Environmental Initiatives

 Pipeline and Water Protection Act
HB 669                           Hearing held
SB 387                          Hearing held

Clear Energy Act       
                SB 516                       Senate did not vote on this bill.

Health Care 

 Medicare for All Legislation (First Steps)
HB 1087         Hearing held
SB 871           Hearing 3/20

Immigration Justice

Prohibition In Keeping Undocumented People in Jail Beyond Their Sentence Without Judicial Oversight   
HB 913 – Hearing held                          
SB 17 –   Hearing held

Other Topics

New 5G wireless telephone poles placement has to follow local zoning laws
HB 1020       Referred to interim study
SB 713        Referred to interim study

Allowing the Legislature to Add Items to the Governor’s Budget
HB 1108 Hearing held

Legalization of Marijuana
HB 632   Referred to a summer task force

Transportation

Majority of Counties Have to Agree Before New Toll Road Are Built Through Their Counties
HB 102 – Hearing Held
SB 442 –  Hearing held
(HB 1091 was passed as alternative legislation to slow construction of the widening of I 270 and the Beltway)

Voting Rights 

Small donor public financing      
HB  1017        Hearing held
SB 414            Hearing held

Constitutional Amendment repealing Citizens United  
HJ2         Hearing held
SJ1          Voted down in Senate Committee

Special Election to Fill a Vacancy for State Delegate or Senator
HB 85       Hearing Held

Presidential Tax Transparency Act 
Candidate Has to release tax returns to be on the Maryland ballot
HB 925 – Hearing held

Worker Rights

Collective Bargaining for community college workers  
HB 766      Hearing held

Overtime for Low Paid Salaried Workers
HB 1040     Voted Down in Committee – Feds have proposed regulation to pay people for OT who make under $35,000

Expanding Prohibition Against Discrimination in Employment to Small Employers
HB 661      Hearing held

There are a couple of good websites that also track bills.  You might want to look at QED’s web-site:  https://qedinc.us/legislative-bulletin  and the Maryland Legislative Coalition:  http://mdlegislative.com

News From Annapolis – March 11, 2019

This is one more month in the 2019 legislative session and there is also only one more week until cross-over day in which bills have to pass either the House or Senate to be heard  in a timely fashion by the other house.  (There are  some exceptions to this rule.)  Therefore there will be a lot of bills voted out of Committee and voted on in the next week.
A few of the big pieces of legislation made progress.

$15 Minimum Wage (HB 166/SB280) Passed Out of the Senate Committee.  This billwhich had already been voted on by the House of Delegates was voted out of the Finance Committee in the Senate and is scheduled for a vote by the full Senate next week.  Unfortunately it was further weakened when an amendment passed that delayed full implementation for small business (less than 15 employees) until 2028!  There will probably be amendments to try and strengthen the bill on the Senate Floor

End of Life Option (HB399) passed the House of Delegates.  The bill allows a doctor to prescribe drugs to a patient that the patient could take to end his or her life. The patient would be required to have a terminal illness with a diagnosis of less than six months to live. The patient would also have to be at least 18 years old and ask for the prescription on three separate occasions, including at least once in writing with witnesses. The person also would have to be able to take the medicine by themselves.

Education Funding Bills Are Introduced (Blueprint for the Future HB 1413/SB 1030) :  Legislation was introduced this week which will mandate over $1 billion in state spending for education over the next two years. The funding follows the recommendations of the Kerwin Commission that has been reviewing the education priorities for the State.  The legislation calls for $325 million in increased funding from state taxpayers for public schools for fiscal year 2020 and $750 million in fiscal year 2021.
Some of the spending over two years are:

» $80 million over two years to expand full-day prekindergarten in the state for 4-year-olds;

» $150 million to provide a 1.5 percent average raise for teacher salaries;

» $46 million for more services for struggling learners;

» $110 million in grants for schools with high concentrations of poverty;

» $275 million more for special education.
Delaying the Expansion of 270 and the Beltway  – The House Appropriations Committee approved language that eliminated funding this year for Hogan’s plan to add express toll lanes to three of Maryland’s most congested highways the Capital Beltway, the  I-270 spur connecting Frederick to the Washington area, and Interstate 295, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.  This will delay the construction of the projects for at least one year.  The amendment will be voted on by the full House of Delegates later this week.

A few of the other bills that made progress this week

HB188 – Tax Credits for Grocery Stores in Food Deserts:   This bill authorizes a tax credit in Prince George’s County for new food stores in what are determined to be ‘food deserts’ in the County.  Passed the House of Delegates

HB 223 – Property Tax Credits for Teachers.  This bill authorizes Prince George’s County to issue a Property tax credit of up to $2,500 for teachers who decide to move into the County.

HB 214 – U Visa Bill – Will be passing the House of Delegates early next week.   This bill will ensure that victims of crimes or witness of crimes who help the police can get a visa to keep them in the country.

HB 295 prohibits non-public schools that receive public funding from discriminating against students who are disabled, LGBTQ+, and other protected classes.

HB 367 would prohibit a school district from spending money to arm a teacher with a gun.

HB 1020/SB 713 – Bills to Regulate the Placement of 5G Wireless Poles was referred to a summer study and there will be no action on these bills this year.  The debate in Annapolis was whether local jurisdictions could regulate the placement of new telephone poles (which will bring wireless wifi  to homes) or if the telecom companies could place the poles without getting permission from local government.

Here is the status of the other bills that I personally am tracking.  There are many other good bills but I don’t want to overwhelm everybody.    If there are specific bills that you want to know about let me know.

If you want to know any more about any of the bills go to the Maryland General Assembly web-site:  www.mgaleg.maryland.gov   and type in the bill number.

If you want to contact your representatives in District 47 about any of the bills, you should email or call:

Senator Malcolm Augustine            Malcolm.augustine@senate.state.md.us 410-841-3745
Delegate Diana Fennell (47A)          Diana.fennell@house.state.md.us 301-858-3478
Delegate Julian Ivey (47A)               Julian.ivey@house.state.md.us      410-841-3326
Delegate Wanika Fisher                   Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

If you do not know who are your representatives, you can go to www.mdelect.net   to find out who are your elected representatives   There is also a very good smart phone application MD GOV which lists all the Delegates and Senators, their Committees and their contact numbers.

Criminal Justice Reform

Increasing pre-release facility services
HB 715 Hearing held
Expungement of Nonviolent Convictions
HB 19 – Hearing Held
Occupational Licenses or Certificates – Prohibition on use of Criminal Records
HB 22 – Hearing Held

 Consumer Rights

Prohibiting Use of Occupation or Education in Determination of car insurance rates
HB 329 – Hearing held
SB 233 – Hearing held
Prohibiting Use of credit factors in the determination of car insurance rates
HB 351 – Hearing Held
SB 235 –Hearing held
Banning Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating Because of Status As A Surviving Spouse
SB 607 – Hearing Not Scheduled
Prohibiting Deceptive Acts by Mortgage Lenders
HB 425 – Hearing held

Education

Money has to be appropriated for at least $325 million in new funding proposals for teacher salary increases, the expansion of community schools and pre-k education, and increased funding for mental health services. The legislature must also  commit to full-funding for all Kirwan Commission recommendations with a requirement that $1.5 billion is put in next year’s budget.

HB 1413 – Hearing Held
SB 1030 – Hearing Held

Environmental Initiatives

Prohibiting use of styrofoam
HB 109                          Voted out of the Committee
SB 285                          Passed the Senate
Clear Energy Act
HB 1158                       Hearing held
SB 516                        Hearing held
Pipeline and Water Protection Act
HB 669                           Hearing held
SB 387                          Hearing held

Gun Control Legislation

Banning of ghost guns:  buying the parts needed to assemble a firearm
HB 740 – Hearing held
Prohibition of computer aided firearm fabrication
SB 8 – Hearing held – Unfavorable report by Committee

Plugging the Loan Loophole in  the transfer of gun ownership
HB 96 – Hearing held

Health Care 

Prescription Drug Affordability Board
HB 768           Hearing held
SB 759           Hearing held
Medicare for All Legislation (First Steps)
HB 1087         Hearing held
SB 871           Hearing 3/20
End of Life Option
HB 399           Passed the House of Delegates
SB 311            Hearing held
Raising the Age of Selling Tobacco to 21
SB 378            No hearing set

Immigration Justice

Maryland Dream Act
This legislation  would protect students that might lose DACA and TPS because of President Trump and expand the ability to get in-state tuition.
HB 318 –  Hearing  held
U Visa Legislation
This bill will ensure that victims of crimes or witness of crimes who help the police can get a visa to keep them in the country
HB 214 – Being voted on by the House
SB 221 – Hearing held
Not Keeping Undocumented People in Jail Beyond Their Sentence
This bill ensures that undocumented immigrants are not held in jails indefinitely without judicial oversight.
HB 913 – Hearing held                          
SB 17 –   Hearing held
Safe Harbor Legislation
Bill Requiring to require schools and hospitals  to establish a policy that limits immigration enforcement on the premises to the fullest extent possible consistent
HB 1273 – Hearing  held
SB 599 –    Hearing held

Other Topics

New 5G wireless telephone poles placement has to follow local zoning laws
HB 1020       Referred to interim study
SB 713        Referred to interim study
Allowing the Legislature to Add Items to the Governor’s Budget
HB 1108 Hearing 3/12
Legalization of Marijuana
HB 632   Referred to a summer task force
Ignition Interlock System
HB55) Requiring that an Ignition Interlock System be equipped with a camera capable of recording still images of the person  – Passed the House

Transportation

Majority of Counties Have to Agree Before New Toll Road Are Built Through Their Counties
HB 102 – Hearing Held – Funding for the new roads was not included in the budget
SB 442 –  Hearing held – Funding for the new roads was not included in the budget
Railroad Companies – Movement of Freight – Required Crew
This bill would prohibit the movement of freight in the same rail corridor as a high speed commuter or passenger train unless the freight train has at least two workers.
HB 66 – Hearing Held
SB 252 – Hearing held

Voting Rights 

Small donor public financing
HB  1017        Hearing held
SB 414            Hearing held
Constitutional Amendment repealing Citizens United
HJ2         Hearing held
SJ1          Hearing held
Special Election to Fill a Vacancy for State Delegate or Senator
HB 85       Hearing Held
Repealing a Limitation of Campaign Contributions from Developers to County Executive (I am in opposition to this bill)
HB 227   Passed the Prince George’s Delegation  – Now has to Pass the full House
Presidential Tax Transparency Act –
Candidate Has to release tax returns to be on the Maryland ballot
HB 925 – Hearing held

Worker Rights

Collective Bargaining for community college workers
HB 766      Hearing held
Minimum Wage to $15 /Hour
SB 2221     Hearing held
HB 166       Passed House  – Waiting for Senate hearing
Overtime for Low Paid Salaried Workers
HB 1040     Hearing held
Expanding Prohibition Against Discrimination in Employment to Small Employers
HB 661      Hearing held

There are a couple of good websites that also track bills.  You might want to look at QED’s web-site:  https://qedinc.us/legislative-bulletin  and the Maryland Legislative Coalition:  http://mdlegislative.com

Evening in Annapolis for 47th District – March 18thYou are cordially invited to attend District 47’s Annual Annapolis ReceptionAn Evening in Annapolison March 18th 2019 at 6 PM – 8 PM.

The event will be hosted by your District 47 Representatives: Senator Malcolm Augustine, Delegate Diana Fennell, Delegate Wanika Fisher, and Delegate Julian Ivey.

Light Buffet Dinner

RSVP to Wanda Gorham 301-858-3478 to RSVP about transportation possibilities.

*Please note Free Parking is available in Calvert Street Parking Garage beginning @5:45 PM.