|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.
» $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.
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.
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
Prohibiting Use of Occupation or Education in Determination of car insurance rates
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
Prohibiting use of styrofoam
Gun Control Legislation
Banning of ghost guns: buying the parts needed to assemble a firearm
Plugging the Loan Loophole in the transfer of gun ownership
Prescription Drug Affordability Board
Maryland Dream Act
New 5G wireless telephone poles placement has to follow local zoning laws
Majority of Counties Have to Agree Before New Toll Road Are Built Through Their Counties
Small donor public financing
Collective Bargaining for community college workers
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-
|Evening in Annapolis for 47th District – March 18thYou are cordially invited to attend District 47’s Annual Annapolis Reception, An Evening in Annapolis, on 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.