MD Legislative Report – January 30, 2023

Over 850 Bills have been introduced in the General Assembly Still bills are being introduced at a slower rate this year.   We are just over half of where we were this time last year.  Many people in Annapolis are awaiting the new Governor’s legislative agenda.

Thus, many important bills have yet to be submitted. We are a week away from the Senate Bill Introduction Deadline, which is on February 6, and two weeks from the House Bill Introduction deadline on the 10th.  Bills submitted after these dates must make it through the Rules Committee, and very few of them will ever get out of the committee!!!

Here are a few of the important bills that have been introduced:

Criminal Justice

  • Probation Before Judgment protects our immigrant community from deportation for small offenses by authorizing a court to stay the entering of judgment, or defer further proceedings, and place a defendant on probation. (HB0193, Delegate Moon, Judiciary Committee and SB0211, Senator West, Judicial Proceedings Committee)
  • Child Abuse and Neglect – Domestic Violence prevents a woman who is the victim of domestic violence and unable to protect her children from being charged with criminal child abuse and neglect. (HB0324, Delegate Lopez, Judiciary Committee)
  • Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause for Cannabis prevents a determination of reasonable suspicion or probable cause (for searches) based solely on the odor of cannabis and other circumstantial evidence. (SB0051, Senator Carter, Judicial Proceedings Committee)

Elections 

  • Local Public Campaign Financing allows public campaign financing for the local offices of State’s Attorney, Sheriff, Register of Wills, Judge and Clerk of the Circuit Court, Judge of the Orphans’ Court, or an elected member of the county Board of Education.  This legislation addresses the influence by special interests in campaign financing. (HB0176, Delegate Feldmark, Ways and Means Committee)
  • Ranked Choice Voting in Montgomery County: Ranked choice and approval voting help ensure that election results truly reflect the electorate’s desires by taking into account their top preferences, not just their first-choice candidate.  This local bill is enabling legislation to allow Montgomery County to adopt ranked choice voting or approval voting for local elected offices.
  • General Assembly – Special Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office – If there is a vacancy in the first year of the legislative term of a Delegate or Senator, there would be a special election at  the next Congressional election.  (HB417, Delegate Palakovich-Carr, Ways and Means Committee)

Environment

  • Energy Performance Targets and Low-Income Housing requires the Department of Housing and Community Development, through the EmPOWER program, to procure or provide energy efficiency and conservation programs and services to achieve an annual incremental gross energy savings of at least 1% for low-income residents by 2026. (SB0144, Senator Feldman, Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee and HB0169, Delegate Charkoudian, Economic Matters Committee) Hearing: 1/31 at 3:30 p.m. Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee, testimony due 1/30/23 3 p.m.
  • The Clean Trucks Act of 2023 requires the Department of the Environment to adopt regulations similar to California’s plan to allow only zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks to be sold starting with the 2040 model year. (SB0224, Senator Augustine, Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee and HB0230, Delegate Love, Environment and Transportation Committee)

 

Gun Control

  • Maryland Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearm Registry requires 1) the Department of State Police to create and maintain a Maryland Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearm Registry in which a person may voluntarily enroll for the purpose of being prohibited from obtaining a firearm; and 2) prohibits a dealer or other person from selling, renting, loaning, or transferring a firearm to anyone who is on the registry. (SB0159, Senator Hettleman, Judicial Proceedings Committee and HB0162, Delegate Moon, Judiciary Committee)

 

Taxes 

  • Maryland Estate Tax – Unified Credit lowers the exemption so that an additional $4 million in estate taxes are paid by the descendants of a wealthy resident, thus reducing the overall tax burden on others. (HB0268, Delegate Wilkins, Ways and Means Committee)

 

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS

You can find out who your legislators are here. Call or send an email to your legislators using the contact information found here.  While an email is preferred, the following template provides some idea of the material you can use for a phone call or social media posting – excluding any personal information, of course! If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions above. You are also encouraged to include any details of why you think this bill is important and that you are a member of the Maryland Legislative Coalition and, if applicable, one of our affiliated organizations.

 

Dear (legislator),

My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all Marylanders.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

 

Each of these bills is important for Maryland, and I support them and would like your help in getting them passed.  If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them during Session.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

(name)

 

If you are interested in testify on any bills coming up in Annapolis here are some important dates for upcoming bills.

 

The DUE DATES for testimony are shown below next to the Hearing Date.

Upload your testimony (or sign up for virtual or in-person testimony) on the Maryland General Assembly site here – – https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Account/Login?returnUrl=%2Fmgawebsite%2FMyMGATracking%2FWitnessSignup&registerId=Tracking.  You must create an MGA account in order to sign up for oral testimony or to upload written testimony.

Elections and Ethics Bill Hearings

February 7th, 1:00 pm – DUE February 3rd
HB0213 Election Law – Local Public Campaign Financing – Boards of Education – Ways and Means Committee
HB0334 Voting Systems – Ranked Choice Voting– Ways and Means Committee

Environment Bill Hearings

February 8th, 1:30 pm – DUE February 6th
HB0147 Environment – Climate Crisis Plan -Requirement – Environment and Transportation Committee
February 9th, 1:00 pm – DUE February 8th
SB0222 Environment – Reducing Packaging Materials – Producer Responsibility – Education, Energy and the Environment Committee

Gun Control Bill Hearings

February 7th, 1:00 pm – DUE February 6th
SB0001 Criminal Law – Wearing, Carrying, or Transporting Firearms – Restrictions (Gun Safety Act of 2023) – Judicial Proceedings Committee
SB0086 Rifles and Shotguns – Possession – Age Requirement (Raise the Age Act of 2023) – Judicial Proceedings Committee
SB0113 Civil Actions – Public Nuisances – Firearm Industry Members (Gun Industry Accountability Act – Judicial Proceedings Committee
SB0159 Firearms – Maryland Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearm Registry – Establishment – Judicial Proceedings Committee
SB0185 Maryland State Police Gun Center – Firearms Surrendered Under Final Protective Orders – Judicial Proceedings Committee

Social, Criminal and Economic Justice Bill Hearings

February 1st, 1:30 pm – DUE January 31st
SB0054 Criminal Law – Unnatural of Perverted Sexual Practice – Repeal – Judicial Proceedings Committee
February 2nd, 2:30 pm – DUE January 31st
HB0174 Criminal Procedure – Victims of Sexually Assaultive Behavior – Judiciary Committee
February 2nd, 1:00 pm – DUE February 1st
SB0088 Criminal Procedure – Automatic Expungement – Pardoned Conviction of Possession of Cannabis (Pardons for Simple Possession of Cannabis Act of 2023) – Judicial Proceedings Committee
February 9th, 1:00 pm – DUE February 7th
HB0297 Criminal Law – Victims of Child Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking – Safe Harbor and Service Response – Judiciary Committee
HB0324 Child Abuse and Neglect – Domestic Violence – Judiciary Committee

Taxes Bill Hearings

February 2nd, 1:00 pm – DUE January 31st
HB0039 Effective Corporate Tax Rate Transparency Act of 2023 – Ways and Means Committee
HB0046 Corporate Income Tax – Combined Reporting – Ways and Means Committee
HB0142 More Local Tax Relief for Working Families Act of 2023 – Ways and Means Committee

February 9th, 1:00 pm – DUE February 7th
HB0268 Maryland Estate Tax – Unified Credit – Ways and Means Committee
HB0337 Income Tax – Capital Gains, Dividends, and Foreign-Derived Intangible Income – Alterations (Investing in Marylanders Act of 2023) – Ways and Means Committee

Transportation Bill Hearings

February 1st, 2:30 pm – DUE January 31st
SB0019 Equity in Transportation Sector – Guidelines and Analysis – Finance Committee
February 2nd, 1:00 pm – DUE January 31st
HB0009 Equity in Transportation Sector – Guidelines and Analysis – Environment and Transportation Committee
HB0012 Equitable and Inclusive Transit-Oriented Development Enhancement Act – Environment and Transportation Committee

New Maryland Laws Effective October 1, 2022

Car Seat Safety: Beginning Oct. 1, all children’s car seats must be installed rear-facing until the riders are at least two years old, unless a child meets or exceeds the height and weight on the seat’s guidelines.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA ) says parents should keep their children rear-facing for as long as possible, as it’s the safest position in a crash. “Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer,” NHTSA said.

Car seat research shows that children up to 23 months old are about 75% less likely to die or sustain serious injury in a rear-facing car seat than in a forward-facing one because the force of the crash is spread more evenly across the back of the car seat and the child’s body when they’re rear-facing, according to Consumer Reports. Rear-facing also limits the motion of the head during a crash, reducing the potential for neck injuries and keeps the child more contained, Consumer Reports said.

Move Over Law: The Move Over Law in Maryland will now require drivers to make a lane change or slow down when approaching any stopped, standing or parked vehicle displaying warning signals – including hazard warning lights, road flares, or other caution signals including traffic cones, caution signs, or non-vehicular warning signs, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Temporary Driver’s License: This law allows MDOT MVA to now issue a temporary driver’s license renewal for up to two years. Prior to this law MDOT MVA could only issue up to two 45-day extensions.

Slow Drivers Must Stay to the Right:  A new law states that anyone driving slower than the general speed of traffic on an interstate highway in a rural area must travel in the right-most lane. Signs will be posted on appropriate roads.

Green Flashing Lights:  Another new traffic safety law allows vehicles doing roadwork for the government to use green flashing lights to alert motorists to their presence.

No Driving in A Dedicated Bus Lane:  A new law makes it clear that you cannot drive in the dedicated bus lanes. The city government will be allowed to set up a monitoring system that takes pictures of vehicles in bus lanes, with violators subject to fines of up to $75. If you’re caught by a police officer, however, the fine is up to $500.

Limits on interrogating children:  When children are taken into police custody, officers will not be allowed to question or interrogate them until the child’s parent or guardian is notified and the child has a chance to speak with an attorney.  In the past, up to 90% of children waived their rights to an attorney “leaving them vulnerable to rights violations,” according to the ACLU of Maryland, which was among those who pushed for the measure. The ACLU estimates that children in custody, who often don’t have an attorney, give false confessions more than three times as often as adults.

Raising the age for marriage:  A new law raising the minimum marriage age to 17.  And 17-year-olds will face restrictions before they can marry: They must have permission from all living parents or guardians, or one of them must show proof of pregnancy or having given birth to a child.

A 17-year-old seeking to be married also must file a petition in court and be interviewed separately from their potential spouse and their parents or guardians before  a judge can authorize a marriage license. They would be counseled about domestic violence and sex trafficking, and if they’re marrying a legal adult, that person would be subject to a background check.

(Previously 15-year-olds could marry if they had permission from a parent or guardian and a female partner in the relationship was pregnant or had given birth; 16-year-olds could marry with parental permission or evidence of pregnancy or childbirth.)

Safety requirements for gun shops:  Firearms dealers must take additional safety precautions or risk losing their licenses.  Gun shops must have a burglar alarm, a video surveillance system and at least one of the following on their windows and doors: bars, grates, security screens or commercial-grade metal doors. When shops are closed, guns must be locked in a vault, safe or secure indoor room. If practicable, gun shops are directed to install barriers to prevent vehicles from being crashed into the building.  For a first violation, a firearms dealer could face a civil fine up to $1,000 and subsequent offenses could result in losing their state license.

Some counties, including Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County, already have security requirements for gun shops. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. told lawmakers earlier this year that the law includes “common-sense policies to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.”

‘End the Wait’ for people needing services:  The End the Wait Act directs the state health department to come up with plans to cut in half its waitlists of children and adults needing services for intellectual or developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, autism and other medical conditions.

Tens of thousands of people are on multiple waitlists for services such as therapy and in-home care. Some children are waiting so long that they get too old for the services that they’re on the waitlist for..

Under the bill, the Maryland Department of Health must have a plan to get at least half of wait-listed Marylanders into the programs by 2024. Starting that year, the governor is required to put “sufficient funds” in the state budget to pay for expanding the programs.

Cats and Dogs:  A new law that nearly bans the practice, which animal welfare advocates say is cruel and inhumane. The only exception: Licensed veterinarians can declaw a cat if it’s “necessary for a therapeutic purpose.”

The new law also limits the length of time you can keep your pup outside in extreme weather to 30 minutes. If it’s 90 degrees or hotter, the dog must have shelter or shade to remain outside longer, and if it’s 32 degrees or colder, the dog must have shelter

And when fire and rescue dogs are retired, fire departments will be allowed to reimburse adopters up to $2,500 per year for the dogs’ veterinary bills.

Legislation Reduces County Property Taxes for Eligible Prince George’s County Seniors by 20% Who Have Lived In their Homes for Over 10 Year

The Prince George’s County Council, during session on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, unanimously enacted CB-29-2022, legislation proposed by District 8 Council Member Edward Burroughs, establishing a 20 percent Property Tax Credit for eligible Prince George’s County seniors.  (Legislation is Attached)

Under the legislation, residents 65 and older who have owned their homes for at least 10 years, are eligible for a 5-year, 20% Property Tax Credit. The limit on the property’s value is $500,000, indexed upward annually by 3% for normal inflation. The Property Tax Credit will remain in place for a period of up to five years.

Council Chair Calvin S. Hawkins, II, says CB-029-2022 lightens a financial burden for the County’s senior residents, especially for those living on a fixed income in the current economic climate.

“Council Bill 29-2022 allows our seniors to benefit financially from a tax credit that puts extra money in their pocket, which makes a difference during financially challenging times. Senior residents are the pillar of our community, and we want to provide them with the support they need, so we can continue to build on the foundation they have set. This legislation brings us another step closer to that goal.”

District 8 Council Member Edward Burroughs, III, sponsor of the legislation, says the tax credit will provide senior residents with much-needed relief.

 “I have had several opportunities to speak with our seniors, and many have expressed that our property taxes are just too high. They are trying to financially balance the cost of prescription drugs, gas prices, and various other responsibilities, which in many instances is extremely difficult.  This legislation will provide our seniors with some financial relief in a challenging economy.  I am grateful to my Council colleagues, and countless residents who voiced their support for this important measure.”

New Maryland Laws Effective July 1, 2022

 

ABORTION: The Abortion Care Access Act establishes the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program in the Maryland Department of Health to ensure that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care. It also:

Establishes the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program Fund

Establishes certain requirements regarding abortion services, including provision and coverage requirements for the Maryland Medical Assistance Program and certain insurers

Requires the governor to include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $3,500,000 to the program.

Funding starts in 2023.

Repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR), along with new rules for when police may use force and how they are investigated and disciplined. The new law requires counties to assemble Police Accountability Boards (PAB) and Administrative Charging Committees (ACC), where civilians will have a role in reviewing and investigating allegations of misconduct, and in certain cases, in meting out administrative repercussions. Officers who get into trouble starting Friday will be subject to the new procedures.

A new use-of-force standard, one of the strictest in the nation, requires officers to prioritize de-escalation tactics and says they may not use force against a person unless “under the totality of the circumstances, the force is necessary and proportional.” Under the statute, an officer who uses excessive force faces criminal penalties, up to 10 years in prison.

Prohibition on public schools from using seclusion as a behavioral intervention. It allows seclusion in nonpublic schools, but with restrictions such as requiring a qualified health-care practitioner to observe the student during seclusion. The law comes after a 2020 federal investigation that found that the Frederick County Public School District improperly secluded and restrained students with disabilities.

New Law Allows Students To Modify their uniforms to make them more modest to conform to their religion, culture or personal preference. Among those who advocated for the law was Je’Nan Hayes, who was benched during a 2017 high school basketball game because she was wearing a hijab.

ATHLETE SAFETY: The Elijah Gorham Act requires an automated external defibrillator program in public middle and high schools, requires actions be taken by county boards of education regarding heat acclimatization for student athletes; requires middle and high schools to develop venue-specific emergency action plans for the operation and use of automatic external defibrillators, heat acclimatization and coordination of care for other emergent injuries and severe weather for outdoor facilities.

CLEAN CARS: The Clean Cars Act of 2022 establishes the Medium-Duty and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Grant Program for certain vehicles and equipment to be administered by the Maryland Energy Administration. The act also:

Alters the vehicle excise tax credit for the purchase of certain electric vehicles for certain fiscal years

Decreases from $63,000 to $50,000 for purposes of the electric vehicle excise tax credit, the limitation on the maximum base purchase price of certain electric vehicles

Reduces the vehicle excise tax credit for certain electric drive vehicles

EXPANSION OF ITEMS EXEMPT FROM THE STATE SALES TAX

Baby products: Exempting the sale of diapers, diaper rash cream and baby wipes from the sales and use tax.

Oral hygiene products: Exempting the sale of oral hygiene products from the sales and use tax, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, tooth powders, mouthwash, dental floss or similar oral hygiene products.

Medical devices: Exempting the sale of certain thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors and respirators from the sales and use tax.

Diabetic care products: Exempting certain diabetic care products from the sales and use tax, including insulin, glucose tablets, glucose drinks, glucose gels, blood and urine ketone meters and supplies, insulin pumps, insulin pump infusion sets, insulin pump reservoirs or cartridges, continuous glucose monitors and related supplies, syringes, insulin injection devices, insulin pens, insulin pen needles, lancets and lancet devices, and testing strips for measuring blood sugar.

INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR SENIORS: The law creates a nonrefundable credit against the state income tax for a resident who is at least age 65 and whose federal adjusted gross income does not exceed $100,000 ($150,000 if married filing jointly).

The amount of the tax credit is equal to $1,000 for an individual or if only one of the individuals filing a joint return is an eligible individual; and $1,750 if married filing jointly and both individuals are at least age 65.

The bill also expands the state subtraction modification for retired law enforcement; correctional officer; and fire, rescue, and emergency services personnel.

988 TRUST FUND: Behavioral Health Crisis Response Services — Establishes the 988 Trust Fund to provide reimbursement for costs associated with designating and maintaining 988 as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. This law requires the Maryland Department of Health to designate 988 as the primary phone number for the state’s behavioral health crisis hotline.

This material was compiled from various news sources in our area.

REMEMBER TO VOTE

Early Voting: July 7th through July 14th

Primary Day: July 19th

I hope everybody has a great July 4th Weekend

MD General Assembly Passes Key Pieces of Legislation that Now Go To Governor Hogan

Last week was a busy week in the General Assembly.  The General Assembly ends on Monday April 11th (it’s called Sine Die).  Normally there is a rush to get bills passed on the last day, but this year is different.

It is assumed that a number of the important bills will be vetoed by Governor Hogan.  Most years (3 out of 4) legislators are not so concerned because when the legislature comes back into session, they can override the Governor’s veto.  But this year we will be electing a whole set of new (and existing) legislators and the new General Assembly cannot override vetoes passed this year.

Therefore, the General Assembly must override any vetoes before the Session ends on April 11th.  Because the Governor has a number of days to consider whether or not to veto legislation, all bills have to get to his desk by April 1st in order for the General Assembly to have the time to vote on overrides.  (It’s called Presentment Day) That is why a number of important pieces of legislation were passed in the last few days.  Some of those important bills that were passed and now are on the Governor’s desk are:

Climate Change Bill: A sweeping piece of climate change legislation that would push the state to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels The Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 would require building owners to start relying on electricity for space and water heating needs, creating a “green bank” that would invest state funds into private projects that reduce gas emissions and expanding the state electric vehicle fleet

 

Abortion Care Access Bill: Health care workers besides physicians could start performing abortions in Maryland and the procedure would be covered without cost by most insurance plans in the state  The bill establishes and ensures that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care, while establishing the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program Fund, which also provides certain requirements regarding abortion services. .

Paid Family/Medical Leave Bill:  The program would give workers up to 12 weeks — or, in some limited cases, as much as 24 weeks — to welcome a newborn, care for ailing relatives or deal with health issues themselves once benefits start being paid in 2025. The benefits would be funded by mandatory contributions from workers and most employers, although the payroll tax rate would be determined later.

 

Banning Ghost Guns:   The Maryland General Assembly has approved a measure to ban so-called ghost guns, which don’t have serial numbers.

Healthy Babies Equity Act, which expands Medicaid to all pregnant people regardless of immigration status

 

Referendum to Legalize Marijuana on the ballot this November.  (Because it is a referendum this bill is not subject to a veto)

Recurring Contributions – protects Marylanders from deceptive campaign fundraising tricks by banning campaigns–and the technology platforms they use–from raising money without the affirmative consent of the donor.

Equity in Transportation Sector requires that equity be considered when State transportation plans, reports, and goals are developed

Companion Measure to Marijuana Legalization – Although Governor Hogan cannot veto the ballot amendment to legalize marijuana, he can veto the companion legislation that would — if the amendment passes in November’s election — legalize possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana, remove criminal penalties on possessing up to 2.5 ounces and create a system to expunge past criminal records for those convicted of possessing marijuana.

 

Criminal Justice Reform – An ominous bill which includes no confinement for first-time misdemeanor offenses, unless the crime involves a gun.  Another bill would require police to notify parents and let children talk to attorneys before law enforcement interrogations.

Insulin Cost Reduction Act –  Requires insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations to limit the amount a covered individual is required to pay in copayments or coinsurance for a covered prescription insulin drug to not more than $30 for a 30-day supply.

 

Tenant Protection Legislation

  • Stay of Evictions Act  would require a judge to delay eviction proceedings if a tenant can prove they have a pending application for rent assistance. The bill would also allow a judge to delay an eviction, even if the judge has already ruled in favor of the landlord. But it limits the delay to no more than 35 days.  The measure would apply only to tenants with pending rental assistance applications “submitted before or within 30 days after the tenant’s landlord filed a written complaint regarding the failure to pay rent.”
  • Senate Bill 662 and 279 would provide funds for tenants facing eviction to have legal representation.
  • Tenant Protection Act  requires a landlord to disclose  to prospective tenants if the landlord uses a ratio utility billing system; making a certain lease provision unenforceable if the landlord fails to make the disclosure; requiring a landlord to document a bill for certain utilities; providing that a tenant organization has the right of free assembly during reasonable hours and on reasonable notice to the landlord; expanding certain provisions of law regarding the rights of certain tenants to include certain victims of stalking

Tax Relief Measures Signed into Law:  This one big set of bills that the Governor did not veto.

  • 30-day suspension of the gas tax (ends April 17th!!)

  • The Retirement Tax Elimination Act provides relief for retirees 65 and older making up to $100,000 in retirement income, and married couples making up to $150,000 in retirement income. ($1.55 billion)

  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit incentivizes employers and businesses to hire and retain workers from underserved communities that have faced significant barriers to employment. ($195 million)

  • Family Budget Boosters: sales tax exemptions for childcare products such as diapers, car seats, and baby bottles, and critical health products such as dental hygiene products, diabetic care products, and medical devices. ($115.6 million)

  • The bill also expands the “hometown hero” tax exemption, which allows retired law enforcement, correctional officers, fire and emergency personnel to exempt $15,000 of retirement income annually.

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS

Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on our website http://mdlegislative.com under Legislators.

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

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 (47B) Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

If you do not know who your representatives are, 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.

Maryland Legislative Report – March 24, 2022

Crossover Day has passed and now we know which bills are ‘in play’ and which bills are ‘dead’ for this General Assembly Session.  In the next three weeks bills now have to pass the other house of the legislature, signed by the Governor (or overridden by the General Assembly if vetoed by the Governor.

Some of the big issues that will be decided in the next three weeks are:  climate change legislation, juvenile justice reform, paid family sick leave, abortion rights, and legalization of the recreational cannabis industry. There will also be legislation to provide tax relief for Maryland residents but exactly the nature of the tax relief is to be determined.  It will probably be close to $350 million.

In addition, the General Assembly signed, and the Governor signed a 30 day suspension of the 36 cents Maryland gas tax.  Make sure you fill your tank before the end of the 30-day period

Some of the other bills that passed one of the two houses in the last few days were:

COVID Related Legislation:

  • SB 956 Would provide extra protections to local public health officers, who have been targeted by citizens who resisted masking and vaccine mandates during COVID-19;

Tenant protection legislation

  • SB 384 would require a judge to pause tenant eviction proceedings for up to 30 days if a tenant shows that they have a pending rental assistance application.
  • HB 86, The Tenant Protection Act of 2022. would require landlords to give tenants pro-rated utility bills, based on factors such as unit square footage or the number of bedrooms. It would also require landlords to provide written notice of costs if a landlord withholds a security deposit and allow tenants to use community spaces for organizing tenant unions. The bill passed the Senate in a unanimous vote on Monday and is headed to the House.
  • HB 521  would let tenants petition courts to shield records in some eviction cases where the failure to pay rent was due to an income loss caused by the pandemic.  Even when such filings don’t result in an eviction and a tenant pays everything owed, court records can make it difficult for them to find housing in the future.

Family Leave Act

  • SB 275 legislates 12 weeks of partially paid leave, and up to 24 weeks for certain new parents. The House has settled on a measure that would create a commission to study the issue, but not implement legislation.  It will be argued out in a conference committee between the Senate and the House.  Hopefully the Senate version will be signed into law.

 

Disclosure of corporate contributions to advocacy organizations

  • HB 1343 would require companies with contracts of $1 million or more to disclose donations to so-called “501(c)(4)” organizations that run advertising campaigns on behalf of a particular project.

Clean cars

  • HB 1391 (Clean Cars Act of 2022) would extend an expired tax credit for electric vehicles. The bill was amended to limit the tax credit to exclude hybrid vehicles and apply only to zero-emission vehicles. The tax credit is also limited to vehicles that cost $50,000.

Gun store security

  • HB 1021 would require heightened security measures at gun stores, including alarm systems and security barriers including bars, security screens or grates on the windows and doors. The bill would also set rules for storing firearms when a store is closed and allow the state to suspend a dealer’s license if they don’t comply with the security requirements.

Water pollution enforcement expansion

  • SB 221 would allow the Maryland Department of the Environment to impose stricter penalties on those who violate state water laws

Here is a list of some of the other bills that passed one of the Houses in the General Assembly and have a chance of passage:

  • HB 740 – requires the state’s pension managers to consider climate as part of their fiduciary duty.
  • HB 275 – prohibits PFAS chemicals in fire-fighting foam, carpeting, and food packaging.
  • HB 111 – expands consumer protections for individuals with private student loan debt.
  • HB 52 – prohibits the sale of body parts of endangered animals.
  • HB 22 – bans declawing cats.
  • HB 436 – limits the ability of insurance companies to underwrite risk based on a customer’s credit history.
  • HB 384 – expands access to bronchodilators in schools for students who have asthma
  • HB 154 would require each public school district to adopt and implement guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to food allergens.
  • HB 459 – Juvenile Justice Reform: Makes reforms to the juvenile court and intake process based on the recommendations of the Juvenile Justice Reform Council.
  • HB 16 – Unattended Dogs – Extreme Weather Conditions and Heat: Prohibits a person from leaving a dog outside and unattended without access to suitable shelter or suitable shade during extreme weather conditions and temperatures.
  • HB 19 – Safe Walk to School Act: Requires school boards to develop pedestrian safety plans.
  • HB 43 – Maryland Sustainable Buildings Act of 2022: Requires the State government to establish standards for State-owned buildings to conserve energy.
  • HB 157 – Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicles – Reserved Parking Spaces: Prohibits parking a vehicle in plug-in electric vehicle charging space unless the vehicle is plugged into charging equipment
  • SB0029 – Marriage Law – Minimum Age Requirement
  • SB0073 – General Assembly – Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office
  • HB0153 – Repeal of the Spousal Defense
  • HB0472 – Juvenile Justice Reform
  • HB0001 – Constitutional Amendment – Cannabis
  • HB 254 Requires the State Highway Administration to publish online the safety deficiencies they identify at each site of a pedestrian or bicyclist fatality that occurs on a state roadway.
  • HB 1482 – directing the state’s pension managers to divest from Russian-owned companies.
  • HB 172 – allows a taxpayer to deduct up to $300 in union dues.
  • HB 850 – prohibits schools that receive state funds from discrimination against students on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors.
  • HB 1080 – expands Medicaid to cover prenatal and postpartum expenses of pregnant immigrant women and their children up to age 1.
  • HB 323 – Ensures the right of tenants to summon law enforcement or emergency services without fear of reprisal by landlords.
  • HB 707 – proposes a constitutional amendment to allow a gubernatorial candidate to select his or her Lieutenant Governor candidate after the primary election.
  • HB 696 – sets up a pilot program to help school districts purchase electric school buses.
  • HB 404 – allows local governments more autonomy to lower speed limits on local roads.
  • HB 83 – raises the age a person who can get married from 15 to 17.
  • HB 920 – repeals the Governor’s veto power over medical parole decisions.
  • Tax Relief package

o    House Bill 1151 cuts the tax on diabetic care products like testing strips, insulin pumps and glucose monitors.

o    House Bill 288 cuts the sales tax on baby products including car seats, baby bottles and bottle nipples.

o    House Bill 282 cuts the sales tax on diapers.

o    House Bill 492 cuts the tax on dental hygiene products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash.

o    House Bill 364 cuts the sales tax on thermometers, pulse oximeters, and blood pressure monitors.

o    House Bill 2 provides a tax credit to businesses that hire and retain workers from underrepresented communities who are chronically unemployed.

There is a particularly good organization that tracks important bills.  It is the Maryland Legislative Coalition.  http://mdlegislative.com .  I am using information from their website for the next few legislative updates.

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS

Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on our website http://mdlegislative.com under Legislators.

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

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 (47B) Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

If you do not know who your representatives are, 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.

MD Legislative Update – March 8 2022

  The 2022 General Assembly is two weeks away from ‘cross-over’ day when any bills that have not passed one house or the other will not be able to be voted on by the other house and will basically be dead.  So, in the next two weeks we will have a clear understanding of which of the bills that I have listed have some chance of passing.  I am first listing some bills that have passed one of the two houses and then some bills that have not moved out of Committee and could use some help.

  • HB 154 would require each public school district to adopt and implement guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to food allergens.
  • HB 459 – Juvenile Justice Reform: Makes reforms to the juvenile court and intake process based on the recommendations of the Juvenile Justice Reform Council.
  • HB 16 – Unattended Dogs – Extreme Weather Conditions and Heat: Prohibits a person from leaving a dog outside and unattended without access to suitable shelter or suitable shade during extreme weather conditions and temperatures.
  • HB 19 – Safe Walk to School Act: Requires school boards to develop pedestrian safety plans.
  • HB 43 – Maryland Sustainable Buildings Act of 2022: Requires the State government to establish standards for State-owned buildings to conserve energy.
  • HB 157 – Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicles – Reserved Parking Spaces: Prohibits parking a vehicle in plug-in electric vehicle charging space unless the vehicle is plugged into charging equipment
  • SB0029 – Marriage Law – Minimum Age Requirement2
  • SB0073 – General Assembly – Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office
  • HB0153 – Repeal of the Spousal Defense
  • HB0472 – Juvenile Justice Reform
  • HB0001 – Constitutional Amendment – Cannabis
  • Tax Relief package

o    House Bill 1151 cuts the tax on diabetic care products like testing strips, insulin pumps and glucose monitors.

o    House Bill 288 cuts the sales tax on baby products including car seats, baby bottles and bottle nipples.

o    House Bill 282 cuts the sales tax on diapers.

o    House Bill 492 cuts the tax on dental hygiene products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash.

o    House Bill 364 cuts the sales tax on thermometers, pulse oximeters, and blood pressure monitors.

o    House Bill 2 provides a tax credit to businesses that hire and retain workers from underrepresented communities who are chronically unemployed.

 

 

There is a particularly good organization that tracks important bills.  It is the Maryland Legislative Coalition.  http://mdlegislative.com .  I am using information from their website for the next few legislative updates.

 

Action Needed

Listed below are several very important bills that need to be voted out of their committee and voted on in the next two weeks.

Please ask your legislators (if they are on the relevant committee) to push to get the bills on a voting list and try to ensure that they pass in the strongest possible posture, without any weakening amendments.  If your legislators are not on the relevant committee, ask them to make sure that they vote for the bills and do not allow any weakening amendments.

ENVIRONMENTAL BILLS –
HB0141/SB0023 Equity in Transportation Sector – Delegate Ruth/Senator Carter
HB0171/SB0135 Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act – Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo/Senator Kramer
HB0596/SB0783 Constitutional Amendment – Environmental Rights – Delegate W. Fisher/Senator Smith

GUN CONTROL BILLS – 
HB0425/SB0387 Public Safety – Untraceable Firearms – Speaker/President

HEALTH CARE BILLS –
HB0610/SB0493 Public Health – Commission on Universal Health Care – Delegate Ruth/Senator Pinsky
HB0008/SB0275 Labor and Employment – Family Medical Leave Insurance Program (Time to Care Act of 2202) – Delegate Valderrama/Senator Hayes
HB0694 Hospitals – Financial Assistance – Medical Bill Reimbursement – Delegate Charkoudian

SOCIAL JUSTICE BILLS –
HB0086/SB0006 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart/Senator Waldstreicher
HB0083/SB0029 Family Law – Emancipation of a Minor and Authorization to Marry – Delegate Atterbeary/Senator Elfreth
HB0114/SB0129 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Delegate Williams/Senator Hettleman
HB0559/SB0265 Probation before Judgement – Probation Agreements – Probation Not Deportation – Delegate W. Fisher/Senator Lee

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS
Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.

You can find your legislators here.  With this sheet, you can filter by committee, County and District and see all of their contact information.  

For your Delegates:
My name is _________, my address is ______________, and my phone number is __________.  I am writing to let you know that I am strongly supporting the following bill(s) and would like your help in getting them on a voting list this week.  I would also like to ask that you do not vote for any weakening amendments.

If you are not on the relevant committee for these bills, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor and ask that you do not vote for any weakening amendments. 

Economic Matters Committee

  • HB0008 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act) – Delegate Valderrama
  • HB0171 Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act – Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo

Environment and Transportation Committee

  • HB0086 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
  • HB0141Equity in Transportation Sector – Delegate Ruth
  • HB0596 Constitutional Amendment – Environmental Rights – Delegate W. Fisher

Health and Government Operations Committee

  • HB0610 Public Health – Commission on Universal Health Care – Delegate Ruth
  • HB0694 Hospitals – Financial Assistance – Medical Bill Reimbursement – Delegate Charkoudian

Judiciary Committee

  • HB0083 Family Law – Emancipation of a Minor and Authorization to Marry – Delegate Atterbeary
  • HB0114 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Delegate Williams
  • HB0425 Public Safety – Untraceable Firearms – Speaker
  • HB0559Probation before Judgement – Probation Agreements – Probation Not Deportation – Delegate W. Fisher

For your Senator:
My name is _________, my address is ______________, and my phone number is __________.  I am writing to let you know that I am strongly supporting the following bill(s) and would like your help in getting them on a voting list this week.  I would also like to ask that you do not vote for any weakening amendments.

If you are not on the relevant committee for these bills, I would appreciate your voting for them on the Senate floor and ask that you do not vote for any weakening amendments.

Finance Committee

  • SB0023 Equity in Transportation Sector – Senator Carter
  • SB0275 Labor and Employment – Family Medical Leave Insurance Program (Time to Care Act of 2202) – Senator Hayes
  • SB0493 Public Health – Commission on Universal Health Care – Senator Pinsky

Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee

  • SB0135 Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act – Senator Kramer

Judicial Proceedings Committee

  • SB0006 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022) – Senator Waldstreicher
  • SB0029 Family Law – Emancipation of a Minor and Authorization to Marry – Delegate Senator Elfreth
  • SB0129 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Senator Hettleman
  • SB0265 Probation before Judgement – Probation Agreements – Probation Not Deportation – Senator Lee
  • SB0387 Public Safety – Untraceable Firearms – President
  • SB0783 Constitutional Amendment – Environmental Rights – Senator Smith

 

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS
Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on our website http://mdlegislative.com under Legislators.

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

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 (47B) Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

 

If you do not know who your representatives are, 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.

 

 

 

Attachments area

ReplyForward

MD Legislative Update – Feb 22, 2022

The 2022 General Assembly has been in session for almost 6 weeks and 2,900 bills have been introduced. The deadline for introducing bills is over so there will be very few new bills introduced. Crossover date is March 21st, which is only four weeks away.  By then, any bills that have not passed one house or the other will not be able to be voted on by the other house and will basically be dead.  So, in the next four weeks we will have a better understanding of which of the bills that I have listed have some chance of passing.  (A number of bills have passed one of the two legislative chambers. These are some of the more interesting bills)

  • Family Law – Marriage – Age Requirements – Passed Senate
  • General Assembly – Special Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office – Passed Senate
  • Campaign Finance – Recurring Contributions and Donations (a person has to confirm that he wants the contribution to be recurring) – Passed House
  • Transitioning the State’s vehicle fleet to zero-emission vehicles- Passed House
  • Allowing public school students to take time off for their mental health – House
  • Increasing the pay for jury service – House
  • Making June 19th a state holiday in recognition of Juneteenth – House
  • Repealing the spousal defense for rape and other sexual offenses – House

There is a particularly good organization that tracks important bills.  It is the Maryland Legislative Coalition.  http://mdlegislative.com .  I am using information from their website for the next few legislative updates.

 

Here are some of the bills that have been introduced in the last two week and we are following.

 

Clean Air and Water Please! – 

HB0596 Constitutional Amendment for Environmental Human Rights – Delegate W. Fisher – Hearing Date February 23rd

The Constitutional Amendment for Environmental Human Rights, if passed, will create a ballot measure that will allow voters to determine if they want to enshrine the right to clean water and air and a healthy environment into the state Constitution.  Constitutional Amendments must generally be passed in an election year, so it must pass this year.  If it passes, it will give groups (like localities) the standing to sue to ensure their rights to a clean environment are upheld.

The bill is very simple and states – The state shall: (1) serve as the trustee of the state’s natural resources, including the air, land, water, wildlife, and ecosystems of the state; and (2) conserve, protect, and enhance the state’s natural resources for the benefit of every person, including present and future generations.

Stop Discrimination in Housing – 
HB0928 Discrimination in Housing – Citizenship, Immigration Status, and National Origin – Delegate Palakovich-Carr – Hearing Date February 22nd

This bill will include citizenship, immigration status and national origin to the list of things that cannot be used to deny a person a housing contract or a rental contract or limit the terms or conditions of a sale or rental.  Additionally, sellers or rental agencies are precluded from asking about citizenship, immigration status or natural origin, or threatening to disclose it to federal authorities.

Health Equity for our Trans Friends –
SB0682 Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Gender-Affirming Treatment (Trans Health Equity Act of 2022) Senator Washington – Hearing Date February 22nd

This bill would help trans individuals to convert to their correct gender by requiring the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to cover gender-affirming treatments that are medically necessary and proscribed in accordance with the current clinical standards of care.  The program may not deny coverage by saying that these treatments are cosmetic; or by limiting the treatments; or having a separate health care provider approve them.

Guns and Suicide Prevention –
HB0659 Firearm Safety – Storage Requirements and Youth Suicide Prevention (Jaelynn’s Law) – Delegate Stein – Hearing Date February 23rd
This bill would make it a misdemeanor for a person to store or leave a loaded firearm in a location where the person knew or REASONABLY should have known that an unsupervised minor IS LIKELY TO gain access to the firearm.  The fines are $1,000 to $5,000 and 90 days to 3 years in prison, depending on whether someone was hurt.  Additionally, the Public Health Service would be required to create a suicide prevention and safe storage guide that discusses how many people are killed by finding loaded guns in the home.  That guide would be available on their website.

Woman’s Right to Choose – 
SB0669 Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act of 2022 – Senator Smith – Hearing Date February 23rd
This bill is designed to ensure a woman’s right to choose in the wake of any Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade.  In the case of a provider being arrested for providing abortion services, it allows the provider to bring a lawsuit for any unlawful investigation or arrest for helping to terminate a pregnancy or providing resources that would help a woman terminate her pregnancy.  It also protects women from terminating their own pregnancy.

Stop Discrimination in Schools – 
HB0850 Schools, Prekindergarten Programs, and County Boards of Education – Discrimination – Delegate Wilkins – Hearing Date March 3rd
We have supported this bill for years.  Schools that take public money should not be allowed to discriminate.  This bill would preclude any county board, public pre-school or public primary or secondary school, non-public pre-school that receives state funds, or non-public primary or secondary school that receives state funds from discriminating against or refusing enrollment to a current student, a prospective student, or the parent or guardian of a current or prospective student on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Juvenile Justice Reform- 
SB0691 Juvenile Justice Reform – Senator Carter – Hearing Date March 3rd
This bill makes changes to the intake process for juveniles, the risk scoring process used to determine eligibility for release before a hearing, the length of time that a juvenile will remain in detention before a hearing, the process of placing a juvenile on probation, and even creates a Juvenile Justice Reform and Best Practices Commission.

Medical Debt Protection – 

HB0694 Hospitals – Financial Assistance – Medical Bill Reimbursement – Delegate Charkoudian – Hearing Date March 2nd
This bill requires that hospitals notify patients who may have qualified for free care but received a bill for services and provide refunds to any patients who were erroneously charged.  The Health Services Cost Review Commission, which oversees the hospitals, may not raise hospital rates to offset the hospitals’ refunds to patients.

Cannabis Legalization –

SB0833 Cannabis – Legalization and Regulation – Senator Feldman – Hearing Date March 3rd
This bill legalizes cannabis use for individuals over 21 years of age as of July 1, 2023.  It defines “Personal use amount” as (i) not exceeding 2 ounces; 8 (ii)concentrated cannabis that does not exceed 15 grams; (iii) an amount of cannabis products that does not exceed 1,500 milligrams; or (iv) four or fewer cannabis plants per person.  There are still fines and penalties, for exceeding the personal use amount, but possession is now a civil crime and the penalties do not to exceed $250 and 16 hours of community services.  Any convictions for past violations that did not exceed the personal use amount will be automatically expunged.  Persons who are incarcerated may request a re-sentencing.  There are additional provisions for regulation and taxation of cannabis.

Self-Directed Services –
HB1020 Developmental Disabilities Administration – Self-Directed Services (Self-Direction Act of 2022) – Delegate K. Young – Hearing on March 9th
AND
SB0868 Developmental Disabilities Administration – Self-Directed Services (Self-Direction Act of 2022) – Senator Lee – Hearing on March 8th

Self–directed Services is a waiver program where participants, or their representatives have decision–making authority over all services they receive.  These services are designed to be provided in a manner that furthers the rights of individuals with disabilities, regardless of physical or intellectual capacity, to make choices about and direct all aspects of their lives, including control over, and funding for, support services.  Participants in the self-directed services program can recruit, hire, and train the individuals who furnish services for them so they can live as independently as possible in the most inclusive community–based setting of their choice.  In the past, there have been limits on the dollar amount of individual–directed family goods and services; or on the number of hours of overnight supports provided to a recipient who receives self–directed services.  This bill removes those limits.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act – 
HB0171 Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act – Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo – Hearing on March 10th
This bill strikes a very good balance between aggressive climate policy that will help us achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and supporting those communities that have been most impacted by the dirty energy policies that we are trying to leave behind.  It also takes a somewhat poetic approach in making the very entities who have become rich by flooding our state with fossil fuels to fund our transition to clean energy.

The bill places a fee on fossil fuel products coming into the state and cleverly prohibits the entities who must pay the fee to then turn around and pass the fee on to consumers.  The fee will escalate over time to drive home the point that fossil fuels are not our future and that companies supporting that industry should abandon it as soon as possible.

The monies that are collected from the carbon fee will then be used to fund green infrastructure projects and provide support to low-income households and energy intensive trade exposed businesses affected by the change to cleaner energy sources.  The funds will also be directed towards municipalities with environmental justice populations.

SNAP for College Students – 
HB1027 Food Supplement Benefits – Students – Eligibility (SNAP for Students) – Delegate Solomon – Hearing Date March 10th
This bill will college students who cannot afford meals by allowing them to apply for SNAP benefits if they meet the following income requirements –

  • Their expected family contribution is zero on the application for Federal Student Aid
  • They are eligible to participate in a state or federally financed work-study program

Police Immunity – 
HB1012 Police Immunity and Accountability Act – Delegate Wilkins – Hearing Date March 1st
This bill strips away the qualified immunity that officers currently have.  It would make officers who deprive an individual of their Constitutional rights liable for their actions in civil or criminal court.  If they are found guilty, they would be required to pay the legal costs of the party bringing suit against them.

The bill would also require the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission review any cases where an officer was held liable or entered into a settlement agreement to determine if the officer’s certification to work should be revoked.  Additionally, any local jurisdiction that pays penalties for judgements against an officer can request reimbursement for the lesser of 5% or $25,000 for the judgement.

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS
Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on our website http://mdlegislative.com under Legislators.

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

For your Delegates:
My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all of your constituents.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

Environment and Transportation Committee

  • HB0356 State Finance – Prohibited Appropriations – Magnetic Levitation Transportation System

Economic Matters Committee

  • HB0533 Occupations and Professions – Licenses, Certificates, and Registration – Immigrants
  • HB0436 Motor Vehicle Insurance – Use of Credit History Rating Policy – Delegate Wells
  • HB0171 Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act – Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo


Health and Government Affairs Committee

  • HB 694 Medical Reimbursement Legislation
  • HB0694 Hospitals – Financial Assistance – Medical Bill Reimbursement – Delegate Charkoudian
  • HB1020 Developmental Disabilities Administration – Self-Directed Services (Self-Direction Act of 2022) – Delegate K. Young

Judiciary Committee

  • HB0114 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Delegate Williams
  • HB0122 Criminal Procedure – Expungement of Records – Expansion – Delegate W. Fisher
  • HB0269 Juvenil Law – Child Interrogation Protection – Delegate Bartlett
  • HB0559 Probation Before Judgement – Probation Agreements – Probation Not Deportation- Delegate Fisher
  • HB0691 Landlord and Tenant and Wrongful Detainer Actions – Eviction Prevention Services – Delegate Wells
  • HB1012 Police Immunity and Accountability Act – Delegate Wilkins

Ways and Means Committee

  • HB 488 – Public Financing of Local Elections

 

 

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS
Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on the website http://mdlegislative.com under Legislators.

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

For your Delegates:
My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all of your constituents.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

 

Environment and Transportation Committee

  • HB0086 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
  • HB0061 Charter Counties – Enforcement of Local Buildings Performance Laws (Building Energy Performance Standards Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
  • HB0141 Equity in Transportation Sector – Guidelines and Analyses – Delegate Ruth HB0928 Discrimination in Housing – Citizenship, Immigration Status, and National Origin – Delegate Palakovich-Carr
  • HB0596 Constitutional Amendment for Environmental Human Rights – Delegate W. Fisher

 

Judiciary Committee

  • HB0083 Family Law – Emancipation of a Minor and Authorization to Marry – Delegate Atterbeary
  • HB0114 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Delegate Williams
  • HB0269 Juvenil Law – Child Interrogation Protection – Delegate Bartlett
  • HB0153 Criminal Law – Sexual Crimes – Repeal of Spousal Defense – Delegate Crutchfield
  • HB0659 Firearm Safety – Storage Requirements and Youth Suicide Prevention (Jaelynn’s Law) – Delegate Stein
  • HB0850 Schools, Prekindergarten Programs, and County Boards of Education – Discrimination – Delegate Wilkins

Economic Matters Committee

  • HB8 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2022) – Delegate Valderrama

Ways and Means Committee

  • HB 344 – Prohibiting Pay to Play Act of 2022 – Delegate Palakovich-Carr

For your Senator:

My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all of your constituents.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee

  • SB0073 General Assembly – Special Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office – Senator Lam
  • SB0321 Environment – Synthetic Turf and Turf Infill – Chain of Custody – Senator Kagan

Judicial Proceedings Committee

  • SB0129 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Senator Hettleman
  • SB0138 Criminal Procedure – Expungement of Records – Expansion – Senator Patterson SB0669 Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act of 2022 – Senator Smith
  • SB0691 Juvenile Justice Reform – Senator Carter

Finance Committee

  • SB0788 Cannabis – Regulation – Revisions – Senator Feldman
  • SB0833 Cannabis – Legalization and Regulation – Senator Feldman
  • SB0868 Developmental Disabilities Administration – Self-Directed Services (Self-Direction Act of 2022) – Senator Lee SB0682 Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Gender-Affirming Treatment (Trans Health Equity Act of 2022) Senator Washington

 

Please remember, the reason I inform people about these bills is so you can contact your state legislators and let them know how you feel about legislation they’re going to vote on.

General Information

 

If you want to know any more about any of the bills go to the Maryland General Assembly website:  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 (47B) Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

 

If you do not know who your representatives are, 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.

 

 

 

MD Legislative Update – Feb 7, 2022

The 2022 General Assembly has been in session for almost 4 weeks and over 1600 bills have been introduced.  The deadline for introducing bills is the end of next week so we will know about all the legislation that will be considered by the General Assembly.  Soon I’ll be reporting on the bills that are actually moving out of Committee and have a good chance of passage.

There is a very good organization that tracks important bills.  It is the Maryland Legislative Coalition.  http://mdlegislative.com .  I am using information from their web-site for the next few legislative updates.

Here are some of the bills that have been introduced in the last two week and we are following.

No MAGLEV! – 
SB0359/HB0356 State Finance – Prohibited Appropriations – Magnetic Levitation Transportation System – Senator Pinsky/Delegate Williams – Hearing Date February 9th and February 16
This bill would prohibit state funds from being used to create a MAGLEV transportation system in the state.  The MAGLEV project violates the principles of equity in transportation in that it would only serve Baltimore and Washington but pass through underserved black and brown communities in Prince George’s County.

Study for Universal Health Care – 
SB0493 Public Health – Commission on Universal Health Care – Senator Pinsky – Hearing Date February 9th
We all want Universal Health Care.  It’s cheaper – by a LOT – and will provide quality health care to our entire population.  Universal health care is something that the entire rest of the world has had for years.  We, on the other hand, pay a fortune for a fragmented health care system that is not usable or affordable for most people. How do we transition, though, and how much will it really cost?
This bill would establish the Commission on Universal Health Care to develop a plan for the State to transition to a universal health care program to provide health benefits to all residents of the State through a single-payer system.

Medical Licenses for Immigrants –
HB0533 Occupations and Professions – Licenses, Certificates, and Registration – Immigrants – Delegate Pena-Melnyk – Hearing Date February 15th
This bill would prohibit a State occupational or professional licensing board or other government agency in the State from denying a license or certification to an immigrant if the individual meets the requirements for the license or certificate.

Ban on ‘Forever Chemicals’ 
SB0273/HB0275 Environment – PFAS Chemicals – Prohibitions and Requirements (George ‘Walter’ Taylor Act) – Senator Elfreth/Delegate Love – Hearing Date February 2nd and February 9th
PFAS chemicals are ‘forever chemicals’.  They never break down.  They are used in firefighting foam, food packaging, rugs and carpets.  They are polluting our drinking water and are accumulating in our bodies.  They have been linked to cancer and other serious illnesses.
This bill, if passed, would prevent the mass incineration or landfilling of PFAS chemicals.  It would also prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution of products containing PFAS chemicals, such as rugs and carpets, food packaging and firefighting foam.

Stay of Eviction Waiting for Rental Assistance – 
SB0384 Landlord and Tenant – Stay of Eviction Proceeding for Rental Assistance Determination – Senator Hettleman – Hearing Date February 15th
Marylanders are getting evicted while waiting for rental assistance!  This bill would provide for the stay of eviction proceedings when a tenant is waiting for a determination regarding the tenant’s good faith application for rental assistance.  If a landlord has already received a favorable judgement in an eviction proceeding, they cannot physically evict the tenant until the rental assistance application is resolved.

Filing Suit on Fossil Fuel Companies – 
HB0363 Attorney General – Climate Change Actions – Authorization – Delegate Ruth – Hearing Date February 15th
Our Attorney General does not have the authority to sue fossil fuel companies, even though other states already have lawsuits on the books.  This bill would provide authorization for the Attorney General to investigate, commence, and prosecute or defend any suit against a publicly traded entity with a market capitalization greater than $1,000,000,000 or its subsidiaries for unlawful conduct that has contributed to climate change.

Dental Coverage for Adults

HB6/SB150 MD Medical Assistance Program – Dental Coverage for Adults

Sponsors: Delegate Cullison & Senators Augustine, Guzzone

Requires the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide comprehensive dental care for adults whose annual household income is at or below 133% of the federal poverty level

The Juvenile Interrogation Protection Act,

Senate Bill 53, would require that police officers contact a child’s legal guardian and allow them to consult with an attorney before being interrogated; And

Juvenile Court Jurisdiction

Senate Bill 165 would mandate that defendants under 18 — regardless of their alleged offense — enter the criminal justice system through the juvenile courts. Delegate Moon stated at a hearing: “I would argue that in law and criminal justice, imprisoning innocent people is a catastrophe.  It’s the professional equivalent of a doctor amputating the wrong leg.”

Wrongful Convictions

House Bill 249 would require that the Attorney General’s office and professional boards, including the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities and the Attorney Grievance Commission, be notified when the Board of Public Works learns that someone is eligible for compensation because they have been wrongfully convicted or because a judge grants a writ of actual innocence.

 

Climate Solutions Now! – 

SB0528 Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 – Senator Pinsky – Hearing Date February 15th 
This is the big, bold climate solution that we need in Maryland.  It increases our greenhouse gas reduction targets to 60% by 2030 and net zero by 2045.  It establishes and provides an initial appropriation for a Climate Catalytic Capital Fund to fund more climate pollution reduction programs focused on investments in Environmental Justice communities. It also establishes a Just Transition Employment and Retraining Task Force, electrifies the state vehicle fleet, and funds a net zero school program.

For the buildings sector, it establishes high-electrification new construction code beginning in 2023, so we start building greener buildings and also establishes a Building Emissions Performance Standard for buildings 25,000 sq. ft and larger that reaches 20% reductions in 2030, 40% by 2035, and Net-zero by 2040.  Finally, it creates an inter-agency task force to develop a plan to fund wholistic retrofits in the building sector to meet the new 2030 and 2045 state greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Eviction Prevention Services – 

HB0691 Landlord and Tenant and Wrongful Detainer Actions – Eviction Prevention Services Delegate Wells – Hearing Date February 16th

There are various organizations that provide eviction prevention services, such as social workers, counselors, financial assistance companies, civil legal aid services, or alternative dispute resolution services.  This bill allows a party in an eviction proceeding to request a recess for a reasonable amount of time to use the services of an eviction prevention services provider if a provider is available at the court building during the time scheduled for the trial.  Additionally, a continuance can be requested of 5 or more business days if either party seeks attorney representation, or to procure witnesses or obtain documents for their defense, or if a party demonstrates that the interests of justice will be better served by the court’s order of referral of the parties to an eviction prevention services provider.

PBJ –
HB0559 Probation Before Judgement – Probation Agreements – Probation Not Deportation- Delegate Fisher – Hearing Date February 15th
This bill will protect our immigrant community from deportation for small offenses that would otherwise be the catalyst for deportation proceedings.  Minor infractions, such as speeding, failure to have their taillights working, and other small offences will place a sentence on an immigrant’s record, which is often the trigger for federal immigration enforcement to arrest and deport them.

This bill will allow for probation before judgement, rather than sentencing when a person pleads guilty or nolo contender.

Drug Paraphernalia Decriminalization 
SB0509 Drug Paraphernalia for Administration – Decriminalization – Senator Carter – Hearing Dates February 16th
This bill makes it legal to use or possess drug paraphernalia for personal use.  Additionally, the fines and sentences for growing, manufacturing, processing, distributing, concealing, selling controlled dangerous substances are reduced from $2,000 to $1,000 and from 2 years to 1 year.

Greener Schools – 
SB0588 Capital Projects – High Performance Green Buildings – Senator Hettleman – Hearing Date February 15th
For schools or public safety buildings that receive 25% or more of their construction funding from state funds, the Maryland Green Building Council must ensure that those state buildings, public schools, and community colleges meet high performance building standard requirements.

SB0471 FUTURE Act – Senator Rosapepe – Hearing Date February 15th
This bill will require public colleges and universities in Maryland to be carbon neutral by 2035. It will also create an Environmental and Economic Justice scholarship fund for in-state students, establish Offices of Sustainability at each university that collaborates, and lays the groundwork for a Sustainability General Education Requirement.

Use of Credit History in Auto Insurance Rates – 
HB0436 Motor Vehicle Insurance – Use of Credit History Rating Policy – Delegate Wells – Hearing Date February 17th
This bill prohibits an automobile insurer from determining the insurance premium based, in whole or in part, on the credit history of an applicant or insured

Public Financing of Local Elections

HB 488 Delegate Jessica Feldmark – This bill will enable  public financing for all local races.  If this bill passes, all counties in MD can create public financing programs for any and all local races, one cycle AFTER they have used it for council and exec.

Medical Reimbursement Legislation

HB 694 – Delegate Lorig Charkoudian – Hospitals wrongly collected over $60 million dollars per year in 2017 and again in 2018 from patients who were eligible for free care.  The bill establishes a process to identify these patients and requires hospitals to refund patients who should have received free care.

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS

Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on our website http://mdlegislative.com under Legislators.

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

For your Delegates:
My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all of your constituents.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

Environment and Transportation Committee

  • HB0356 State Finance – Prohibited Appropriations – Magnetic Levitation Transportation System

Economic Matters Committee

  • HB0533 Occupations and Professions – Licenses, Certificates, and Registration – Immigrants
  • HB0436 Motor Vehicle Insurance – Use of Credit History Rating Policy – Delegate Wells


Health and Government Affairs Committee

  • HB 694 Medical Reimbursement Legislation

Judiciary Committee

  • HB0114 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Delegate Williams
  • HB0122 Criminal Procedure – Expungement of Records – Expansion – Delegate W. Fisher
  • HB0269 Juvenil Law – Child Interrogation Protection – Delegate Bartlett
  • HB0559 Probation Before Judgement – Probation Agreements – Probation Not Deportation- Delegate Fisher
  • HB0691 Landlord and Tenant and Wrongful Detainer Actions – Eviction Prevention Services – Delegate Wells

Ways and Means Committee

  •     HB 488 – Public Financing of Local Elections

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS

Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on the website http://mdlegislative.com under Legislators.

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

For your Delegates:
My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all of your constituents.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

 

Environment and Transportation Committee

  • HB0086 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
  • HB0061 Charter Counties – Enforcement of Local Buildings Performance Laws (Building Energy Performance Standards Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
  • HB0141 Equity in Transportation Sector – Guidelines and Analyses – Delegate Ruth

Judiciary Committee

  • HB0083 Family Law – Emancipation of a Minor and Authorization to Marry – Delegate Atterbeary
  • HB0114 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Delegate Williams
  • HB0269 Juvenil Law – Child Interrogation Protection – Delegate Bartlett
  • HB0153 Criminal Law – Sexual Crimes – Repeal of Spousal Defense – Delegate Crutchfield

Economic Matters Committee

  • HB8 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2022) – Delegate Valderrama

Ways and Means Committee

  • HB 344 – Prohibiting Pay to Play Act of 2022 – Delegate Palakovich-Carr

For your Senator:

My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all of your constituents.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee

  • SB0073 General Assembly – Special Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office – Senator Lam
  • SB0321 Environment – Synthetic Turf and Turf Infill – Chain of Custody – Senator Kagan

Judicial Proceedings Committee

  • SB0129 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Senator Hettleman
  • SB0138 Criminal Procedure – Expungement of Records – Expansion – Senator Patterson

Please remember, the reason I inform people about these bills is so you can contact your state legislators and let them know how you feel about legislation they’re going to vote on.

General Information

If you want to know any more about any of the bills go to the Maryland General Assembly website:  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 (47B) Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

If you do not know who your representatives are, 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.

MD Legislative Update – January 24, 2022

The 2022 General Assembly has been in session for almost 2 weeks and over 800 bills have been introduced (400 in the House and 400 in the Senate)

 

There is a very good organization that tracks important bills.  It is the Maryland Legislative Coalition.  http://mdlegislative.com .  I am using information from their web-site for the next few legislative updates.

 

Here are some of the bills that have been introduced and we are following.

 

 

Tenant Protection- 

HB0086 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
This bill seeks to ensure more transparency between landlords and tenants regarding how utility charges are calculated, and also seeks to ensure more flexibility in dealing with tenants who are victims of domestic violence or stalking and have to terminate their contract for safety reasons.

Building Energy Performance Standards Act –

HB0061 Charter Counties – Enforcement of Local Buildings Performance Laws (Building Energy Performance Standards Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
Buildings are one of the top three producers of greenhouse gases in Maryland.  Setting Building Energy Performance Standards helps reduce greenhouse gases across the state.  Some Counties have already set standards for energy efficiency, and we will be looking for the legislature to set Standards during this legislative session.  This bill would allow Counties to enforce Building Energy Performance Standards by imposing a fine of not more than $10 per square foot of gross floor area of a building.

Ending Child Marriage –

HB0083 Family Law – Emancipation of a Minor and Authorization to Marry – Delegate Atterbeary
Maryland is behind other nearby states in repealing laws related to child marriage.  Right now, girls as young as 13 can be married in Maryland, and since other states have banned this practice, people are coming to Maryland to have their children married off.  This bill would prohibit an individual under the age of 17 years from marrying and alter the conditions under which an individual who is 17 years old is authorized to marry.

Ensuring Equity in Transportation Planning –

HB0141 Equity in Transportation Sector – Guidelines and Analyses – Delegate Ruth
This Act would promote an approach to equity that recommends anticipation and prevention as the better strategies when compared to recovery and correction which have been the principal strategies in the past.  It would ensure that the Department of Transporation treats equity as a factor in planning new roads or public transportation.

Repealing the Spousal Defense

HB0153 Criminal Law – Sexual Crimes – Repeal of Spousal Defense – Delegate Crutchfield
This bill would make it a criminal offense to rape a spouse or to force sexual aggression upon a spouse when the spouses are living separately.

 

 

Corporate Tax Fairness Tax

 

SB 360 – Closing Corporate Loopholes – Large, multi-state and multinational corporations can take advantage of accounting gimmicks to avoid their tax responsibility in Maryland. This gives them a substantial advantage over small, Maryland-based businesses who pay their fair share in taxes.

 

Combined reporting  

Combined reporting treats a parent company and its subsidiaries as one corporation for state income tax purposes. Doing so prevents companies from reducing their taxable profits by artificially shifting revenue on paper to out-of-state subsidiaries. Closing the combined reporting loophole would raise at least $120 million per year.

 

Ending corporate “nowhere income” (throwback rule)
Enacting the throwback rule would close another loophole that shields some corporate profits from taxation. Maryland’s corporate income tax is calculated using a formula that considers how much of a company’s sales are located in Maryland. This system helps to prevent multiple states from taxing a business’s profits.

 

However, when a company located in Maryland makes sales into another state, this income is sometimes not taxed by any state and It becomes “nowhere income.” Proposed legislation would ensure that each dollar of corporate income in Maryland is subject to taxation by a single state, without double taxation or becoming so-called nowhere income.

 

Special Elections for Appointed Legislators – 

SB0073 General Assembly – Special Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office – Senator Lam
Almost a third of our legislators were appointed rather than elected because they replaced a member of the legislature who left before their term was completed.  This bill would require the Governor to call a special election depending on when the replacement member is seated.  If the legislator is seated on or before the date that is 55 days before the deadline for filing certificates of candidacy, a special election will be called.  This will ensure that the replacement member will only serve out the term if it is too late to announce candidacy for the next Primary or General election.

Time to Care Act – 

HB0008 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2022) – Delegate Valderrama
This bill establishes a program that both employees and employers make small contributions into each pay period.  Those contributions become a bank of funds that would allow an individual employee to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave without causing financial harm to the employer.
Being able to take the time to care for yourself or your loved ones helps everyone in the long term.

Expungement –

SB0138 Criminal Procedure – Expungement of Records – Expansion – Senator Patterson
This bill expands the charges that can be expunged from a person’s criminal record to include charges where a probation before judgement verdict was delivered.  This means that offenders who received probation, rather than a sentence, and met the terms of their probation can get the charges expunged within three years after the probation has been completed.

Access to Counsel for Immigrants –

SB0129 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Senator Hettleman
National data shows that immigrants with lawyers are 10.5 times more likely to win their cases than those without lawyers, but 81% of detained immigrants in Maryland had no legal representation at any point in their case. Only 7% of detained, non-represented immigrants in the Baltimore Immigration Court won their case.  This bill would create a legal representation program for detained Marylanders facing deportation.  It would –

  • Provide low-income Marylanders in immigration detention access to state-funded representation in their deportation proceedings, ensuring that they get due process and increasing the chances they can remain in Maryland with their families.
  • Ensure that detained immigrants and their families understand their rights and are supported in a holistic way by designating community groups to conduct outreach and education with communities impacted by immigration detention (know your rights training, establishing neighborhood defense committees, receiving referrals to support services, etc.)
  • Assign the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC) to coordinate the funding of legal services of this program. MLSC is a legislatively created non-profit organization that has four decades of experience funding legal service


Child Interrogation Protection –

HB0269 Juvenil Law – Child Interrogation Protection – Delegate Bartlett
This bill would provide children who are taken into custody greater protection.  It requires a law enforcement officer who takes a child into custody, interrogates or charges a child with a criminal violation to provide reasonable notice to the child’s parents, guardian, or custodian.  It prohibits the interrogation of a child by the law enforcement officer until the child has consulted with an attorney and a notice has been provided to the child’s parents, guardian or custodian

Synthetic Turf Chain of Custody- 

SB0321 Environment – Synthetic Turf and Turf Infill – Chain of Custody – Senator Kagan
Synthetic turf is an often-overlooked source of toxicity.  In Maryland, synthetic turf is not regulated in any way. Often, it is thrown out when it is no longer useful, and it sits in landfills. We don’t even have information about how much synthetic turf is in Maryland and how it is being disposed of. This bill would seek to manage and report on the chain of custody from the manufacturer, then the supplier, to the end-user, and finally through disposal. This information is necessary to understand exactly how much synthetic turf is in use and how it is disposed of.

End Pay to Play by Lobbyists and Businesses: Entities

HB 344 – Prohibiting Pay to Play Act of 2022 Entities whose bottom lines are affected by decisions made by state officials shouldn’t be able to buy access and favorable outcomes through political contributions.  This legislation would prohibit campaign contributions from registered lobbyists and businesses that do business with the State to candidates for state offices.

 

 

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR THESE BILLS
Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on the website http://mdlegislative.com under Legislators.

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

For your Delegates:

My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all of your constituents.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

 

Environment and Transporation Committee

  • HB0086 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
  • HB0061 Charter Counties – Enforcement of Local Buildings Performance Laws (Building Energy Performance Standards Act of 2022) – Delegate Stewart
  • HB0141 Equity in Transportation Sector – Guidelines and Analyses – Delegate Ruth

Judiciary Committee

  • HB0083 Family Law – Emancipation of a Minor and Authorization to Marry – Delegate Atterbeary
  • HB0114 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Delegate Williams
  • HB0269 Juvenil Law – Child Interrogation Protection – Delegate Bartlett
  • HB0153 Criminal Law – Sexual Crimes – Repeal of Spousal Defense – Delegate Crutchfield

Economic Matters Commitee

  • HB8 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2022) – Delegate Valderrama

Ways and Means Committee

  • HB 344  – Prohibiting Pay to Play Act of 2022 – Delegate Palakovich-Carr

For your Senator:

My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all of your constituents.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.

If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them on the House floor.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee

  • SB0073 General Assembly – Special Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office – Senator Lam
  • SB0321 Environment – Synthetic Turf and Turf Infill – Chain of Custody – Senator Kagan

Judicial Proceedings Committee

  • SB0129 Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings Program – Senator Hettleman
  • SB0138 Criminal Procedure – Expungement of Records – Expansion – Senator Patterson

 

 

Please remember, the reason I inform people about these bills is so you can contact your state legislators and let them know how you feel about legislation they’re going to vote on.

General Information

 

If you want to know any more about any of the bills go to the Maryland General Assembly website:  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 (47B) Wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340

 

If you do not know who your representatives are, 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.