Important New Bills Introduced in Annapolis

Important Bills that Have Been introduced in the General Assembly

The Maryland legislative session is two weeks old and over 300 bills have been introduced. The Maryland Legislative Coalition (www.mdlegislative.com) sends out a list of bills that are introduced each week. These are some of the bills I believe are the most significant.

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

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

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

HB 4 – Crimes – Hate Crimes – Use of a Noose or Swastika to Threaten or Intimidate
This bill prohibits anyone from putting a noose or a swastika or any other hate symbol on any building or property without the express permission of the owner of the property. A penalty of 3 years in jail or up to $5,000 will be applied to each violation of this law.

HB 19 – Criminal Procedure – Expungement – Expungement of Nonviolent Convictions
This bill will allow a person to file for expungement if the person was convicted of a non-violent crime. This will allow people who were convicted of drug possession or theft or sex-related charges to more easily get back into society.

HB 22 – Occupational Licenses or Certificates – Prohibition on Use of Criminal
History
This bill will prohibit certain state licensing departments from denying an application for a license or a certificate based on an applicant’s criminal history if more than 7 years have passed since conviction.

HB 33 – Medical Cannabis – Provider Applications – Opioid Use Disorder
This bill allows for the Medical Cannabis Commission to approve provider applications for patients who have opioid use disorder, so that medical marijuana can be used to treat opioid patients.

HB 35 – Public Health – Opioid Maintenance Therapy Programs – Medical Director Requirements and Qualifications
This bill requires that any medical director of a therapy program that treats opioid abuse be a licensed physician with at least two years of experience treating individuals addicted to alcohol or drugs, and at least one year of experience treating opioid addictions.

HB 66 – Railroad Companies – Movement of Freight – Required Crew
This bill would prohibit the movement of freight in the same rail corridor as a high speed commuter or passenger train unless the freight train has at least two workers. This is to ensure that if the person driving the train becomes incapacitated, there is someone who can take over.

HB 77 – Criminal Law – Decriminalization of Attempted Suicide
Repeals the designation of attempted suicide as a crime. This means that people who attempt suicide get help, not jail time.
******HEARING DATE – January 29th, 1:00 pm – Judiciary Committee******

HB 85 – General Assembly – Special Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office
This bill provides for a special election in the case of a vacancy in the General Assembly, and allows for the Governor-appointed replacement to serve out the term until the special election. Currently, there is no provision for a special election and the appointee serves out the term until the next general election.

HB 109 – Environment – Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Products – Prohibition
This bill bans the sale of polystyrene packaging for food products after January 1, 2020. Polystyrene never decomposes, so it is an environmental hazard and it also contains a neurotoxin and probable carcinogen. It is mostly used in schools and for packaging fast food. The bill includes a fine of $250 for violations.

HB 96 -Plugging the Loan Loophole in the Transfer of Gun Ownership –
Adds to the term “transfer” a temporary gratuitous exchange of a regulated firearm between two individuals who remain in the same location for the duration of the exchange.

HB 102 Toll Road Expansion– County Government Consent Requirement–
A prohibition on the construction a toll road, toll highway, or toll bridge without the consent of a majority of the counties where the told road is being built.

HB 166 $15/Hour Minimum Wage
The bill phases in a $15/hour minimum wage for all workers by 2023. The legislation also indexes the minimum wage to inflation and include all tipped workers. The proposed legislation does not have exemptions for young people or season workers. Delegate Diana Fennell is the lead sponsor for this legislation in the House of Delegates.

HB 191 – Homeowner’s Insurance – Banning Discrimination In Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating Because of Status As A Surviving Spouse
Prohibiting an insurer, with respect to homeowner’s insurance, from increasing the premium for an insured who becomes a surviving spouse based solely on the insured’s change in marital status.

HB 214 – Granting Victims and Witness of Crimes a U-Visa
Granting a victim of criminal activity or the victim’s family a visa if if the victim has been helpful in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity;

HB 227 – PG 409 (Prince George’s County Local Bill) Repealing a Limitation of Campaign Contributions
Repealing a prohibition on a developer making a campaign contribution to the County Executive of Prince George’s County

SB 8 – Criminal Law – Computer-Aided Firearm Fabrication – Prohibitions
This bill prohibits the manufacture, sale or possession of a 3D printed firearm.

If you want to know more about any of the bills send me an email or go to the General Assembly web-site: www.mgaleg.maryland.gov