Status of Important Legislation in Annapolis

Status of Important Legislation in Annapolis
The legislative session is a little more than one month old and over 2,000 bills have been introduced.  All bills have to pass both houses by midnight on Monday April 8th.  Every bill has to have a committee hearing and then if approved by the committee voted by the full chamber.  It then has to go to the other house and has to go through the same procedure (committee vote and vote of the full chamber.)  

I have highlighted  about 30 bills that I personally am tracking.  There are many other good bills but I don’t want to overwhelm everybody.    If there are specific bills that you want to know about let me know.

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

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

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

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

Minimum Wage to $15 /Hour

HB 166 (Sponsored by Delegate Fennell) – Committee Hearing Held
SB 2221 – Committee Hearing: 2/21/19

Criminal Justice Reform

Increasing pre-release facility services 
HB 715 Hearing: 2/26/19
Expungement of Nonviolent Convictions 
HB 19 – Hearing Held
Decriminization of Attempted Suicide 
HB 77 – Hearing Held
Hate Crimes – Use of a Noose or Swastika to Threaten or Intimidate 
HB 4 – Hearing Held
Occupational Licenses or Certificates – Prohibition on  Use of Criminal Records  
HB 22 – Hearing Held

Consumer Rights

Prohibiting Use of Occupation or Education in Determination of car insurance rates
HB 329 – Hearing Held
SB 233 – Hearing 2/13
Prohibiting Use of credit factors in the determination of car insurance rates
HB 351 – Hearing Held
SB 235 –Hearing 2/13
Banning Discrimination In Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating Because of Status As A Surviving Spouse  
HB 191 – Hearing Held
SB 607 – Hearing Not Scheduled

Education

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

The money for this year is  being discussed in the Appropriations Committee
No bill has introduced yet on future years funding for the recommendations

Environmental Initiatives

Prohibiting use of plastic bags         
HB 109                          Hearing Held
SB 285                           Hearing 2/12
Clear Energy Act        
HB 1158                        Hearing 3/8
SB 516                         No Hearing set
 Pipeline and Water Protection Act
HB 669                           Hearing 3/7
SB 387                          Hearing 2/19

Gun Control Legislation

Banning of ghost guns:  buying the parts needed to assemble a firearm
HB 740 – Hearing 2/25
Prohibition of computer aided firearm fabrication
SB 8 – Hearing 2/27
Plugging the Loan Loophole in  the Transfer of Gun Ownership
HB 96 – Hearing 2/25

Health Care 

 Prescription Drug Affordability Board        
HB 768            No Hearing Set
SB 759            No Hearing Set
Medicare for All Legislation (First Steps)
HB 1087         No hearing set
SB 871           No Hearing Set
End of Life Option
HB 399            Hearing 2/15
SB 311             Hearing 2/19

Immigration Justice

Maryland Dream Act 
This legislation  would protect students that might lose DACA and TPS because of Trump and expand the ability to get in-state tuition.
HB 318 – Committee Hearing 2/21/19
U Visa Legislation 
U-Visa Legislation will ensure that victims of crimes or witness of crimes who help the police can get a visa to keep them in the country
HB 214 – Hearing Held
SB 221 – 2/21/19
Not Keeping Undocumented People in Jail Beyond Their Sentence        
This bill ensures that undocumented immigrants are not held in jails indefinitely without judicial oversight.
HB 913 – Hearing not yet scheduled                     
SB 17 – Hearing not yet scheduled

Legalization of Marijuana 

To put legalization of recreational marijuana on the ballot in 2020.
HB 632 – Hearing 3/5

Municipal Concerns

New 5G wireless telephone poles cannot be placed without local agreement
     HB 1020       2/21
SB 713         2/26

Transportation

Majority of Counties Have to Agree Before New Toll Road Are Built Through Their Counties
HB 102 – Hearing Held
SB 442 – 2/27

Railroad Companies – Movement of Freight – Required Crew 
This bill would prohibit the movement of freight in the same rail corridor as a high speed commuter or passenger train unless the freight train has at least two workers.
HB 66 – Hearing Held
SB 252 – Hearing 2/13

Voting Rights 

Small donor public financing                 
HB  1017         No Hearing Scheduled
SB 414             Hearing Feb 28
Constitutional Amendment repealing Citizens United  
HJ2         No Hearing Scheduled
SJ1          Hearing Feb 14
Special Election to Fill a Vacancy for State Delegate or Senator
HB 85       Hearing Held
Repealing a Limitation of Campaign Contributions from Developers to County Executive (I am in opposition to this bill)
HB 227   Passed the Prince George’s Delegation  – Now has to Pass the full House

Worker Rights

Collective Bargaining for community college workers   
HB 766                  No Hearing Scheduled
Overtime for Low Paid Salaried Workers 
HB 1040                3/5

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