Governor Hogan Vetoes Eight Bills- Other Legislation Becomes Law

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

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

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

The eight bills Hogan vetoed were:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prohibiting Deceptive Acts by Mortgage Lenders (HB425)

Prohibiting use of Styrofoam  (HB109/SB295) 

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

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

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

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

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

2019 Legislative Recap

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

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

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

Bills Passed and Are Now Law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Johns Hopkins Private Police Force (SB 793)

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

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

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

Prohibiting Deceptive Acts by Mortgage Lenders (HB425)

Prohibiting use of Styrofoam  (HB109/SB295) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the Many Bills that Did not Pass This Year

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

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

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

End of Life Option  (HB 399)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming Down to the Wire In Annapolis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 – Bills Passed and Are Now Law

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

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

2 – Bills Waiting for the Governor to Sign or Veto

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

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

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

3 – Bills Still Moving Forward in the General Assembly

Consumer Rights

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

Criminal Justice

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

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

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

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

Education

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

HB 1413 – Hearing Held
SB 1030 – Hearing Held

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

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

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

Environmental Issues

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

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

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

Gun Control

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

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

Health Care

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

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

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

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

Immigration Rights

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

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

Other Topics

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

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

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

Prince George’s County Local Bills

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

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

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

Transportation

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

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

Workers Rights

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

4 – Bills Not Moving This Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bills Moving Forward

Consumer Rights

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

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

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

Criminal Justice

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

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

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

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

Education

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

HB 1413 – Hearing Held
SB 1030 – Hearing Held

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

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

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

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

Environmental Issues

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

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

Gun Control

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

            HB 740 –Passed the House

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

Health Care

End of Life Option
HB 399           Passed the House

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

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

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

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

Immigration Rights

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

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

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

Other Topics

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

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

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

Prince George’s County Local Bills

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

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

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

Transportation

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

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

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

Workers Rights

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

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

HB 270 – Passed the House

Bills That Probably Won’t Pass This Year

Criminal Justice Reform

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

Expungement of Nonviolent Convictions
HB 19 – Hearing Held

Consumer Rights

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

Environmental Initiatives

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

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

Health Care 

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

Immigration Justice

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

Other Topics

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

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

Legalization of Marijuana
HB 632   Referred to a summer task force

Transportation

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

Voting Rights 

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

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

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

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

Worker Rights

Collective Bargaining for community college workers  
HB 766      Hearing held

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

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

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

News From Annapolis – March 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

» $46 million for more services for struggling learners;

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

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

A few of the other bills that made progress this week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Criminal Justice Reform

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

 Consumer Rights

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

Education

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

HB 1413 – Hearing Held
SB 1030 – Hearing Held

Environmental Initiatives

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

Gun Control Legislation

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

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

Health Care 

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

Immigration Justice

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

Other Topics

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

Transportation

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

Voting Rights 

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

Worker Rights

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

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

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

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

Light Buffet Dinner

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

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