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  • Here is where we stand at the close of the session.

    Climate Change

    Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2018 – House Bill 1453 received an unfavorable report on March 15 in the Economic Matters Committee and was withdrawn by the sponsor. It’s companion bill, Senate Bill 732 had a hearing in the Finance Committee but was never been brought up for a vote.

    U.S. Climate Alliance – both houses passed identical versions of the same bill (HB 3 and SB 138) that would require the Governor to include Maryland as a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance by July 1, 2018, and stipulates that withdrawal from the alliance is conditional on statutory approval from the General Assembly.

    Offshore Wind Energy – The House Economic Matters Committee voted down House Bill 1135 which would have required Maryland’s already-approved offshore wind farms to be moved further offshore, thereby making them infeasible. It’s companion Senate Bill 1058 also failed due to inaction.

    Economic Justice

    Healthy Working Families Act – Early in the session, the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto of House Bill 1, the 2017 legislation that assured that 750,000 hard-working employees in Maryland will have the right to earn sick leave to care for themselves or family members.

    Minimum Wage (“Fight for Fifteen”) – Maryland’s effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, House Bill 664 and Senate Bill 543, were heard in their respective committees but were never brought to a vote.

    Gun Violence

    Rapid Fire Trigger Activators – Both Houses passed identical versions of a bill (SB 707/HB 888) to ban the sale or possession any device, part, or combination of devices or parts that is designed and functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a firearm beyond the standard rate of fire for firearms that are not so equipped.

    Handgun Permit Review Board – Appeals – Both Houses passed identical versions of a bill (HB 819/SB 741) to abolish the Handgun Permit Review Board which has been used to overrule the decisions of the State Police denying handgun carry permits. In its place, a person whose permit is denied may request to appeal the decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) instead of the board.

    Healthcare

    Saving the Affordable Care Act – House Bill 1167 and Senate Bill 1011 were introduced in an effort to replace the expiring federal mandate with a state mandate for residents to purchase health insurance or face a fine that could be used as down payments to help the uninsured get coverage. While UULM-MD supported these bills, the General Assembly came to agreement on other measures SB 387/HB 1782) to stabilize the individual insurance market for one year only, imposing a premium tax on insurers in place of the repealed federal provider fee and using that money to stabilize premiums. The state’s Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission will also study and make recommendations for individual and group health insurance market stability, including a possible state mandate like the one we supported.

    Drug Prices – Senate Bill 1023/House Bill 1194 would have created a Prescription Drug Cost Review Commission to determine how to make prescription drugs more affordable and report to the General Assembly with recommendations on how entities within the prescription drug supply chain can improve access to affordable prescription drugs by State residents. The House Bill passed the House but it failed to reach a final vote of approval in the Senate. 

    Immigration

    Maryland Supporting All Families Everywhere “SAFE” Act – House Bill 1461 would clarify that the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents would do their job without the assistance of our local police, and the local police would not be co-opted into serving as ICE’s agents. The bill was heard in the House Judiciary Committee but was never brought to a vote.

    DREAM Act – House Bill 1536/Senate Bill 546 would have made it easier for an individual to be exempt from paying the out-of-state tuition rate under the Maryland Dream Act. The House Bill passed the House but failed in the Senate.

    Restorative Justice

    “Ban the Box” – Early in the session, both Houses overrode the Governor’s veto of 2017 legislation that prohibited state colleges and universities from requiring applicants from checking a box indicating that they have no criminal history. This information may be considered in admission decisions later, but it does not prevent them from initial consideration.

    Prison EducationHouse Bill 295 and Senate Bill 1113 were introduced to award a one-time diminution credit to reduce the term of confinement of an inmate if the inmate successfully obtained an educational certificate, diploma, or degree. However, both bills received an unfavorable report from the House Judiciary and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committees.

    However, both Houses have passed a related bill, HB 291/SB 1137 to require the Division of Correction (DOC) to conduct, for each inmate, as soon as feasible after the individual is sentenced, an educational, vocational, and job history interview. DOC must include the educational, vocational, and job history of the inmate and the results of the interview in the case record for the inmate. In the final days, SB 1137 was also amended to include the sentence diminution credits from SB 1113, plus some other provisions originally in the Governor's "tough on crime" bills. In this form, the bill passed both houses and is awaiting the Governor's signature.

    Also in the final hours, SB 101, a positive bill to facilitate expungement of criminal records was further amended to include other provisions from the Governor's crime bills, including:

     - Creating a Task Force to Study Maryland’s Criminal Gang Statutes,

     - Modifying the drug possession laws to exclude items used to test drug samples,

     - Allowing law enforcement to apply for wiretaps for crimes involving a firearm, and

     - Increasing the maximum penalty for threatening or intimidating a witness from 5 years to 10 years.

    While we opposed these provisions, the bill passed both houses and is awaiting the Governor's signature.

     

Take Action

  • The 2018 General Assembly session adjourned Sine Die at midnight on April 9. Where your Senator and/or Delegates voted in support of our positions on priority issues, please thank them for their actions in support of our shared values.

     [Please click on "Take Action" above to see the whole list of priority bills.]

  • ___________________ 

    Issue

    Position

    Bill Number

    Sponsor

    Title

    Current Status

    Climate Change

    Support

    HB1453

    Delegate Frick

    Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2018

    Withdrawn by sponsor

    Climate Change

    Support

    SB0732

    Senator Feldman

    Renewable Energy and Job Development

    Failed

    Climate Change

    Oppose

    HB1135

    Delegate Adams

    Renewable Energy - Offshore Wind Projects - Distance Requirements

    Unfavorable Committee vote

    Climate Change

    Oppose

    SB1058

    Senator Hershey

    Renewable Energy - Offshore Wind Projects - Distance Requirements

    Failed

    Climate Change Support HB0529

    Delegate Jameson

    Renewable Energy - Tier 2 Eligibility - Extension Failed

    Climate Change

    Support

    SB0282

    Senator Middleton

    Renewable Energy - Tiers 1 and 2 Sources - Modifications and Compliance Fee

    Failed

    Death w/Dignity

    Support

    HB0562

    Delegate Young, K.

    Hospitals - Patient's Bill of Rights

    Withdrawn by sponsor

    Death w/Dignity

    Oppose Amendments

    SB0530

    Senator Middleton

    Hospitals - Patient's Bill of Rights

    Failed

    Economic Justice

    Support

    HB0664

    Delegate Hettleman

    Labor and Employment - Payment of the Minimum Wage Required (Fight for Fifteen)

    Failed

    Economic Justice

    Support

    SB0543

    Senator Madaleno

    Labor and Employment - Payment of the Minimum Wage Required (Fight for Fifteen)

    Failed

    Economic Justice

    Oppose

    SB0304

    Senator Middleton

    Maryland Healthy Working Families Act - Delay of Effective Date

    Unfavorable Committee vote

    Gun Violence

    Support

    HB0819

    Delegate Atterbeary

    Public Safety - Handgun Permit Review Board - Appeals

    Passed - awaiting Governor's signature or veto

    Gun Violence

    Support

    SB0741

    Senator Madaleno

    Public Safety - Handgun Permit Review Board - Appeals

    Passed - awaiting Governor's signature or veto

    Gun Violence

    Support

    HB0888

    Delegate Moon

    Criminal Law - Firearm Crimes - Rapid Fire Trigger Activator

    Passed - awaiting Governor's signature or veto

    Gun Violence

    Support

    SB0707

    Senator Ramirez

    Criminal Law - Firearm Crimes - Rapid Fire Trigger Activator

    Passed - awaiting Governor's signature or veto

    Health

    Support

    HB1167

    Delegate Pena-Melnyk

    Protect Maryland Health Care Act of 2018

    Failed

    Health

    Support

    SB1011

    Senator Feldman

    Protect Maryland Health Care Act of 2018

    Failed

    Health

    Support

    HB1194

    Delegate Pena-Melnyk

    Health - Drug Cost Review Commission

    Failed

    Health

    Support

    SB1023

    Senator Conway

    Health - Drug Cost Review Commission

    Failed

    Immigration

     Support HB1536 Delegate Hixson Higher Education - Tuition Rates - Exemptions Failed
     Immigration  Support SB0546 Senator Conway Higher Education - Tuition Rates - Exemptions Failed

    Immigration

    Oppose

    SB1210

    Senator Waugh

    Criminal Procedure - Extradition - Duty of Local Governments (Sanctuary for Citizens Act)

    Failed

    Immigration

    Support HB1461 Delegate Gutierrez

    Criminal Procedure - Immigration - Supporting All Families Everywhere (SAFE Act)

    Failed

    Restorative Justice

    Support HB0295 Delegate Queen

    Correctional Services - Diminution Credits - Education

    Withdrawn by sponsor

    Restorative Justice

    Support SB1113 Senator Conway

    Correctional Services - Diminution Credits - Education

    Unfavorable Committee vote

    Restorative Justice

    Support HB0291 Delegate Queen

    Correctional Services - Inmate Case Record - Educational, Vocational, and Job History

    Passed - awaiting Governor's signature or veto

    Restorative Justice

    Support SB1137 Senator Conway Criminal Law - Prohibitions, Prosecutions, and Corrections Passed - awaiting Governor's signature or veto

    Restorative Justice

    Oppose SB0122 Senator Zirkin Criminal Law - Comprehensive Crime Bill of 2018 Failed

    Restorative Justice

    Oppose House Amendments SB0101 Senator Norman

    Criminal Procedure - Expungement - Time for Filing

    Passed - awaiting Governor's signature or veto
               

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