Hearing on Senate Bill 530- Hospitals - Patient's Bill of Rights – March 27, 2018 – 1:00 p, - House Health and Government Operations Committee

On March 5, the Senate Finance Committee adopted amendments to Senate Bill 530 that considerably weakened the bill, and this version was passed the Senate March 9, 2018 and sent to the House. Our Death with Dignity Task Force supported the original bill that would have required hospitals to provide patients with a patient's bill of rights, including the right to "respectful, compassionate care regardless of age, gender, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability" and to "participate in decisions about the patient's care, including the right to refuse treatment." While most of the rights referenced in the original bill are still in effect through other laws, others were removed, and the Task Force opposed these amendments.

Its companion, House Bill 562 was Withdrawn by its sponsor.

Climate Change

The Clean Energy Jobs Act has been defeated in the House. Today, the House Economic Matters Committee gave HB 1453 an unfavorable report and the bill was withdrawn.  This legislation aimed to increase Maryland's Renewable Energy Portfolio to 50% renewable electricity by 2030.  It would also have focused funding opportunities to invest in job training and increase capital and loans to help minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses enter and grow within the renewable energy industry.

We thank all of those who worked so hard to pass this legislation. Its companion, Senate Bill 732, is still awaiting a vote in the Senate Finance Committee.

Gun Violence

Senate Bill 707 Criminal Law - Firearm Crimes - Rapid Fire Trigger Activator -Would 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.

This bill has passed the Senate with exactly the same amendments adopted by the House. As long as one of the bills is approved by the opposite chamber without further change, the measure is assured of passage.