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  • Writer's pictureStephen Buckingham

Committees Face Deadlines to Act

Last week the Senate and House Committees held their final hearings on UULM-MD's priority bills. As of March 7th, all of our Priority Bills have been heard in at least one chamber. Since the session started in January, we have submitted over 80 pieces of testimony. Many important bills have been voted out of committee to the House and Senate floors; but there are still bills that need to be voted out of Committee this week! All bills have to pass through one chamber of the General Assembly by Crossover Date, March 18th, so this is a crucial time to get our remaining priorities out of Committee.


Please keep an eye out for alerts from our Issue Leads asking you to contact your lawmakers who sit on specific committees! All of our active forms are listed on the Take Action Page on our website, these forms are designed to email specific lawmakers, so even if you are unsure if we are emailing your lawmaker, you can still use the form. If you have any questions, please email our coordinator, Ashley Egan at info@uulmmd.org. Please share the links with your friends and neighbors. If they do NOT wish to be added to our mailing list, they just need to uncheck the box on the form.


Status of Priority Bills

This past week saw the last Committee hearings for UULM-MD's priority bills, and many important bills were voted out of committee to the House and Senate floors. 

Below is the status of the measures under each Issue Area that have been moving:

Criminal Justice

  • Juvenile Law – Reform – HB 814 passed House; SB 744 passed Senate – the differing versions need to be reconciled

  • Resources and Education for All Prisons (REAP) Act – HB 92 passed House; SB 620 voted out of one committee with amendments and needs a second committee to approve

  • Medical Parole – Life Imprisonment – SB 132 passed Senate; HB 185 awaiting vote in committee

  • Prevention of Forced Infant Separation Act – HB 71 on committee voting list; No companion SB

  • Correctional Ombudsman Unit – HB 297 awaiting vote in committee; SB 134 on committee voting list – held pending input from B&T Committee on funding

  • Three (3) more measures awaiting committee votes

Gun Violence Prevention

  • Active Shooter Safety Drills or Trainings – HB 416 passed House; SB 432 awaiting vote in committee

  • Center for Firearm Violence Prevention – SB 475 voted out of committee & awaiting vote on Senate floor; HB 583 awaiting vote in committee

  • Gun Industry Accountability Act – SB 488 on voting list in committee; HB 947 awaiting vote in committee

  • Two (2) more measures awaiting committee votes

Healthcare

  • Legally Protected Health Care - Gender-Affirming Treatment – SB 119 passed Senate; HB 691 awaiting committee vote

  • One (1) more measure awaiting committee votes

Immigration

  • Access to Care Act - HB 728 passed House; SB 705 passed Senate

  • No more measures waiting in committee

Climate Change (8 measures) and Medical Aid in Dying (1 measure) – neither issue area has bills that have been voted out of committee



Time to Bring Remaining Priority Bills to a Committee Vote

Tuesday, March 12 is the Committee Reporting Courtesy Date, the date by which each chamber’s committees are supposed to report their own bills to the floor.  The following Monday, March 18, is the Opposite Chamber Crossover Date, meaning that each Chamber must send to the other Chamber those bills it intends to pass favorably.  Bills that miss this deadline are subject to being referred to the other chamber’s Rules Committee, rather than going directly to a standing committee for consideration.

These dates on the legislative calendar are significant for those priority bills that have not yet come out of committee in the chamber of origin.  Now is the time to contact your lawmakers on the relevant committees seeking a (favorable) vote.  Some of these bills have appeared on committee work session or voting lists (without a vote), indicating that some action is expected. However, no further priority bills came out of committee last week, and we need to press lawmakers to vote them to the floor of the House or Senate. 


Keep an eye out for alerts from our Issue Leads asking you to contact your lawmakers who sit on specific committees!  This is the best time to reach out to your representatives and make an impact on their vote.




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