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  • Writer's pictureStephen Buckingham

Final Day – Priority Bills Passed and Those Moving!

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

At midnight on Monday, April 10, the General Assembly adjourns “sine die” (with no appointed date to reconvene–this year). As of Saturday, UULM-MD had seen 21 of its 67 priority bills fully passed and 24 more that had made progress towards passage. Both Chambers had adjourned until Monday; the House adjourned on Saturday, the Senate had already adjourned late Friday night. This means that 2/3 (67%) of the bills we supported were passed or moved in that direction!

This is a remarkable record of achievement already, and our final numbers at midnight Monday night will be even better. In terms of issues (rather than individual bills), the record is even better:

Climate Change - 12 issues supported:

  • Two have completely passed:

    • SB 144 - Public Utilities - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs - Energy Performance Targets and Low-Income Housing - has completely passed and its companion HB 169 is also on its way to final passage

    • HB 9 - Equity in Transportation Sector - Guidelines and Analyses – has completely passed and its companionSB 19 is also on its way to final passage

  • Two more have passed both chambers, and are in Conference Committee to resolve their differences:

    • SB 781 - Offshore Wind Energy - State Goals and Procurement (Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources Act)

    • HB 284 and SB 222 - Environment - Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment and Producer Responsibility for Packaging Materials

  • Two more have passed both chambers, but with differences that could be resolved by agreeing to the other chamber’s version or by conference:

    • HB 794 and SB 876 - Baltimore Regional Transit Commission - Establishment

    • SB 908 and SB 613 - Electricity - Community Solar Energy Generating Systems Program and Property Taxes

  • Two more have had a bill pass at least one chamber and still have time to pass the other

    • HB 1035 - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plans and Green and Healthy Task Force – amended to include the EmPower Reform sought in HB 904 / SB 689

    • HB 109 – Task Force on Recycling Policy and Recycling and Waste Systems in Maryland

Criminal Justice - of the 5 measures supported

  • Two have had a bill pass one chamber and still have time to pass the other:

    • HB 416 – Resources and Education for All Prisons (REAP) Act

    • SB 87 - Office of the Attorney General - Correctional Ombudsman

    • One was referred to study during the interim period before next session:

  • One was referred to study during the interim period before next session:

    • SB 459 - Correctional Services - Restrictive Housing - Limitations (Maryland Mandela Act) - the interim study could facilitate passage of a bill next year

Gun Violence - 6 issues supported:

  • One has completely passed:

    • SB 858 – Firearm Safety - Storage Requirements and Youth Suicide Prevention (Jaelynn's Law) and its companion HB 307 is also on its way to final passage

  • Two more bills that had significant overlap have been reconciled and are on their way to final passage:

    • HB 824 - Public Safety - Regulated Firearms - Possession and Permits to Carry, Wear, and Transport a Handgun

    • SB 1 – Criminal Law - Wearing, Carrying, or Transporting Firearms - Restrictions (Gun Safety Act of 2023)

  • Two more bill have passed the House and could pass if the Senate reports them out of committee:

    • HB 515 - Public Schools - Active Shooter Safety Drills or Trainings – Requirements

    • HB 162 - Firearms - Maryland Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearm Registry - Establishment

Healthcare – 8 of the 9 measures supported have completely passed:

  • Including the following reproductive rights measures:

    • HB 705 and SB 798 - Declaration of Rights - Right to Reproductive Freedom - will now go to the voters in 2024 to approve as an amendment to the Maryland Constitution

    • HB 812 and SB 786 - Health - Reproductive Health Services - Protected Information and Insurance Requirements

    • HB 477 and SB 341 - Public Senior Higher Education Institutions - Reproductive Health Services Plans – Requirements

    • SB 859 and HB 808 – Reproductive Health Protection Act

  • Also passed were:

    • SB 460 and HB 283 – Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Gender–Affirming Treatment (Trans Health Equity Act)

    • HB 279 and SB 202 - Prescription Drug Affordability Board - Upper Payment Limits

    • HB 814 and SB 601 - Maryland Health Benefit Exchange - State-Based Young Adult Health Insurance Subsidies Pilot Program - Sunset Extension

    • SB 26 and HB 111 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program, Maryland Children's Health Program, and Workgroup on Low-Income Utility Assistance

Immigration - 3 measures supported:

  • Probation Before Judgment – Probation Agreements – both HB 193 and SB 211 have completely passed

  • Health Care for Immigrants – two alternative bills each passed one chamber:

    • SB 806 and HB 353 – Maryland Health Benefit Exchange and Maryland Department of Health - Health Care and Dental Care Coverage for Undocumented Immigrants – Report – both bills are expected to pass

    • HB 588 - Health Insurance - Qualified Resident Enrollment Program (Access to Care Act) - Passed the House, but not expected to pass without a lot of advocacy

Medical Aid in Dying

  • HB 933 and SB 845 - End–of–Life Option Act (The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act) - likely had enough support to pass both chambers, but the leadership was reluctant to allow it to come to the floor this year, despite some very moving advocacy by UUs

All of our supporters did a terrific job this year advocating for our shared values, and each of you should be proud of your efforts. I think our State, its people, and its environment will be much better off because of it.

Since events are happening very rapidly, please stay up to date by checking our Current Status of Priority Bills which will be updated continually throughout the last day.

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