top of page
  • Writer's pictureStephen Buckingham

More Important Bills Advancing

This past week, we have s

een the following bills move their way towards passage: 

  • SB 119 - Legally Protected Health Care - Gender-Affirming Treatment – The Senate gave preliminary approval on Wednesday, but its final passage was delayed until this coming Tuesday.  The bill seeks to add treatment related to gender-affirming care to the category of “legally protected health care” created last year for abortion care services.  This protects individuals from discipline by health occupation boards and adverse actions by insurance companies for providing these services.  It also prohibits State agents from participating in any interstate investigation seeking to impose liabilities or sanctions against a person for activity related to legally protected health care.  

  • Juvenile Law – Reform – HB 814 – Received final passage (3rd Reading) the House of Delegates (126-6) on Friday and SB 744 received preliminary approval (2nd Reading) in the Senate on Thursday.  While the two bills are not identical, they contain many of the same amendments. The two committees may work to reconcile them before they are voted upon in the opposite chamber, but they may ultimately go to a conference committee before the end of the session. Significantly, both chambers backed away from attempts to reverse many of the progressive laws passed in 2022, preferring to assure children of needed services rather than subject them to adult criminal prosecution.  

  • SB 705 - Health Insurance - Qualified Resident Enrollment Program (Access to Care Act) - The Senate Finance Committee has reported out this immigration/health bill favorably with amendments.  This is the first of our priority bills where both the House and Senate bills have been voted out of committee, and if it is presented to the full Senate on Tuesday with the same amendments as HB 728, the measure will be well situated for passage. 

  • The House Appropriations Committee is also reporting out favorably HB 473 - Higher Education - Undocumented Students - Out-of-State Tuition Exemption Eligibility with no amendments.  The bill would make it easier for immigrant youth to qualify for in-state college tuition by reducing from 3 to 1 the number of years that they or their parents would need to file taxes before the academic year. 

 

Focus Turns to Bringing Priority Bills to a Vote 

Since almost all of our priority bills have had public hearings, 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. 

 

Committee Chairs decide when to bring bills to a vote, so contacting members of the committee is essential. We need to stress the importance of the legislation, ask for their support, and ask them to approach the Chair to have a vote scheduled.  While we cannot guarantee advance notice to our readers, we are constantly updating our Upcoming Hearings table with any new information, including voting sessions when a priority bill is one the list. 

 

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. 

Bill Hearings This Week 

This week will see Committee hearings for the last eight (8) bills that UULM-MD considers a priority, and all but one of these is a companion to bills heard in the other chamber.   

 

Monday, March 4 

  • Climate Change: SB 1023 - Maryland Building Performance Standards – Fossil Fuel Use, Energy Conservation, and Electric– and Solar–Ready Standards (Better Buildings Act of 2024) - in Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment 

Tuesday, March 5 

  • Climate Change: SB 96 - Environment - Impact of Environmental Permits and State Agency Actions – in Senate Education, Energy and Environment 

Wednesday, March 6 

  • Climate Change: HB 1279  - Maryland Building Performance Standards - Fossil Fuel Use, Energy Conservation, and Electric- and Solar-Ready Standards (Better Buildings Act of 2024) – in House Environment and Transportation 

Thursday, March 7 

  • Climate change: in House Economic Matters 

  • HB 1435 - Renewable Energy - Net Energy Metering Aggregation, Solar Renewable Energy Credits, and Taxes on Solar Energy Generating Systems (Brighter Tomorrow Act) 

  • HB 1438 - Responding to Emergency Needs From Extreme Weather (RENEW) Act of 2024  

  • Criminal Justice:  

  • HB 37 - Reentry Services for Women - Commission and Pilot Program - Establishment - in House Judiciary 

  • HB 297 - Office of the Attorney General - Correctional Ombudsman Unit - in House Judiciary 

  • SB 635 - Landlords and Prospective Tenants - Residential Leases - Criminal History Review (Maryland Fair Chance in Housing Act) – in Senate Judicial Proceedings 

 

The next time hearings are held on any of our priority bills, it will be for those that passed the original chamber and are being heard in the opposite chamber (those that had a companion bill heard don’t usually get another hearing).  

This past week, we have seen the following bills move their way towards passage: 

  • SB 119 - Legally Protected Health Care - Gender-Affirming Treatment – The Senate gave preliminary approval on Wednesday, but its final passage was delayed until this coming Tuesday.  The bill seeks to add treatment related to gender-affirming care to the category of “legally protected health care” created last year for abortion care services.  This protects individuals from discipline by health occupation boards and adverse actions by insurance companies for providing these services.  It also prohibits State agents from participating in any interstate investigation seeking to impose liabilities or sanctions against a person for activity related to legally protected health care.  

  • Juvenile Law – Reform – HB 814 – Received final passage (3rd Reading) the House of Delegates (126-6) on Friday and SB 744 received preliminary approval (2nd Reading) in the Senate on Thursday.  While the two bills are not identical, they contain many of the same amendments. The two committees may work to reconcile them before they are voted upon in the opposite chamber, but they may ultimately go to a conference committee before the end of the session. Significantly, both chambers backed away from attempts to reverse many of the progressive laws passed in 2022, preferring to assure children of needed services rather than subject them to adult criminal prosecution.  

  • SB 705 - Health Insurance - Qualified Resident Enrollment Program (Access to Care Act) - The Senate Finance Committee has reported out this immigration/health bill favorably with amendments.  This is the first of our priority bills where both the House and Senate bills have been voted out of committee, and if it is presented to the full Senate on Tuesday with the same amendments as HB 728, the measure will be well situated for passage. 

  • While not identified as a UULM-MD priority, the House Appropriations Committee is also reporting out favorably HB 473 - Higher Education - Undocumented Students - Out-of-State Tuition Exemption Eligibility with no amendments.  The bill would make it easier for immigrant youth to qualify for in-state college tuition by reducing from 3 to 1 the number of years that they or their parents would need to file taxes before the academic year. 

 

Focus Turns to Bringing Priority Bills to a Vote 

Since almost all of our priority bills have had public hearings, 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. 

 

Committee Chairs decide when to bring bills to a vote, so contacting members of the committee is essential. We need to stress the importance of the legislation, ask for their support, and ask them to approach the Chair to have a vote scheduled.  While we cannot guarantee advance notice to our readers, we are constantly updating our Upcoming Hearings table with any new information, including voting sessions when a priority bill is one the list. 

 

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. 

Bill Hearings This Week 

This week will see Committee hearings for the last eight (8) bills that UULM-MD considers a priority, and all but one of these is a companion to bills heard in the other chamber.   

 

Monday, March 4 

  • Climate Change: SB 1023 - Maryland Building Performance Standards – Fossil Fuel Use, Energy Conservation, and Electric– and Solar–Ready Standards (Better Buildings Act of 2024) - in Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment 

Tuesday, March 5 

  • Climate Change: SB 96 - Environment - Impact of Environmental Permits and State Agency Actions – in Senate Education, Energy and Environment 

Wednesday, March 6 

  • Climate Change: HB 1279  - Maryland Building Performance Standards - Fossil Fuel Use, Energy Conservation, and Electric- and Solar-Ready Standards (Better Buildings Act of 2024) – in House Environment and Transportation 

Thursday, March 7 

  • Climate change: in House Economic Matters 

  • HB 1435 - Renewable Energy - Net Energy Metering Aggregation, Solar Renewable Energy Credits, and Taxes on Solar Energy Generating Systems (Brighter Tomorrow Act) 

  • HB 1438 - Responding to Emergency Needs From Extreme Weather (RENEW) Act of 2024  

  • Criminal Justice:  

  • HB 37 - Reentry Services for Women - Commission and Pilot Program - Establishment - in House Judiciary 

  • HB 297 - Office of the Attorney General - Correctional Ombudsman Unit - in House Judiciary 

  • SB 635 - Landlords and Prospective Tenants - Residential Leases - Criminal History Review (Maryland Fair Chance in Housing Act) – in Senate Judicial Proceedings 

 

The next time hearings are held on any of our priority bills, it will be for those that passed the original chamber and are being heard in the opposite chamber (those that had a companion bill heard don’t usually get another hearing).  



  

20 views0 comments

コメント


bottom of page