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  • Writer's pictureStephen Buckingham

Most Priority Bills Filed and Some Are Already Moving

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

Bills filed: With 331 bills introduced in the Senate before its deadline last Monday, and 587 filed in the House ahead of its deadline on Friday, all but three of the priority bills supported by UULM-MD have been introduced in both houses. This means that all will get a hearing this session. In total, we are supporting 32 measures, 61 bills. While more bills can still be introduced, we do not expect any more of our priorities to be filed. The 2023 Session pages for each Issue Area on our website are up to date with bill numbers and short descriptions.

Committee Hearings:

Since the House and Senate have used short, pro forma, sessions to formally have new bills introduced, there has been a lot more time for committees to focus on hearing and considering bills. Already, almost half (28) of our priority bills have been heard (along with our testimony), and 22 more have hearings scheduled between February 14 and March 9. Only 11 priority bills have yet to be scheduled for hearing.

See our Table of Upcoming Hearings for further information. Among the bills to be heard this week are: Tuesday, February 14

  • HB 385 - Correctional Services - Restrictive Housing - Limitations (Maryland Mandela Act) - in the House Judiciary Committee

  • HB 477 - Public Senior Higher Education Institutions - Reproductive Health Services Plans – Requirements – in House Appropriations

Wednesday, February 15

  • SB 365 - Health Insurance - Qualified Resident Enrollment Program (Access to Care Act) - in Senate Finance

  • HB 307 - Firearm Safety - Storage Requirements and Youth Suicide Prevention (Jaelynn's Law) - in House Judiciary

Thursday, February 16

  • HB 107 - Maryland Health Benefit Exchange – Small Employers – Special Enrollment Period and Marketing – in House Health and Governmental Affairs (HGO)

  • HB 363 - Maryland Health Benefit Exchange and Maryland Department of Health - Health Care Coverage for Undocumented Immigrants – Report - in HGO

  • SB 93 - Juvenile Court – Jurisdiction – in Senate Judicial Proceedings

Anyone interested in providing testimony can do so in writing and/or verbally in person or remotely, as long as they are signed up in advance. Contact our Coordinator, Ashley Egan if you want her to assist you in making your voice heard.

Bills Moving:

Among the bills heard so far, two have been voted upon by their respective committees. SB 225 – PFAS Monitoring - was withdrawn by its sponsor, and both SB 202 and HB 279- Prescription Drug Affordability Board - Upper Payment Limits – were voted out favorably by the Senate Finance Committee and House Health and Government Operations Committee respectively with no amendments. Each bill will be considered by its respective chamber today, Monday, February 13th. Once passed by the full Senate and House, the bills will cross over for a vote in the opposite chamber. Since this measure is designated as an emergency bill, it could become effective quickly, as soon as the Governor signs it. As more hearings are completed, our attention will turn to monitoring voting sessions in committees, and we will be asking you to contact committee members who represent you and request that they vote favorably on our priority bills. Keep an eye out for specific notices from our Issue Leads for these important messages.

Important Info:

Contact Your Legislators!

As the hearings progress, we will be asking you to write your lawmakers and ask them to support one of our priority bills. When that happens, we will put a link to a form that will help you write your lawmaker. If you see a button, please click on it. You will get to a screen that asks you for your name and address, when you submit your information, you should be taken to a sample letter written by our Issue Leads, you can submit the letter that we provided, or you can write your own letter. (If you submit your own letter, can you please send us a copy?) Our software adds the closing and sends the letter to your lawmaker. After you submit a letter, you will get a letter to us, please feel free to share the link with your friends and neighbors, so they can also send a letter.

Note: If you do not get the letter writing prompt, then that just means we aren't targetting your lawmakers, yet.

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