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  • Writer's pictureStephen Buckingham

Priority Bills Introduced and Hearings Have Begun

Updated: Feb 1

After a flurry of bill introductions last week, most of the bills we have made a priority in 2024 have been introduced, and House and Senate committees have begun holding hearings.

Climate Change (several more priority bills to be introduced)

HB 516 – Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act

  • No hearing scheduled in Economic Matters Committee

SB 146 and HB 166 – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Eligible Sources - Alterations (Reclaim Renewable Energy Act of 2024) 

  • SB hearing held in held in Education, Energy and the Environment Committee – awaiting committee vote

  • HB No hearing scheduled in Economic Matters Committee

Criminal Justice (most bills introduced)

SB 134 and HB 297 – Office of the Attorney General - Correctional Ombudsman Unit:

  • SB Hearing 2/07 at 2:00 p.m. in Judicial Proceedings Committee

  • HB No hearing scheduled – Judiciary and Health & Government Operations Committees

SB 128 and HB 118 – Correctional Services - Geriatric and Medical Parole:

  • SB Hearing 2/07 at 2:00 p.m. in Judicial Proceedings Committee

  • HB No hearing scheduled in Judiciary Committee

SB 71 and HB 191 – Correctional Services - Pregnancy and Postpartum Support (Prevention of Forced Infant Separation Act):

  • SB Hearing 2/07 at 2:00 p.m. in Judicial Proceedings

  • HB No hearing scheduled in Judiciary Committee

SB 620 and HB 92 – Resources and Education for All Prisons (REAP) Act

  • SB No hearing scheduled in Education, Energy, and the Environment and Finance Committees

  • HB Hearing held in held in Appropriations Committee – awaiting committee vote

HB 37 – Reentry Services for Women - Commission and Pilot Program – Establishment:   

  • No hearing scheduled in Judiciary Committee

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

  • No hearing scheduled in Judicial Proceedings Committee


Gun Violence Prevention (most bills introduced)

SB 432 and HB 416 – Public Schools - Active Shooter Safety Drills or Trainings – Requirements:

  • SB Hearing 2/07 at 2:00 p.m. in Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee

  • HB Hearing 2/07 at 1:00 p.m. in Ways and Means Committee

SB 488 – Civil Actions - Public Nuisances - Firearm Industry Members (Gun Industry Accountability Act of 2024):

  • No hearing scheduled in Judicial Proceedings Committee

SB 475 and HB 583 – [Governor’s initiative] – Center for Firearm Violence Prevention – Establishment:

  • SB No hearing scheduled in Finance Committee

  • HB No hearing scheduled in Judiciary Committee

Healthcare (all bills introduced)

SB 119 and HB 691 – Legally Protected Health Care - Gender-Affirming Treatment:

  • SB Hearing 2/15 at 1:00 p.m. in Finance Committee

  • HB No hearing scheduled in Health and Government Operations Committee

SB 388 and HB 340 – Prescription Drug Affordability Board - Authority for Upper Payment Limits and Funding (Lowering Prescription Drug Costs for All Marylanders Act of 2024):

  • SB Hearing 2/07 at 2:00 p.m. in Finance Committee

  • HB Hearing 2/08 at 1:00 p.m. in Health and Government Operations Committee

Immigration (both bills filed)

SB 705 and HB 728 - Health Insurance - Qualified Resident Enrollment Program (Access to Care Act)

  • SB No hearing scheduled in Finance Committee

  • HB No hearing scheduled in Health & Government Operations Committees


Medical Aid in Dying (both bills filed)

SB 443 and HB 403– End-of-Life Option Act (The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act)

  • SB Hearing 2/08 at 1:00 p.m. in Judicial Proceedings

  • HB No hearing scheduled – Health & Government Operations and Judiciary Committees

The hearing schedule is constantly changing, so we have posted a new table which we also update at least daily. The table shows only our priority bills scheduled. At this point, nine (9) of our priority bills are already scheduled for committee hearings in addition to two already heard (with our testimony).

Meanwhile, several of our issue allies are holding advocacy events in Annapolis, and we encourage our members to participate.

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. Please contact our Coordinator, Ashley Egan at info@uulmmd.org if you want her to assist you in making your voice heard.

Currently we are focusing on:

HB 416/ SB 432- Public Schools - Active Shooter Safety Drills or Training -

SB 443 and HB 403– End-of-Life Option Act (The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act) - The Senate Bill Hearing will be Thursday, February 8th at 1:00 p.m. in Judicial Proceedings

Testimony Needs to be submitted to Ashley by Monday, February 5.

SB 119- Legally Protected Health Care - Gender-Affirming Treatment - This bill would protect medical providers, patients, and their support networks from out-of-state investigations and prosecutions related to gender affirming care. (SB Hearing on Thursday, February 15th in Finance Committee)

The UU Church of Annapolis will be sponsoring a slide show presentation of our

UULM-MD Issue bills!


Please join us:

in person or on Zoom.

Sunday, February 4th,

from 10:15-11:10 am.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Issue Updates

Criminal Justice Reform:

Next week willl be very busy, as a majority of our bills will have their first hearing in the Judicial Proceedings Committee on Wednesday, February 7th.

Many of our Criminal Justice bills will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee (JUD) and Senate Judicial Proceeding Committee (JPR). Please take a minute to go to our Legislator Lookup and see who your lawmakers are and what Committees they are on.

If your lawmakers are on the JUD or JPR Committees, please watch your email, we will send you email requests so that you can let your lawmaker know if you support one of our priority legislations. Your lawmaker wants to hear from you, we will send you talking points and a sample email, you can send the email as is or put it into your own words.

Gun Violence Prevention:

HB 416/ SB 432- Public Schools - Active Shooter Safety Drills or Training - UU youth have the opportunity to share their expertise on Active Shooter or "Lockdown" drills. This year, Delegate Jared Solomon has requested our youth submit testimony—written or in-person—to support the legislation.

The bill would standardize Active Shooter (Lockdown) Drills and ensure that they are utilizing trauma-informed practices. We want the state to develop the best practices for active shooter drills and reduce any trauma from active shooter(Lockdown) drills:

Important Dates:

• Testimony should be submitted to Ashley by Friday, February 2nd

• Testimony Submitted to the House - Monday, February 5th

• Testimony Submitted to the Senate - Tuesday, February 6th.

• The House and Senate will hold their Committee hearings on Wednesday, February 7th.


Healthcare Reform/Reproductive Rights:



Last Monday, Dr. Kari Alperovitz-Bichell was one of the speakers at the Freedom in Reproduction-Maryland Rally to kickoff their November Campaign to support the‘Reproductive Freedom’ Amendment on the ballot in November. She introduced Maryland's First Lady, Dawn Moore and was joined by the Speaker of the House, the Honorable Adrienne Jones and fellow UU's Dr. Jamie Harms and Mickey Goldberg.

Medical Aid in Dying:

On February 12th from 9am to 2pm, our supporters will join Compassion & Choices in Annapolis for our annual lobby day. At noon, we will hold a press conference at the Office of the Comptroller (110 Carroll Street, Annapolis, MD) with the bills' chief sponsor, Senator Jeff Waldstreicher.

We are also collecting testimony on SB 443 and HB 403 – End-of-Life Option Act (The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act) for the Senate Hearing 2/08 at 1:00 p.m. in Judicial Proceedings

Testimony Needs to be submitted to our Coordinator, Ashley Egan at info@uulmmd.org by Monday, February 5.

Upcoming Events:



Mom's Demand Action Advocacy Day

Tuesday, January 30th, 2024 at 9:00am

Lawyer's Mall

Annapolis, MD

Register Here: bit.ly/2024AD



January 31st: MD League of Conservation Voters

In-Person on

Wednesday, January 31st at the Graduate Hotel

West Street in Annapolis, MD

Sierra Club "Virtual" Lobby Nights

Legislative Overview: February 7th

Lobby Night: February 12th

Register here by February 6th


Save the Date:

Medical Aid in Dying Lobby Day,

Feb. 12: 10am to 2pm

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