Priority Bills Passing with One Week Left!
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With only a week before the session ends, several bill that UULM-MD considers to be priorities have already passed, and more are on their way to final passage. The successful measures include these bills headed to the Governor for signature:
State Song - SB 8 - Repeal of the musical monument to the Confederate cause
LGBTQ+ - SB 220 - Hate Crimes – protected groups expanded to include gender identity
Close to Passage - The following bills are close to passage and need only a step or two:
HB 89 – Diminution credits for educational achievements by inmates – on 3rd reading in Senate, but floor amendments offered to delay effective date; if the amendments are rejected, final passage will occur today
HB 565 – Medical Debt Protection – Senate Committee to offer favorable report (no amendments) on 2nd reading today and could get final approval Tuesday
Need to Reconcile - In addition, the two chambers have decided on different versions of the following bills, and the two chambers will need to reconcile their differences before final passage:
SB 414 – Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021 – House Committee has significant amendments to be offered on 2nd Reading soon – we oppose these amendments
HB 114 – Transit Safety and Investment Act – Senate Committee has amendments to be offered on 2nd Reading today
HB 768 – Community Choice Energy Pilot Program – Senate Committee has amendments to be offered on 2nd Reading today
Police Accountability – 9 Senate Bills - Passed Senate; HB 670 - Passed House and amended in Senate – Conference Committee appointed
Healthcare - HB 463 - Maryland Health Equity Resource Act - House has to accept or reject the Senate amendments
Awaiting Committee Vote - Finally, the following bills crossed over but are still awaiting action by the opposite chamber committee. We are asking these committees to call a vote and report them favorably without amendment:
Climate Change - HB 314 – Plastic Bag Reduction Act – in Senate Finance
Immigration - both in Senate Judicial Proceedings
• HB 16 – Dignity Not Detention
• HB 23 – Protection of driver records from ICE without warrant
Unfortunately, none of our priority bills for Economic Justice or Gun Violence Prevention have passed or are likely to pass in the coming week. At least the Gun Violence Task Force can claim one victory from the veto override early in the session of the Long Gun background check bill from 2020.
The General Assembly is also passing several election bills that will significantly expand access to voting. Maryland continues to go in the opposite direction than voter suppression. We will recap all of the important legislation once the dust settles after the session ends at midnight on April 12.