Priority Bills Progress with Two Weeks to Go!
A week after Crossover Day, it appears that many of our priority bills made it out of their houses of origin and will be brought to a vote in the other chamber. At this point, the House and Senate are passing only a few bills that originated in their respective chamber unless they are cross-filed bills that the other chamber has already passed. While we still have hope that a few more priority bills will make it through to passage, most of the attention is now on those bills that made crossover. This includes the following:
Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021 - SB 414 – Passed Senate (HB 583 stalled)
Maryland Transit Administration - Funding (Transit Safety and Investment Act) - HB 114 - Passed House; SB 199 – Awaiting final passage in Senate
Community Choice Energy - Pilot Program - HB 768 - Passed House (no cross-filed bill)
Plastic Bag Reduction Act – HB 314 – Passed House (SB 223 stalled)
Utility Regulation - Consideration of Climate and Labor - SB 83 - Passed Senate; HB 298 - Passed House
Police Accountability - 9 Senate Bills - Passed Senate; HB 670 - Passed House
Citations - HB 445 - Passed House; SB 671 - Passed Senate
Education Credits - HB 89 – Passed House; SB 397 – Passed Senate
Parole Reform - HB 3 - Passed House; SB 202 - Passed Senate
Easy enrollment - HB 1002 - Passed House; SB 893 - Passed Senate
Maryland Health Equity Resource Act - HB 463 - Passed House; SB 172 – Awaiting final passage in Senate
Medical Debt Protection - HB 565 -Passed House; SB 514 – Passed Senate (after crossover)
Young adult subsidies - HB 780 - Passed House; SB 729 - Passed Senate
Dignity Not Detention - HB16 - Passed House
Driver privacy – HB 23 – Passed House
Repeal - HB 667 – Passed House; SB 8 – Passed Senate and awaiting final passage in House
Here’s what to expect:
Where both cross-filed bills have passed their house of origin AND the bills are identical (passed without amendment or with the same amendments), both chambers will likely pass the bills without further amendment. (Check with each Task Force on whether bills that have passed both houses are identical.)
Where both cross-filed bills have passed their house of origin and the bills DIFFER in any way, one chamber may amend the other bill to look like theirs and pass it back. The receiving chamber must accept the changes or refuse, in which case a conference committee will be appointed to work out the final form of the bill. This must happen quickly for the bill to succeed.
Where only one cross-filed bill has crossed, the opposite chamber will not hold a hearing, and will vote on it. If they give it a Favorable Report without amendments, it will successfully complete the process of passage. If they amend it, the original chamber will need to accept the changes or refuse (as above).
NOTE: Among the bills that must be reconciled before passage are the nine Senate bills on police accountability and the one House bill (670) on the same subject. The two committees are currently engaged in this effort.