Progress on UULM-MD Priorities
This past week saw our first victories with the override of two gubinatorial vetoes, the first approval of a gun violence bill on the House floor, and the introduction of most of our other priority bills.
On Thursday, January 30, both houses overrode vetoes by Governor Hogan on important bills passed in 2019:
Gun Violence: SB 1000/HB 1343 Handgun Permit Review Board - Repeal - this bill abolishes the politically appointed board that was routinely overturning decisions by the State Police denying permits to carry handguns. Appeals will instead go to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is the nonpolitical agency with Administrative Law Judges who decide appeals of other administrative agency decisions across the Executive Branch.
Immigration: SB 537/HB 262 Dream Act Expansion - the 2012 MD DREAM Act offered in-state tuition rates at public colleges, universities and community colleges to undocumented students (Dreamers) if they graduated from a MD high school; the student then had to attend a community college in the county of her high school; the extension removes the requirement that the student must attend a community college in her high school district and can apply directly to a four-year public college or university paying in-state tuition rates. It also removes onerous tax proof requirements and protects DACA and TPS students who may lose their in-state status if the Trump Administration cancels these programs.
Also on Thursday, the House of Delegates passed House Bill 4 on Second Reader. This bill would include long guns in the requirement for background checks before purchase or transfer of the firearm. The bill will be brought up for Third Reader and final approval in the House before it is sent to the Senate for consideration. Its companion bill, SB 208, will have its hearing in Judicial Proceedings this coming Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the following priority bills were introduced and referred to committees for hearings:
SB 539 - Labor and Employment - Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program - Establishment
HB 740 - Correctional Services - Restrictive Housing - Direct Release
HB 742 - Corrections - Restrictive Housing - Serious Mental Illness - Assessments (Restrictive Housing Reform Act)
HB 636 - Public Safety - Access to Firearms - Storage Requirements
HB 677 - Correctional Services - Immigration Detention - Prohibition (Dignity Not Detention Act)
HB 388 - Criminal Procedure - Civil Immigration Enforcement - Restrictions
HB 403 - Immigration Enforcement - Public Schools, Hospitals, and Courthouses - Policies
Medical Aid in Dying
HB 643 - End-of-Life Option Act (Richard E. Israel and Roger 'Pip' Moyer Act)