• Stephen Buckingham

Second Chambers Passing Priority Bills

Updated: Mar 28

The Maryland Senate has been acting on many of our priority bills that originated in the House of Delegates, and vice versa. This includes some of our top priorities that need to pass at least a week before the session ends on April 11 in case the Governor vetoes them. An override is only possible in an election year for a bill that is presented to the Governor while the Legislature is still in session and he has six days to sign or veto it.


Bills that have received positive action in the opposite chamber include:


Health Care – The Senate Finance Committee gave a favorable report to HB 937 - Abortion Care Access Act as well as its companion SB 890, and they have both passed second reading in the full Senate. If HB 937 completes final passage on 3rd reading, it will go to the Governor for consideration (SB 890 would still need House approval). The constitutional amendment to enshrine the Right to Reproductive Liberty, HB 1171, still needs a hearing and vote in Finance before it can be considered by the full Senate.


Criminal Justice – The House Judiciary Committee has apparently accepted the Senate amendments added to SB 691Juvenile Justice Reform, even though they differ from the version they passed and sent to the Senate, HB 459. If SB 691 passes the full House, it will be on its way to the Governor’s desk.


Climate ChangeSB 528 – Climate Solutions Now was voted out of the two committees it was assigned to in the House. The vote in Economic Matters was 12-10, and in Environment & Transportation it was 18-5. Since the bill was amended in E&T, it will need the Senate to agree to the changes once it passes the full House. If the Senate does not accept the amendments, a Conference Committee will be required to resolve the issue between the two houses.


In addition, the House and Senate each passed identical versions of the of the following climate measures. To become law, all must pass the opposite house and be signed by the Governor. With identical bills that passed both chambers by wide margins, this is likely to happen quickly.

  • HB 31 and SB 256 - Resiliency Hub Grant Program and Fund – Passed House and Senate

  • HB 10 and SB 61 - Zero-Emission Bus Transition Act Revisions – Passed House and Senate

  • HB 772 and SB 494 – Energy & Water Efficiency Standards – Passed House and Senate

  • HB 108 and SB 524 – Energy Performance Targets and Low-Income Housing – Passed House; awaiting final vote in Senate

  • HB 141 and SB 23 - Equity in Transportation Sector - Guidelines and Analyses

  • HB 622 and SB 526 - Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and Renewable Energy Credits - Offshore Wind

  • HB 76 and SB 264 - Community Solar Energy Generating Systems - Exemption From Property Taxes

Several other priority climate change bills that passed one house are scheduled for hearings in the other house this week.*


Gun Violence – Both houses have passed a version of HB 425 and SB 387 - Untraceable Firearms, but the bills have substantial differences. However, the House has now acted on SB 387, giving a favorable report on the Senate version. If it passes the full House, it will be headed to the Governor for signature.


Economic Justice – The bills to establish a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program have passed both houses, but the House turned its version (HB 496) into a commission to study the issue. This will need to be reconciled with SB 275 before it will become law.


Immigration – No action has yet been taken on the two priority bill passed by the House of Delegates, HB 559 - Probation Not Deportation, and HB 1080 - Healthy Babies Equity Act. The former is in Judicial Proceedings, and the latter is in Finance.


Please remain alert for messages from Issue Leads on how to take action to push these measures through!

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*Climate bills scheduled for opposite house hearings this week:

  • SB 630 – Maryland Department of Emergency Management - Office of Resilience – Passed Senate - Hearing 3/29 at 1:00 p.m. in Environment and Transportation

  • SB 264 - Community Solar Energy Generating Systems - Exemption From Property Taxes – Passed Senate - Hearing 3/29 at 1:00 p.m. in Ways and Means

  • HB 94 - State Vehicle Fleet - Conversion to Zero-Emission Passenger Cars and Other Light-Duty Vehicles – Passed House - Hearing 3/30 at 1:00 p.m. in Budget and Taxation

  • SB 273 - Environment – PFAS Chemicals – Prohibitions and Requirements (George “Walter” Taylor Act) - Passed Senate - Hearing 3/30 at 1:30 p.m. in Health and Government Operations

  • SB 124 - Public Schools – Grant Program to Reduce and Compost School Waste – Passed Senate - Hearing 3/31 at 1:00 p.m. in Ways and Means

  • SB 437 - Agriculture - University of Maryland Extension - Urban Farmer Assistance - Passed House and Senate - Hearing 4/04 at 1:00 p.m. in Appropriations


Check out our Digest for March 28th: https://uulmmd.salsalabs.org/2022-3-28-digest-a


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