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  • Writer's pictureStephen Buckingham

The Halfway Point: Attention Shifts to Committee Voting Sessions

We now have 27 priority measures comprised of 50 bills (due to companion bills filed in each chamber), and as of Friday, the exact halfway point of the session, 28 of the bills have been heard in at least one house, with 21 left to be heard in committee. Eleven of these have had their companion bills already heard in the other house. Only seven of our priority measures have not had a hearing in either house.  

Of those already heard, six have been brought to a vote in committee with two (that we opposed) voted down, and four voted out favorably. Three of these have now completely passed the House and will go to the Senate for consideration: 

  • HB 416 - Public Schools - Active Shooter Safety Drills or Trainings – Requirements – passed the House (138-0) - A unanimous vote! 

  • HB 92 - Resources and Education for All Prisons (REAP) Act - passed the House (108-30) 

  • HB 728 - Health Insurance - Qualified Resident Enrollment Program (Access to Care Act) - passed the House (101-34) 

One more priority bill has passed second reading in the Senate and will receive its final vote on Monday: 

  • SB 132 - Correctional Services – Medical Parole – Life Imprisonment 

Meanwhile, more bills have been voted out of committee and will go to the floor of each chamber early next week: 

  • HB 814 - Juvenile Law – Reform - Favorable with Amendments by House Judiciary 

  • SB 119 - Legally Protected Health Care - Gender-Affirming Treatment – Favorable by Finance 

Committee voting sessions are usually scheduled as the Committee Chair deems them ready, and little public notice is provided.  We are constantly scanning the official meeting schedules for voting sessions and monitoring House and Senate sessions for any verbal announcements.  While we cannot guarantee advance notice to our readers, we are constantly updating our Upcoming Hearings table with any new information. 

Keep an eye out for any alerts from our Issue Leads asking you to contact your lawmakers who sit on specific committees!  This is the best time to reach out to your representatives and make an impact on their vote. 


Coming Up This Week 

Fifteen (15) bills will be heard this week, covering 14 measures related to Climate Change, Gun Violence and Criminal Justice.  


Tuesday, February 27 

  • House Judiciary: 3 Criminal Justice bills: 

    • HB 118 - Correctional Services - Geriatric and Medical Parole 

    • HB 185 - Correctional Services - Medical Parole - Life Imprisonment 

    • HB 191 - Correctional Services - Pregnancy and Postpartum Support (Prevention of Forced Infant Separation Act) 

  • House Environment & Transportation: HB 964 - Landlords and Prospective Tenants - Residential Leases - Criminal History Review (Maryland Fair Chance in Housing Act) 

  • Senate Education, Energy and Environment (EEE): SB 653 - Standing - Environmental and Natural Resources Protection Proceedings (Clean Water Justice Act of 2024)  

  • Senate Judicial Proceedings: SB 752 - Regulated Firearms - Maryland Voluntary Do Not Sell Firearm Process 


Wednesday, February 28 

  • Senate Education, Energy and Environment (EEE): SB 620 - Resources and Education for All Prisons (REAP) Act 

  • House Judiciary: HB 947 - Civil Actions - Public Nuisances - Firearm Industry Members (Gun Industry Accountability Act of 2024) 


Thursday, February 29 

  • House Economic Matters: 3 Climate Change bills 

    • HB 731 - Natural Gas - Strategic Infrastructure Development and Enhancement (Ratepayer Protection Act) 

    • HB 864 - Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plans 

    • HB 516 - Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act of 2024  

  • Senate Education, Energy and Environment (EEE): SB 783 - Renewable Energy – Net Energy Metering Aggregation, Solar Renewable Energy Credits, and Taxes on Solar Energy Generating Systems (Brighter Tomorrow Act) 

  • Senate Finance: SB 475 - Center for Firearm Violence Prevention - Establishment 

 

Friday, March 1 

  • House Environment & Transportation: HB 1101 - Standing - Environmental and Natural Resources Protection Proceedings (Clean Water Justice Act of 2024) - in Environment & Transportation 

  • Senate Education, Energy and Environment (EEE): SB 1023 - Maryland Building Performance Standards – Fossil Fuel Use, Energy Conservation, and Electric– and Solar–Ready Standards (Better Buildings Act of 2024)  

 

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

 





Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk, Chair of the House Health & Government Operations Committee speaking stongly in support of HB 728 - Access to Care Act.

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