Dear Friends,

I am happy that eleven of my thirteen bills made it across the finish line. I am very excited that after three challenging years the SB442/HB601 street racing bill finally made it through. Just recently, a car rally was denied access to the parking lot at the Crofton Giant, then they proceeded north to the Glen Burnie Target and once again were denied access to the parking area when Patrol Officers were mobilized and blocked it. SB 442/HB601 gives our police officers the tools they need to stop this dangerous and reckless activity.

SB614/HB865, the So Every Body Can Move Act is another bill I am especially proud to have sponsored. This is a significant step towards addressing equity issues for the disabilities community.  It will provide crucial coverage for additional prostheses specifically designed for physical activity, ensuring equal opportunity and access for all.

The Maryland Port Act

The recent tragic incident involving the loss of six construction workers on a Maryland bridge has not only brought sorrow but also highlighted the importance of swift emergency response. As state and federal agencies work tirelessly to clear the debris and reopen the Port of Baltimore, the economic impact looms large, affecting not only the port's operations but also the livelihoods of dock workers. The Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade (PORT) Act (SB1188) was crafted to provide the Maryland Departments of Labor and Commerce with the funding, tools, and flexibility needed to respond to this crisis. Specifically, the PORT Act will:


As we embarked on the 2024 Legislative Session, one of our major focuses was on enacting policies that would significantly enhance access to care for all individuals. With a firm commitment to improving healthcare outcomes and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to receive quality treatment, we diligently worked towards crafting and passing legislation that would address the crucial issue of accessibility to healthcare.

One significant step to expanding comprehensive healthcare in Maryland was the Access to Care Act (SB0705/HB0728).  The Access to Care Act removes immigration status as an eligibility requirement for purchasing a health plan through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE), by requiring the state to seek federal approval of a state innovation waiver. The waiver will establish a Qualified Resident Enrollment Program to allow qualified residents to purchase plans on the individual exchange. This policy will reduce the uninsured population in the state and help to stabilize insurance premiums.

With the passing of SB18: Health Occupations - Pharmacists - Administration of Vaccines, individuals aged 3 and above can now receive a wider range of vaccinations from pharmacists, making it easier for everyone to stay up-to-date with their immunizations.

Consumer Protection

Recognizing the immense strain on working families, the MGA passed a package of bills aimed at protecting consumers from unscrupulous business practices threatening individuals’ financial well-being and privacy. These basic protections will curtail growing and emerging concerns in a variety of ways. First, we put guardrails around the residential retail energy market as 370,000 Maryland families paid $178M more than necessary on energy costs in 2022 alone (SB1). Second, we prohibited ticket resellers from reselling tickets with exorbitant fees or advertising speculative tickets prior to an official sale date (SB539). Finally, we banned online data tracking and content targeting to minors (SB571/HB603) and required big tech companies to allow Maryland residents to opt-out of invasive data collection practices (SB541/HB567). 

Balanced Budget for Fiscal Year 2025

The core role of the Maryland General Assembly in any legislative session is passing a balanced State budget for the next fiscal year. The operating budget that passed the legislature makes critical investments in education, transportation, and behavioral health without broad based tax increases to maintain our State’s economic competitiveness. We ultimately enacted a $63 billion budget (SB360 and SB362) that invests heavily in Maryland values, including:

Juvenile Crime

We heard from many of you about the need to improve the juvenile justice system and we listened. Through legislation, the State budget, and executive action, we are improving the Accountability, Rehabilitation, and Coordination (ARC) of the juvenile justice system (HB814). The reforms addressed include:


Since developing and enacting the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the MGA has been focused on supporting our pre-K to 12 schools and building a world-class system of public education. We know that the Blueprint will only be successful if there is a sufficient teacher workforce to meet its needs.

We created a Grow Your Own Program to help school employees transition into teaching roles (SB937/HB1157), lowered unnecessary and costly barriers to initial teacher certification (SB771/HB945), and strengthened our commitment to early childhood educator licensure and career development in publicly funded pre-K programs (SB500/HB1441).

Further, we bolstered our community school apparatus to ensure students attending schools in areas with high concentrations of poverty receive wraparound services and supports that meet their community’s unique needs (SB161/HB200).

Finally, we created a $1M Access to Attorneys, Advocates, and Consultants for Special Education Fund to support low-income families who believe their children should be receiving individualized education program services and reach an impasse with their local school system (SB797/HB903). We continue to believe in the ability of the Blueprint to transform student outcomes and trust that the school systems will tailor the policy framework to their district’s unique needs.

Although parents should have the right to make decisions about the books their children are exposed to, a small group of parents should not make those decisions for all students in a given jurisdiction. The Freedom to Read Act (SB738/HB785) sets necessary standards to prevent challenges to ban books with content contrary to a small group’s personal belief systems while balancing freedom of expression with parental rights to make decisions for their children.

Other Bills of Interest

As always, you can view all of the legislation on the General Assembly website.

Senate Office Schedule

Once again there will be a great deal of work to do in the interim, to serve on oversight committees and task force studies.  My office remains open year-round to help you with issues and answer your questions.

During the interim, my Chief of Staff, Nancy Lipin Crawford and Legislative Director, Ash-Lynn Randolph will be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays and will be working remotely on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Thank you to all of District 32 for allowing me to serve as your State Senator.


Pamela Beidle

Senator, District 32, Maryland General Assembly