February 20, 2017
The General Assembly Session of 2017 is almost half over. So far more that 1,600 House Bills have been “dropped” and more than 1,100 Senate Bills. The Budget Bill, HB 150, is being considered by the House first this year, then by the Senate, and then the Conference Committee will iron out the differences. I will share more about the budget during a later newsletter when it is further along in the process. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my bills as well as some other bills that might interest you.
I am the primary sponsor on 7 bills, 2 Bond bills and one County Administration bill for a total of 11 bills. They are:
HB0085 Anne Arundel County Charitable Gaming. This bill will permit several of the County non-profits to have a “Casino Nights” at their annual fundraisers. Several of our Chambers of Commerce have taken their fundraisers to Howard County.
HB0400 Public School Holidays-Presidents’ Day and Easter Monday. This bill allows the Board of Education the flexibility to use these days as school days, if necessary, when creating the School Calendar.
HB0634 Bond Bill – YWCA Domestic Violence and a Sex Trafficking Shelter for Victims.
HB0637 Bond Bill – Resiliency and Education Center at Kuhn Hall, Fort Meade
HB0695 AACo. Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreements – Economic Development Projects. This bill was requested by the County Administration. It will assist provide a 4,000 seat convention center at Maryland Live! where the County will be able to hold various functions including High School Graduations without incurring rental fees.
HB0716 Board of Education Selection of Members. This bill will provide for an all elected County School Board. It is currently being studied with 2 additional bills by the Delegation Education SubCommittee. We expect 1 bill to emerge from the SubCommittee.
HB1322 Local Infrastructure Fast Track for Maryland Act. This bill increases, over 7 fiscal years, the portion of highway user revenues that is distributed to local governments. The Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) requested this bill to ensure a stable funding of highway user revenue by a phased-in restoration of the historic 30% share of state transportation revenue. HB1539 Alcoholic Beverages – Class H Licenses. This bill Increases to five the number of Class H beer, wine, and liquor or Class H beer and wine licenses that the Board of License Commissioners for Anne Arundel County may issue to a specified license holder under specified circumstances.
HB1562 Alcoholic Beverages – Disposition of Fees. This bill requires the Comptroller to approve and remit to the Anne Arundel County Board of License Commissioners, instead of to Anne Arundel County, specified amounts necessary to pay specified salaries, benefits, and expenses of the Board.
HB1601 Alcoholic Beverages – Class B Beer, Wine, and Liquor Licenses – Fees. This bill Increases the annual fee for a Class B beer, wine, and liquor license in Anne Arundel County from $1,080 to $1,296.
I cross-filed all of the Alcohol Beverages bills at the request of Senator Astle.
Other Bills of Interest
Maryland Defense Act of 2017
Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJ5), MARYLAND DEFENSE ACT OF 2017 was passed. SJ5 enables Attorney General Frosh to protect Maryland from unconstitutional actions by the federal government. Maryland now joins 41 other states that allow the attorney general to exercise this power to act independently from the Governor to defend the state’s interests. The Sun says, “We elect attorneys general to represent our interests in court. We need to give him the power to do that.” http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-frosh-authority-20170214- story.html
This joint resolution directs the Attorney General to investigate, commence, and prosecute or defend any civil or criminal suit or action that is based on the federal government’s action or inaction that threatens the public interest and welfare of the State’s residents, as specified. The joint resolution sets forth a process by which the Attorney General must provide notice to the Governor.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Maryland ranked fourth among the top states per capita in trafficking cases last year. In 2014, the Maryland Trafficking Task Force came into contact with 381 victims of sex trafficking—including 364 girls and women. This issue occurs very in our district in the area surrounding BWI.
Last week the House passed HB 258, Adult Entertainment Establishments - National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Information - Sign Posting Requirements unanimously. It requires adult entertainment establishments to post signs expands requirements to post available resources information inside of adult entertainment establishments—which spreads more awareness and access to help.
You can track these bills and any other legislation at the General Assembly website: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov. You can find the text of a bill, fiscal notes (when available), voting records and various other information regarding the bills.
My office continues to be staffed by Nancy Lipin Crawford, my Chief of Staff and Maggie J. Hobbins, my Legislative Assistant this session. My office is open full time during the Session. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. My contact information remains: firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.841.3370. You can also find updates at my website www.pambeilde.com and on Facebook at Delegate Pam Beidle.
It is truly an honor to serve you in the Maryland General Assembly.