March 10, 2017
As we have passed the half way point and move towards the Chamber Crossover date of March 20th, legislation is leaving the Committees and moving to the House Floor. The process of becoming a law will not be complete until it passes both the House and Senate and then is signed by the Governor. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the proposed legislation that has begun to move through this process.
Some bills on the move are:
HB 100 Income Tax Subtraction Modification - Retirement Income of Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services Personnel. This bill allows retirement income to qualify for the State pension exclusion if the individual is at least 55 years old and the retirement income is attributable to employment as a law enforcement officer or as fire, rescue, or emergency services personnel of the United States, the State, or a local jurisdiction. The maximum exclusion in the tax year is limited to $15,000. If passed the bill will take effect July 1, 2017, and applies to tax year 2017 and beyond. It has passed the House 138-0 and is currently in the Senate - First Reading Budget and Taxation.
HB 255 Criminal Procedure - Sexual Assault Victims' Rights - Disposal of Rape Kit Evidence and Notification. The bill prohibits a law enforcement agency, government agency, or health care provider from destroying or disposing of a sexual assault evidence collection kit or other crime scene evidence relating to a sexual assault within 20 years after the evidence is collected. A law enforcement agency, government agency, or health care provider with custody of a sexual assault evidence collection kit, on written request by the victim, must (1) notify the victim at least 60 days before the date of intended destruction or disposal of the evidence or (2) retain the evidence, as specified. HB 255 has passed the House 139-0.
HB 428 Family Law - Child Conceived Without Consent - Termination of Parental Rights (Rape Survivor Family Protection Act). This bill authorizes a court, after a trial, to terminate the parental rights of a respondent if the court (1) determines that the respondent has been served, as specified; (2) finds that the respondent was either convicted of, or finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent committed, an act of nonconsensual sexual conduct against the other parent that resulted in the conception of the child at issue; and (3) finds by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child to terminate the parental rights of the respondent. The court may not terminate parental rights pursuant to the bill’s provisions if the parents were married at the time of the conception of the child at issue unless specified conditions are met. HB 428 has passed the House 138-0.
HB 716 Anne Arundel County - Board of Education - Selection of Members. This bill as amended restructures the Anne Arundel County Board of Education from a nine-member appointed board to an eight member board, 7 elected members from the Council Districts and one student member elected by CRASC. The seven members will be elected on a nonpartisan basis. It passed the County Delegation and has moved to the Ways and Means Committee.
HB 723 Inmates - Life Imprisonment - Parole Reform. This bill eliminates a requirement that the parole of a person serving a parole-eligible life sentence in a State correctional facility or the Patuxent Institution, subsequent to a recommendation for that parole by the Maryland Parole Commission (MPC) or the Patuxent Board of Review (PBR), be approved by the Governor. HB 723 passed the House today with 79 votes, I did not support this bill.
HB 1325 Oil and Natural Gas - Hydraulic Fracturing – Prohibition. This bill redefines “hydraulic fracturing” as the stimulation treatment performed on oil and natural gas wells in lowpermeability oil or natural gas reservoirs through which specially engineered fluids are pumped at high pressure and rate into the reservoir interval to be treated, causing fractures to open. The bill prohibits a person from engaging in the hydraulic fracturing of a well for the exploration or production of oil or natural gas in the State. I am a cosponsor of this legislation. HB 1325 passed the House 97 to 40.
There are over 200 bond bills that have been requested by the local jurisdictions, totaling more than 52 million dollars. Anne Arundel County has requested 25 bond bills for a total of over 6 million dollars. The Governor’s Budget currently includes no funding for bond bills, however the budget as not been finalized.
The Delegation is considering the following bills for possible funding:
HB 553 Anne Arundel County- ARC of Central Maryland
HB 38 Anne Arundel County-Sun Valley Park Playground
HB 634 Anne Arundel County-YWCA Domestic Violence and Trafficking Shelters
HB 1340 Anne Arundel County-The Bernie House
HB 985 Anne Arundel County- Harambee House
HB 787 Anne Arundel County-Downs Park Amphitheater
HB 486 Anne Arundel County-Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating Project
HB 415 Anne Arundel County-Woods Community Center
HB 1298 Anne Arundel County-Annapolis Shakespeare Company
HB 734 Anne Arundel County-Hot Sox Park
HB 1333 Anne Arundel County-Annapolis Masonic Lodge #89
HB 778 Anne Arundel County-Bestgate Park
HB 806 Anne Arundel County-Tick Neck Park Athletic Fields
HB 733 Anne Arundel County-Maryland Hall
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 other information regarding the bills.
Your representatives are monitoring the discussions regarding the Affordable Care Act and what the impact will be on healthcare in Maryland. We are very concerned about the 750,000 Marylanders that may lose their healthcare. Planned Parenthood could lose their funding under a proposal in Congress, Planned Parenthood serves thousands of women in Maryland with birth control, annual exams, mammograms and other important health care needs.
End of Life Bill Withdrawn
HB 370 Richard E. Israel and Roger "Pip" Moyer End-of-Life Option Act.
This bill authorizes an individual to request aid in dying by making specified requests; prohibiting another individual from requesting aid in dying on behalf of an individual; requiring a written request for aid in dying to meet specified requirements; establishing specified requirements for witnesses to a written request for aid in dying; requiring a written request for aid in dying to be in a specified form. The Senate bill received an “Unfavorable Report” by Judicial Proceedings and was “Withdrawn”. It appears that the issue is finished for this General Assembly session.
The Central Maryland Transportation Alliance is now accepting applications for its Transportation 101 workshops! Transportation 101 is a 7-week class in which participants meet to learn from local experts and leaders, meet other interested residents and ultimately put what they learn into action. Transportation 101 is modeled after the Denver Transit Alliance Citizens’ Academy that has been in operation for over 10 years and boasts over 800 graduates. The Transportation Alliance believes that engaged and informed citizens are integral to building the region’s transportation future. Classes are held from 6pm-9pm every Wednesday from April 26 to June 7 at the UM Bio Park (801 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201) and include dinner. Candidates can learn more and may apply through April 5 here: http://cmtalliance.org/transportation-101
My office continues to be staffed by Nancy Lipin Crawford, my Chief of Staff and Maggie J. Hobbins, my Legislative Assistant. 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.