Saturday, July 9, 2022

Legislation Reduces County Property Taxes by 20% for Prince George’s County Seniors Who Have Lived In their Homes for Over 10 Years

 Legislation Reduces County Property Taxes for Eligible Prince George’s County Seniors by 20% [Effective July 1, 2023 - with applications due by 10/1/2023]


The Prince George’s County Council, during session on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, unanimously enacted CB-29-2022, legislation proposed by District 8 Council Member Edward Burroughs, establishing a 20 percent Property Tax Credit for eligible Prince George’s County seniors. 


Under the legislation, residents 65 and older who have owned their homes for at least 10 years, are eligible for a 5-year, 20% Property Tax Credit. The limit on the property’s value is $500,000, indexed upward annually by 3% for normal inflation. The Property Tax Credit will remain in place for a period of up to five years.


Council Chair Calvin S. Hawkins, II, says CB-029-2022 lightens a financial burden for the County’s senior residents, especially for those living on a fixed income in the current economic climate.


“Council Bill 29-2022 allows our seniors to benefit financially from a tax credit that puts extra money in their pocket, which makes a difference during financially challenging times. Senior residents are the pillar of our community, and we want to provide them with the support they need, so we can continue to build on the foundation they have set. This legislation brings us another step closer to that goal.”


District 8 Council Member Edward Burroughs, III, sponsor of the legislation, says the tax credit will provide senior residents with much-needed relief.


 “I have had several opportunities to speak with our seniors, and many have expressed that our property taxes are just too high. They are trying to financially balance the cost of prescription drugs, gas prices, and various other responsibilities, which in many instances is extremely difficult.  This legislation will provide our seniors with some financial relief in a challenging economy.  I am grateful to my Council colleagues, and countless residents who voiced their support for this important measure.”

Sunday, July 3, 2022

New Laws Effective July 1, 2022

 ABORTION: The Abortion Care Access Act establishes the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program in the Maryland Department of Health to ensure that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care. It also:

Establishes the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program Fund

Establishes certain requirements regarding abortion services, including provision and coverage requirements for the Maryland Medical Assistance Program and certain insurers

Requires the governor to include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $3,500,000 to the program.

Funding starts in 2023.


Repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR), along with new rules for when police may use force and how they are investigated and disciplined. The new law requires counties to assemble Police Accountability Boards (PAB) and Administrative Charging Committees (ACC), where civilians will have a role in reviewing and investigating allegations of misconduct, and in certain cases, in meting out administrative repercussions. Officers who get into trouble starting Friday will be subject to the new procedures.


A new use-of-force standard, one of the strictest in the nation, requires officers to prioritize de-escalation tactics and says they may not use force against a person unless “under the totality of the circumstances, the force is necessary and proportional.” Under the statute, an officer who uses excessive force faces criminal penalties, up to 10 years in prison.


Prohibition on public schools from using seclusion as a behavioral intervention. It allows seclusion in nonpublic schools, but with restrictions such as requiring a qualified health-care practitioner to observe the student during seclusion. The law comes after a 2020 federal investigation that found that the Frederick County Public School District improperly secluded and restrained students with disabilities.


New Law Allows Students To Modify their uniforms to make them more modest to conform to their religion, culture or personal preference. Among those who advocated for the law was Je’Nan Hayes, who was benched during a 2017 high school basketball game because she was wearing a hijab.


ATHLETE SAFETY: The Elijah Gorham Act requires an automated external defibrillator program in public middle and high schools, requires actions be taken by county boards of education regarding heat acclimatization for student athletes; requires middle and high schools to develop venue-specific emergency action plans for the operation and use of automatic external defibrillators, heat acclimatization and coordination of care for other emergent injuries and severe weather for outdoor facilities.

CLEAN CARS: The Clean Cars Act of 2022 establishes the Medium-Duty and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Grant Program for certain vehicles and equipment to be administered by the Maryland Energy Administration. The act also:

Alters the vehicle excise tax credit for the purchase of certain electric vehicles for certain fiscal years

Decreases from $63,000 to $50,000 for purposes of the electric vehicle excise tax credit, the limitation on the maximum base purchase price of certain electric vehicles

Reduces the vehicle excise tax credit for certain electric drive vehicles



Baby products: Exempting the sale of diapers, diaper rash cream and baby wipes from the sales and use tax.

Oral hygiene products: Exempting the sale of oral hygiene products from the sales and use tax, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, tooth powders, mouthwash, dental floss or similar oral hygiene products.

Medical devices: Exempting the sale of certain thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure monitors and respirators from the sales and use tax.

Diabetic care products: Exempting certain diabetic care products from the sales and use tax, including insulin, glucose tablets, glucose drinks, glucose gels, blood and urine ketone meters and supplies, insulin pumps, insulin pump infusion sets, insulin pump reservoirs or cartridges, continuous glucose monitors and related supplies, syringes, insulin injection devices, insulin pens, insulin pen needles, lancets and lancet devices, and testing strips for measuring blood sugar.


INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR SENIORS: The law creates a nonrefundable credit against the state income tax for a resident who is at least age 65 and whose federal adjusted gross income does not exceed $100,000 ($150,000 if married filing jointly).

The amount of the tax credit is equal to $1,000 for an individual or if only one of the individuals filing a joint return is an eligible individual; and $1,750 if married filing jointly and both individuals are at least age 65.

The bill also expands the state subtraction modification for retired law enforcement; correctional officer; and fire, rescue, and emergency services personnel.

988 TRUST FUND: Behavioral Health Crisis Response Services -- Establishes the 988 Trust Fund to provide reimbursement for costs associated with designating and maintaining 988 as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. This law requires the Maryland Department of Health to designate 988 as the primary phone number for the state's behavioral health crisis hotline.


This material was compiled from various news sources in our area.



       Early Voting:  July 7th through July 14th

       Primary Day:  July 19th


I hope everybody has a great July 4th Weekend

Sunday, April 3, 2022

MD General Assembly Passes Key Pieces of Legislation that Now Go to Governor Hogan

 Last week was a busy week in the General Assembly.  The General Assembly ends on Monday April 11th (it’s called Sine Die).  Normally there is a rush to get bills passed on the last day, but this year is different.

It is assumed that a number of the important bills will be vetoed by Governor Hogan.  Most years (3 out of 4) legislators are not so concerned because when the legislature comes back into session, they can override the Governor’s veto.  But this year we will be electing a whole set of new (and existing) legislators and the new General Assembly cannot override vetoes passed this year. 

Therefore, the General Assembly must override any vetoes before the Session ends on April 11th.  Because the Governor has a number of days to consider whether or not to veto legislation, all bills have to get to his desk by April 1st in order for the General Assembly to have the time to vote on overrides.  (It’s called Presentment Day) That is why a number of important pieces of legislation were passed in the last few days.  Some of those important bills that were passed and now are on the Governor’s desk are:


Climate Change Bill: A sweeping piece of climate change legislation that would push the state to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels The Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 would require building owners to start relying on electricity for space and water heating needs, creating a “green bank” that would invest state funds into private projects that reduce gas emissions and expanding the state electric vehicle fleet


Abortion Care Access Bill: Health care workers besides physicians could start performing abortions in Maryland and the procedure would be covered without cost by most insurance plans in the state  The bill establishes and ensures that there are a sufficient number of health professionals to provide abortion care, while establishing the Abortion Care Clinical Training Program Fund, which also provides certain requirements regarding abortion services. .


Paid Family/Medical Leave Bill:  The program would give workers up to 12 weeks — or, in some limited cases, as much as 24 weeks — to welcome a newborn, care for ailing relatives or deal with health issues themselves once benefits start being paid in 2025. The benefits would be funded by mandatory contributions from workers and most employers, although the payroll tax rate would be determined later.


Banning Ghost Guns:   The Maryland General Assembly has approved a measure to ban so-called ghost guns, which don’t have serial numbers.


Healthy Babies Equity Act, which expands Medicaid to all pregnant people regardless of immigration status


Referendum to Legalize Marijuana on the ballot this November.  (Because it is a referendum this bill is not subject to a veto)


Recurring Contributions - protects Marylanders from deceptive campaign fundraising tricks by banning campaigns--and the technology platforms they use--from raising money without the affirmative consent of the donor.


Equity in Transportation Sector requires that equity be considered when State transportation plans, reports, and goals are developed


Companion Measure to Marijuana Legalization - Although Governor Hogan cannot veto the ballot amendment to legalize marijuana, he can veto the companion legislation that would — if the amendment passes in November’s election — legalize possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana, remove criminal penalties on possessing up to 2.5 ounces and create a system to expunge past criminal records for those convicted of possessing marijuana.


Criminal Justice Reform – An ominous bill which includes no confinement for first-time misdemeanor offenses, unless the crime involves a gun.  Another bill would require police to notify parents and let children talk to attorneys before law enforcement interrogations.


Insulin Cost Reduction Act -  Requires insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations to limit the amount a covered individual is required to pay in copayments or coinsurance for a covered prescription insulin drug to not more than $30 for a 30-day supply.


Tenant Protection Legislation

•          Stay of Evictions Act  would require a judge to delay eviction proceedings if a tenant can prove they have a pending application for rent assistance. The bill would also allow a judge to delay an eviction, even if the judge has already ruled in favor of the landlord. But it limits the delay to no more than 35 days.  The measure would apply only to tenants with pending rental assistance applications “submitted before or within 30 days after the tenant’s landlord filed a written complaint regarding the failure to pay rent.”

•          Senate Bill 662 and 279 would provide funds for tenants facing eviction to have legal representation.

•          Tenant Protection Act  requires a landlord to disclose  to prospective tenants if the landlord uses a ratio utility billing system; making a certain lease provision unenforceable if the landlord fails to make the disclosure; requiring a landlord to document a bill for certain utilities; providing that a tenant organization has the right of free assembly during reasonable hours and on reasonable notice to the landlord; expanding certain provisions of law regarding the rights of certain tenants to include certain victims of stalking


Tax Relief Measures Signed into Law:  This one big set of bills that the Governor did not veto.


·        30-day suspension of the gas tax (ends April 17th!!)


·        The Retirement Tax Elimination Act provides relief for retirees 65 and older making up to $100,000 in retirement income, and married couples making up to $150,000 in retirement income. ($1.55 billion)


·        The Work Opportunity Tax Credit incentivizes employers and businesses to hire and retain workers from underserved communities that have faced significant barriers to employment. ($195 million)


·        Family Budget Boosters: sales tax exemptions for childcare products such as diapers, car seats, and baby bottles, and critical health products such as dental hygiene products, diabetic care products, and medical devices. ($115.6 million)


·        The bill also expands the “hometown hero” tax exemption, which allows retired law enforcement, correctional officers, fire and emergency personnel to exempt $15,000 of retirement income annually.




Call or send an email to your legislators.  This includes both your Delegates and your Senator since we have bills in both chambers.  You can find your legislators here or on our website under Legislators.  

If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions shown above.

If you want to contact your representatives in District 47 about any of the bills, you should email or call:


Senator Malcolm Augustine 410-841-3745

Delegate Diana Fennell (47A) 301-858-3478

Delegate Julian Ivey (47A)      410-841-3326

Delegate Wanika Fisher (47B) 410-841-3340


If you do not know who your representatives are, you can go to     to find out who are your elected representatives   There is also a very good smart phone application “MD GOV” which lists all the Delegates and Senators, their Committees and their contact numbers.