Sunday, January 12, 2020

Legislative Update – January 13, 2020

The Maryland General Assembly convened on Wednesday January 8.  The legislative session lasts for 90 days.  In the first few days 300 bills were introduced.
These are some of the bills I am following.  When more bills are introduced, I will add them to the list along with the Bill number and the status of the bill (i.e. Hearing Date and/or Passage in the House or Senate). 

Consumer Rights
            SB 17 - - Bans the Use of Credit History in Rating Policies
HB001/SB001 - Build to Learn Act of 2020 - Appropriates more money for school construction through the issuance of construction bonds.
SB002 - Digital Advertising Gross Revenues This is the first proposal introduced that produces revenue to fund the new educational initiatives proposed by the Kirwan Commission.  This bill adds a tax on digital advertising, The tax, would apply a 2.5% to 10% tax (depending on size) to businesses that make money from digital advertising.
SB003 – Taxing Electronic Smoking Devices This bill will make e-cigarettes taxable (they are currently exempted)
Social Justice

HB005 - Crimes - Hate Crimes - Use of an Item or Symbol to Threaten or Intimidate  This bill prohibits a person from inscribing or placing an item or a symbol, including nooses or swastikas, on any public or private property without express permission of the owner with the intent to threaten or intimidate HEARING - January 16th, 1:00 pm Judiciary Committee

Voting Rights

HB0037 - Election Law - References to Absentee Voting in Communications - Mail-In-Voting -  This bill requires changing the reference to Absentee Ballots to 'Mail-In' Ballots. HEARING - January 16th, 1:30 pm Ways and Means Committee

HB0051/SB0091 - Election Law - Individuals Released from Correctional Facilities - Voter Registration - This bill requires correctional facilities to provide inmates who have completed their sentence with a voter registration form before releasing them and informing them that they will have the right to vote but must register to do so.  HEARING - January 16th, 1:30 pm Ways and Means Committee

SB0010 - General Assembly - Special Election to Fill a Vacancy in Office This bill requires a special election if there is a vacancy in the first year of the term.  The special election would occur on the dates of the Presidential Primary and General Election and would not cost any extra money.
HB34/SB87 Prohibition on Foreign Contributions to Campaigns Prohibits a foreign-based corporation from making a political contribution to a campaign or making an independent expenditure to the campaign.

Local Prince George’s County Bills
(Local bills originally have different bill numbers and  go through a different process than other bills.  They are voted on by the Delegates and Senators from the local County and normally if passed by the County Delegation are approved by the whole General Assembly.)
            Allowing the County to Charge A Fee for Use of Disposable Bags (401-20)
Prohibiting a State agency from acquiring or constructing any toll road, toll highway, or toll bridge in Prince George’s County unless authorized by Prince George’s County (402-20)
Repealing a prohibition on a develop from making a contribution to the County Executive of Prince George’s County or a slate that includes the County Executive (PG 407-20)

There is a good website that tracks bills.  You might want to look at the Maryland Legislative Coalition:
Please remember, the reason I let people know about these bills is so they can contact their state legislators and let them know how you feel about legislation they’re going to vote on.
If you want to know any more about any of the bills go to the Maryland General Assembly web-site:    and type in the bill number.

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 are your representatives, 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.

You can read all my past newsletters at my Peoples Lobbying Group web-site: