Friday, April 7, 2023

Maryland Legislative Report - April 7, 2023

             The end of the 2023 General Assembly Session is only a few days away.


         Some bills have already passed and are on the way to being signed by the Governor but many bills will be passed in the last few days.  I am listing below the bills that have passed both houses in the same form and have been sent to the Governor and those that have still not passed both Houses in the same form.

             I am keeping track of over 60 bills listed below. About half of the bills have passed one house or the other and have a good chance of passing and being signed into law. Many bills did not get out of their committee and will not be passed this year.  Unfortunately, some of the major initiatives on economic justice, criminal justice, election reform and workers’ rights did not move this year, which is disappointing.


Here is a list of bills that have passed the General Assembly and are waiting for Governor Moore to sign:


·        The Right to Reproductive Freedom is a state constitutional amendment that codifies Roe v. Wade for Marylanders to vote on by referendum during the 2024 general election. (HB705)

·        Unnatural or Perverted Sexual Practice repeals the crime of committing an unnatural or perverted sexual practice. HB0131

·        The Child Victims Act of 2023 allows a person to file a suit for damages against an abuser “at any time” going forward. The bill, which has been introduced three times over the last four years, would also create a two year “lookback window” to allow victims previously barred from filing claims to do so during a limited period. (HB1)

·        Trans Health Equity Act - The bill will require Maryland Medicaid to provide coverage for additional gender-affirming treatments, which are currently disallowed in the state’s plan but commonly covered by private insurance. The expanded treatments include hormone therapy, hair alteration, voice therapy, physical alterations to the body, and fertility preservation. HB 283

·        Emergency Management - Consumer Protections Against Price Gouging prohibits a person from selling an essential good or service for more than a specified increase in price during and after a state of emergency. HB 775

·        The Medical Bill Reimbursement Process requires hospitals to reimburse indigent patients who were charged for health care when it was supposed to be free HB 333

·        Minimum Wage Expansion - $15 hour Governor’s Initiative Accelerates the timeline from 2026 to Jan 1. 2024.  Unfortunately an amendment stripped out the provision indexing the minimum wage to the cost of living SB 555

·        The Clean Trucks Act of 2023 requires the Department of the Environment to adopt regulations similar to California’s plan to allow only zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks to be sold starting with the 2040 model year. SB 224

·        Energy Performance Targets and Low-Income Housing requires the State to provide energy efficiency and conservation programs and services for low-income residents by 2026.  SB0144

·        Protecting $500 in bank accounts - Exempting up to $500 in a deposit account or other accounts of a judgment debtor from execution on the judgment - SB 106

·        Enables Attorney General to Investigate Police Involved Incidents Resulting in Injury – SB 290

·        Increase in Money Available for Tax Credits for Student Debt - This bill  increases, from $9 million to $18 million, the maximum amount of student debt relief tax credits each year and  requires that  $5 million go to  graduates of historically black colleges or universities (HBCUs); (3) requires prioritization of tax credit recipients for  low income earners; and (4) extends – from two to five years the timeframe within which the individual who claims the credit must use the credit for the repayment of the individual’s eligible student loan debt.  HB 680 – Passed the House

·        Service Year – Provides a service year as an option for young people to learn professional schools after high school. HB 552

·        Requiring Landlords to Have Valid Rental License Who Want to Evict Tenants - Bill will stop landlords who do not have an operating license from using streamlined court processes (Failure To Pay Rent, Tenant Holding Over, and Breach of Lease) from evicting tenants. HB 36   

·        Repeal of Spousal Defense in Criminal Proceedings – HB 4

·        Maryland Sign Language Interpreters Act - The act would establish a licensing and regulatory system for sign language interpreters. Licensing sign language interpreters is a vital step to ensure professionally trained and certified interpreters are providing language access for Deaf and hard of hearing Marylanders. HB 260


            Below is the list of bills I’m following that still need to get passed.  You may want to write to get the Committee members to support the bill.  If you’re interested in supporting any of the bills here is some information on how to advocate for the bills.

            You can find out who your legislators are here. Call or send an email to your legislators using the contact information found here.  While an email is preferred, the following template provides some idea of the material you can use for a phone call or social media posting - excluding any personal information, of course! If you would like to include a short description of the bills, you can include the descriptions below. You are also encouraged to include any details of why you think this bill is important.

Dear (legislator),

My name is _________ and my address is ______________.  I am writing to let you know that the following bill(s) is(are) important to me and to all Marylanders.  I would like to request that you be a champion for these bills and help them get passed quickly.  

 Each of these bills is important for Maryland, and I support them and would like your help in getting them passed.  If you are not on the relevant committee, I would appreciate your voting for them during Session.  If you are on the relevant committee, I hope you will fight for them and support the sponsors as much as possible.

 Thank you for your consideration,


An email, phone call, or social media posting is even more powerful if your

Thank you for your support,


Consumer Protection

·  Ending Debtors Prison - HB 127 Passed the House of Delegates

Criminal Justice

·         Decriminalization of Drug Paraphernalia - HB 173 Passed the House of Delegates

Economic Justice

·        The Family Prosperity Act - The legislation would permanently extend the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit   The bill would also expand the state’s Child Tax Credit to cover taxpayers with children 5 and under who have a federally adjusted gross income of $15,000 or less. HB 547 – Passed the House

·        Prohibition On A Person Making Prank or False 911 Calls – HB 745 Passed the House


·         Prohibition on Corporal Punishment in Private Schools prohibits the State Board of Education from issuing a certificate of approval to noncollegiate educational institutions that do not have a policy prohibiting the administration of corporal punishment HB 185 Passed the House of Delegates

·         Maryland Educator Shortage Act 2023 – The bill, among other actions will provide financial support for college students while doing their student learning. HB 1219 – Passed the House


·         The Community Solar Energy Generating Systems Pilot Program requires a community solar energy generating system to serve at least 40% of its kilowatt-hour output to low-income and moderate-income subscribers and also eliminates dual billing (from the regular energy supplier and separately from the solar supplier) which prevents low- and moderate-income homeowners from using community solar. HB 908 Passed the House

·         Allowing People to Ride a Bicycle on a Sidewalk unless prohibited by local law. – HB 519 Passed the House

·         Regulating Bamboo – Bill allows counties and municipalities to regulate the upkeep and containment of bamboo.  HB 90 – Passed the House

Gun Control

·        Maryland Police Gun Center Protective Orders ensures that local police offices collect and track guns from persons subject to a protective order.  HB 3 Passed the House of Delegates

·        The Gun Safety Act of 2023 prohibits a person from knowingly wearing, carrying, or transporting a firearm within 100 feet near a place of public accommodation. Such places would include hotels, movie theaters and retail stores. The current law states that a person cannot carry a firearm at places including legislative buildings, state parks, school property, and within 1,000 feet of a demonstration in a public place. SB 1 Passed the Senate


Health Care

·        The Access to Care Act addresses critical health disparities faced by the immigrant community in Maryland by expanding the Affordable Care Act to all Marylanders who meet the regular eligibility criteria, regardless of their immigration status. This bill also begins to establish a state subsidy program to ensure that newly covered individuals have the funding to receive care. HB 588 Passed the House


·  Tenant Safety Act - Establishing that a landlord that offers a dwelling for rent is deemed to warrant the dwelling fit for human habitation; authorizing a single tenant or tenants' organization to seek remedies on behalf of a group of tenants for a landlord's failure to repair serious and dangerous defects on the leased premises HB 691 Passed the House


o   Enabling Union Dues to be Tax Deductible in MarylandHB 2 Passed the House



·        The Effective Corporate Tax Rate Transparency Act of 2023 requires a publicly traded corporation to attach a statement identifying the corporation's effective tax rate and an explanation of the calculation of the effective tax rate. HB 39 Passed House of Delegates



·        Two Person Crew -   Movement of Freight requires at least 2 crew members to operate a train. This means that if one of the crew members was to become unable to perform their duties, the train would still have an operator. (HB 352 Passed the House of Delegates