Thursday, April 11, 2024

2024 Maryland General Assembly Session Ends - Hundreds of Bills Sent to the Governor for His Signature

 The 2024 Legislative Session is now over.  Hundreds of bills passed the General Assembly.  Since the Governor is a Democrat and the General Assembly is Democratic controlled, the Governor will undoubtedly sign almost all of the bills that were passed.  Unfortunately, a lot of good bills did not make it to the finish line.

Here are a few of the bills that I have been following that passed the General Assembly.  If you're interested in any bills other than the ones listed here, please send me an email.


Bills Sent to The Governor


Criminal Justice


HB 338 – Facial Recognition – Police use of facial recognition technology would be limited to investigations of violent crimes and other serious offenses. 


HB814/SB744 – Juvenile Law Reform – Passed Both Houses in Different –  This is a very long and complex bill.  Here is one write up of the bill:




HB 785 – Freedom to Read Act – The bill establishes a State policy that local school systems operate their school library media programs consistent with a set of state standards; requiring each local school system to develop a policy and procedures to review objections to materials in a school library media program; prohibiting a county board of education from dismissing, demoting, suspending, disciplining, reassigning, transferring, or otherwise retaliating against certain school library media program personnel for performing their job duties consistent with certain standards.


HB 1441 – Early Childhood Education – Bill creates a career ladder for early childhood teachers with alternative pathways for pre-K providers.





SB 480 The Protecting Election Officials Act - creates a new misdemeanor charge in state election law for threats against election officials or their families.


HB 4 – Prohibition on Consideration of Legacy or Donor Preference for Maryland’s public higher education institutions.




HB 457 – Synthetic Turf-Chain of Custody - Requiring the Department of the Environment to establish a system to track the chain of custody of synthetic turf installed on sports and playing fields; requiring the custodian of a synthetic turf sports or playing field in the State to report chain of custody information to the Department by January 1, 2025, or within 30 days after the completion of the installation, whichever is later; requiring a producer or seller of synthetic turf to disclose to a customer certain maintenance and cost information and reporting requirements –


Gun Control


HB 810 – Prohibition of Switch/Auto Sear – This bill prohibits the use of a Glock switch or any other auto-sear device in Maryland.

HB 947 - Gun Industry Accountability Act - The Bill gives the Attorney General the authority to sue firearms manufacturers and gun dealers.




HB 328 Access to Hospital Care  - The bill will (1) Prohibit private hospitals in Maryland from using asset tests to make financial assistance determinations, and (2) Prohibit private hospitals in Maryland from restricting patient eligibility for financial assistance based on geographic determinants, including place of residency.


HB 576 Mental Health Emergency Evaluation and Involuntary Admission Procedures and Assisted Outpatient Treatment This bill is an omnibus behavioral health bill that would allow court-ordered outpatient treatment for individuals with severe mental illness who are not compliant with treatment and whose lack of compliance poses a potential danger to themselves or others.

HB 805 – Cannabis Zoning –  Bill would limit local zoning authority on where cannabis dispensaries can open. The bill  would prohibit jurisdictions from adopting ordinance requirements that are more restrictive than those for stores that sell alcohol. 




HB 538 —The Housing Expansion and Affordability Act - The bill incentivizes the construction of highly targeted new housing. The bill proposes modernizing local land use law; expedite and simplify approval for transit-oriented development; allow for development on former state-owned complexes; and allow housing development by nonprofit organizations.





HB 728– 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.   




SB 119/– Legally Protected Health Care – Gender Affirming Treatment This Bill Alters the definition of "legally protected health care" to include certain gender-affirming treatment, including medications and supplies,



SB 197 – Homecare Workers Employment Act – ensuring that home care workers are properly classified as employees and not independent contract –




HB 189 - Homecare Workers Employment Act of 2024 –-Bill ensures that home care workers are properly classified as employees and not independent contract. 


HB 609- Library Workers Empowerment Act– Allows library workers throughout Maryland to have collective bargaining rights (not all counties allow unions to negotiate with management). 


HB 649 – Wage Rate Transparency Bill – Requires employers to include wage ranges on job postings/employment listings.



LGBTQ Rights

SB0119- Gender Affirming Care Protection Act, - Senator Lam extends current shielding protections that protect reproductive health care to cover gender-affirming care. This is necessary to prevent harassment occurring in other states.


HB 602 – Employment Discrimination – Sexual Rights – Expands the current Equal Pay for Equal Work to include nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.





SB 162 – Limitation on Liability for Rent –Limits a special needs tenant's liability for rent to no more than 2 months' rent after the date on which the tenant vacates a leased premises.


HB 693 - The Renter’s Rights Stabilization Act – This is an omnibus bill that creates an Office of Tenant Rights responsible for providing renters with information about their rights under law and creating a tenant’s bill of rights; attempts to lower evictions by increasing the eviction filing fee and preventing it from being passed on to renters; mandating the reduction of security deposits from two months’ rent to one month; gives renters the right to purchase their home if it’s being sold; prioritizes families with children under 5 years old and pregnant women in the state’s new rental voucher program.


HB1117 – Tenant Safety Act This bill will make the “rent escrow” process more accessible to renters and groups of renters who want to hold their landlord accountable for severe conditions of disrepair that threaten life, health, or safety. Landlords who fail to make repairs will face significant financial penalties.


SB 370 - Community Schools - Rental Assistance for Community School Families Program and Fund




HB 513 - The Maryland Road Worker Protection Act Administration This bill would increase work zone speed camera fines from $40 to $290 and impose a $1,000 fine for offenders with three or more citations. The bill also eliminates the need for cameras to be manned. Fines collected would fund highway and work zone safety programs.