Wednesday, April 3, 2024

A Few Bills Have Passed Both Chambers and Been Sent to the Governor

There is less than a week to go before the end of the 2024 General Assembly Session.  A few of the bills I am following have passed the both chambers in identical form and have been  sent to the Governor for his signature.  But most of the bills still must pass both chambers in identical form and still need to make it across the ‘finish line’.  A lot can happen in the next 5-6 days but if you care about any of the bills, now is the time to write your legislators


I am listing first those bills that still have been sent to the Governor and then those bills that have to be passed by both chambers in identical form  and could use some effective pushing.


Bills that have to ‘cross the finish line’:  The bill must be voted out of Committee and then pass the other chamber with the exact same language.  So, if a bill is amended in the other chamber, it must go back to the first chamber and be amended in the same fashion.  When the two chambers disagree on the amendments, they form a Conference Committee to hopefully settle the differences.  All this must be done by midnight on Monday April 8th or else the bill will not pass.  Governor Moore still has to sign the legislation, but it is expected that he will sign almost all the bills since the General Assembly is controlled by the Democrats.



You can find who your legislators are by clicking on the following link:


It is important to contact members of the Committee where the Bill has been assigned.  The General Assembly website lists all the committees, the members of each committee and their contact information.  Go to the main page ( and click on the Committees tab.


Passed both Chambers and Have Been Sent to the Governor to Be Signed




HB 785 – Freedom to Read Act– Library material could not be removed because of the author’s background, origin or views, or for partisan, ideological or religious reasons. 




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  Alters the definition of "legally protected health care" to include certain gender-affirming treatment, including medications and supplies,



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





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.





Passed the House of Delegates or the State Senate


Criminal Justice


SB 132 – Life Imprisonment – Medical Leave –Senator Carter – Prohibits the Governor from overruling the Parole Board if they recommend medical leave – Passed the Senate -Referred to Judiciary Committee


HB 73, Expungement - Completion of SentenceDelegate Bartlett This bill would reduce the time that a person would have to wait to file a petition to have his/her record expunged. Passed the House – Referred to Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee


HB 338 – Facial Recognition – Delegate Moon – Police use of facial recognition technology would be limited to investigations of violent crimes and other serious offenses.  Passed the House – Referred to the Judicial Proceedings Committee


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

The two versions of the bill must be reconciled.  Referred to Judiciary and Judicial Proceedings Committees




SB 1145 – Child Sex Offenders – Prohibition on In School Attendance – Senator Salling - Closing a loophole in current law, this legislation would prohibit children on the juvenile sex offender registry from attending public or private schools with other students. Local school boards would be tasked with providing alternative schooling options for those children to continue their education. Passed the Senate –






SB 480 The Protecting Election Officials Act - Administration— creates a new misdemeanor charge in state election law for threats against election officials or their families. Passed the Senate – Referred to Judiciary Committee


SB 29, Special Elections – Filling General Assembly Vacancies Senator Kagan Bill allows for special elections instead of appointments for legislators. Given that Maryland has a high percentage of appointed legislators vs legislators who have been voted in by their constituents, this will allow for a more representative government. Someone appointed in the first year of the four-year term would have to run for an election in the next presidential primary and general election (this way it would not cost any more money to run a special election. Passed the Senate – Referred to Ways and Means Committee


HB  347 – Change in Vacancy Procedures – Delegate Palakovich Carr – The bill includes provisions requiring that interviews to fill a vacancy and a subsequent vote by a political committee be conducted in public, along with ensuring that the existence of a vacancy and meetings scheduled to discuss it are advertised “in a conspicuous manner.” If a member of the committee applies for the position, they must recuse themselves from voting for it. Passed the House – Referred to Education, Energy and Environment Committee





SB 970/HB 1214 - Energy Storage Systems – Income Tax Credit and Grant Program – Sunset Extension  Would extend for two years limited state tax credits for solar battery storage. Integral part of residential renewable energy system particularly important for fast EV charging – Passed the Senate – Referred to House Economic Matters Committee


HB 836 – Delegate Edelson - The Transportation and Climate Alignment Act would require the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and regional transportation planning agencies to measure and mitigate any increases in climate pollution and vehicle traffic caused by planned highway expansion projects over $10 million.  Passed the House – Referred to Budget and Taxation Committee


HB 457 – Synthetic Turf-Chain of Custody – Delegate Lehman - 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 – Passed the House of Delegates – Referred to Education, Environment and Energy Committee





HB 328 Access to Hospital Care - Delegate Lopez - 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. Passed the House of Delegates. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee


HB 673 – Delegate Embry– Prohibiting the creation of a lien on owner-occupied residential property by contract or as a result of a breach of contract for the payment of medical debt. Passed Out of Committee – Referred to Judicial Proceedings Committee


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. Passed the House – Referred to Finance Committee

HB 1194– Safe Staffing Act of 2024 – Delegate Wells Requires each hospital licensed in the State to establish and maintain a clinical staffing committee and to implement a clinical staffing plan; Passed the House – Referred to Finance Committee


HB 805 – Cannabis Zoning – Delegate Wilson – Bill would limit local zoning authority on where cannabis dispensaries can open.  It would limit the minimum buffer between dispensaries to 2,000 feet.  Passed the House of Delegates – Referred to the Finance Committee




SB 484 and HB 538 —The Housing Expansion and Affordability Act House Speaker and Senate President— 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. Hearings Held – This is the exception to the rule because it is the Governor’s initiative. They will make a special effort to get this bill passed.






HB 609- Library Workers Empowerment Act Delegate Solomon – Allows library workers throughout Maryland to have collective bargaining rights (not all counties allow unions to negotiate with management.  Passed the House of Delegates – Referred to Finance Committee



HB 189 - Homecare Workers Employment Act of 2024 – Delegate Robyn Lewis -Bill ensures that home care workers are properly classified as employees and not independent contract.  Passed the House of Delegates – Referred to Senate Finance Committee


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. Passed the Senate.  Referred to House Health and Government Operations Committee




HB1117 – Delegate Stewart 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. – Passed the House – Referred to Judicial Proceedings


HB 477Just Cause Evictions Delegate Wilkins – Allows local jurisdictions to require a just cause basis for landlords to either refuse to renew or to cut off month to month or week to week leases.  Passed the House of Delegates – Referred to Judicial Proceedings


SB 370 - Community Schools - Rental Assistance for Community School Families Program and Fund –Senator Hettleman – Passed the Senate – Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee


HB 693 - The Renter’s Rights Stabilization Act – Administration Bill 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. Passed the House of Delegates – Referred to Judicial Proceedings




HB 352 – Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act – Speaker – This is a supplementary budget bill that has to pass both Houses.  Combined Reporting (a bill to eliminate a corporate tax loophole) is part of the amended bill.  Still in Committee. By law it has to pass.  Whether Combined Reporting stays in the bill remains to be seen. It will be reviewed by a Conference Committee form the Senate and the House


HB 1319 – Internet Gaming – This bill would put a referendum on the ballot to allow internet gambling.  Passed the House of Delegates




HB 513 - The Maryland Road Worker Protection Act Administration House Speaker and Senate President 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.  Passed the House of Delegates – Referred to Budget and taxation.


HB 1070 – Toll Fee Expansion - Delegate Korman – Basically a toll hike for out of state drivers. An attempt to raise $75 million for transportation projects Passed the House of Delegates – Referred to the Budget and Transportation Committee


SB 1065 - Surcharge on Electric Vehicles – Senator Guzzone – EV owners would pay an annual $100 surcharge.  The concept is that EV owners don’t pay the gas tax but still use the roads that have to be maintained.  Passed the Senate – Referred to the Environment and Transportation Committee


HB 1526/SB 1198 - Maryland PORT Act - An emergency aid program for thos affected by the Key Bridge Collapse 


The bills above have passed one house but not the other. They still have to be passed by the other.  Many of the bills may not pass and are signed into law.  If you care about one or many of these bills, contact your legislators.


You can find who your legislators by clicking on the following link: .


It is important to contact members of the Committee to ask that the bill be voted out by the Committee.  The General Assembly website lists all the committees, the members of each committee and their contact information.  Go to the main page ( ) and click on the Committees tab. 





Call or send an email to your legislators using the contact information found.   Here is where you can find out who are your Delegates and Senator:

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