Getting Our Work Done in the Maryland General Assembly
It was a busy week in Annapolis. We worked very hard to meet the deadline to pass bills out of the House of Delegates to ensure they crossed over to the Senate in time for consideration. I’m very proud to lead the House in our work passing bills that invest in our families and our economy, protect reproductive freedom, modernize our benefits to rebuild a strong government, support housing justice, and create a recreational cannabis framework supporting those who were disproportionately harmed by the war on cannabis. Highlights of this week’s passed bills are below.
HB 279 Prescription Drug Affordability Board – Upper Payment Limits allows the first-in-the-nation Prescription Drug Affordability Board to continue its work on upper payment limits, helping to lower the cost of prescription drugs in Maryland.
HB 775 Public Safety – Emergency Management – Consumer Protections Against Price Gouging is an anti-price gouging bill which limits non-seasonal price increases on essential goods and services to 15% during a state of emergency. It also gives the governor the power during a state of emergency to designate essential goods and services.
HB 283 Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Gender-Affirming Treatment (Trans Health Equity Act) is a healthcare equity bill which brings Maryland into compliance with existing federal standards by ensuring Maryland Medicaid offers the same comprehensive healthcare coverage to the transgender community as private insurers offer.
HB 824 Public Safety – Regulated Firearms – Possession and Permits to Carry, Wear, and Transport a Handgun strengthens gun safety in Maryland by adjusting the conceal-carry permitting process to include additional disqualifications to state law. Among other new requirements, it prohibits possession of a regulated firearm by a person who is younger than 21 or has a history of violent behavior.
HB 550 Clean Transportation and Energy Act moves Maryland forward in electrifying transportation and creating climate friendly transportation infrastructure.
HB 9 Transportation Equity requires the Maryland Transportation Plan to prioritize ways to achieve equity in transportation when developing overall transportation goals. This legislation was vetoed by former Governor Hogan last year.
HB 691 Tenant Safety Act allows tenants to work together in the same lawsuit if a landlord refuses to fix serious issues associated with living conditions. It also allows a tenant to recover damages for breach of the warranty of habitability, which is the basic requirement of having a safe and secure place to live.
HB 36 Proof of Rental Licensure requires a landlord to have the rental license required by their county before they can go to court to evict a tenant. This legislation was vetoed by former Governor Hogan last session.
Appreciating Our Hard-Working Clerks and Staff
We couldn’t do the work of the people of Maryland without our talented team of clerks in the Chief Clerk’s Office and staff in the Amendment Office. Bagels are just a small token of appreciation for their work behind the scenes to get us through Crossover and as fuel for the final push through the end of session. They will process over 1,400 bills for consideration over the course of the 90-day Legislative Session.
District 10 Visitors from Franklin Middle School
This week, the District 10 Team of Senator Ben Brooks, Delegate Jennifer White, Delegate N. Scott Phillips, and I were happy to welcome members of the Black Boy Joy and Genius Mentoring Program from District 10’s Franklin Middle School. This program offers life-changing experiences for our young men and opportunities for them to lead in school and in the community. The students had a chance to watch both the House and Senate in action, and they had great questions for our team. We loved their energy.