MD General Assembly Mid-Week 3
Some pieces of legislation have gone under the radar but are making their way through both chambers rather quickly. Before the public realizes that a bill has made it out of committee, they can often make it to the floor for amendments and then for a vote. Now begins the time when committees begin to issue their reports on legislation, with those receiving a favorable report being allowed to proceed.
The bill that will probably be of greatest interest is an “emergency bill” (meaning it goes into effect immediately after passage and approved by the Governor) that would require internet transportation services to be regulated as traditional services:
This bill expands the legal label of “transportation network company” to anyone who operates as a transporter within the state. This closes any loopholes regarding Uber and Lyft, forcing them to follow the same requirements as other entities that engage in transporting clients within the state.
Here are some other bills of interest that have made their way out of committee:
HB 75 and SB 162: Adds 30 days to the Public Service Commission’s timeline to investigate a proposed surcharge for an infrastructure project. The bills are coming up for a Second Reader in both the House and Senate tomorrow. The vote was unanimous in the House Economic Matters Committee and unanimous with amendment in the Senate Finance Committee. (fiscal note)
SB 1: Would expand mandated in vitro fertilization health insurance coverage, increasing state expenditures by $200,000 per year and raising health care premiums. It passed with amendment out of the Senate Finance Committee by 9-2. (fiscal note)
Here are some new proposals this week:
State Funding Dedicated to Specific Projects
HB 262 would increase how much funding the state must allocate to senior centers.
Health and Environment
HB 265 would create a registry of health care workers terminated for abuse.
SB 323 would make the “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act” permanent.
SB 333 would limit the type of drinks children can receive as part of a meal at a restaurant to bottled water, low-fat milk or 100% fruit juice.
HB 269 would remove Marijuana as a violation of pretrial release, parole, or probation in specified circumstances.
HB 307 would further reduce the penalty on marijuana use.
Elections and Government
HB 260 by Delegate Moon would require the Governor to appoint an individual to fill a vacancy in the office of United States Senator, Attorney General, or Comptroller. However, HB 288 by Delegate Moon proposes an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to require a special election for Attorney General or Comptroller.
HB 297 would prohibit businesses from donating to campaigns.
HB 308 would require the filming of session, Huzzah!
HB 343 would require Equal Pay among government contractors.
HB 270 Maryland Sportsmanship Month
HB 303, cross file of SB 26, State Tartan