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MD General Assembly Mid-Week 5

This was a busy week in Annapolis, and the leaders in the State Senate and House of Delegates have put forth many new and ingenious ways to strip away the rights of Marylanders and cripple local businesses. Earlier this week, we informed you of the shaky actions of Delegate/Senator double voting on legislation and how the Senate President violated multiple aspects of the State’s Constitution. Here are the other shenanigans that took place.

To the average person, this work week began on Monday, February 8th. To the State Senate, Monday was Friday, February 5th. And so it begins, with the Senate relying on a gimmick to separate the legislative day from the calendar date to get around the clear language of the Maryland Constitution:

Article III Section 27. (a) A bill may not become a law until it is read on three different days of the session in each House, unless two-thirds of the members elected to the House where such bill is pending determine by yeas and nays, and no bill shall be read a third time until it shall have been actually engrossed or printed for a third reading.

The President of the State Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates rely on the redefining of dates to hold multiple sessions on the same day in defiance of the “three different days” requirement. The absurdity of this abuse is magnified when realizing that the House of Delegates is still following the correct date at this point.

Everything wrong and corrupt in Annapolis can be embodied by this very act–redefining the day of the week to get around limits to their authority. It is unclear why no one has challenged this behavior, and it is startling that the media has turned a blind eye on the matter for a very long time.

 

In terms of legislation, Week 5 saw a dramatic increase in proposals:

Partisan Attack Legislation

HB 753 and SB 808 would dramatically alter the Maryland Constitution to strip a Governor’s ability to set the budget because the current Governor is a Republican. House Hearing Appropriations-2/23. Senate Hearing Budget and Taxation-3/16.

SB 762 would allow for a fair redistricting policy to be instituted in Maryland only if states with less gerrymandering agree to be included in a compact. Hearing Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs-3/03

Anti-Business

SB 664 would severely disrupt the ability of employers to staff their businesses during key hours.

SB 761 Anti-Farming Act, would renegotiate farming contracts and effectively unionize contractors. Hearing Finance-3/09

SB 940 Saving Virginia’s Businesses Act would dramatically increase the minimum wage and cripple Maryland businesses.

HB 1003 and HB 1004 would ignore common sense wages and impose draconian controls over private businesses. Hearing Economic Matters-3/01

Benefits for Illegal Immigrants

HB 975 would allow an illegal immigrant to qualify for the Maryland Bar and become a practicing lawyer. Hearing Judiciary-2/25

HB 1007 Another Universal Voter Registration Act. Hearing Ways and Means-3/02

Health

HB 1005 and SB 848 Health Inequality Act would require men to pay for expensive medical services they cannot benefit from and would force all people to pay for medical procedures even if they morally disagree. Senate Hearing Finance-3/02

Taxes and Economics

HB 759 would force poor people to live in rich neighborhoods without addressing the real economic issues. Hearing Environment and Transportation-2/23

HB 807 would make diapers tax exempt. Hearing Ways and Means-3/04

SB 659 would reduce the sales tax back to 5%. Hearing Budget and Taxation-3/16

SB 735 would institute a flat tax, making Maryland’s tax code simpler and better for working families. Hearing Budget and Taxation-3/16.

Education

SB 674 and HB934 could possibly reduce the burden of teacher pensions on local school systems. Senate Hearing Budget and Taxation-2/25

SB 755 and SB 756 would greatly expand free meals in schools. Hearing Budget and Taxation-3/15

HB 804 (cross-file SB 702) would dramatically alter college education by requiring a common, core curriculum among schools. Senate Hearing Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs-3/02

SB 906 and HB 1002 would put colleges at further risk of criminals targeting them. Senate Hearing Judicial Proceedings-3/09

Criminal Justice

HB 757 would make it harder to punish effectively those who commit first-degree murder

SB 656 would re-institute the death penalty for the first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer or a first responder. Hearing Judicial Proceedings-3/01

SB 891 would allow for the smoking of even more pot. Hearing Judicial Proceedings-3/02

Honorable Mention

HB 911 would repeal the ability of those under 18 to marry. Hearing Judiciary-3/03 

HB 965 would create a new state funded horse race. Hearing Ways and Means-3/04

SB 713 would remove the statue of influential Marylander, Supreme Court Justice Taney, from State House grounds. The cross-file HB 532 had its hearing cancelled in the House. Senate Hearing Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs-3/04

SB 719 would allow local municipalities to impose a rain tax on state owned properties. Hearing Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs-3/01






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