MD General Assembly Week 2 in Review

Week 2 of the 2016 Session of the Maryland General Assembly was far more lively than Week 1, with many new bills being introduced in both houses and the Governor’s vetoes of seven bills from the 2015 session being heard. On Tuesday, we told you what to expect in the House of Delegates, on Wednesday, we reported on what to expect in the State Senate, and yesterday we discussed the overrides of 5 of those vetoes.

We now have some of the official vote lists, but they have not yet been publicly posted as required by the Maryland Constitution. You can find the how legislators voted on each bill below the summary of legislation proposed this week.


Taxes and Fees

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HB 116 would repeal the indexing of the gasoline tax.

HB 139 would lower the tax on premium cigars.

HB 159, HB 160, and HB 161 would index aspects of the tax code to adjust as inflation adjusts and lower taxes paid. Hearing Ways and Means-2/2.

HB 170 would alter the homestead tax credit cap and lower taxes.

SB 220 would reduce the alcohol tax. Hearing Budget and Taxation–2/3.


HB 178 would prevent roadside trees from being removed except in some circumstances.

Criminal Law

HB 94 would raise the maximum penalty for child abuse resulting in death to life imprisonment. Hearing Judiciary–2/4.

HB 96 and SB 177 would increase to 40 years the maximum penalty for second-degree murder. House Hearing Judiciary–1/26.

HB 127 would permit at home gambling. Hearing Ways and Means–2/2.

HB 183 would prohibit the smoking of marijuana in public. Hearing Judiciary–2/9.

HB 187 would propose an amendment that would allow casino gambling at the BWI Airport.

SB 184 would add “personal protection” as a reason to issue a concealed carry permit.

SB 189 would restrict the method of detaining juveniles.

SB 193 would require the posting of victim demographics.


HB 109 would require information regarding a la carte menu items to be provided at local schools. Hearing Ways and Means-2/4.

HB 198 would require a school resource officer to be assigned to each public school.

HB 209 would alter the formulas to provide more money to school boards with declining enrollment.

SB 183 would require seat belts on school buses. Hearing Judicial Proceedings–2/2.


HB 88 would prohibit automated vehicles from operating without a driver. Hearing Environment and Transportation–2/4.

HB 212 would increase the fine for using a handheld telephone while driving.

Elections and Government

HB 117 would require proof of ability to read English to be a licensed pharmacist. Hearing Health and Government Operations–1/28.

HB 130 would require electronic publication on the DLS website the calendar of meals and receptions legislators are invited to attend.

HB 223, HB 224, and SB 179 would propose amendments to alter how Circuit Court Judges are appointed. Senate Hearing Judicial Proceedings–2/3.

HB 225 (cross-filed with SB 261) would prevent a candidate who was defeated during a primary to serve as a write-in candidate for the same office.

SB 260 would require a residency form be filed when filing for as a candidate for the Maryland General Assembly.

SB 268 would require proof of identification to vote.

Honorable Mention

HB 91 National Healthcare Decisions Day. Hearing Health and Government Operations–2/3.

HB 100 would prohibit a person from entering a vehicle without permission and consider them “a rogue and vagabond”.  Hearing Judiciary–2/2.

HB 115 would establish a grant of at least $500,000 for robotics programs in local schools. Hearing Ways and Means–2/4.

HB 199 would rename “Orphans’ Court” to “Probate Court”

HB 215 (cross-filed with SB 49) and SB 222 State Song

SB 224 Orange Ribbon for Health School Hours.  Hearing Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs–2/3.


How Your Representatives Voted on the Governor’s Vetoes

In the House of Delegates, there are 91 Democrats and 50 Republicans, and 85 votes is necessary to override a veto. In the State Senate there are 33 Democrats and 14 Republicans, and 29 votes are necessary to override a veto.

Here is a full update on where each bill stands:

HB 71 (Capital Budget): Overridden by 92-49 in the House and 32-14 in the Senate. In 2015, the bill was unanimously passed.

In the House, Freshman Mark Chang (32-Anne Arundel) and Theodore Sophocleus (32-Anne Arundel) were the two Democrats who originally voted oppose but switched to support, making it so that all of the Democrats voted to override the veto. Republican Herb McMillan (30A-Anne Arundel) also voted in support, and it should be noted that the bill provides money for an art center in his district.

We do not yet have the official or unofficial list for the Senate vote.


HB 209 (Room Rental Tax): Overridden by 90-51 in the House and 32-14 in the Senate.

In the House, this was a mostly partisan vote. Only Freshman Democrat Ned  (31A-Anne Arundel) stayed in opposition to the bill, joining the whole Republican Caucus.

Since last year’s vote, the Democrat leadership convinced the following to switch to support: Freshman Sheree Sample-Hughes (37A-Dorchester and Wicomico), Charles Barkley (39-Montgomery), and Deputy Majority Leader Dan Morhaim (11-Baltimore).

Likewise, the Republican leadership convinced five Republicans to switch to oppose: Freshman William Folden (3B-Frederick), Freshmen Christopher Adams and Johnny Mautz (37B-Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico), Freshman Christopher West (42B-Baltimore), and Herb McMillain (30A-Anne Arundel).

We do not yet have the official or unofficial list for the Senate vote.


HB 980 and SB 340 (Ex-Felon voting): Overridden by 85-56 in the House and Special Ordered until February 5, 2016 by the Senate (see SB 340 below).

The Republican Caucus was united on this vote, and many Democrats joined them: Eric Bromwell (8-Baltimore), Freshman Ned Carey (31A-Anne Arundel), Freshman Mark Chang (32-Anne Arundel), Freshman Mary Ann Lisanti (34A-Harford), Theodore Sophocleus (32-Anne Arundel), and C.T. Wilson (28-Charles)

Since last year’s voce, the Democrat leadership was able to convince Charles Barkley (39-Montgomery) and Pamela Beidle (32-Anne Arundel) to switch from support to oppose. Freshman Democrat Michael (27B-Calvert and Prince George’s) did not vote last year but voted in support this year.

The Senate has postponed a vote on both bills date until February 5, 2016, which has come under question for it possibly violating the Maryland Constitution’s requirement to immediately consider the Governor’s vetoes upon reconvening.


SB 190 (Room Rental Tax): Overridden by 30-16 in the Senate and 89-52 in the House.

The Republican Caucus was joined by John Astle (30-Anne Arundel) and C. Anthony Muse (26-Prince George’s). Since last year, Republican Addie Eckardt (37-Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, and Wicomico) switched to oppose while Democrat James DeGrange (32-Anne Arundel) and Douglas Peters (23-Prince George’s) switched to support.

In the House, the override gained four votes from Democrats Pamela Beidle (32-Anne Arundel), Freshman Mark Chang (32-Anne Arundel), Freshman Mary Ann Lisanti (34A-Harford), and Theodore Sophocleus (32-Anne Arundel) who switched from oppose. Democrats Eric Bromwell (8-Baltimore) and Freshman Ned Carey (31A-Anne Arundel) stayed in opposition to the legislation with the Republican Caucus.


SB 517 (Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia De-criminalization): Overridden by 29-17 in the Senate and 86-55 in the House. We do not yet have an official vote count for either house, so this count is unofficial.

Since 2015, the opposition to the bill in the Senate strengthened yet was not enough to prevent an override. Democrat Senator James Mathias (38-Somerset, Worcester, and Wicomico) voted against the measure last year and continued to oppose it. He was joined by Democrat Senator James Brochin (42-Baltimore) and Republican Freshman Justin Ready (5-Carroll), who switched from support to oppose.

Senator Catherine Pugh (40-Baltimore City) did not vote on the bill last year but was the key vote to support the override. Her vote replaced the support vote lost by the retirement of Senator Karen Montgomery (formerly 14-Montgomery).

In the House, the bill passed in 2015 by only 84 votes, one less than necessary to override a veto. This year, the veto was overridden by 86-55, and there were many who changed their mind on the issue.  The Republican Caucus was united when Freshman Trent Kittleman (9A-Howard and Carroll) and Freshman Robin Grammer (6-Baltimore) switched to oppose from her support vote in 2015. Delegate McMillan did not vote last year and voted to oppose.

Three Democrat Delegates switched to supporting the veto override this year, Freshman Mark Chang (32-Anne Arundel), Pamela Beidle (32-Anne Arundel) and Theodore Sophocleus (32-Anne Arundel).

Three Democrat Delegates continued to vote in opposition to the bill, Charles Barkley (39-Montgomery), C.T. Wilson (28-Charles), and Freshman Sheree Sample-Hughes (37A-Dorchester and Wicomico), while Freshman Jay Jalisi (10-Baltimore) switched to opposition this year.


SB 528 (Seizure and Forfeiture): Overridden by 32-14 in the Senate and 90-51 (unofficial count, the official record reads 89-52) in the House. Here are how your representatives unofficially voted:

In 2015 the Senate passed the bill unanimously, but 14 voted this year in opposition to a veto. The opposition was joined by Democrat John Astle (30-Anne Arundel), and the support was joined by Republican Michael Hough (4-Frederick and Carroll).

In the House, there was much switching of positions. Three Democrat Delegate switched to support the override Freshman Mark Chang (32-Anne Arundel), Freshman Michael Jackson (27B-Calvert and Prince George’s), and Jay Walker (26-Prince George’s) while Republican Freshman William Wivel (2A-Washington) joined them. Two Republicans switched to oppose, Freshman Trent Kittleman (9A-Howard and Carroll) and Glen Glass (34A-Harford), and Democrat Eric Bromwell (8-Baltimore) was the lone Democrat to stay in the opposition.


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