2021 Legislative Session
In the 2021 Legislative Session Senator Bailey was able to secure State funding for important local projects in the Operating and Capital Budgets. Not only did the Senate restore funding to the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home’s budget that had been removed by the House of Delegates, but Senator Bailey also secured supplemental funds to allow the Veterans Home to purchase their own ambulance. This ambulance will ensure that the veterans who reside at CHVH continue to receive the best care possible and will reduce the number of calls that the Rescue Squad has to handle from the Veterans Home, giving them greater capacity to respond to other calls from the community they serve.
The budget also included funds to support our local farmers through the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC). This restores funds that were cut from SMADC and will ensure that they can continue their important work for our agricultural community, particularly their progress on the Southern Maryland Regional Agricultural Center. As a member of SMADC’s board, Senator Bailey worked to restore full funding for this vital resource for our Southern Maryland Counties. Additionally, the Governor appropriated funds in the Operating Budget for a new academic building and auditorium at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, facilities renewal at SMCM, the excavation of St. Mary’s Fort, and oyster seeding efforts in our Bay.
The Capital Budget also included significant funding for projects in District 29 including the Third Academic Building at the University of Maryland at Southern Maryland, the Maryland Heritage Interpretive Center at Historic St. Mary’s City, needed repairs at Historic St. Mary’s City, a rescue boat for the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department the Innovative Center for Autonomous Systems at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport, the future St. Mary’s County Sports Complex, and the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum and Visitor Center.
Sponsored Legislation – Senator Bailey is proud to have sponsored the following bills which passed in the 2021 Legislative Session and became law:
Senate Bill 51 – Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland – Property Management – Southern Maryland Regional Agricultural Center authorizes the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland to act as the property manager for the new Regional Agricultural Center (RAC) which is currently being built in Charlotte Hall. This bill institutes the technical change necessary to allow the Tri-County Council to act as property manager for the RAC, which will in turn allow the SMADC to operate the facility, reflecting how all parties involved want to move forward and putting the statute in line with the memorandum of understanding for this project.
Senate Bill 318 – Natural Resources – Fishing and Hunting Rights affirms the importance of hunting and fishing to Maryland’s cultural and social heritage and economy. The bill also codifies the intent of the General Assembly that Marylanders have a right to hunt and fish in accordance with regulations and restrictions under laws enacted by the General Assembly. While reasonable regulation of hunting and fishing is necessary to preserve our environment for future generations to enjoy, these statutes need to be balanced with the rights of our residents in this area. Formal recognition of these rights is intended to help in protecting this balance and support the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who fish and hunt and the hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity that hunting and fishing generate in our State each year. Maryland was the 25th State to pass this type of legislation that was a priority for the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, which Senator Bailey chairs.
Senate Bill 324 – Environment and Natural Resources – Complaints, Inspections, and Enforcement – Information Maintenance and Reporting ensures more transparency regarding how information about Maryland’s natural resources and environmental laws are disseminated. Senator Bailey co-sponsored this bill and testified in support at the bill hearing.
Senate Bill 769 – Income Tax Credit for Venison Donation – Reporting Requirement and Testing for Chronic Wasting Disease was another priority of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and requires the Department of Natural Resources to study deer brought to processors as part of the income tax credit program for venison donation for chronic wasting disease to ensure that the State is providing a safe and healthy food source to those in need through this initiative. As Senate Chair of the Sportsmen’s Caucus, Senator Bailey co-sponsored this bill and testified in support at the bill hearing.
Senate Bill 861 – St. Mary’s County – Public Facilities Bond authorizes the St. Mary’s County Commissioners to borrow money to finance the construction, improvement, or development of public facilities in St. Mary’s County.
Senate Bill 946 – Historic St. Mary’s City Fort to 400 Commission establishes the Historic St. Mary’s City Fort to 400 Commission. This Commission will be directed to plan and conduct observances commemorating the 400th anniversary of Maryland’s founding in 2034. As Maryland’s first settlement, Historic St. Mary’s City will be at the center of these celebrations. This is not only a high honor and responsibility, but also an economic opportunity for the area where the various stakeholders will be granted the responsibility to also ensure preservation efforts and maintain the historical significance of St. Mary’s City. It is important to note that this Commission will be focused not only on the statewide celebration and the observances held at St. Mary’s City, but also on ensuring that we use this opportunity to the fullest to ensure the continued economic viability of Historic St. Mary’s City and the surrounding area so that this rich history can be shared and enjoyed by many generations to come.
Cross-filed Legislation – Senator Bailey was also the Senate sponsor of legislation to protect our students.
House Bill 83 – Public and Nonpublic Schools – Electric Retractable Room Partitions – Operation Requirements creates safety standards for the use of electric retractable room partitions in Maryland schools. The bill states that a school employee may not operate an electric retractable room partition in a school building unless one of three conditions are met. This bill was introduced in response to incidents in other states where improper operation of these partitions has killed or seriously injured students. Senator Bailey introduced the Senate version of this bill, Senate Bill 104, which included the language that ultimately was passed by the General Assembly.
Other Legislation – Senator Bailey was also proud to work with his colleagues in the General Assembly on other important legislation that passed this year, including:
Senate Bill 17 – Criminal Law – Life–Threatening Injury Involving a Motor Vehicle or Vessel – Criminal Negligence (Wade’s Law) prohibits a person from causing a life-threatening injury to another as a result of the person’s driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle or vessel in a criminally negligent manner. A violation of this law is punishable by a year in prison, a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both. Senator Bailey diligently worked to ensure that this important public safety legislation was prioritized by the Judicial Proceedings Committee and passed this year.
2020 Legislative Session
In the 2020 Legislative Session, Senator Bailey secured State funding for important projects in District 29 in the Operating and Capital Budgets. Included among the most notable items in the budget are the Third Building at USMSM, Historic St. Mary’s City, the Calvert Marine Museum, the Regional Agricultural Center planned in Charlotte Hall, Chopticon High School’s stadium press box, restorations for Historic Sotterley Plantation, and renovations to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center.
The Senator also worked to ensure funding was included in the budget to be dedicated to study the feasibility of a future behavioral health crisis center in Southern Maryland. Additionally, as the Chair of the Southern Maryland Senate Delegation, Senator Bailey also supported bills which increase funding for the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland and streamline the budget process for the College of Southern Maryland.
Senator Bailey is proud to have sponsored the following bills which passed in the 2020 Legislative Session:
Senate Bill 242 – Natural Resources – Wild Waterfowl Policy – Repeal removes obsolete provisions of Maryland law regarding the issuance of a license to feed wild waterfowl. The current law has only served to confuse the public and those police officers who attempt to enforce it; Senate Bill 242 will end this confusion.
Senate Bill 261 – St. Mary’s County – Public Facilities Bond authorizes the St. Mary’s County Commissioners to borrow money to finance the construction, improvement, or development of public facilities in St. Mary’s County.
Senate Bill 343 – Calvert County – Public Facilities Bond authorizes the Calvert County Commissioners to borrow money to finance the construction, improvement, or development of public facilities in Calvert County.
Senate Bill 510 – Natural Resources – Commercial Fishing – Use of Haul Seines authorizes a person, if a haul seine is fished on a Friday, to empty that haul seine during the period from 12:01 a.m. on the following Saturday until sunrise on the following Monday. This law will protect non-targeted species of fish, including threatened or endangered species or fish caught out of season, by releasing them on Saturday morning. Under current law, a waterman cannot release any fish that are caught in the net, including non-targeted species, until Monday.
Senate Bill 882 – Recreational Striped Bass Fishery – Study on Harvest Data requires the Department of Natural Resources to conduct a study on methods of obtaining more accurate harvest data for the recreational striped bass fishery. As many recreational anglers are aware, this legislation is important to accurately record the number of striped bass caught in the Chesapeake Bay. Decisions about fishing limits for striped bass were made based off of outdated and limited recreational data that includes a significant amount of error. This bill is an effort to improve the accuracy of this data so that, moving forward, everyone is working for a sustainable fishery. This was a priority of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
Senate Bill 1025 – Task Force on Fishing License Penalties establishes a task force to study and make recommendations on fishing license penalty reciprocity between Maryland and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC). Senator Bailey is confident that this task force will help the PRFC close a longstanding loophole and come up with and implement sound policies so we can protect our natural resources that are so vulnerable to poaching by individuals who have had their fishing licenses suspended or revoked elsewhere.
In addition to these bills, Senator Bailey also worked on other issues of importance to residents of District 29:
Straight-Walled Rifle Cartridges – Senator Bailey has heard from many of Maryland’s hunters in support of allowing the use of straight-walled rifle cartridges in Maryland. The Senator worked on this issue with the Department of Natural Resources and, as a result, regulations to allow the use of these cartridges have been enacted.
House Bill 4/Senate Bill 208 requires a background check for secondary sales, rentals, and transfers of rifles and shotguns. Senator Bailey has checked thousands of hunters and sportsmen who utilized long guns in his 30 year law enforcement career, and he opposed this legislation because it will not have any meaningful impact on crime in Maryland. Senator Bailey was successful in adding an amendment to the bill to protect the Second Amendment rights of his Amish and Traditional Mennonite Constituents who are unable to undergo background checks because their religious belief against taking pictures prevents them from having photo identification.
2019 Legislative Session
In the 2019 Legislative Session, Senator Bailey secured State funding for important projects in District 29 in the Operating and Capital Budgets. Included among the most notable items in the budget are the Third Building at USMSM, which is crucial to growing our local economy and represents a critical investment in bringing expanded higher education research opportunities to Southern Maryland. The budget also included funding for a new academic building, 700-seat auditorium, and infrastructure improvements at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, as well as funding for Historic St. Mary’s City, the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), the Airport Autonomous Systems Center at St. Mary’s County Airport, the Calvert Marine Museum, and Three Notch Theatre.
Senator Bailey is proud to have sponsored or co-sponsored the following bills which passed during the 2019 Legislative Session:
Senate Bill 292 – Property Tax Credit – Public Safety Officer – Definition allows volunteer emergency medical technicians to be defined as public safety officers so that they may be eligible recipients for local property tax credits. Senator Bailey takes pride in serving those who serve our community and this bill passed unanimously through the legislature.
Senate Bill 390 – Natural Resources – Sunday Hunting – St. Mary’s County allows individuals in St. Mary’s County to hunt any game bird or game mammal, except game birds, on any Sunday during the open season for that appropriate bird or mammal. The bill applies to private property or public land designated for Sunday hunting by the Department of Natural Resources. This is a huge victory for St. Mary’s County, especially our young hunters who may not have been able to hunt because of school and extracurricular activities, which typically take place on Saturdays.
Senate Bill 947 – Calvert County – Correctional Officers’ Bill of Rights establishes the rights of a correctional officer relating to the employment, investigation, and discipline of correctional officers in Calvert County.
Senate Bill 957 – Calvert County – Office of the Sheriff – Correctional Deputies authorizes the Sheriff of Calvert County to appoint correctional deputies who serve under the direction of the Sheriff and adds “correctional deputies” to statutory provisions regarding deputy sheriffs in Calvert County.
In addition to these bills, Senator Bailey also worked on other issues of importance to residents of District 29:
Senate Bill 521 – Veteran Suicide Prevention – Comprehensive Action Plan – Senator Bailey was proud to work with Secretary Owings of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs and Senator Smith on this bi-partisan legislation that increases the accessibility of professional veteran health services with the hope to prevent suicides. This bill raises awareness and will provide extensive resources to our veterans who desperately need our help.
Senate Bill 311 – End of Life Option Act – Senator Bailey opposes this legislation and voted against it in the Senate. Thankfully, this bill was defeated in the Senate with a tie 23-23 vote, with one senator abstaining. Senator Bailey had numerous conversations with constituents about this bill and understands how important and personal this issue is to so many residents of District 29.