On January 13, 2021, the General Assembly began the 2021 Legislative Session. This Session will bring a number of significant challenges as a result of the COVID–19 Pandemic. These challenges are not only related to the issues that the General Assembly will be considering, but also how the Session will be conducted. This year, one significant change is that access to the legislative buildings in Annapolis will be severely limited. This means that many of the people and groups who Senator Bailey enjoys welcoming to Annapolis to discuss legislation will be unable to do so this year. While this session may look different, Senator Bailey’s availability and committed leadership for St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties will remain unchanged. The Senator has pre-filed 14 bills for this Session, and we will be sharing more details about these bills (later this week/next week)
Among the changes that have happened since last session, Senator Bailey has been assigned to the Judicial Proceedings Committee. As a retired law enforcement officer, Senator Bailey is excited to contribute his experience to this Committee. Senator Bailey will also continue to serve as the Senate Chair of the Southern Maryland Delegation, the Senate Chair of the Sportsmen’s Caucus, and as a member of the executive committee for the Veterans’ Caucus.
Senator Bailey is proud to once again have an outstanding team to support him this session, including his Chief of Staff Christina Vigorito, Local Liaison Lynn Delahay, and Legislative Director Matt Arnold. Senator Bailey is also happy to welcome back Jon Norris as a legislative assistant for this session. Jon is a student at St. Mary’s College of Maryland who worked as an intern in the Senator’s office during the 2020 Legislative Session. Additionally, the Senator is excited to welcome a virtual intern, Holley Hickman, who is a 2nd year law student at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Holley has been an incredibly valuable asset to our office, working on research and garnering testimony for a critical bill to protect Maryland’s children that is being considered this session.
How to Follow the Senate
While access to the legislative building is limited, the Senate will be expanding access to legislative proceedings through the General Assembly’s website, mgaleg.maryland.gov. This year, all Senate floor sessions, committee hearings, and committee voting sessions will be available to watch online. We have also been informed that committees will be publishing the time of voting sessions, as well as voting lists, on the website. For help on how to use the General Assembly’s website, we encourage you to see the video tutorials available at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Information/VideoTutorials.
Senator Bailey’s office will also continue to offer regular updates throughout the legislative session. These updates will be made at least once a week, with more frequent updates as needed.
How to Make Your Voice Heard
This Session will also mean significant changes to how your voice heard is legislation being considered by the General Assembly. Committee testimony on bills will be held by Zoom, and oral witness testimony has been limited. For more details on how to submit oral or written testimony for bills this session, please see the Senate’s Committee Witness Guidelines, which are available at https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/pubs-current/SENATE%20COMMITTEE%20GUIDELINES.pdf.
For constituent and legislative issues, the best way to contact Senator Bailey’s office continues to be by email at Jack.Bailey@senate.state.md.us.
While in-person meetings will not occur in Annapolis during this session, meetings with Senator Bailey can take place by telephone or Zoom. To request a meeting, please send your request by email to Jack.Bailey@senate.state.md.us. We ask for your patience in scheduling meetings as there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the Senate’s schedule, particularly early in the legislative session. Due to the volume of requests, please send written information on the topic that you want to meet about to the Senator’s office at the above email address.