On Monday, the Senate gave final approval to a bill introduced by Senator Bailey to protect Maryland’s children from sexual abusers. Senate Bill 268 – Sexual Abuse of a Minor – Crime of Violence and Lifetime Supervision will strengthen Maryland’s criminal laws by making sexual abuse of a minor between the ages of 13 and 15 crimes of violence, which subjects offenders to additional criminal penalties. Under current law, this is only a crime of violence if the victim is 12 or younger. In response to concerns raised during the legislative process, this expansion of the crime of violence statute in cases where the victim is between 13 and 15 will only apply to offenders who are 21 or older. The bill also provides for lifetime supervision of an individual convicted of sexual abuse of a minor if the victim is between the ages of 12 and 15; current Maryland law only requires this supervision in cases where the victim is 11 or younger. Again, in response to concerns raised during the legislative process, this expansion of the lifetime supervision statute in cases where the victim is between 13 and 15 will only apply to offenders who are 21 or older. Senator Bailey was proud to have sponsored this important legislation. It will now go to the House of Delegates for their consideration.
Also on Monday, right before the crossover deadline, the Senate passed Senate Bill 946, which would establish 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. This legislation is important to ensuring not only that these observances are well-organized, but also to ensure that Historic St. Mary’s City and the surrounding area can take full advantage of the economic opportunity that this occasion will bring.
The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has passed Senate Bill 852, the Violent Firearms Offender Act of 2021. This bill would enhance penalties for using guns in violent crimes, increases penalties for knowingly selling a gun to someone who commits a crime, and creates tougher penalties for use of assault weapons in a crime and illegally possessing and selling firearms. This bill was first introduced last year as part of the Governor’s crime package and passed the Senate, but was not considered by the House of Delegates before last session’s early adjournment. The bill passed out of the Committee 6-5, and Senator Bailey was proud to support this important legislation that will address the issue of rising violent crime in our State.