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Day 46 – Kirwan Accountability

Today, the Senate’s Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee began considering amendments to House Bill 1300, the proposed legislation to implement the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission.  The Senate amendments have the potential to drastically improve the Kirwan bill that passed the House last week.  The proposed changes are significant based on the fact that they require measured accountability and introduces checkpoints.  This checkpoint would stipulate that, if the Kirwan legislation is not achieving results within the first five years, there will be no obligation for the State to continue funding these reforms.

Senator Bailey also presented two more bills that have been given a favorable vote by his committee and are now being considered by the full Senate.  The first bill, Senate Bill 510 – Natural Resources – Commercial Fishing – Use of Haul Seines, would allow that, if a haul seine is set on a Friday, a person may empty it during the period from 12:01 a.m. on the following Saturday until sunrise on the following Monday.  The second bill, Senate Bill 882 – Recreational Striped Bass Fishery – Study on Harvest Data, would require the Department of Natural Resources to conduct a study on methods of obtaining more accurate harvest data for the recreational striped bass fishery and to examine certain issues relevant to obtaining more accurate harvest data.

Yesterday, Senator Bailey voted for a bill that could make a significant different in the fight against crime in Baltimore City.  Senate Bill 35 – Crimes – Penalties and Procedures (Violent Firearms Offender Act of 2020) incorporates parts of the Governor’s crime bill by increasing penalties for repeat offenders who illegally possess firearms, theft of a firearm, and knowingly transferring a gun to someone who intends to use it in a crime.  It also makes use of a firearm in a crime of violence a felony.  Senator Bailey was proud to support this important legislation and other bills to combat crime in our State, and will continue to introduce and support legislation to protect public safety in Maryland.

The State Highway Administration will begin emergency work on Wednesday, March 11 along MD 249 (Piney Point Road) in St. Mary’s County.  Crews will install approximately 150 linear feet of rip rap along the southbound MD 249 shoulder between Sheaffer Lane and Crowder Lane. Motorists can expect a single lane closure with a flagging operation from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.  All work is scheduled to be complete by Sunday, March 15, 2020, weather permitting.  This is a direct result of meetings with the Governor’s office, State Highway Administration, your Senator, and your Delegate this year.