Monday is crossover day for the 2023 Legislative Session. This is the date by which the Senate and the House must pass a bill for that bill to be guaranteed a hearing in the opposite chamber, giving them a greater chance of passing this year than those that do not.
On Wednesday, Senate Bill 336, which would establish a workgroup to study the creation of a Waterway Incident Notification System (WINS) in Maryland, passed the Senate unanimously. This legislation will now go to the House of Delegates for its consideration.
Three more of Senator Bailey’s bills passed the Senate’s Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee on Thursday. The first, Senate Bill 422, establishes a Black Bass Conservation Fund funded principally through voluntary contributions made when an individual purchases a fishing license. The second, Senate Bill 611, creates a unit in the Office of the Attorney General to investigate environmental and natural resources crimes, which require very specialized knowledge in these fields. The third, Senate Bill 639, updates and modifies the governance and structure of the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission following an independent audit into the Commission’s practices that was released this week. All three bills will now go before the full Senate for further action.
The Senate also continues its consideration of other important legislation before the crossover deadline. On Thursday, the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee passed Senate Bill 24. This bill expands the authority of the Maryland Department of Transportation to issue bonds backed by future federal aid for transportation projects in our State. These bonds can be issued for a list of projects specified in the bill, which includes the replacement of the Thomas Johnson Bridge and the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit Corridor. Senator Bailey was proud to vote for and co-sponsor this legislation, which will provide a new opportunity to address the much needed and long-awaited replacement of the Thomas Johnson Bridge, District 29’s most important transportation priority.
The Budget and Taxation Committee also passed Senate Bill 640, which creates a new exemption to the State sales tax for electricity used for agricultural purposes, on Thursday. Senator Bailey supports our State’s farmers and co-sponsored this legislation.
Senate Bill 1
On Monday, the Senate considered Senate Bill 1, a gun control bill which was introduced in response to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the Bruen case. This bill makes several changes to Maryland’s gun laws; most notably, it would greatly limit where Marylanders could carry firearms. Senator Bailey voted against this unconstitutional legislation which restricts the ability of law-abiding Marylanders to exercise their Second Amendment rights. This bill will do nothing to address the problem of crime in our State; it will only make criminals out of those who are trying to protect themselves and their families. Unfortunately, this bill passed the Senate and will now go to the House of Delegates. This bill is clearly unconstitutional and will most certainly be challenged in court.