On Wednesday, Senator Bailey presented four bills related to natural resources to the Senate’s Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee. These bills included Senate Bill 10, which would give Marylanders an option to carry most licenses, permits, and stamps issued by the Department of Natural Resources electronically, and Senate Bill 80, which would restore a commercial license for catching invasive species of catfish. Two bills were also presented to expand youth hunting and crabbing opportunities in our State: Senate Bill 91, to allow children under 17 to renew or reapply for an apprentice hunting license, and Senate Bill 102, to expand the ability of children under 16 to catch crabs without a license.
Senator Bailey was pleased to be joined by representatives of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who testified in support of these bills and offered constructive amendments to improve them. Senate Bill 80 received a favorable vote from the Committee on Thursday, setting it up to be one of the first bills of the session to be considered by the full Senate next week.
More Bills Introduced
This week, Senator Bailey introduced four more bills from his legislative agenda for consideration by the Senate.
Senate Bill 208 – Criminal Law – Indecent Exposure Within the Sight of a Minor would strengthen penalties for indecent exposure within the sight of a minor in Maryland. The current penalty for all instances of indecent exposure is a maximum of 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. This legislation would change those maximum penalties only in cases involving indecent exposure with prurient intent within the sight of a minor to a maximum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Senate Bill 275 – Hunting – Snares, Traps, and Other Similar Devices – Identification Requirement would require a hunter who use snares or traps to stamp their DNR identification number on the snare or trap. This requirement would not apply to a hunter using a trap on their own property. This confidential identification number can be used by DNR to communicate with a hunter who has inadvertently trapped animals other than the ones being hunted, such as pets.
Senate Bill 323 – Calvert County – Sunday Hunting – Repeal of Time Restrictions has been introduced by the Calvert County Senators and would allow full day Sunday hunting on private property in Calvert County on each day of the game bird and game mammal seasons.
Senate Bill 336 – Waterway Incident Notification System (WINS) Workgroup would study the feasibility of establishing a Waterway Incident Notification System to notify members of the public, including recreational boaters and commercial watermen, of active waterway emergencies involving a person at risk of death or serious bodily harm, emergency marine events, or marine hazards. The workgroup would also explore potential partnerships between the State, the Coast Guard, the Navy, and nearby states to notify boaters of these incidents.
Budget Hearings Begin
On Friday, Senator Bailey participated in his first budget hearing following the introduction of the budget last week. The Senator is a member of the Education, Business, and Administration Subcommittee, and their hearing today reviewed the budgets for the Board of Public Works and the Maryland School for the Deaf.
The Board of Public Works’ budget includes $350,000 in operating funds for Historic Sotterley following successful legislation which Senator Bailey sponsored in the Senate last year. Senator Bailey was happy to welcome Historic Sotterley’s Board President Jan Briscoe and Executive Director Nancy Easterling to Annapolis to testify in support of these important State funds.
This week, the full Senate considered its first bill of the session. Senate Bill 3 would provide additional funding for the 9-8-8 Trust Fund to support Maryland’s behavioral health crisis hotline. Senator Bailey was proud to vote for this bill in Committee and add his name as a co-sponsor of this important suicide prevention initiative.
Maryland 529 Briefing
On Tuesday, the Budget and Taxation Committee received a briefing regarding ongoing issues that some Marylanders are having with the Maryland 529 college investment plan. The General Assembly will continue to consider this matter as the session continues.
If you have had an issue with Maryland 529, please e-mail the Senator’s office with your name, address, phone number, and a brief description of the issue you are experiencing. Our office will be happy to work with representatives of Maryland 529 to address your problem. However, please be aware that we are only able to assist residents of District 29 through this process. If you are not a resident of Senator Bailey’s district, please visit www.mdelect.net and enter your home address to find contact information for your legislators.