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Session 2023-Week 4

Senator Bailey’s first bill of the session passed the Senate this week.  On Thursday, Senate Bill 80, which would reinstate a license to catch invasive species of catfish, was approved unanimously.  This bill now goes to the House of Delegates for their consideration.

The Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee also reported favorably on Senate Bill 61 this week. This is Senator Bailey’s legislation to expand the ability of local governments to provide property tax credits for public safety officers.  Two more of Senator Bailey’s bills also received a favorable vote from the Senate’s Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee: Senate Bill 10, which would give Marylanders the option of carrying more natural resources licenses in an electronic format, and Senate Bill 102, which expands crabbing license exemptions for children under 16.  These bills will likely be considered by the full Senate next week.

Public Safety Bill Hearings

This week, Senator Bailey presented three bills to the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee to improve public safety in our State.  On Tuesday, the Senator presented Senate Bill 74, which would strengthen Maryland’s laws against drunk driving.  In current law, a person is not considered a repeat drunk driving offender if they drive while intoxicated and later operate a boat while intoxicated, or vice versa.  This means that they are not subject to stronger penalties in Maryland law for repeat offenders.  Senate Bill 74 would resolve this inconsistency and ensure that these offenders are held accountable for their actions to keep our State’s roads and waterways equally safe.

On Wednesday, Senator Bailey presented Senate Bill 57, which would strengthen Maryland’s laws protecting minors from sexual abuse and is designed to protect our most vulnerable citizens from some of the most heinous crimes, specifically felony sexual assaults.  The Senator was proud to be joined by prosecutors from across the State, including St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling, to testify in support of this important legislation. 

The Senator also presented Senate Bill 69, which would require police agencies to keep a record of positive feedback that the agencies receive about its officers.  This would ensure that police departments and the public have access to the full picture of a law enforcement officer’s record.

More Bills Introduced

This week, Senator Bailey introduced four more bills from his legislative agenda to the Senate for consideration:

Senate Bill 395 – State Employee and Retiree Health Benefits – Creditable Service – Historic St. Mary’s City Commission would correct an error regarding service time that has specifically affected employees of the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission.

Senate Bill 422 – Natural Resources – Black Bass Conservation Fund – Establishment would establish a program funded by voluntary contributions focused on the conservation of black bass.  The funds raised through these contributions would be used to stock black bass, enhance aquatic habitats, support responsible tournaments, and support scientific research related to black bass conservation.

Senate Bill 457 and Senate Bill 458 would provide the St. Mary’s County Commissioners with the authorization needed to issue bonds for public facilities in the county.  Senate Bill 458 specifically addresses the issue of funding for the proposed YMCA in Lexington Park, and provides the full authorization requested by the Commissioners for this project contingent on the YMCA initiating a capital campaign which raises at least $4,000,000, consistent with the agreement between the YMCA and the County.

Forestry Day in Annapolis

On Tuesday, Senator Bailey was honored to speak at this year’s Forestry Day in Annapolis.  The Senator spoke about his own experience with forestry, the benefits of forestry to Maryland’s economy, and the important role that foresters and hunters play in forest conservation and management.

Recognition of Student Page

This week, Senator Bailey was able to meet with Benjamin Derisavi, a student at Leonardtown High School, who was able to attend session this week as one of the General Assembly’s pages, to thank him for his work in support of the General Assembly.