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Session 2023-Week 5

On Thursday, two more of Senator Bailey’s bills passed the Senate.  Senate Bill 10, which would give Marylanders the option to obtain more licenses from the Department of Natural Resources electronically, and Senate Bill 102, which would expand exemptions in law for children under 16 to catch crabs without a license, both passed unanimously.  These bills will now go to the House of Delegates for their consideration.

Bill Introduction Deadline

Monday was the Senate’s deadline to introduce bills to be guaranteed a hearing.  Senator Bailey introduced two more bills and one joint resolution for consideration prior to this deadline:

Senate Bill 611 – Office of the Attorney General – Environment and Natural Resources Monitoring Unit – Establishment would create a specialized unit in the Office of the Attorney General to prosecute criminal violations of Maryland’s existing environment and natural resources laws and to assist the Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources in bringing civil cases for violations of these laws.

Senate Bill 639 – Historic St. Mary’s City Commission Reform Act of 2023 would make several changes to the governance and structure of the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission to ensure the effective and efficient use of taxpayer funds in the Commission’s management of Historic St. Mary’s City.

Senate Joint Resolution 2 – Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission – Atlantic Menhaden – Prohibition on Commercial Reduction Fishing requests the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission prohibit the commercial reduction fishing of Atlantic menhaden, specifically using spotter planes and devices, in the entire Chesapeake Bay.  This resolution would prohibit the large foreign vessels that are currently overharvesting the Bay’s bait fish that are the future of our fish populations in the bay.

Senate Republican Legislative Priorities

This week, the Senate Republican Caucus announced their legislative priorities for the 2023 Session.  Senator Bailey is proud to be a co-sponsor of six of these very important bills:

  • Senate Bill 261, which would repeal the annual automatic gas tax increase tied to inflation,
  • Senate Bill 461, which would expand on last year’s tax cut for Marylanders aged 65 and over by eliminating all income taxes on retirees,
  • Senate Bill 522, which would ensure that Southern Maryland would have at least one representative on the Accountability and Implementation Board that is overseeing the implementation of reforms to Maryland’s schools implemented by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future,
  • Senate Bill 564, which would make the theft of a handgun a felony,
  • Senate Bill 566, which would ensure that Maryland’s laws explicitly state that a parent has the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, care, and welfare of their children, and,
  • Senate Bill 744, the Violent Firearms Offender Act of 2023, which would enhance penalties for using guns in violent crimes, increase penalties for knowingly selling a gun to someone who commits a crime, and create tougher penalties for use of assault weapons in a crime and illegally possessing and selling firearms. 

Administration Bills

Senator Bailey was also proud to have the opportunity to co-sponsor three bills introduced by the Governor, including Senate Bill 547, which would provide new tax incentives to expand access to broadband internet in Maryland.  The Senator also signed on to two bills to support our military and veterans: Senate Bill 553, which would cut taxes on military retirement income; and Senate Bill 554, reimburse members of the National Guard for the cost of premiums for their health care and dental care plans.

District 29 Constituents in Annapolis

On Monday night, Senator Bailey was proud to present Cathy Allen to the Senate’s Executive Nominations Committee for consideration of her nomination to the College of Southern Maryland’s Board of Trustees.  The Committee considers all appointments to State office requiring Senate approval, and it is traditional that a nominee’s Senator present their constituent to the Committee.  Following the hearing, the Committee unanimously approved Ms. Allen’s nomination, which will now go to the full Senate for consideration next week.

Senator Bailey also welcomed several groups of District 29 residents to Annapolis this week to talk about their legislative priorities, including constituents visiting on behalf of the Maryland Farm Bureau, the Maryland Association of Realtors, the Maryland Academy of Physician Assistants, and Destination Southern Maryland for Tourism Day.