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Session 2024-Week 3

Senator Bailey, Margaret Rathgeb (Senate Page – Calvert County) & Senator Michael Jackson

This week, Senator Bailey had his first eight bill hearings of the 2023 Legislative Session.  On Tuesday, the Senator presented two bills to the Senate’s Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee.  The first, Senate Bill 152, would exempt individuals receiving support from certain government programs such as TANF, SNAP, and WIC from recreational fishing license fees.  The second, Senate Bill 207, would rename the Northern Snakehead fish to be the “Patuxent fish,” to provide it with a more marketable name for consumers, which would give a greater economic incentive for removing this invasive species from our waterways by increasing demand.

On Wednesday, Senator Bailey presented three bills to the Judicial Proceedings Committee, most notably Senate Bill 26, Jamari’s Law.  This legislation would increase the penalties for manslaughter by vehicle or vessel from 10 years to 20 years for a first offense, and from 15 years to 30 years for a subsequent offense.  The Senator was honored to be joined by the family of Jamari Duckett and other families who have lost loved ones to vehicular manslaughter caused by drunk drivers to speak about the impact that this legislation would have.  Additionally, St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling and other prosecutors from throughout Maryland joined Senator Bailey to testify on the importance of this legislation.

At this hearing, Senator Bailey also presented Senate Bill 7, which would provide for a uniform process for law enforcement agencies to collect and disclose positive community feedback that they receive about their police officers.  The third bill, Senate Bill 166, would study the feasibility of establishing a Waterway Incident Notification System in Maryland.

Two other bills from Senator Bailey’s legislative agenda were also heard this week in the Budget and Taxation Committee.  The first, Senate Bill 108, would combine existing tax deductions for volunteer police auxiliaries and reserve officers and volunteer fire, rescue, and EMS members so that the amounts of these deductions would become and remain equal.  The second, Senate Bill 183, would expands the State’s prompt payment statute to ensure that suppliers for State construction projects are compensated appropriately and quickly in the same manner as is currently required for subcontractors.  Senator Bailey introduced this legislation after hearing from a number of local St. Mary’s County business owners about the difficulty of receiving timely payment for State projects.

On Thursday, Senator Bailey presented Senate Bill 130 to the Judicial Proceedings Committee.  This bill would strengthen penalties in cases involving indecent exposure with prurient intent when a person knows or should know that a minor is present.

Five More Bills Introduced

This week, Senator Bailey has submitted five more bills from his legislative agenda to the Senate for consideration during the 2024 Legislative Session:

Senate Bill 429 – Corporations and Associations – Protestant Episcopal Church, Diocese of Washington would codify provisions of State law governing the organization of their Diocese in Maryland at the request of the Diocese. 

Senate Bill 507 – Special Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License – Nonresidents – License Fee would create a separate Special Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License for applicants who are not residents of Maryland.  The fee for this license would be $100.  This license is currently one of the few hunting and fishing licenses in Maryland for which the Department of Natural Resources charges the same fee to residents and nonresidents.  This legislation resolves this inconsistency, while leaving the existing license fee unchanged for Maryland residents.

Senate Bill 508 – Hunting – Nonresident Sika Deer Stamp – Fee Alteration would set the fee for a nonresident Sika Deer stamp at $100.  This legislation would also have no impact on Maryland hunters, as the cost for a resident sika deer stamp would remain unchanged.

Senate Bill 588 – Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Public Safety Employee Retirement Income would increase the tax deduction for retirement income attributable to an individual’s employment as a public safety employee from $15,000 to $20,000.  This bill is intended to match the increase to the tax deduction for military retirement income that passed the General Assembly and became law last year.

Senate Bill 589 – Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland – Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission – Funding would increase annual State funding for the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission from $900,000 to $1,000,000.  This legislation would also repeal a sunset on the provisions of law requiring SMADC to be funded in the budget each year, guaranteeing future State support for this important resource for Southern Maryland farmers.

Scholarship Application Now Available

Senator Bailey is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2024-25 academic year.  This scholarship is available to students who permanently reside in District 29 and who plan to either attend a Maryland institution of higher education or who has been approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission for unique major status.  More information, including the application, is available at  Please read the instructions carefully before applying.  The deadline for applications is April 1, 2024.