On Tuesday, the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee gave a favorable report to Senate Bill 108. This legislation was introduced by Senator Bailey to combine the current tax deductions for volunteer fire, rescue, and emergency medical services members and police auxiliaries and reserve volunteers so that the amounts of these deductions would become and remain equal. This bill will now go to the full Senate for their consideration.
Three Bill Hearings
On Wednesday, Senator Bailey presented three more bills from his legislative agenda to Senate committees. Two of these bills were heard by the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee.
The first, Senate Bill 63, would change the current State requirement for school bus drivers to pass medical examinations from annually to every two years, with individual school systems retaining the ability to require these examinations more frequently. This increased flexibility is consistent with Federal standards and will give local school systems a larger pool of prospective bus drivers to choose from to alleviate current driver shortages without sacrificing student safety.
The second, Senate Bill 316, would authorize all counties and municipalities to designate roads within their jurisdiction where golf carts could be used. In his testimony in support of this legislation, Senator Bailey referenced the successful use of golf carts in Golden Beach and the long-standing requests from other communities in St. Mary’s County to have the same authorization.
Senator Bailey also presented Senate Bill 172 to the Senate Finance Committee. This bill would prohibit insurance companies from increasing auto insurance premiums as a result of a collision with a free-roaming wild animal for which the driver was not at fault.
More Legislation Introduced
The Senate’s deadline for bills to be guaranteed a hearing is Monday. Senator Bailey has introduced two more bills and one joint resolution prior to this deadline:
Senate Bill 711 – Fisheries – Striped Bass or Rockfish – Juvenile Survey would expand the scope of the annual young-of-the-year juvenile survey of rockfish by requiring this survey to be conducted in the central region of the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay in addition to sampling sites in the northern and southern regions of the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Senate Bill 712 – State-Owned Nursing Homes – Deficiencies, Citations, and Fines – Reporting Requirements would revise last year’s legislation imposing reporting requirements on State-owned nursing homes, including Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. This bill is based on the recommendations of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that these reporting mechanisms align with the Department’s procedures in responding to reports of mistreatment of residents.
Senate Joint Resolution 3 – Commercial Fishery Disaster Declaration Due to Invasive Species would support the Governor’s request for a federal commercial fishery disaster declaration due to invasive species of fish, particularly the blue catfish. The resolution would also encourage further efforts to obtain federal assistance to protect and rehabilitate the State’s commercial fisheries as a result of an abundance of invasive species.
Governor and Cabinet Tour St. Mary’s County
On Friday, Governor Moore and members of his cabinet visited several sites throughout St. Mary’s County. While Senator Bailey regrets that he was unable to join them due to conflicts with budget hearings in Annapolis, he is grateful for their visit and for the Administration’s continued attention to our district.
Standing with Texas
This week, Senator Bailey joined his Republican Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the Governor requesting that Maryland stand with Texas and support their right to secure their borders. The letter states, in part:
“We are deeply concerned about the crisis unfolding on the Southern border of the United States, particularly in the state of Texas. The impacts of nearly unchecked, unprecedented levels of illegal immigration are not just harmful to the citizens of Texas. They also are fueling drug and human trafficking that is devastating our communities across the state of Maryland.
We are writing to ask you to join the governors of 25 states standing with Texas and their right to self-defense from the devastating impacts of illegal immigration on their border.”
The full letter can be viewed at https://senatorbailey.com/news-and-updates/standing-with-texas/.