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Session 2024-Week 5

Senator Jackson, Senator Bailey & Jeff Buddle – PFFMD President testify on SB 588 to increase the public safety retirement tax credit.

On Thursday, the Senate passed Senator Bailey’s first two bills of the 2024 Legislative Session.  Senate Bill 108, which increases a tax deduction for police auxiliaries and reserve volunteers, and Senate Bill 166, which would study implementation of a system to warn Marylanders about waterway incidents, both passed unanimously.  These bills will now go to the House of Delegates for their consideration.

Snakehead Renaming Bill Advances

Also on Thursday, the Senate’s Committee on Education, Energy, and the Environment passed Senate Bill 207.  This bill would give the northern snakehead a “common name” intended to make it more marketable, giving Maryland watermen a greater economic incentive to remove this invasive species from our State’s waterways.  The bill includes an amendment to rename the snakehead the “Chesapeake Channa.”  The new name combines Channa, which is the scientific name for the snakehead, and Chesapeake, to recognize the importance of the Bay to our State.  This bill will go to the full Senate next week for their consideration.

Two More Bill Hearings

Senator Bailey presented two more bills from his legislative package to Senate committees this week.  On Tuesday, he testified in support of Senate Bill 32.  This bill would make watermen who hold only a license from the Potomac River Fisheries Commission eligible for the Maryland Watermen’s Microloan Program, before the Finance Committee. 

On Wednesday, Senator Bailey presented Senate Bill 588 to the Budget and Taxation Committee.  This bill would help keep Maryland’s hometown heroes in our State when they retire by increasing the existing tax deduction for public safety retirement income.  While speaking on the importance of eliminating all taxes on retirement income in our State, Senator Bailey highlighted the contributions that retired public safety personnel make to our communities even after they conclude their service to our citizens.

State of the State

Also on Wednesday, Senator Bailey was present in the House chamber to hear the annual State of the State speech from Governor Moore.  The speech covered many topics that will be addressed during the remainder of the legislative session, most notably public safety.  This issue remains Senator Bailey’s top priority for this year, and it was encouraging to hear how much of the Governor’s speech was focused on it as well.  The Senator looks forward to continuing to work with his colleagues in the General Assembly and the Administration on this and is hopeful that this session will include the passage of meaningful legislation to improve the safety of all Marylanders.

Co-Sponsored Republican Caucus Legislation

In addition to his legislative agenda, Senator Bailey is also working with his colleagues in the Senate Republican Caucus to support legislation to address other important issues.  He is proud to have co-sponsored several of these legislative initiatives this year, including:

Senate Bill 438 – Family Law – Fundamental Parental Rights, which would affirm that a parent has the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, care, and welfare of their children and restrict the State’s ability to infringe on that right.

Senate Bill 552 – Operating Budget – Funding – Scholarships for Nonpublic School Students, which would make funding for the BOOST scholarship program for private schools permanent, and

Senate Bill 841 – Transportation Equity, Fairness, and Privacy Act of 2024, which would repeal the annual automatic gas tax increase tied to inflation and require public transit to receive more of their funding through fares.  The bill would also prohibit the State from imposing a tax based on how many miles a vehicle has traveled.