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Session 2024-Week 8

On Friday, the General Assembly honored the Teachers of the Year from each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions.  Senator Bailey was pleased to welcome Calvert County’s Teacher of the Year John S. Allen from Huntingtown High School and St. Mary’s County’s Teacher of the Year Alisha Swann from Spring Ridge Middle School to Annapolis to recognize their important work for our students.

Veterans Scholarship Bill Introduced

On Thursday, Senator Bailey introduced Senate Bill 1178 – Higher Education – Douglas J. J. Peters Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship – Repeal of Service Terminal Date.  This bill would repeal vague language in the eligibility requirements for this scholarship that is currently being interpreted to prevent some veterans who would otherwise be eligible from receiving this scholarship.  Senator Bailey was proud to have all of his Senate colleagues join him in supporting this legislation as co-sponsors and looks forward to this bill advancing during this legislative session.

Three More Bills Passed

On Tuesday, the Senate gave final approval to two bills introduced by Senator Bailey to support Maryland’s natural resources.  The first, Senate Bill 507, would make fees charged for a special Chesapeake Bay and coastal sport fishing license consistent with other fishing license fees by charging nonresidents more than residents.  The second, Senate Bill 508, increases the cost of a stamp required to hunt Sika deer by nonresidents in light of the fact that this species of deer is becoming more popular as a trophy hunt for sportsmen from across the country.  As with any hunting or fishing license fee revenue, these funds will be reinvested in conservation efforts in our State.  These bills give the State a greater ability to protect our natural resources while having no fiscal impact on Maryland residents.

On Friday, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 183.  This bill will expand the prompt payment statute for State contractors to ensure that their suppliers are compensated appropriately and quickly in the same manner as subcontractors.  Senator Bailey introduced this legislation after discussions with many local business owners, particularly those who were involved in the Route 5 project in Leonardtown, about how they were not being paid in a timely manner by State contractors because they were deemed to be suppliers and not protected by the current law.

Three More Bill Hearings

This week, Senator Bailey presented three more bills to Senate committees.  On Tuesday, the Senator presented Senate Bill 317 to the Committee on Education, Energy, and the Environment.  This bill would protect the due process rights of Maryland watermen by requiring that a commercial waterman accused of certain crimes regarding oysters, striped bass, and clams be convicted criminally before their authorizations could be permanently revoked.  He also presented Senate Bill 711, which would require the Department of Natural Resources to expand the scope of the annual young-of-the-year juvenile survey of rockfish by requiring the survey to be conducted in the central region of the Chesapeake Bay in addition to the current sampling sites in the northern and southern regions of the Bay.  This additional data would provide the State more information as it considers policies relating to harvesting rockfish.

On Thursday, Senator Bailey presented Senate Bill 712 to the Senate Finance Committee.  This bill would update and revise last year’s legislation requiring increased transparency for deficiencies found and enforcement actions taken at State-owned nursing homes, such as Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.  This legislation was introduced based on feedback from the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs following their implementation of last year’s legislation.  Senator Bailey was proud to be joined by the Department’s Secretary Anthony Woods at the bill hearing in support of this important legislation.

Maryland Student Legislature

Senator Bailey was honored to serve as a co-chair for the Maryland Student Legislature’s 2024 Legislative Shadow Day.  On Thursday, he spoke to the students visiting Annapolis about the ongoing session and legislative process.