Final Two Bills Presented
This week, Senator Bailey had two more bills heard before the Senate’s Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. On Tuesday, Senator Bailey was joined by representatives of Historic St. Mary’s City to present Senate Bill 946, which would create the Historic St. Mary’s City Fort to 400 Commission to prepare for the celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Maryland’s Founding in 2034. The 400th anniversary of Maryland’s founding will be a tremendous and important event for our entire State. For Historic St. Mary’s City, however, it will be more than a great occasion. As the first colony in Maryland, Historic St. Mary’s City will be at the center of these celebrations. This is not only a high honor and responsibility, it will also be an economic opportunity for the area. This Commission will be focused not only on the statewide celebration and the observances at St. Mary’s City, but also on ensuring that we use this opportunity to ensure the continued economic viability of Historic St. Mary’s City and the surrounding area.
On Thursday, Senator Bailey presented Senate Bill 945 – Calvert County Board of Education – Public Meetings – Public Comment. This bill was introduced as a result of community concerns regarding the Calvert County Board of Education’s failure to follow their own policies and ensure that members of the public were afforded the opportunity to provide comment at Board meetings. Senator Bailey believes that public comment is a critical part of representative government, and was proud to sponsor this legislation that would ensure that the voices of our residents are heard by government at every level.
Other Important Legislation
Today, the Senate passed two bills on second reading that address more of Senator Bailey’s priorities during this session. Senate Bill 259 will allow for federal funding to be prioritized for developing and constructing the Southern Maryland Transportation Corridor, including Routes 2, 4, 5, 228, 301, and the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge. Senate Bill 769 would increase the amount of a tax credit that hunters can receive for donating venison to help feed the hungry. The bill also extends the tax credit’s sunset, expands the tax credit to cover antlered as well as antlerless deer, and provides for a study to test deer for chronic wasting disease.
On Thursday the Governor held a press conference relating to a topic that the Senator’s office hears about often from constituents, the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine. Phase 2A for Marylanders 60 and older is scheduled to begin Tuesday, March 23. All Marylanders aged 16 or older should become eligible by April 27, based on vaccine supply. Additional information on the expanded phases and where you may fall based on these updates can be found: https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/3.18-Phases-One-Pager.pdf Preregistration is now open for those over 60 – to begin the preregistration process for mass vaccine sites please visit http://covidvax.maryland.gov/
Monday, March 22 is crossover day. Any bill that has not passed the Senate by Monday must go through an additional committee in the House before it can receive final approval. Because this extra step takes time in the final weeks of the Session, passing a bill through the Senate by crossover significantly increases the chance of it passing in the House. Therefore, this is one of the busiest times of the session, and many high-profile bills either have or will have been considered before this date. Please check back Tuesday for more information about what passed before this important deadline.