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Week 3 Update

Senator Bailey returned to floor of the Senate on Wednesday after testing positive for COVID last week.  He would like to thank everyone who has contacted him in the last week for their kind words and well-wishes.

This week, Senator Bailey introduced five more bills and one joint resolution for consideration by the General Assembly this session.

Senate Bill 454 – Marine Contractor License – Performance of Services – Licensing Requirements and Fees was requested by the Calvert County Commissioners and would permit county and municipal employees to perform minor repairs and maintenance to public access facilities on or over public waterways that currently require these jurisdictions to hire a licensed marine contractor, which would save taxpayer money.

Senate Bill 455 – Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License and Recreational Fishing – Pilot Program and Task Force would establish a pilot program and a task force to work towards obtaining more accurate data to estimate the number of fish caught in Maryland’s waterways by recreational anglers.  This more accurate data will assist the Department of Natural Resources when setting policies to maintain a stable fishery in our State.

Senate Bill 456 – Firearms – Handgun Qualification License – Firearms Orientation Component would permit the use of inert ammunition to demonstrate an applicant’s safe operation and handling of a firearm, which is required to obtain a Handgun Qualification License (HQL).  The only way to currently fulfill this requirement is with live fire, which puts an additional unnecessary barrier to the ability of all eligible Marylanders to get their HQL and exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

Senate Bill 457 – Workgroup to Study Trial in Absence would study establishing the concept of trial in absence in Maryland’s judicial system.  The workgroup would study the use of this practice in other jurisdictions, determine the feasibility of establishing trial in absence in Maryland, and determine which nonserious misdemeanors and traffic–related offenses would be eligible for trial in absence.  If implemented, this may give our State one option to limit interactions between law enforcement and individuals charged with very minor crimes who fail to appear for their court dates, which would also allow our police to focus on more serious offenses.

Senate Bill 517 – Criminal Procedure – Location Information – Exigent Circumstances (Kelsey Smith Act for Maryland) would allow law enforcement to obtain location information of an electronic device in an emergency.  This is modeled on legislation that has been enacted in other states and will give our first responders more tools to locate missing persons.  This authority would be limited, as the location information cannot be obtained for more than 48 hours.

Senate Joint Resolution 6 – Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission – Atlantic Menhaden – Prohibition on Commercial Reduction Fishing requests the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission prohibit the commercial reduction fishing of Atlantic menhaden, specifically using spotter planes and devices, in the entire Chesapeake Bay.  This resolution would prohibit the large foreign vessels that are currently overharvesting the Bay’s bait fish that are the future of our fish populations in the bay.

Administration Bills

Senator Bailey has also signed on as a co-sponsor for a number of bills that have been sponsored by Governor Larry Hogan to address key issues for Southern Maryland and the entire State.

Three of these bills address the issue of rising crime in our state: Senate Bill 392, the Judicial Transparency Act of 2022, Senate Bill 396, the Violent Firearms Offender Act of 2022, and Senate Bill 397, Public Safety – Local Law Enforcement Coordination Council and Coordinator and State Aid for Police Protection Fund.  These bills would strengthen penalties for violent criminals, provide more oversight over sentencing, and increase funding for our local law enforcement.  Senator Bailey is a strong supporter of these bills, and looks forward to voting for these vital pieces of legislation in the Judicial Proceedings Committee and on the floor of the Senate.

Senator Bailey has also co-sponsored Senate Bill 405, the Retirement Tax Elimination Act of 2022.  This bill would exempt all retirement income from taxation by 2027.  Senator Bailey supports reducing the tax burden on all Marylanders and providing this relief to our State’s retirees.

The Governor’s package of bills also includes legislation to respond to the ongoing opioid crisis.  Senate Bill 394, the Statewide Targeted Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act of 2022 will make it easier to access naloxone, which can help prevent an opioid overdose from becoming fatal.  Senator Bailey has worked in the General Assembly to address this crisis, and supports this important legislation.

Recognition of Student Page

Senator Bailey would like to recognize Cheyenne Toma, a student at Leonardtown High School, for serving this week as one of the General Assembly’s pages.  While the number of student pages who are present in the State House is still limited, the Senator was honored to have the opportunity to address the pages who were in Annapolis this week about our State’s government and his service in the Senate.