2-18-11: Legislative Lightning Round
2,097. That’s the total number of pieces of legislation proposed up through yesterday in 428th General Assembly, including joint resolutions and bills filed in both houses. With only two months left in the session, lawmakers won’t get to all of them—but today we’ll try to cast light on a few. We bring you…the Legislative Lightning Round.
Here’s how it works. We pick four bills that haven’t gotten a lot of media coverage, but that have some room for debate. We call one sponsor of each bill, who then has 60 seconds to make a case for it. If we can find an opponent, the opponent gets 60 seconds, too.
Now…on to our first piece of legislation, Senate Bill 239, entitled: “Crimes – Possession of Loaded Handgun or Regulated Firearm – Enhanced Penalties.” Its sponsor is Baltimore City Democrat Verna Jones-Rodwell. Opposed to this bill is John Josselyn, Legislative Vice President of the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore.
Next, we take up House Bill 746, entitled “Public Health – Abortion – Third Trimester Procedures.” Nancy Stocksdale, Carroll County Republican, is one of its co-sponsors. Melissa Kleder, Interim Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, presents the opposition.
Next up is House Bill 288, entitled “Election Law – Qualification of Voters – Proof of Identity.” It would require voters to present government issued photo identification at the polls. The bill’s sponsor is Frederick County Republican Kathryn Afzali. Voicing opposition to the bill is Howard County Democrat Frank Turner.
We move now to House Bill 384, entitled “Gaming – Video Lottery Terminals – Repeal of Constitutional Amendment – Changes to Statutory Provisions.” Its sponsor is Republican Mike Smigiel, who represents parts of Caroline, Cecil, Kent & Queen Anne’s Counties. Baltimore City Democrat Sandy Rosenberg presents the opposition.
So, that’s it for our first Legislative Lightning Round of the session. What do you think about these bills? Are there any bills or subjects you’d like to see us tackle in our next lightning round? Call or text us at 410-881-3162. Again, that’s 410-881-3162. You can also email us at mdmorning@wypr-dot-org, or leave a comment below.