3-16-11: Legislative Lightning: Round Two!
The General Assembly is well into the 2011 session, and there are probably at least a few pieces of legislation that you’re watching closely. But with hundreds of bills filed in both houses, there are certainly other bills that you HAVEN’T heard about. To aid with that, we bring you…the Legislative Lightning Round – part 2.
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.
Our first piece of legislation is Senate Bill 716, cross filed with House Bill 988, entitled: “Labor and Employment – Maryland Wage and Hour Law – Payment of Wages.” Its sponsor is Senator Robert Garagiola, who represents Montgomery County. Michael Saltsman, research fellow at the Employment Policies Institute, presents the opposition.
Next we take up Senate Bill 178, cross filed with House Bill 162, entitled “Criminal Law – Child Neglect – Penalties.” Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown makes the case for the bill. For the opposition, we hear from Melissa Rock, Child Welfare Director for Advocates for Children and Youth.
We move now to House Bill 174, cross filed with Senate Bill 21, entitled “Election Law – Delay in Replacement of Voting Systems.” The sponsor is Delegate Adelaide Eckardt, who represents parts of Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Wicomico Counties. Voicing opposition to the bill is Melissa Goemann, legislative director for the ACLU of Maryland.
We move now to House Bill 853, cross filed with Senate Bill 654, entitled “Tobacco Tax – Rates and Distribution of Revenues.” Its sponsor is Senator Jennie Forehand, who represents Montgomery County. Presenting the opposition is Chris McCalla, the legislative director for the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association.
We heard from one listener, Kristin Sausville, who said she wants action against texting while driving. Writing a text is already a violation in Maryland; a bill making reading texts a violation has passed both houses of the legislature.
Kristin, who is in a Baltimore chapter Manager of the Mommies Network, says the network is declaring April First “Only Fools Text and Drive Day!” Learn more about it at the group’s Facebook page.
YOU can suggest a bill for our next Legislative Lightning Round. Just call or text us at 410-881-3162. You can also email us at mdmorning@wypr-dot-org, or leave a comment below.