4-1-11: Legislative Lightning Round, Crossover Edition

April 1, 2011 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

In Annapolis, legislators are staying late and working weekends as the end of session approaches. Monday was Crossover Day; bills that didn’t pass either the Senate or House of Delegates by that day need the approval of a rules committee to get a vote, something that rarely happens.

We wanted to take a moment to examine a few of the bills that the General Assembly is still pondering and may become law before the end of April.

To do that, we bring you…the  Legislative Lightning Round–Crossover Day edition.

Here’s how it works. We pick four bills that made it through Crossover Day and may become law, but still 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.

House Bill 302, cross filed with Senate Bill 172, entitled “Inmates – Life Imprisonment – Parole Approval.”  The bill gives the Governor a time limit to decide whether an inmate serving a life sentence should receive parole.

Its sponsor is Senator Nathanial McFadden, Democrat of Baltimore City.

Senator James Brochin, Democrat of Baltimore County, presents the opposition:

Next we take up Senate Bill 112, crossfiled with House Bill 192, entitled “Criminal Law – Sale of Novelty Lighters – Prohibition.”

Senator Barry Glassman, Republican of Harford County, is sponsoring the bill.

Republican Delegate Michael Smigiel, who represents parts of Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s Counties, is against the legislation.

We also look at Senate Bill 14, entitled “Vehicle Laws – Race-Based Traffic Stops, Strip Searches, and Body Cavity Searches – Reporting Requirements,” which would renew race-based reporting on Maryland’s traffic stops.  It’s sponsored by Senator Lisa Gladden, Democrat of Baltimore City.

Voicing opposition to the bill is Senator Joseph Getty, a Republican who represents Baltimore and Carroll Counties.

We move now to House Bill 391, crossfiled with Senate Bill 692, entitled “Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act – Safety Violations.”  The original bill, which would impose new reliability standards on utilities, was proposed by the O’Malley administration.  Senator Brian Frosh, Democrat of Montgomery County, is supporting an amended version of the legislation.

Opposing the bill is Delegate Steve Schuh, Republican of Anne Arundel County.

In the past few months, we’ve examined a number of bills that went before the legislature.  Some made it past Crossover Day, some didn’t.

Here’s a list of the bills — and how they’ve fared:

Moving Forward:

Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender identity – HB 235 – Passed in House (86-52), crossed over to Senate

Establishment of Maryland Health Care Exchange – HB 166 / SB182 – Passed in House (115-22); passed in Senate (34-11)

Reporting of Independent Expenditures – HB 93 / SB 592 – passed in the House (97-41)

Collective bargaining rights for home health care workers – HB 171/SB 181 – passed in the House (93-44) on 3/25; had First Reading in Senate 3/25

Criminalizing child neglect – House Bill 162 / Senate Bill 178 – passed in House (138-0) and Senate (40-7)

Prohibiting reading texts while driving – House Bill 196 / Senate Bill 424 – passed in House (115-23) and Senate (35-11)

Unlikely to Go Anywhere:

Offshore wind – Senate Bill 861 / House Bill 1054 — still in committee

Prescription drug monitoring system – Senate Bill 883 / House Bill 1229 — still in committee

Enhanced penalties on guns – Senate Bill 239 / House Bill 252 – still in committee

New requirements for abortions performed in the third trimester – House Bill 746 – unfavorable report by committee

Required photo identification for voters — House Bill 288 – still in committee

Slots out of Constitution – House Bill 384 / Senate Bill 633 — unfavorable Report by House committee

Increasing minimum wage rate – House Bill 988 / Senate Bill 716 – still in committee

Increasing tobacco tax – Senate Bill 654 / House Bill 853— unfavorable report by Senate committee

Entry filed under: Annapolis, On Air, Policy. Tags: .

4-1-11: Stick Fly 12 Bills, 24 Minutes: The “Legislative Lightning Rounds” of 2011

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