4-1-11: Legislative Lightning Round, Crossover Edition
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:
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:
Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender identity – HB 235 – Passed in House (86-52), crossed over to Senate
Unlikely to Go Anywhere:
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