Ocean City Today

Legislature ends, bills passed to governor

General Assembly session concludes after moving 769 bills, three resolutions
By Brian Gilliland | Apr 12, 2018

(April 13, 2018) The annual Maryland Legislative Session of the General Assembly ended on Monday, with 769 bills and three resolutions having passed both the House of Delegates and State Senate sides of the legislature, and have been presented to Gov. Larry Hogan for his signature.

Hogan can also veto the legislation within 30 days. If he vetoed a bill before the end of the session, as he did with the school construction proposal to remove the Board of Public Works and replace it with a panel of governor’s appointees and state house officers, the members of the assembly can vote to override immediately, as they did.

If he vetoes a bill after the end of the session, the legislature must wait until the next session to vote to override.

Also, should the governor take no action on a bill passed by both houses, it becomes law.

Incumbent State Senator Jim Mathias (D-38), was the primary sponsor of 36 bills this session, a co-sponsor of 112 and listed on 14 “by request” bills. By request bills are composed by either the governor or a state agency to fill a specific need.

Of these, 12 have already been approved by Gov. Hogan, and though Mathias represents Worcester County and Ocean City, his district covers parts of Wicomico and Somerset counties as well, so not every piece of legislation he sponsors would have direct impact here.

For example, Mathias was the primary sponsor of a bill to allow Sunday sales of motorcycles in Wicomico County, which was signed by the governor.

Other legislation hasn’t been approved yet, such as SB48, his worker’s compensation package to allow for enhanced benefits for state correctional officers.

Mathias was also the primary sponsor of SB1128, which establishes liability in case of an oil or gas spill while engaged in offshore oil drilling activity, and Joint Resolution 11, which “express[es] the strong and unequivocal opposition of the General Assembly to the draft proposed National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, and the implementation of any offshore oil or gas leasing, exploration, development, or production in the Atlantic Ocean…”

The joint resolution also calls on the secretary of the department of the interior to remove the state from the leasing program.

He also sponsored SB1260, which secures the $300,000 share from state money to fund a dredging study for the Ocean City inlet.

He sponsored SB872, which was also sponsored on the house side by Delegate Mary Beth Carozza (R-38C), to allow special event zones in Worcester County along state highways, and to reduce the speed limit on those roads accordingly. This measure is widely seen as an attempt to control some of the motor vehicle themed events in the resort.

Under SB654, a collective bargaining memorandum of understanding will not expire until another such agreement replaces it. This bill is now law.

Senate bill 384 was also passed by both houses, and would allow products manufactured under a certain distillery license to produce 31,000 gallons of product instead of 15,500.

According to SB386, the department of health is now obliged to start an investigation of elder abuse at a nursing facility within 10 days of the report, and to make every effort to begin investigations within 24 hours if immediate jeopardy to the victim is suspected.

On the House of Delegates side, Carozza was the primary sponsor of eight bills, a co-sponsor of 83 an on 20 pieces of “by request” legislation.

None of the bills she is the primary sponsor on has been signed into law, though two of them passed both houses. The first is the House side legislation version of the special event zoning law, HB1406, and the other is the House version of the bill to allow liquor distillers to increase their yields, labeled HB509.

Carozza has filed to run against Mathias in November, with four Republicans vying for her seat in the House of Delegates. The delegate seat is likely to be decided at the June 26 primary.


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