March 31, 2022
Maryland's Budget Deal
SB 290 The Maryland General Assembly is nearing a final budget agreement. We are reconciling the differences between a $58.5 billion Senate-passed budget and a $46.5 million House-passed budget.
The House budget includes monies to implement marijuana legalization policies in Maryland. Cannabis legalization has been a priority issue of the General Assembly and is likely to appear on voters’ ballots this November.
Other provisions in the budget include the following:
- Retirees filing tax returns as individuals earning up to $100,000 per year or joint filers earning up to $150,000 will be eligible for an income tax credit of between $1,000 to $1,750 per year.
- A collection of tax relief bills dubbed “family budget boosters” that would exempt diapers, car seats, baby bottles, dental hygiene, pulse oximeters, and medical-grade face masks from the state’s income tax.
- $800 million will be deposited in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education fund to pay for future year public education costs.
- Several healthcare and childcare programs will be funded, including expanding dental coverage for Medicaid.
Bills Becoming Law
The bills below are on either on their way or will be sent to the Governor by the end of the week. If any are vetoed, lawmakers could still have time to undertake an override vote before the 90-day session ends April 11.
SB 387 Untraceable Firearms (aka “Ghost Guns”) was passed out of the Senate and House chambers and is on the Governor’s desk for his signature. This bill prohibits a person from selling, offering to sell, or transferring a firearm without an imprinted serial number, and requires all lawful owners of hobby firearms to be registered (or serialized) by March 1, 2023.
SB 275 Time to Care Act (aka Paid Family Leave ).This is the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program that would provide up to 12 weeks of benefits to a covered employee taking leave due to specified personal and family circumstances. The weekly benefit is based on the individual’s average weekly wage, subject to a cap. This legislation will affect nearly every Maryland worker. Nine other states and D.C. have similar programs in effect. This bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk.
HB 335 Extending Dispute Timeframe for E-ZPass Holders from 120 days to one year. This bill would be effective from June 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. It unanimously passed the House and Senate chambers, and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. This is my first bill to pass both chambers!
SB 528 Climate Solutions Now. The Senate and House passed this trendsetting climate bill that would set Maryland on track to achieve net carbon emissions reductions. It expedites a statewide goal to achieve carbon neutral emissions by the year 2045. Large buildings are targeted as a chief way of reducing the carbon footprint over the next decade. It expands our electric school bus fleet and contains a requirement that 100% of the state-owned passenger cars be zero-emitting vehicles (ZEVs) by 2031. Other state-owned light-duty vehicles must be ZEVs by 2036. It also includes provisions to address issues of climate equity for communities defined in law as “overburdened” and “underserved” communities which are disproportionately affected by climate changed. Finally it seeks to improve the state electric grid with federal funding released to states under President Biden’s recently enacted Infrastructure bill.
SB 369 Maryland Earned Income Tax Credit Assistance Program for Low–Income Families passed the House today with amendments so it is going back to the Senate for final reconciliation.
New Congressional Legislative Map. The General Assembly approved a new Congressional map (Click HERE) to meet a judicial deadline. Meanwhile the judge’s decision is being appealed. The House of Delegates voted 94-41 for the new map. I am pictured above speaking on the House floor on the matter.
Women’s History Month
The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center has identified more than 150 sites across the state that reflect the accomplishments of diverse historical and contemporary women to all areas of society. To follow the Women’s Heritage Trail click HERE.
I Want to Hear From You
If you have questions or issues that need to be addressed, please reach out to me or my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 410-841-3052.
Thank you for the privilege and honor to represent you and the other residents of District 15 in Annapolis.