Legislative Branch

Critical to the success of the legislative process is the work of the General Assembly's   committees. Although there are several types of committees, the standing committees are the backbone of the legislative process. The principal standing committees in the Senate and the House consider all statewide legislation and recommend to the General Assembly which legislation should pass and which should fail. Each legislator is appointed by the President or the Speaker to serve on one principal standing committee.

Senate

Since 1972, Maryland has had 47 legislative election districts based on population. Each of the General Assembly's 47 senators are elected from one of these districts.  The Senate is composed of six Standing Committees.  They are as follows:

Budget and Taxation Committee considers legislation relating to:

  • State operating and capital budgets, including revenues, expenditures, and supplementary appropriations
  • legislative budgetary procedures
  • State and county bond authorizations
  • taxation and property assessments
  • education financing
  • pension and retirement matters

Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee considers legislation relating to:

  • agriculture and land preservation
  • alcoholic beverages
  • licensing and regulation of businesses and labor, including business, health and related occupations and professions
  • education policy
  • elections
  • energy
  • environment
  • ethics
  • fire prevention
  • local government
  • natural resources
  • procurement
  • State government organization, procedures, and administrative law
  • veterans affairs

Executive Nominations Committee reviews and interviews gubernatorial appointees for all appointments made by the Governor which require Senate advice and consent. The Committee then reports its recommendations on those nominations to the Senate.

Finance Committee reviews legislation relating to:

  • banking and financial institutions
  • credit regulation and consumer financing
  • economic and community development
  • health and welfare matters
  • horse racing and lotteries
  • insurance
  • labor and employment
  • State personnel issues
  • social programs
  • transportation
  • unemployment insurance
  • utility regulation 
  • workers' compensation

Judicial Proceedings Committee is assigned legislation relating to:

  • the Administrative Procedures Act
  • commercial code
  • constitutional amendments
  • corrections
  • criminal and civil laws, penalties, and procedures
  • equal rights and opportunities
  • ethics
  • family law
  • judicial administration and court structure
  • juvenile justice
  • landlord and tenant laws
  • law enforcement organizations
  • legal profession
  • legal rights and immunities
  • public safety
  • real property
  • trusts and estates
  • vehicle laws

Rules Committee considers proposals regarding rules, organization, and procedures of the Senate or the General Assembly. The Committee reviews proposed legislation introduced after the bill introduction deadline in a regular session and determines which of those bills it will refer to standing committees.

House of Delegates

Since 1972, Maryland has had 47 legislative election districts based on population, some which cross county boundaries to delineate districts relatively equal in population. Each legislative district sends three delegates for a total of 141 members of the House. Some districts, like 44, are divided into delegate subdistricts (44A and 44B) to provide local representation to areas not large enough to constitute an entire legislative district.

The House of Delegates is organized and relies heavily on a committee based system to get through its work.  It has 7 Standing Committees.  They are as follows:

Appropriations Committee considers legislation relating to:

  • State operating and capital budgets, including supplementary appropriations;
  • State and county bond authorizations;
  • collective bargaining;
  • fiscal procedures;
  • higher education;
  • State personnel and pension matters; and
  • social services.

Economic Matters Committee considers legislation relating to:

  • alcoholic beverages;
  • banks and other financial institutions;
  • commercial law;
  • corporations and associations;
  • economic development;
  • electronic commerce;
  • licensing and regulation of businesses, including related occupations and professions;
  • labor and employment;
  • property and casualty insurance;
  • unemployment insurance;
  • utilities, including electric, gas, and telecommunications; and
  • workers' compensation.

Environment and Transportation Committee considers legislation relating to:

  • agriculture;
  • bi-county agencies;
  • environmental matters, including agricultural land preservation, Program Open Space, and vehicle emissions;
  • ethics;
  • local government;
  • motor vehicles;
  • natural resources;
  • real property and housing; and
  • transportation (non-revenue related).

Health and Government Operations Committee considers legislation relating to:

  • child and elder healthcare;
  • civil rights;
  • emergency medical services;
  • health and life insurance;
  • health policy and planning, including facilities, occupations and public health;
  • long-term care; and
  • State government organization, procedures, and administrative law, including procurement.

Judiciary Committee Charles serves on the Judiciary Committee.  The Judiciary Committee is composed of twenty-two delegates and considers legislation relating:

  • courts and judicial proceedings;
  • administrative law;
  • corrections;
  • criminal and civil laws, penalties, and procedures;
  • drunk and drugged driving;
  • estates and trusts;
  • family law;
  • juvenile cases;
  • the legal profession;
  • legal rights and immunities; and
  • jailable motor vehicle offenses.

Rules and Executive Nominations Committee considers proposals concerning the rules, organization, and procedures of the House and the General Assembly. The Committee reviews legislation introduced after the bill introduction deadline, and decides on re-referral of those bills to other standing committees for consideration. In addition, the Committee examines gubernatorial nominations requiring House confirmation and reports its recommendations.

Ways and Means Committee considers legislation relating to:

  • children, youth, and families;
  • education financing, including primary and secondary education, community colleges, and scholarships and financial aid;
  • election law;
  • gaming and horseracing;
  • State and local taxes; and
  • transportation funding and revenues.

 

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