2024 End of Session Letter


2024 End of Session Letter

Dear Friend and Constituent,


As the 446th Maryland General Assembly’s (MGA) Legislative Session has concluded, I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and share all that has occurred this session. I also thank you for taking the time to call, email, or visit my office. At the heart of every decision we made was whether the policy we advanced would tangibly improve your, and all Marylanders’ daily lives. It is important to me to ensure that each of my constituents feels heard and represented. I appreciate every correspondence. Knowing what matters that are significant to you is important to me.  

During the 2024 Session, our focus was on responding thoughtfully to changing circumstances, new technologies, and based on implementation of landmark legislation passed in recent years.  I sponsored 20 bills and co-sponsored an additional 20 bills. During this session, my legislation focused on transparency, civil rights, and public safety.  What was unforeseen were the circumstance surrounding the tragedy on Tuesday, March 26 on the lower Patapsco River. After being struck by the Dali, a Singaporean cargo ship, the Francis Scott Key bridge collapsed. This tragedy claimed the lives of six individuals working to repair potholes on the bridge that carries Interstate 695. With less than two weeks before adjourning Sine Die, the MGA quickly worked in coordination with Governor Moore’s Administration, our federal and local partners, and small businesses and workers to pass legislation to support those impacted.

Unfortunately, following the tragedy, several individuals, including some candidates for public office, ignorantly and callously made and reposted anti-DEI statements, connecting corporate hiring practices to the existence of black public officials. They suggested that the incident resulted from prioritizing “diversity over the well-being and security of citizens.” While I do not often stand to make statements, this issue was too important to ignore. Just before the Senate adjourned on Thursday, March 28, I stood and admonished these comments. You can visit You can visit the  link here to listen to my remarks.

The information below highlights the work of the MGA as well as my sponsored legislation. After an arduous session, I am eager to serve Maryland’s 44th District at home until the 2025 Legislative Session starts next January.


Supporting Those Impacted by the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse: Immediately after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed and the impacts of the Port of Baltimore’s closure became clear, the MGA began crafting legislation to ensure those economically impacted would be supported until the port reopens. The Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade (PORT) Act (SB1188) was crafted to provide the Maryland Departments of Labor and Commerce with the funding, tools, and flexibility needed to respond to this crisis. Specifically, the PORT Act will:


  • ensure all workers currently out of a job and not fully made whole by unemployment insurance receive direct benefits;
  • provide resources to small businesses who want to retain their workforces but need assistance to do so; and
  • incentivize entities who use or rely on the port to do business to come back to the Port of Baltimore after it reopens.

Enhancing Public Safety in our Neighborhoods through Gun Safety: The most important role of government is strengthening community safety efforts so all residents are secure when going about their daily lives. Unfortunately, the gun violence epidemic is making those efforts more challenging as firearms fall into the hands of bad actors and the gun industry puts profits over public safety. The legislature passed the Gun Industry Accountability Act of 2024 (SB488/HB947) to require firearm industry members to implement reasonable controls so guns and ammunition don’t get into the wrong hands, refrain from knowingly contributing to public harm, and providing the Office of the Attorney General and public with a civil legal remedy for violations. Moreover, we advanced legislation to establish the Center for Firearm Violence Prevention within the Maryland Department of Health (SB475/HB583) to reduce firearm violence, harm from firearm violence, and misuse of firearms in Maryland by partnering with federal, State, and local agencies and affected communities to implement a public health approach to violence reduction.

Expanding Access to Affordable Housing and Renter Protections: The availability and affordability of housing is critical to Marylanders enjoying an increased quality of life while reducing inflationary pressures. Fundamentally, for rental and housing prices to decrease, we need to reduce barriers to building housing across the State. In partnership with Governor Moore’s Administration, the MGA passed legislation to establish a Maryland Community Investment Corporation to provide financial incentives to build housing in low-income communities (HB599), and remove zoning and density restrictions for transit-oriented developments assuming strict criteria are met (HB538). Additionally, we advanced the Renters’ Rights and Stabilization Act of 2024 (HB693) to raise the filing fees for eviction proceedings to disincentivize frivolous cases and establish an Office of Tenant and Landlord Affairs within the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, which will be tasked with developing a Tenants’ Bill of Rights. The FY25 State budget also includes significant funding for affordable housing, including:

  • $138.5M for rental housing programs;
  • $50M for Project CORE to address vacant housing; and
  • $21M for homeownership incentive programs.

Building a World-Class Public School System: Since developing and enacting the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the MGA has been laser-focused on supporting our pre-K to 12 schools and building a world-class system of public education. This school year is the first year of State funding for the Blueprint’s implementation and the legislature took multiple steps in response to feedback from our public schools, teachers, and families. Foundationally, we know that the Blueprint will only be successful if there is a sufficient teacher workforce to meet its needs. We remain committed to ensuring rigor in teacher licensing and high-quality instruction, but also recognize the need for flexibility where appropriate. That’s why we created a Grow Your Own Program to help school employees transition into teaching roles (SB937/HB1157), lowered unnecessary and costly barriers to initial teacher certification (SB771/HB945), and strengthened our commitment to early childhood educator licensure and career development in publicly funded pre-K programs (SB500/HB1441). Further, we bolstered our community school apparatus to ensure students attending schools in areas with high concentrations of poverty receive wraparound services and supports that meet their community’s unique needs (SB161/HB200). Finally, we created a $1M Access to Attorneys, Advocates, and Consultants for Special Education Fund to support low-income families who believe their children should be receiving individualized education program services and reach an impasse with their local school system (SB797/HB903). We continue to believe in the ability of the Blueprint to transform student outcomes and trust that the school systems will tailor the policy framework to their district’s unique needs.

Safeguarding the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s Environment: Protecting two of Maryland’s most important assets, our natural resources and the Chesapeake Bay, is of paramount importance. It is vital that we leave our State in a better environmental position for future generations. The legislature took a number of steps this year to bolster those preservation efforts. First, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Sackett v. EPA ruling which hamstrung enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act, the MGA passed the Clean Water Justice Act (SB653/HB1101) to allow State civil actions to ensure clean waterways. Second, we passed the Whole Watershed Act (SB969/HB1165) to shift Maryland’s focus to whole watershed restoration, incentivize innovative practices, improve project quality, and responsibly fast track environmental restoration work across Maryland. Finally, the legislature passed a bill (SB1074/HB991) to establish an industrial sludge utilization permit to better regulate this harmful organic material which seeps into our waterways when used for farming without proper safeguards.

Tackling Child Poverty and Strengthening Communities: Building strong and vibrant communities means investing in residents from an early age. Child poverty is unconscionable and its impacts continue throughout an individual’s life. We advanced legislation this year that will help to tackle the root causes of poverty in Maryland by addressing gaps in existing funding streams that support children and families (SB482). This legislation, the Engaging Neighborhoods, Organizations, Unions, Governments, and Households (ENOUGH) Act, is particularly focused on issues from early childcare and education to affordable housing, public safety, and support for civic infrastructure. Most importantly, the legislation is about a focused community-led effort to improve neighborhoods, not just by the government, but with philanthropic partners, the private sector, and government agencies.

I was the primary sponsor of several of our bills that passed both the Senate and the House unanimously and are going to the Governor’s desk for signature. While unanimous passage is not required, it is nice to highlight the bi-partisan nature of our legislature. These pieces of legislation highlight the legislature’s commitment to Maryland and our ability to work together to further Maryland. They are as follows:

Senate Bill 111 / House Bill 458 Criminal Procedure - Protection of Identity of Minor Victim bolsters protections of minor victims by immediately redacting information that could reasonably identify the minor.  SB 111 reflects an understanding that children, like adults, have a right to privacy, and is an important piece of legislation showcasing our dedication to Maryland’s children. 

Senate Bill 182 / House Bill 338 Criminal Procedure - Facial Recognition Technology - Requirements, Procedures and Prohibitions will establish guidelines, training, and limitations surrounding law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology. This legislation had been worked on since the 2017 session.

Senate Bill 549 / House Bill 476 Criminal Procedure - Forensic Genealogical DNA Analysis and Search - Applicability for Deceased and Missing Children will allow DNA analysis to be conducted on deceased or missing minors without requiring formal court authorization. This important bill accelerates the identification of missing or deceased minors, thus providing faster answers to families, friends, and loved ones.

Senate Bill 550 / House Bill 508 Children - Labor Trafficking, defines labor trafficking as a form of child abuse and neglect, thus, ensures victims of child labor trafficking have access to the critical legal, mental health, and social services they need.

Further, I was the primary sponsor on several pieces of legislation that passed both the Senate and the House and awaits the Governor’s signature.

Senate Bill 78 / House Bill 495 Education - Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission - Publishing and Meeting Requirements centers around transparency and ensures public access to information. This bill requires the Baltimore County School Board Nominating Commission to publish the names of candidates for the Baltimore County School Board prior to interviewing the candidates. Further, the Commission must record, and provide a copy of the recording, any meeting that involves the interview or deliberation about a candidate. Despite the Baltimore County House Delegation’s best efforts, transparency prevailed. Due to the Delegation’s proffered amendments, the Senate Bill failed to make it out of the House. However, the House Bill retained its integrity and commitment to public awareness, and passed both houses. Status: SB 78 passed unanimously in the Senate (46-0), and I asked that it be held in the House after the House Delegation’s amendments. However, with my urging, House Bill 495 passed the House (127-5) and the Senate (42-0).

Senate Bill 19 / House Bill 181 Failure to Pay Rent Proceedings - Shielding of Court Records aims to preserve the ability of tenants to remain housed by reducing the loss of housing opportunities resulting from court records that do not reflect the whole story. Status: SB 19 passed the Senate 36-10 and the House (95-39).

Senate Bill 187 / House Bill 94 Correctional Services - Inmate Employment - Agricultural Work will remove an outdated provision in our law that authorized incarcerated individuals to work at agriculture camps. This provision has been obsolete for several years. Status: SB 187 passed unanimously in the Senate (46-0) and passed in the House (114-21).

Senate Bill 839 / House Bill 832 General Provisions - Damages or Losses Defined will ensure that all people have a fair opportunity to vindicate their rights in court. SB 839 is a direct response to Federal Courts’ decisions that parties could only pursue action if they suffer “physical, monetary, or cognizable intangible harm traditionally recognized as providing a basis for a lawsuit.” SB 839 responds to this by ensuring that in a statutory cause of action to protect civil or consumer rights, “damages” or “losses” include reasonable nominal damages. Status: SB 839 passed unanimously in the Senate (46-0) and passed in the House (105-30).

Senate Bill 551 / House Bill 801 Criminal Procedure - Committed Persons - Release Proceedings makes several changes to the law governing release proceedings of an individual judicially committed to the Maryland Department of Health. Further, this legislation guarantees a committed individual’s constitutional rights. Status: SB 551 passed unanimously in the Senate (45-0) and passed in the House (104-32). 

Senate Bill 840 / House Bill 1081 Public Safety - Automatic License Plate Readers - Captured Plate Data Storage and Upload will ensure that certain data captured by automatic license plate readers are property of law enforcement agencies and may not be sold for any purpose. Status:  SB 840 passed unanimously in the Senate (45-0) and passed in the House (119-16).

While the following, important legislation ultimately did not pass this session, I am dedicated to pursuing them again next year.

Senate Bill 57 / House Bill 392 Evidence - Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance - Fair Housing Testing would permit an individual working as a fair housing tester, under certain circumstances, to record oral conversations to be used solely for enforcing fair housing laws. Status: SB 57 passed the Senate (28-17) but the House’s Judiciary Committee failed to vote favorably for this legislation.

Senate Bill 617 Task Force to Study Transparency Standards for State’s Attorneys and the State’s Attorney Case Management System Grant Fund Status: While the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee failed to vote on SB 617, we were successful at have $500,000 allocated in the budget for the case management system grant for these offices.

Senate Bill 660 Maryland Voting Rights Act of 2024 - Counties and Municipalities

Status: The Senate’s Education, Energy and Environment failed to vote on SB 660.

Investing in Maryland Values through a Competitive and Balanced Budget for Fiscal Year 2025: The core role of the Maryland General Assembly in any legislative session is passing a balanced State budget for the next fiscal year. The operating budget that passed the legislature makes critical investments in education, transportation, and behavioral health without broad based tax increases to maintain our State’s economic competitiveness. We ultimately enacted a $63 billion budget (SB360 and SB362) that invests heavily in Maryland values, including:

  • $14.4B in Medicaid funding to provide healthcare coverage to 1.6 million residents;
  • $9.1B for Maryland public pre-k to 12 schools, an increase of $457M (5.3%), to fully fund the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future;
  • $488M in new funding for the child care scholarship program to address previous shortfalls while fully funding the FY25 budget to support more than 31,300 children;
  • $257M in new revenue to address the State’s transportation needs until the Maryland Commission on Transportation Revenue and Infrastructure Needs can complete its work this year;
  • Nearly $105M of new revenue dedicated to emergency medical services beginning in FY25 including about $46M to support the Emergency Medical Systems Operations Fund, $41M for shock trauma, and $18M to expand reimbursements to the Maryland Trauma Services Fund;
  • $121.4M for police aid, which is $46M above the statutorily required amount, in addition to $8M in new funding for violence intervention and prevention programming and $10.3M for community-based services for juveniles and services to families residing in communities with high crime rates; and
  • $2.4B in cash reserves, including $2.3B in the Rainy Day Fund and $128M in the General Fund.

Funding Our Local Economies and Anchor Institutions: The MGA worked collaboratively to invest a historic amount of capital funds to stimulate our local economies and provide Marylanders with family-sustaining jobs (SB361). That funding provides vital support to our local institutions and invests State dollars in our community. Projects funded in Maryland’s 44th Legislative District include:

UMBC for Sherman Hall Renovation


Catonsville Rails to Trails


County Executive & County Council of Baltimore County for Baltimore Highlands Trail.


NCIA- National Center on Institutions and Alternatives


Knights of Columbus Council No. 1960


Catonsville Emergency Assistance


Music City Maryland Association Inc.


Sheppard Pratt – Catonsville Residential Homes


Thank you for your continued support, and allowing me to serve as your Senator. If I can be of any service, please feel free to contact me or my Chief of Staff, Gene Clark.


        Very truly yours,


A PDF copy of the 2024 End of Session Letter may be downloaded here.