We have recently passed the midway point for the 2019 legislative session and I wanted to provide an update on some important issues that we’ve focused on so far! I had an opportunity to be interviewed regarding my agenda for the 2019 session. You can watch it by clicking here.
This year, I have been the primary sponsor of 17 bills and 4 of those were inspired by conversations I’ve had with constituents. Here’s a quick overview:
Bills I’ve Championed:
- HB 11: I introduced House Bill 11 because I believe one of the pillars of our justice system is inadvertently being undermined. HB 11 provides that photos and videos taken of children going through the justice system will be kept confidential when arrested and booked. Often times, these photos and videos can remain on the internet for years after a child has gone through the system, regardless of whether those charges were eventually dropped or they were found not guilty. This bill enhances a youth’s ability to be a responsible and productive member of society because there will be no photos or videos that will serve as life-long evidence of their encounter with the justice system.
STATUS: On February 22nd, this bill passed (122-19) and was assigned to the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee, awaiting a hearing. This bill was also recently spotlighted in a Baltimore Sun article.
HB 15: Ensures Medicaid covers treatment for young children suffering from a Neuropsychiatric Disorder (widely known as PANDA) so no parent is forced to choose between getting treatment for their child and making ends meet. This bill was spotlighted in our Constituent Highlight section below.
HB 22: I introduced House Bill 22 to prevent a State from limiting an individual’s ability to acquire an occupational license or certificate simply because they have a conviction on their record. HB 22 is a practical, common sense, and compassionate bill aimed at ensuring that individuals who have served their time will no longer be denied the ability to be awarded an occupational license or certificate by the State. It is a bill that continues Maryland’s steps to restore the rights of those who have demonstrated a commitment to being productive, law-abiding members of society.
- HB 30: In 1994, MD passed a law prohibiting a person from performing a search on a statewide database for the purpose of identifying a criminal who might be related to an individual from whom the DNA was acquired. MD was the first state to ban the practice due to concerns about racial justice and 4th amendment privacy rights. House Bill 30 extends this policy to commercial databases as well. I was interviewed by Fox 5 about HB 30 and it was mentioned in a variety of articles, including, but not limited to the Baltimore Sun, Wired, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
STATUS: While this bill did not progress this session, this complex topic will be examined by the House’s Judiciary committee this summer.
- HB 37: This bill establishes requirements for the court order that the state must obtain when using a cell site simulator and regulates the use of the information obtained during its use of a cell site simulator. This surveillance device has been written about in numerous articles within the Baltimore Sun for years and most recently in the Howard County Times.
STATUS: After dying on Sine Die last session, on February 22nd, HB 37 passed the House unanimously (141-0) and is now awaiting a hearing before the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee.
- HB 191: Ensures that recent widows are not suddenly forced to pay more for homeowner’s insurance due to the death of their spouse.
STATUS: On February 28th, this bill passed (139-0) and is now awaiting a hearing before the Senate’s Finance Committee.
- HB 420: This emergency bill alters existing law prohibiting people from knowingly threatening to commit or threatening to cause to be committed a crime of violence, by prohibiting someone from making such a threat that would place five or more people at substantial risk of death or serious physical injury.
STATUS: On March 8th, this bill passed the House unanimously (136-0) and is now awaiting a hearing before the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee. Its cross-file, SB 139 passed the Senate (46-0) on February 22nd.
This is just a sampling of the bills I have worked on this session. You can obtain a complete list of all of the bills I have either primarily sponsored or co-sponsored on the General Assembly’s webpage here.
Additionally, this past Saturday we presented legislative bond initiatives for both the MSBC Five Star Program’s Morning Star Family Life Center ($500,000) as well as Woodlawn High School ($650,000) and its need for improvements within its gymnasium and its baseball fields, some of which remain water damaged after flooding.
Over the last year, I’ve been working with our neighbor Katie Reisner to have Medicare insure treatment for PANDAS. Please read this recent article to learn more about what one determined mother has been doing and what we’ve been working on together. ‘We’re fighting for our kids’: Catonsville mother works to expand insurance coverage for pediatric neurological disease.
This session, we have had the pleasure of hosting 5th graders from both Woodmoor Elementary (February 26th) and Edmondson Heights Elementary (March 5th) in Annapolis where they were able to tour the state complex, watch the General Assembly during a floor session and enjoy lunch with me to discuss whatever was on their minds.
I thank the Patapsco River Chapter of the Links for joining us at Woodmoor’s lunch and providing pizza for the students during their visit.
REMINDER: Monday April 15th: Deadline for Scholarship applications! The application can be obtained here.
March 20th: Powhatan Elementary School Annapolis Visit
March 28th: Woodbridge Elementary School Annapolis Visit
March 19th: District Night Please join me in Annapolis for a fun evening filled with food, good conversation, and updates on what your representatives have been working on in the legislature!