Day 16 – Introduction of New Bills

Senator Bailey with constituents David McCaskill, President of the Southern Maryland Chapter of the National African-American Gun Owners Association, and John Mountjoy, Vice President of Maryland Shall Issue.
Senator Jack Bailey with St. Mary’s County Government Officials who came to Annapolis to testify on Senate Bill 261. Pictured: Chief Financial Officer Jeannett Cudmore, Senator Bailey, Deputy Director of Finance Jody Quasney, and Department of Public Works and Transportation Director John Deatrick

Today, Senator Bailey presented his first three bills of the session in committee hearings.  The first, Senate Bill 242 – Natural Resources – Wild Waterfowl Policy – Repeal, would repeal obsolete provisions of law requiring permits to feed waterfowl.  The existing law has only served to confuse the public and those police officers who attempt to enforce these provisions.  Repealing these provisions will have no negative impact on Maryland’s waterfowl population.

The second, Senate Bill 257 – Fishing Gear – Crab Pots – Ghost Panel Requirement, would require the Secretary of Natural Resources to adopt regulations to require all crab pots be equipped with ghost panels.  The bill defines a “ghost panel” as a panel or other mechanism that is designed to allow crabs to escape from a crab pot after a period of time if the pot is abandoned or lost.  Since modern crab pots are designed to not corrode in the water, crab pots that are abandoned or lost continue to catch crabs and other marine life.  They are unable to escape and become bait for additional marine life to become trapped.  Ghost panels would eventually break down and free any marine life caught in the abandoned or lost pot.

The third bill, Senate Bill 261 – St. Mary’s County – Public Facilities Bond, authorizes St. Mary’s County to borrow money to pay for capital projects.  This bill was requested by the St. Mary’s County Board of Commissioners and authorizes the Commissioners to borrow not more than $33,000,000 to finance the construction, improvement, and development of public buildings, facilities, and public works projects in the county.  St. Mary’s County is one of six Commission counties in Maryland, which means that the General Assembly must give the County the authority to borrow money.  Senator Bailey worked with the St. Mary’s County Government to present this important bill and address this local priority.

In addition to these bill hearings, Senator Bailey met with constituents visiting Annapolis.  He met with a representative of Tri-County Youth Services to discuss the important work of Youth Service Bureaus in Southern Maryland.  He also met with constituents representing Maryland Shall Issue and the National African-American Gun Owners Association to discuss bills that he will be sponsoring about reducing administrative hurdles to obtaining and retaining gun licenses.