Day 20 – Student Advocacy Day

Senator Bailey with representatives of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Community at the Rural Maryland Council and Soil Conservation District Luncheon

Today, Senator Bailey presented Senate Bill 258 – Public Schools – Electric Retractable Room Partitions – Operation Requirements to the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee.  This legislation is based on similar legislation that passed last year in Virginia.  In 2018, a tragic accident occurred in Virginia when a student at an elementary school lost his life as a result of injuries that he sustained when he was crushed between an electric retractable room partition and a wall.  This bill is designed to prevent future incidents of this kind from occurring in our schools.

Senate Bill 258 would change Maryland law to state that a school employee may not operate an electric retractable room partition in a school building unless it either includes a safety sensor that automatically stops the movement of the partition when a body passes between the leading edge and a wall, an opposing partition, or the stacking area of the partition, or if there are no students are present in the building or the room where the partition is located.  The bill also requires that school employees who use these partitions undergo training to operate them safely.  These safety sensors would function similar to an electronic eye, which is mandatory on garage doors.  Senator Bailey was joined at the bill hearing by the grandmother of the child who was involved in this tragic accident in Virginia.  The Senator is hopeful that this bill will improve student safety in schools.

Today was also Student Advocacy Day for the Maryland Association of Community Colleges in Annapolis.  Students, teachers, and other members of the College of Southern Maryland Community came to the State capital to talk with legislators about the importance of supporting Maryland’s community colleges.  Senator Bailey spoke to those visiting from CSM about the legislative process and some bills that are being considered by the General Assembly this year.  He also attended a luncheon for the Rural Maryland Council and Soil Conservation District and discussed issues of importance to Southern Maryland farmers.

Senator Bailey also presented a bill on the Senate floor today.  Senate Bill 114 was sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and allows the Department to conduct pilot projects to demonstrate and evaluate new approaches for the management and control of nuisance organisms, including snakeheads and blue catfish.  As the Senator said when presenting this bill, the philosophy behind it is “if you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em!”