The Maryland General Assembly adjourned sine dine today at 5:00 p.m. due to the ongoing state of emergency surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. While this shortened session posed a serious challenge to getting legislation through the General Assembly, Senator Bailey is proud to have passed six bills before the early adjournment. Those of you who know the Senator know what an avid outdoorsman he is and that one of his priorities is to work for a sustainable future for the natural resources of the State. The below legislation will soon be presented to the Governor for his signature:
Senate Bill 242 – Natural Resources – Wild Waterfowl Policy – Repeal removes obsolete provisions of Maryland law regarding the issuance of a license to feed wild waterfowl. The current law has only served to confuse the public and those police officers who attempt to enforce it; Senate Bill 242 will end this confusion.
Senate Bill 261 – St. Mary’s County – Public Facilities Bond authorizes the St. Mary’s County Commissioners to borrow money to finance the construction, improvement, or development of public facilities in St. Mary’s County.
Senate Bill 343 – Calvert County – Public Facilities Bond authorizes the Calvert County Commissioners to borrow money to finance the construction, improvement, or development of public facilities in Calvert County.
Senate Bill 510 – Natural Resources – Commercial Fishing – Use of Haul Seines authorizes a person, if a haul seine is fished on a Friday, to empty that haul seine during the period from 12:01 a.m. on the following Saturday until sunrise on the following Monday. This law will protect non-targeted species of fish, including threatened or endangered species or fish caught out of season, by releasing them on Saturday morning. Under current law, a waterman cannot release any fish that are caught in the net, including non-targeted species, until Monday.
Senate Bill 882 – Recreational Striped Bass Fishery – Study on Harvest Data requires the Department of Natural Resources to conduct a study on methods of obtaining more accurate harvest data for the recreational striped bass fishery. As many recreational anglers are aware, this legislation is important to accurately record the number of striped bass caught in the Chesapeake Bay. Decisions about fishing limits for striped bass were made based off of outdated and limited recreational data that includes a significant amount of error. This bill is an effort to improve the accuracy of this data so that, moving forward, everyone is working for a sustainable fishery. This was a priority of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.
Senate Bill 1025 – Task Force on Fishing License Penalties establishes a task force to study and make recommendations on fishing license penalty reciprocity between Maryland and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC). Senator Bailey is confident that this task force will help the PRFC close a longstanding loophole and come up with and implement sound policies so we can protect our natural resources that are so vulnerable to poaching by individuals who have had their fishing licenses suspended or revoked elsewhere.
Although today was the last day of the legislative session, Senator Bailey will continue to update you on ongoing concerns that affect District 29 and our State.