This week, Senator Bailey presented three more bills to Senate Committees. On Tuesday, the Senator testified in support of Senate Bill 454 – Marine Contractor License – Performance of Services – Licensing Requirements and Fees which is a priority for our local governments, particularly in Calvert and St. Mary’s County, to save taxpayer money for projects on public waterways. On Wednesday, Senator Bailey presented two bills, including Senate Bill 132 – Property Tax Credit – Public Safety Officer, which expands eligibility for local property tax credits to more of our State’s first responders, as well as Senate Bill 79 – Higher Education – Senatorial Scholarships – Program Accreditation.
Monday was the Senate’s bill introduction date. Senator Bailey introduced one more bill before the deadline:
Senate Bill 876 – Water Pollution – Civil Penalty Surcharge – Oyster Repletion Fund would establish a surcharge on civil penalties imposed for the discharge of pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries. The revenue raised by the surcharge would be given to the Oyster Repletion Fund also established by this bill to finance the repletion of natural oyster bars in waters impacted by water pollution violations.
Any bill that was not submitted by Monday will first be sent to the Rules Committee, adding an extra step to the legislative process. On Friday, Senator Bailey introduced legislation providing budget grants to Historic Sotterley and strengthening penalties for individuals who operate a vehicle or vessel while drunk or drugged or in a grossly negligent manner.
Legislative Bond Initiatives
Each year, Senators and Delegates are given the opportunity to submit projects in their districts to be considered for funding in the State’s Capital Budget. Senator Bailey has submitted Legislative Bond Initiatives for six projects located in District 29 this session: Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Calvert Marine Museum, Breton Bay Dam Repair, Newtowne Manor House, Patuxent River Naval Air Museum and Visitor Center, and Trent Hall Creek Pier Replacement. The Senator will work with his colleagues during this session to secure funding for these important projects and is hopeful that they will be added to this year’s budget when it passes the General Assembly.
Senate Protocol Updates
As previously announced, the Senate will be returning to in-person bill hearings for all bills beginning on Monday, February 14. While all oral bill testimony will now be in-person, written testimony will still be submitted through the General Assembly’s website. In addition, Committee voting session will continue to be live streamed. More details about the Senate’s updated protocols can be found at https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs-Current/2022%20-%20Updated%20Senate%20Information%20and%20Protocols.pdf.
All meetings with Senator Bailey and his staff during the legislative session will continue to be held by appointment only, and for the time being will be conducted virtually. Meeting requests should be submitted to the Senator’s office by e-mail at email@example.com.