Here is a list of the bills Delegate Washington has sponsored and submitted so far this session — other draft legislation is still waiting to be assigned a bill number:
Use of Education Trust Fund (HB557)
This bill would require revenues generated by Maryland’s casinos to go to our public schools, in addition to and not in place of, general funding for state aid for education. When Maryland voters approved amendments in 2008 and 2012 that allow for casino-style slot and table games, it was with the promise the money generated would help improve our public schools, particularly those in Baltimore and other high-needs districts. But that hasn’t happened because as money from casinos has flowed into our Education Trust, the state has cut education funding from other sources, leaving our schools falling further behind. This bill would stop this bait-and-switch practice. Unlike other education bills, it would also provide additional school funding this year — without waiting for the state to hold yet another referendum on the issue in November — and enable us to make an immediate downpayment on meeting the $2.9 billion funding gap facing the state’s public schools.
Currently, no hearing set.
Small and Independent Film Entities Tax Credit (HB 616)
The industry of small and independent films is growing in Maryland. However, the Film Activity Tax Credit requires a minimum of a $500,000 budget to qualify, one rarely met by independent companies. This bill would alter that act to provide funding and eligibility requirements for small and independent filmmakers, to serve as a platform to support this growing industry.
Currently, no hearing set.
Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month (HB668)
This bill would make May “Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month” in Maryland and require caregivers to be trained to recognize the signs of pediatric stroke.
Hearing: March 14, 1:00 p.m., House Health and Government Operations Committee
Baltimore City – Tax Sales of Real Property – Water Liens (Water Taxpayer Protection Act) (HB1409)
This bill would ensure no occupied properties will be sent to tax sale for unpaid water bills alone. It would also ensure water bills will never trigger a tax lien certificate sale, even if it is not the sole outstanding charge owed to the city.
Hearing: In Baltimore City Delegation-THIS FRIDAY; Feb 27, 1:00 p.m., House Ways and Means Committee
Recordation Tax – Collection by State Department of Assessments and Taxation – Distribution (HB1371)
Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Caroline, Cecil, and Howard Counties missed out on tens of millions of dollars in state-collected revenues from certain recordation taxes from 2010-2016. This bill would require an audit be conducted to determine the amount of revenues distributed incorrectly. It would also resolve the discrepancies in these counties to make them whole through the Local Income Tax Reserve Account and simplify the distribution process to prevent these issues from recurring.
Hearing: Feb 27, 1:00 p.m., House Ways and Means Committee
Insurance – Slavery Era Insurance Policy Reporting – Repeal (HB0189)
This bill was inspired by one of my constituents, who pointed out obsolete provisions in old laws that required certain insurers to report to the Maryland Insurance Administration on slavery-era insurance policies.
Passed in the House on Feb. 13. It is currently in the Senate Finance Committee-no hearing date set.
Track all of Delegate Washington’s sponsored and co-sponsored bills here.
Other Bills or Issues of Interest:
Secure and Accessible Registration Act (HB 152)
Del. Luedtke, et al.
This bill has been attracting the attention of many people and organizations in District 43 who have taken the time to write to Del. Washington’s Annapolis office. It calls for re-designating electronic voter registration agencies as automatic voter registration agencies and for implementing by July 1, 2019 an automatic voter registration system under which Marylanders will be automatically registered unless they decline to be registered to vote or are found not to be eligible.
Currently, no hearing set.
Weapon Crimes – Detachable Magazines and Regulated Firearms – Possession (HB0991)
Baltimore City Delegation
This bill would prohibit carrying a type of detachable magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. It would also prevent those already convicted of another crime involving firearms to be in possession of a regulated firearm.
Hearing: March 6, 1:00PM, House Judiciary Committee
Alcoholic Beverages-Class 5 Brewery License-Alterations (HB 1052)
Delegates Branch and Davis
This bill would revoke changes made in 2017. Some of these changes included limiting new brewers hours and revoking retail privileges in the case of a brewery being sold. Other changes were beneficial to the industry, as the bill raised how much a brewery can sell and allowed for collaborative and contract-brewed beer, and these would be revoked as well. Read more here.
Hearing: February 23, 1:00PM, House Economic Matters Committee
Elective Franchise – Registration and Voting at Precinct Polling Place (HB532)
Delegate Reznik, et al.
Under current law, an individual can register to vote on the day of early voting, but cannot register to vote after 9PM 21 days before an election day. This bill would add Maryland to the short list of states that allow citizens to register to vote on the same day as the election at their polling place.
Hearing: Feb 13, 1:00PM, House Ways and Means Committee