Election year politics are influencing the General Assembly, putting a damper on things and drawing out the law-making process, according to Del. Robin Grammer (R-6).
“There are different forces working this year because of election year,” he added.
On March 19, District Six leaders, along with other Maryland lawmakers, joined together for Cross-over Day, which is the last day that that legislators can send a bill to the opposite chamber (House to Senate or Senate to House) and have it assigned to a committee for a hearing.
Late bills are not assigned to one of the regular committees and risk not coming up for a final vote.
“It’s still in flux,” Del. Bob Long (R-6) said.
HB0001, Rape Survivor Family Protection Act, co-sponsored by Grammer, Long and Metzgar and was already passed by both chambers and signed by Gov. Larry Hogan.
However, the majority of the District Six leaders’ proposed bills have been deemed unfavorable or are still at a stand-still in Annapolis.
Sen. Johnny Salling’s (R-6) proposed SB0470, Senatorial and Delegate Scholarships, was originally heard by the Maryland Senate Education, Health and Environment Committee on Feb. 14 and is due to be heard by the opposite house, Maryland House Ways and Means Committee on March 22 at 1p.m.
Salling’s SB 0457, Sale and Use Tax Rate Reduction, was deemed unfavorable, while 11 out of the 13 bills proposed by Salling have not been voted on in committee and are awaiting a conclusion.
Long’s HB1442, Shawan Downs, Land Prevention Trust, has been withdrawn and labeled unfavorable.
Long’s bill seeking active shooter training in schools — HB0023 — has also failed to advance.
As Long explained, “The Baltimore County Delegation failed to approve my bill for a Rapid Action Plan in the case of an active shooter event (HB0023).”“I wish that we would see more common sense legislation being proposed,” Long said.He added, “We’re continuing to fight to establish a safe learning environment for our students and teachers, and I would have thought that we could all agree that oversight and accountability would be a good idea, a common sense approach.”There is still a chance that his Safer Schools Act might be voted on, but the chance is now a very slim one, Long mentioned.The remainder of Long’s submitted bills have yet to receive an opposite house hearing date.This year, Grammer has sponsored more bills than his prior three years in office combined. Many of Grammer’s bills have been listed as unfavorable, however, Grammer is hopeful that HB 0952, State Acquisition of the Fort Howard VA Campus Property and HB1455, Prohibition, Dredging on Man-O-War Shoals, will be heard in the opposite house.This year, Del. Ric Metzgar (R-6) proposed five primary bills.At a recent pre-session town hall meeting, Del. Metzgar raised the issue of school prayer, which received the most applause from the audience.This told him that there was support for school prayer, according to Metzgar.He then decided to place HB 1306 on the ballot, as a referendum for the voters to decide on the issue of school prayer in this year’s General Election. The proposal failed in Baltimore County Delegation.The four remaining bills Metzgar proposed were ruled unfavorable.“Overall with over 1,700 bills in the House of Delegates, it has been a productive Session,” Paul M. Blitz, chief of staff to Del. Metzgar, said.Follow me on Twitter@Char_DEagle