Catherine Pugh works hard to introduce and support meaningful legislation that will enrich the quality of life for the citizens of all Marylanders and move Baltimore forward. Here are a few examples of Catherine’s legislative accomplishments in the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland State Senate:
HB 36 - Education - Task Force to Study Raising the Compulsory Public School Attendance Age to 18- This bill establishes a Task Force to Study Raising the Compulsory Public School Attendance Age to 18 to examine issues relating to an increase in the mandatory school attendance age. The task force must commence its work in November 2006 and report its findings and recommendations by December 1, 2007. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) must provide staff support for the task force.
HB 143 - Motor Vehicles - Motorized Minibikes – Regulation- This bill repeals the existing definition of “minibike” and instead defines a “motorized minibike” as a motor vehicle that has two or three wheels and does not have to be registered by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). A motorized minibike is not a motor scooter, a moped, or a farm tractor. The bill also authorizes a local authority to require a permit and impose a permit fee for the use of a motorized minibike.
SB 132 - Education - Student Discipline - Review of Local Policies and Procedures -This bill requires the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to review the policies and procedures of each local board of education relating to student discipline, student suspension, and student expulsion. The review must include suspension rates, reasons for suspensions, and the efficacy of positive behavioral interventions and support (PBIS) programs. MSDE must submit a report on the review by December 31, 2007.
SB 339 - Drug Treatment - Maryland State Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council -Study of the State's Approach to Drug Treatment -This bill requires the Maryland State Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council to include in its two-year strategic plan a review of the State’s approach to drug treatment, including a review of the appropriate location of treatment services and the use of employment and housing services for individuals in treatment.
SB 438 – Maryland Transit Administration - Continuation of Passenger Railroad Service on Amtrak and CSX Lines -This bill requires the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to continue to operate the passenger railroad service (MARC) on certain lines at specified levels. It also prohibits MTA from closing a station on any route before June 30, 2008, and prohibits MTA from closing a station on any route until a public hearing has been held. MTA may only close a station in a four and one-half month window, specifically between six weeks and six months after the public hearing.
SB 461 - Labor and Employment - Maryland Workforce Investment Act - Transit Service for Low-Income Individuals -This bill requires the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to issue weekly transit passes for local bus, light rail, or metro subway service provided by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to eligible training organizations. The training organization must provide the transit passes to individuals receiving employment and training services through a workforce investment training program. In addition, the organization must reimburse MDOT for the cost of the training passes.
SB 463 - Maryland Transit Administration - Public Hearings -This bill requires the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to hold a public hearing before permanently changing a bus or rail route alignment listed on a published time table or establishing or abandoning a rail transit station. The bill also alters other requirements related to holding a public hearing.
SB 686 - Drug-Exposed Infants – Methamphetamine -This bill expands the definition of a drug-exposed infant to include exposure to methamphetamine or a derivative of methamphetamine for the purposes of determining whether a child is in need of assistance (CINA) or whether terminating a parent’s rights is in the child’s best interests.
SB 801 - Maryland Consolidated Capital Bond Loan of 2005 - Baltimore City - Baltimore Museum of Art -This bill repeals the requirement that certain funds appropriated to the Board of Trustees of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Inc. in the Maryland Consolidated Capital Bond Loan of 2005 be used exclusively for improvements to the west wing of the Baltimore Museum of Art.
SB 861 - Task Force - Urban Senior Care Communities in Baltimore City -This bill establishes the Task Force to Study the Feasibility of Developing Urban Senior Care Communities in Baltimore City, staffed by the Department of Housing and Community Development. The task force will:study the feasibility of developing senior care facilities in Baltimore City; investigate the use of tax credits to provide incentives for the private sector to develop senior care facilities; and investigate the use of Medicaid or Medicare funding for health care services needed by seniors at senior care facilities. Task force members are eligible to receive reimbursement for expenses as provided in the State budget. The task force must submit a final report of its findings and recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Health and Government Operations Committee by December 31, 2007.
SB 874 - Baltimore City - New Shiloh Multipurpose Center Loan of 2001 -This bill extends the deadline to June 1, 2009 for the Board of Directors of New Shiloh Development Corporation, Inc. to encumber or expend funds provided in the New Shiloh Multipurpose Center Loan of 2001.
SB 96 - Education - Truancy Rates - Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Programs and Behavior Modification Programs- This bill requires schools with truancy rates in excess of 8% of their enrollment during the 2008-2009 school year to implement a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Program or a comparable behavior modification program. The truancy rate that triggers the requirement is then reduced each subsequent year until it reaches 1% of enrollment for the 2012-2013 school year and thereafter. A school that has already implemented PBIS or an alternate program must expand its program if its truancy rate exceeds the limits set in the bill or if the existing suspension rate limits set for elementary schools are exceeded.
SB 264 - High School Dropouts - Alternative Education Programs and GED Requirements -This bill requires the appropriate representative of a local board of education to provide, to the extent practicable, information on alternative education and General Educational Development (GED) programs to each individual who has dropped out of high school.
SB 606 - State Government - Brokerage and Investment Management Services - Use of Minority Business Enterprises -This bill requires the State Treasurer, the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, the Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund, and the State Retirement and Pension System to attempt to use minority business enterprises (MBE) to the greatest extent feasible to provide brokerage and investment management services. The four entities’ use of MBEs must be consistent with MBE purchasing standards in current law and with their respective fiduciary responsibilities. The bill also requires the four entities to work with the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA) to develop guidelines to implement the bill’s provisions and to submit annual reports to GOMA and the General Assembly on their use of MBE brokerage and investment firms and their efforts to encourage greater use of MBE firms. Those efforts must include the use of a wide variety of media, including their web sites, to publicize the brokerage and investment management services they use.
SB 744 - Task Force on Health Care Access and Reimbursement - Additional Duties -This bill requires the Task Force on Health Care Access and Reimbursement to develop recommendations regarding (1) whether there is a need to provide incentives for physicians and other health care practitioners to be available to provide care on evenings and weekends; and (2) the ability of primary care physicians to be reimbursed for mental health services performed within their scope of practice.
SB 773 - State Department of Education - Adult Education and Family Literacy Services –This bill requires the Maryland State Department of Education to annually compile a list by county of adult education and literacy services offered to the public. MSDE must distribute the list to the local boards of education and superintendents of schools and must post the list on its public web site.
SB 775 - Maryland Medbank Program – Funding -This bill authorizes up to $425,000 in funds that have accrued to the account of the Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program of the Maryland Health Insurance Plan Fund to be transferred and appropriated, for fiscal 2009 only, to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for a grant to the Maryland Medbank Program.
SB 176 - Education - Baltimore City Community College - Academic Facility Bonds -This bill increases the bonding authority of Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) by $50 million, from $15 million to $65 million. The bill also authorizes BCCC to issue bonds for academic facilities rather than only auxiliary facilities. The Capital Debt Affordability Committee is required to include its estimate of the amount of new bonds for academic facilities that may be prudently authorized for BCCC in its annual report.
SB 186 - Correctional Facilities - Released Inmates - Identification Cards -This bill requires the Commissioner of Correction to issue an identification card to an inmate before being released from confinement in a State correctional facility. The identification card must comply with the requirements for secondary identification for the purpose of an identification card issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
SB 187 - State Procurement - Bundling of Procurements -This bill limits the ability of State procurement units to bundle procurement. Units may not bundle a procurement, limit the number of competitive bidders or offerors, or limit participation to a predetermined group of bidders or offerors for the purpose of precluding or limiting the participation of minority business enterprises (MBEs) or small businesses. “Bundle” is defined as consolidating two or more procurement requirements for supplies or services that were previously performed under separate contracts into one contract that is unlikely to be accessible to MBEs or small businesses. The bill does not apply to bundling for procurements for the Small Business Reserve Program.
SB 211 - Minority Business Enterprise Program - Participation by Race or Gender -This bill allows a woman-owned business that is owned by a member of a racial or ethnic minority group to be certified as both a woman-owned business and as a business owned by a member of a recognized racial or ethnic minority group under the State’s minority business enterprise (MBE) program. It also allows firms with dual certification to participate in an individual procurement contract as either a woman-owned business or as a business owned by a member of a racial or ethnic minority group, but not both.
SB 241 - Education - Suspension and Expulsion Procedures - Attendance-Related Offenses - This bill prohibits a student from being suspended or expelled from school solely for attendance-related offences. There is an exception for in-school suspensions.
SB 242 - Dispensation of Prescription Medication - Provision of Information Relating to Incorrectly Filled Prescriptions –This bill requires pharmacies in the State to either post a sign or include written information with each prescription dispensed that includes information regarding the process for resolving incorrectly filled prescriptions. If a sign is posted, it must be in a conspicuous place and readable by consumers at the point where prescription drugs are dispensed. The bill does not apply to a pharmacy that is owned and operated by a hospital, nursing facility, or clinic to which the public does not have access to purchase pharmaceuticals on a retail basis. However, nonresident pharmacies must comply. Finally, the bill specifies that a licensed dentist, physician, or podiatrist who prepares and dispenses his or her own prescriptions meet the bill’s requirements.
SB 341 – Prosthetic Parity Act- This bill requires insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations (carriers) to provide coverage for prosthetic devices, components of prosthetic devices, and repair of prosthetic devices. The bill applies to all policies, contracts, and health benefit plans issued, delivered, or renewed in the State on or after October 1, 2009.
SB 489 - Minority Business Enterprise Certification - Cap on Personal Net Worth -This bill requires that the personal net worth cap for eligibility in the State’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program be adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Personal net worth does not include up to $500,000 of the cash value of any qualified retirement savings plan or individual retirement account. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office and specified legislative committees, must evaluate whether the personal net worth cap should be further adjusted, and report its findings to the General Assembly by December 1, 2010.
SB 568 - Minority Business Enterprise Program - Directory of Minority Business Enterprises -This bill requires the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to include in its directory of minority business enterprises (MBEs) a list of all MBEs that are ineligible to participate in the State’s MBE program because (1) the personal net worth of one or more of the MBE’s owners exceeds the statutory cap; or (2) the MBE no longer qualifies as a small business under federal guidelines.
SB 569 - Education - Collective Bargaining - Topics of Negotiation -This bill requires local boards of education to meet and negotiate with the designated public school noncertificated employees’ organization about discipline and discharge, rather than authorizing a local board of education to negotiate due process for discipline and discharge of noncertificated employees. The bill is only to be applied prospectively.
SB 634 - Professional Corporations - Professional Services - Multiple Professions -This bill alters the conditions under which a corporation may be a professional corporation for the purposes of rendering professional services within two or more professions. The bill allows a corporation to be a professional corporation if the professional services rendered are “the same, similar, or related.”
SB 859 - Vehicle Laws - Advertising Practices - Prohibited Acts -This bill requires the advertised purchase price for a vehicle to be the full delivered price of the vehicle excluding only taxes, title fees, and freight or dealer processing charges, and be printed in the largest font relating to price used in the advertisement. The bill also repeals the existing presumption that an advertisement that complies with Federal Trade Commission law is not false, deceptive, or misleading.
SB 860 - Maryland Not-For-Profit Development Center Program - Qualifying Not-For-Profit Entity Assistance -This bill clarifies the requirements that a not-for-profit entity must meet to qualify to receive assistance from the Maryland Not-For-Profit Development Center Program. Designation as a “qualifying not-for-profit entity” is one factor for the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) to consider and prioritize when determining which not-for-profit entity or entities to select as grant recipients to implement the program.
SB 946 - Minority Business Enterprise Program - Report to Joint Committee on Fair Practices -This bill requires that State procurement units submit a copy of their annual minority business enterprise (MBE) utilization reports to the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Fair Practices.
SB 129 - International Marriage Brokers – Regulation -This bill requires an international marriage broker to provide a “recruit” with basic human rights information as well as the criminal and marital history information of a “client” before providing personal contact information about the recruit to the client. Moreover, before the identity of the recruit is disclosed to the client, the marriage broker must obtain written consent from the recruit.
SB 130 - Procurement - Minority Business Enterprises - Certification Process -This bill requires that regulations governing the State’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program include provisions that promote and facilitate certification of MBEs certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or a county that uses a certification process that is substantially similar to the process used by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT). The Board of Public Works (BPW) must report annually on the number and identity of MBEs certified through that process.
SB 131 - State Procurement - Minority Business Enterprises - Electronic Certification Process - This bill requires the Board of Public Works to include in regulations governing the State’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program provisions that promote and facilitate the electronic submission of some or all of an application seeking certification as an MBE.
SB 400 - No Representation Without Population Act -This bill requires that population counts used to create legislative districts for the U.S. Congress, General Assembly, and county and municipal governing bodies exclude incarcerated individuals who were not State residents prior to their incarceration in either State or federal correctional facilities. It also requires that incarcerated individuals be counted as residents of their last known address before their incarceration in a State or federal facility, if they were State residents prior to their incarceration.
SB 412 - Teacher Certification - Career Professionals -This bill requires the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to establish teacher certification for career professionals in specialized fields. MSDE must adopt regulations to implement the bill.
SB 413 - Property Tax Credit - Replacement Home Purchased After Acquisition of Dwelling for Public Use- This bill alters an existing local property tax credit for a replacement home purchased after a homeowner is displaced through eminent domain by repealing the phase-out provisions of the tax credit. Under current law the tax credit phases out after five years.
SB 456 - Baltimore City - Park Heights Redevelopment Area - Alcoholic Beverages - Store Opening Hours -This bill specifies that in the Park Heights Redevelopment Area of Baltimore City establishments may not begin selling alcoholic beverages until 9 a.m. This restriction applies to the holders of Class B-D-7 licenses; Class A, B, and D beer and light wine licenses; and Class A, B, and D beer, wine, and liquor licenses.
SB 523 - Credit Card Blacklisting Prevention Act -This bill prohibits a person from including or enforcing a provision in a consumer credit contract, without the consumer’s prior written consent, that triggers a default under the contract or authorizes a party to alter the terms of the contract based on a prohibited risk factor. Violation of the bill is an unfair or deceptive trade practice under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (MCPA), subject to MCPA’s civil and criminal penalty provisions.
SB 547 - Insurance - Domestic Reinsurers- This bill requires certain domestic reinsurers to pay an annual assessment fee contributed to the Insurance Regulation Fund.
SB 643 - Telephone Bills - Third-Party Vendor Billing -This bill addresses the practice of “cramming.” The bill prohibits a third-party vendor or its billing agent from submitting charges to a telephone company or reseller unless the third-party vendor or billing agent first obtains an ordering customer’s express authorization. The bill establishes requirements for such an authorization and specifies conditions under which a customer is not liable for third-party vendor billing charges. A third-party vendor or billing agent that violates the bill’s provisions is subject to the civil penalty and enforcement provisions, but not the criminal penalty provisions, of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (MCPA).
SB 647 - Homeowner's, Farmowner's, and Dwelling Insurance Policies - Claims for Additional Payments - This bill requires certain homeowner’s or personal property insurance policies that insure for replacement cost to allow an insured to file a claim for additional payments for not less than two years after the date of loss. An insurer may require an insured seeking additional payments on a replacement cost basis to notify the insurer, within 180 days after the date of loss, of the insured’s intent to repair or replace the dwelling or personal property. The bill applies prospectively to all homeowner’s, farmowner’s, and dwelling insurance policies issued, sold, delivered, or renewed in the State on or after January 1, 2011.
SB 701 - Commercial Law - Debt Settlement Services – Study -This bill requires the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, in consultation with the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General, to study the debt settlement services industry and report its findings to the Senate Finance and House Economic Matters committees of the General Assembly by December 1, 2010. The study must determine how the debt settlement services industry would best be regulated in the State, including the option of establishing a licensure requirement, and the fiscal impact of regulating the industry if licensure were required.
SB 761 - Mental Health - Local Correctional Facilities -Incarcerated Individuals with Mental Illness – This bill requires the managing official at a local correctional facility to, upon release, provide an inmate diagnosed with a mental illness access to a 30-day supply of medication for his or her mental illness. Part of the supply may be provided by prescription if the inmate is provided sufficient medication on release to remain medication-compliant until the prescription can be filled. The requirement only applies to an inmate who has been incarcerated in a local correctional facility for at least 60 days, and only if a treating physician determines that the possession of medication will be in the best interest of the inmate. A local correctional facility, facility employee, or agent may not be held liable for issuing or prescribing medication to an inmate on his or her release. The bill does not apply to pretrial inmates.
SB 787 - Financial Institutions - Mortgage Lenders - Net Worth Requirements - This bill amends the Maryland Mortgage Lender Law to allow a specified applicant for a new or renewal mortgage lender’s license who does not lend money to calculate an existing minimum net worth requirement using any other recognized comprehensive basis of accounting approved by the Commissioner of Financial Regulation in addition to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
SB 943 - Credit Regulation - Mortgage Brokers – Charges – This bill authorizes a mortgage broker to recover from a borrower the actual cost of (1) a condominium document or subrogation agreement document obtained by the mortgage broker at the written request of the borrower; and (2) other goods or services required to complete a loan application that are authorized by the Commissioner of Financial Regulation and paid by the broker at the written request of the borrower to a third-party provider. Any mortgage broker who violates the bill’s provisions must forfeit to the borrower the greater of three times the amount of the finder’s fee collected or $500.
SB 966 - Education - High School Diploma by Examination –This bill alters the eligibility requirement for obtaining a high school diploma by examination by repealing the three-month waiting period for an individual who has withdrawn from high school.
SB 1006 - Baltimore City - Sale of Motor Fuel for Dirt Bikes – Prohibition –This bill prohibits a person from dispensing motor fuel into a “dirt bike” from a retail pump at a service station in Baltimore City and requires these service stations to post a conspicuous sign stating the bill’s prohibition and the similar prohibition in the Baltimore City Code.
SB 1007 - Public Schools - Law Enforcement Officers - Cultural Competency Model Training Curriculum - The bill requires that the Maryland Police Training Commission, in consultation with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), develop a cultural competency model training curriculum for law enforcement officers assigned to public schools. A law enforcement officer assigned to patrol a school building or school grounds is encouraged to complete the cultural competency model training curriculum before beginning the assignment.
SB 132 - Job Applicant Fairness Act - This bill prohibits an employer from using an individual’s credit report or credit history as a basis to deny employment to an applicant for hire, discharge an employee, or determine compensation or the terms of employment. The bill establishes certain exemptions whereby an employer may request and use the credit report or credit history of an applicant or employee when making employment decisions.
SB 244 - Public Service Commission - Customer Education on Customer Choice -This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to take certain actions to increase awareness about competitive electric supply options. PSC must host and regularly update a customer choice education page on its website and must work with local media outlets to develop and air public service announcements publicizing customer choice. PSC must recover associated costs through the annual assessment on public service companies. By July 1, 2011, PSC must convene a workgroup of interested parties to advise PSC on improvements to the PSC website information and on additional methods of consumer education that can effectively supplement the bill’s requirements.
SB 347 - Task Force to Study the Impact of Adjunct Faculty on Graduation Rates at Historically Black Institutions- This bill establishes a Task Force to Study the Impact of Adjunct Faculty on Graduation Rates at Historically Black Institutions (HBIs). The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) must provide staff for the task force. A final report with findings and recommendations is due by January 1, 2013.
SB 556 - Mental Hygiene Administration - Facilities - Trauma-Informed Care - This bill requires the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) to develop and implement a plan (that maximizes the use of available resources and infrastructure) to secure the sleeping quarters of male and female patients at all State mental health facilities. The bill also establishes training and reporting requirements related to sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
SB 557 - Commission on Maryland Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence -This bill establishes the Commission on Maryland Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence. The commission must, among other things: (1) review current federal and State laws, standards, and policies for inconsistencies and preemption issues; (2) provide recommendations regarding strategic plans to promote cybersecurity innovation, including attracting private investment, and to recover from attacks on cybersecurity, including clarifying roles of State agencies; and (3) recommend methods of promoting innovation through public-private partnerships, the education system, research and development, and selection of a State agency suitable to implement a pilot program. The University of Maryland University College must provide staff support for the commission. The commission must report interim findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by January 1, 2012, and final findings and recommendations by September 1, 2014.
SB 558 - Minority Business Enterprise Program - Amendments to MBE Participation Schedule and Extension of Task Force -This emergency bill requires a bidder or offeror on a State procurement contract to submit a written request for approval to amend the MBE participation schedule submitted with the bid or offer if an MBE listed on the schedule has become or will become unavailable, or is ineligible to perform the work required by the contract, before a schedule may be amended. The bill specifies the conditions under which the request may be approved. The bill also extends the termination date for the Task Force on the Minority Business Enterprise Program and Equity Investment Capital by one year until May 31, 2012, and extends the task force’s reporting deadline by one year until December 1, 2011.
SB 562 - Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - Recovery Homes - Best Practices - This bill requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to identify standards for best practices for recovery homes. DHMH must report its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 31, 2011.
SB 568 - Labor and Employment - Workers' Compensation - Venue for Appeal -This bill modifies the criteria used to determine the jurisdiction of an appeal from the Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC).
SB 571 - Insurance - Delivery of Notices by Electronic Means – Authorized -This bill authorizes an insurer to deliver by electronic means any notice to a party (an applicant, insured, or policyholder) related to cancellations, nonrenewals, premium increases, or reductions in coverage if the notice meets specified consent requirements.
SB 741 - Commercial Law - Debt Settlement Services - This bill establishes the Maryland Debt Settlement Services Act to register providers of such services, specify requirements for agreements, and establish duties for providers. Any revenue received from registration required under the bill must be placed in the existing Debt Management Services Fund. The bill also requires that the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, in consultation with the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General, report to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee by December 1, 2014, on recommendations regarding changes to the Maryland Debt Settlement Services Act, including whether to transition from a registration requirement to a licensure requirement and whether a cap on debt settlement services fees would be beneficial to consumers and fair to the debt settlement services industry. Violation of the bill is an unfair or deceptive trade practice under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (MCPA), subject to MCPA’s civil and criminal penalty provisions.
SB 743 - Family Planning Works Act -This bill expands eligibility for family planning services in the Medicaid program, beginning January 1, 2012, and subject to the limitations of the budget, to all women whose family incomes are at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines (FPG).
SB 755 - Task Force to Study High School Dropout Rates of Persons in the Criminal Justice System -This bill establishes a Task Force to Study High School Dropout Rates of Persons in the Criminal Justice System. The task force must study both the high school dropout statistics of people who have been incarcerated, arrested, or otherwise processed through the criminal justice system, as well as the fiscal impact on the criminal justice system of people who have dropped out of high school. The task force must also obtain statistical data and make recommendations regarding how individuals can be kept in high school until graduation, the availability of continuing education options for individuals who have not received a high school diploma while incarcerated, and how individuals can be informed of alternative high school education or work-related programs. The task force will be staffed by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) and must report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 31, 2012.
SB 841 - Arts and Entertainment Districts - Artistic Work – Design -This bill expands the eligibility criteria for the tax benefits available for qualifying residing artists in arts and entertainment districts. An individual who creates works that are an original design will be classified as an artist under the program. Under current law, only works that are original clothing designs qualify under the program.
SB 179 - Kathleen A. Mathias Chemotherapy Parity Act of 2012 - This bill prohibits insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations (carriers) that provide coverage for both orally administered cancer chemotherapy and cancer chemotherapy administered intravenously or by injection from imposing dollar limits, copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance requirements on coverage for orally administered cancer chemotherapy that are less favorable to an enrollee than those that apply to cancer chemotherapy administered intravenously or by injection. The bill applies to all policies, contracts, and health benefit plans issued, delivered, or renewed in the State on or after October 1, 2012.
SB 314 - State Personnel - Traumatic Events - Mental Health Support Services -This bill requires Executive Branch agencies to obtain mental health support services for any employee affected by a traumatic event that occurs in a State facility that is owned, leased, or operated for the purpose of providing health, juvenile, or correctional services to clients or inmates, and that results in the death of an individual. The mental health services must be provided within 48 hours of the traumatic event.
SB 315 - Council for the Procurement of Health, Educational, and Social Services -This bill establishes a Council for the Procurement of Health, Educational, and Social Services to advise the Board of Public Works (BPW) and monitor the implementation of recommendations made by the Task Force to Study the Procurement of Health, Education, and Social Services by State Agencies. Staffing for the council is provided by agencies represented on the council and by BPW, in accordance with the State budget. By December 31 of each year, the council must report to the General Assembly on its activities and recommendations.
SB 317 - Retail Pet Stores - Sales of Dogs - Required Records, Health Disclosures, and Purchaser Remedies - This bill establishes conditions and requirements for remedy when a dog sold at a “retail pet store” is found to have an undisclosed disease, illness, or prior condition. It also establishes certification, recordkeeping, and public disclosure requirements for retail pet stores that conduct business in the State, as well as penalties for noncompliance with the bill. Violation of the bill is an unfair or deceptive trade practice under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (MCPA), subject to MCPA’s civil and criminal penalty provisions.
SB 343 - State Government - Brokerage and Investment Management Services - Use of Minority Business Enterprises – Application - This bill requires the Department of Business and Economic (DBED), the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the Maryland Teachers’ and State Employees’ Supplemental Retirement Plans (MSRP) to attempt to use minority business enterprises (MBEs) to the greatest extent feasible to provide brokerage and investment management services. It also clarifies a reporting requirement related to similar requirements that already apply to the State Treasurer, Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF), Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund (IWIF), and the State Retirement and Pension System (SRPS).
SB 362 - Education - Age for Compulsory Public School Attendance – Exemptions -This bill phases in increases in the age of compulsory school attendance from 15 to 17. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, the age of compulsory school attendance increases from 15 to 16; beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the age of compulsory school attendance increases again from 16 to 17. The State Superintendent of Schools may waive the compulsory school attendance age requirement for an individual, and the bill specifies a number of exemptions from the requirement. The bill takes effect June 1, 2014.
SB 401 - Motor Vehicles - Towing Practices and Procedures - This bill generally implements certain Task Force to Study Motor Vehicle Towing Practices’ recommended legislative changes relating primarily to the regulation of nonconsensual towing of vehicles from private property and the disposition of towed vehicles.
SB 405 - Life Sciences Advisory Board - Purpose and Membership -This bill establishes the purpose and increases the membership of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board (LSAB). Specifically, the purpose of the board is to recommend State and federal policies, priorities, practices, and legislation to expedite the creation of private-sector jobs through the commercialization of life sciences research. The bill adjusts the board’s composition to include three additional members with executive small business experience in the life sciences.
SB 534 - Baltimore City - Alcoholic Beverages License - Repeal of Voter Registration Requirement for Licensees - This bill repeals a requirement that an authorized person of a limited liability company who holds an alcoholic beverages license in Baltimore City, issued on or before June 1, 2012, for the use of the limited liability company be a registered voter in Baltimore City. The bill takes effect June 1, 2012.
SB 778 - Commercial Law - Rental-Purchase Agreements – Disclosures - The bill alters provisions of the Maryland Rental-Purchase Agreement Act relating to consumer disclosure, recordkeeping, and enforcement.
SB 779 - State Retirement and Pension System - Study of Asset Management -This bill requires the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA) to conduct a study of the funds managed by the State Retirement and Pension System (SRPS) to determine (1) SRPS’ capacity to select minority fund managers across all asset classes; and (2) methods that assure the recruitment and selection of minority companies for fund-to-fund management or direct management of assets. In making these determinations, the study must consider the State Retirement Agency’s fiduciary responsibilities. GOMA must report its findings to the Governor, the SRPS Board of Trustees, and the General Assembly by December 1, 2012. The bill takes effect July 1, 2012, and terminates June 30, 2013.
SB 781 - Health Insurance - Coverage for Services Delivered Through Telemedicine -This bill generally requires insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) (collectively known as carriers) to cover and reimburse for health care services appropriately delivered through “telemedicine.” The bill applies to all policies, contracts, and health benefit plans issued, delivered, or renewed in the State on or after October 1, 2012.
SB 783 - State Personnel - Collective Bargaining – Applicability -This bill expands the applicability of the State’s collective bargaining law to include employees of the Office of the Comptroller, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) who are not police officers, the State Retirement Agency (SRA), and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
SB 975 - Baltimore City - Alcoholic Beverages - Zoo License -This bill authorizes the Baltimore City Board of Liquor License Commissioners to issue a special Class BWL-MZ license for use at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, located in Druid Hill Park, in exchange for any alcoholic beverages license currently held.
SB 1067 - Maryland Consolidated Capital Bond Loan of 2011 - Baltimore City - Morgan Mill Facility - This bill changes the authorized location of the grant for the Board of Directors of Project PLASE, Inc. specified by the Maryland Consolidated Capital Bond Loan of 2011, from the Morgan Mill Facility to St. Joseph’s Monastery School.