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This Week in Annapolis: March 18-22, 2019

Monday is cross-over day in the General Assembly, the day when bills must cross from one house to the other to be guaranteed full consideration.

In addition, Democratic Party leaders are rushing to get controversial bills, such as the minimum wage increase to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk in time to force an override vote before the end of session, or before Sen. Will Smith, a Montgomery County Democrat who is in the Navy Reserve, leaves for duty in Afghanistan.

Still, there are some things happening in committees this week, and some bills have already made it from one chamber to the other.

Here is a partial listing of committee hearings and other items of interest in Annapolis this week.



Executive Nominations has scheduled confirmation hearings on Gov. Larry Hogan’s nominations of Brynja McDivit Booth to the Court of Appeals and Steven Gould and Edward Wells to the Court of Special Appeals as well as members to local elections boards throughout the state.



Budget and Taxation Committee will take up a House bill that limits Baltimore City’s ability to sell properties to enforce a lien for unpaid water and sewer bills.

Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing on a bill to prevent workplace harassment by lobbyists.

Judicial Proceedings Committee has scheduled a hearing on several bills, including a House bill that would impose a $500 fine for talking on your cell phone while driving.


Appropriations Committee has scheduled hearings on several Senate bills, including one to require public art in projects built entirely with state funds and one to change the name of the University of Maryland University College to the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Health and Government Operations Committee is to take up a Senate bill that would require the state Board of Elections to publish its meeting agendas online 24 hours in advance and to livestream its meetings.



Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee has scheduled on several House bills, including one requiring 150 minutes of Phys. Ed. a week in grades K through 12, one to prohibit local school systems from charging fees for summer school and one to repeal the Presidents’ Day and Easter Monday holidays in public schools.



Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee has scheduled hearings on election related House bills, including one that would require early voting centers to open at 8 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. during gubernatorial election years.


Judiciary Committee will take up a Senate bill that would make electronic bullying a crime.



Rules and Executive Nominations Committee will take up bills to create a commission to rename Negro Mountain in Western Maryland and to designate June 28, the day last year five journalists were killed at the Annapolis Capital, as Freedom of the Press Day.

For more details go to: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmHearingSchedule.aspx?pid=2&View=Day&tab=subject

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.
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