We are entering the period of the annual legislative session that is busiest for me. With less than two weeks to go until the cross-over deadline--the date by which bills must pass one legislative chamber to be guaranteed a hearing in the other--committees are sending more bills to the House floor and floor sessions are getting longer. At the same time, our budget process is speeding up as our Appropriations Subcommittees, including the one I chair, prepare to make our final decisions.
Those busy floor sessions have meant progress for many bills I have authored. Last week, the House of Delegates passed three of my bills: The Young Readers Program Expansion Act, the Maryland State Agency Transparency Act, and the Independent Agency Health Insurance Option Act. Later this week, the full House is likely to pass the Zero-Emission Bus Transition Revisions Act, and the Motor Vehicle Registration Clarification Act. A House subcommittee will also be taking up the WMATA Dedicated Funding Amendment Act. Finally, my last two bills will receive hearings in their respective committees: the Maryland Rail Investment Act, which will establish a new authority for rail and transit investment funded by tolls, and HB 1301, which builds on legislation passed last year to make pay more competitive for certain special needs.
As always, you can keep up with what I am doing by following me at @mkorman on Twitter or by clicking "Like" on Delegate Marc Korman on Facebook.
One of the major pieces of legislation being taken up on the House floor this week relates to "untraceable" or "ghost" guns, which are assembled at home, without serial numbers and, therefore, very challenging for law enforcement to deal with. The legislation (1) prohibits a person from purchasing, receiving, selling, offering to sell, or transferring an “unfinished frame or receiver” unless it is required by federal law to be, and has been, imprinted with a serial number, as specified, and (2) beginning January 1, 2023, prohibits a person from possessing a firearm unless the firearm is imprinted with specified information. The bill also (1) requires the Secretary of State Police to suspend or revoke a dealer’s license under specified conditions relating to untraceable firearms; (2) establishes penalties for violations of the bill’s provisions relating to untraceable firearms; and (3) expands the definition of a “firearm” to include an unfinished frame or receiver. Maryland's Attorney General, District 16's own Brian Frosh, and our State Senator, Susan Lee, have been leading voices on this issue.
Another major issue the House of Delegates is taking up this week relates to reproductive choice and abortion, as we brace ourselves for the Supreme Court potentially striking down the Roe v. Wade decision. Maryland law already has access to abortion in statute, but two bills that will be before the House this week will (1) Put the protection in the state constitution and (2) Take actions to expand the abortion provider base. District 16's Delegate Ariana Kelly is the sponsor of the latter bill.
The District 16 Team--working with the State Highway Administration--saw some progress on a few road safety projects recently.
First, the State Highway Administration converted a two way stop to a four way stop at Wilson Lane and Exeter Road. Cars have gone through the pictured fence multiple times in crashes and we have a safety improvement here before a fatality.
Second, at Old Georgetown Road and Cordell Avenue in Bethesda, a totally unprotected crossing now has pedestrian initiated flashing rectangular beacons (known formally as Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons or RRFBs), with further improvements coming such as a pedestrian refuge.
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