March 22, 2023
Monday night marked a critical deadline in the Maryland General Assembly’s 90 day session.
Monday night marked a critical deadline in the Maryland General Assembly’s 90 day session. Bills that have not passed either the House of Delegates or State Senate face additional hurdles to become law. Bills must pass both chambers by midnight on Monday, April 10th.
Here’s a rundown of the 8 Maryland PIRG supported bills that have passed one or both chambers so far:
Smart Energy Solutions:
- The House of Delegates and State Senate both voted to support updates to the state’s low income energy efficiency program to set clear goals and planning to better serve low income Marylanders with home energy efficiency improvements. The bills (SB144/HB169) are sponsored by Senate Chair Brian Feldman and Del. Lorig Charkoudian.
- The POWER Act to expand offshore wind generation and make necessary upgrades to the grid, passed the State Senate, and will now be taken up by the House of Delegates. The bills (SB781/HB793) are sponsored by State Sen. Katie Fry Hester and Del. Lorig Charkoudian.
Don’t Trash Maryland:
- The State Senate passsed a bill requiring producers to bear financial responsibility for recycling the packaging waste they create to reduce waste and save taxpayer money. The bills (SB222/HB284) are sponsored by State Sen. Malcolm Augustine and Del. Sara Love.
- The House of Delegates passed a PIRG-backed bill to establish a task force to study the recycling and waste systems in Maryland, and make recommendations on updating the Maryland Recycling Act. The bill (HB109) is sponsored by Del. Sara Love.
- A bill to expand the ability of farmers to compost on their land passed the State Senate and House of Delegates with UNANIMOUS support. On farm composting is a great opportunity to address the issues of food waste, soil health, and carbon sequestration. The bills (SB262/HB253) are sponsored by State Sen. Jason Gallion and Del. Emily Shetty.
Strengthening our Democracy:
- A bill to update and improve the ballot processing has passed both the State Senate and House. A similar bill was vetoed in 2022 by then Gov. Hogan. The bills (SB379/HB535) are sponsored by Senate Vice Chair Cheryl Kagan and Del. Jessica Feldmark.
Protecting Public Health
- Keep Antibiotics Working -A bill to update the reporting timeline for the Department of Agriculture on the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs for large Maryland farms passed the House with UNANIMOUS support. This bill will improve implementation of the 2019 Keep Antibiotics Effective Act which became law without the signature of then Gov. Hogan. The law ensures that farmers in Maryland restrict antibiotic use on livestock and poultry when animals are not sick and also collects important data regarding antibiotic use on farms. The bill (HB516) is sponsored by Del. Sara Love.
- The Clean Trucks Act of 2023 passed the State Senate. Trucks are some of the most polluting vehicles in the transportation sector. This regulation requires manufacturers to produce zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024 and increase sales targets through 2035. The bills (SB224/HB23) are sponsored by State Sen. Malcolm Augustine and Del. Sara Love.