May 27, 2022
Written by Brian Witte
Gov. Hogan allowed nearly 300 bills to become law without his signature on Friday during the last day of this year’s legislative session.
The 294 measures will take effect without signature in accordance with Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution, according to a news release.
I House bills that will take effect without signature
I Senate bills that will take effect without signature
Hogan also vetoed 18 bills, including one which allowed voters to provide several ways for a missing signature on a mail in-ballot after it had been received by a local elections board. In his veto message, Hogan said the bill did not validate a signature and he raised security concerns.
The Senate sponsor of the bill, Montgomery County Democrat Cheryl Kagan reacted to the veto in an email to reporters which said, “holy crap”
Listen: WBAL’s Robert Lang speaks to Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause of Maryland who reacts to Gov. Hogan’s veto of several election bills.
The Republican governor also vetoed a bill that would have allowed union dues to be tax deductible, as well as a bill that would have stayed eviction proceedings against tenants who could show they are awaiting a determination about rental assistance.
The Maryland General Assembly, which has a supermajority of Democrats, won’t have the chance to override these vetoes when they convene in January for their regular 90-day session, because it is the last year of the term.
The governor said allowing union dues to be tax deductible promoted “an unfair advantage to unions and activists.”
“By using the tax code to confer political power to unions, it creates a political advantage – not only to the unions but also to the political parties and candidates supported by them,” Hogan wrote.
The term-limited governor also vetoed two measures relating to evictions, including a bill to require a landlord to comply with a county’s licensing regulations before filing for repossession of a property. The other stayed eviction proceedings for tenants awaiting a determination about rental assistance.
“Maryland already has some of the strongest tenant protection laws in the nation and these bills impose additional burdens on small property owners who are already struggling to stay in business,” Hogan said.
A measure that creates requirements related to virtual education for public schools also was vetoed by the governor.
“Giving the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) discretion to shut down underperforming schools as currently drafted in this bill gives too much influence to political whims, instead of putting learning at the forefront,” Hogan said.
Hogan also vetoed a bill that aims to ensure the state’s transportation planning is more equitable. The governor said the regulatory landscape could change later in the year, with new federal guidance and regulations.
“Adopting new state requirements as the federal requirements are being updated will result in conflicts, inconsistencies, or other unintended consequences,” Hogan wrote.
Bills that would have required Senate approval to appoint the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services, and a bill to create a professional qualification requirement for the state health secretary also were rejected by the governor.
“Senate Bill 819 and House Bill 287 create a dangerous precedent and significantly undermine the voters and the Maryland Constitution, which entrusts the executive branch with making appointments to critical government roles,” Hogan wrote.
Separately, the governor said 294 additional measures will take effect without his signature.