March 29, 2011

Update on bills we’ve reported on: Some still alive, others die

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By Megan Poinski
Megan@MarylandReporter.com

Monday was “crossover day,” the deadline for each side of the General Assembly to pass its own bills to be considered by the other house.

It was also the day when many bills saw their hope of becoming laws in 2011 fade, as they sat in committee without votes being taken.

Other bills had already gone down in flames with unfavorable reports from the committees where they had been assigned.

Since the beginning of the General Assembly session, MarylandReporter.com has reported on dozens of bills before the House and Senate. Some are going on for further consideration. Others were quickly voted down. Still others never got a vote, though one is still possible.

Here is a rundown of the bills we’ve reported on this session and what has happened to them so far. Click on the topic to go to the story about the bill.

House of Delegates chamber

Still going

Online voter registration: Passed the House of Delegates 104-33. The Senate Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs has taken no action on this measure.

Net metering of electricity: The bill was amended and passed the Senate unanimously to correct a problem with last year’s legislation. A similar bill also passed the House with no opposition.

Racial reporting of traffic stops: The bill was amended to extend the reporting requirements to strip searches and body cavity searches. It passed the Senate 31-15. There is no corresponding bill in the House of Delegates.

Allowing business taxes to be paid in installments: The business tax installment bill passed the House of Delegates unanimously, and is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday in the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.

Credit checks for employment: Technical amendments were made to the bill, and it passed the full Senate with a 32-14 vote.  A House version of the bill also passed with a 92-46 vote.

Marcellus shale study: The bill passed the House of Delegates 98-40. No action has been taken on its counterpart in the Senate.

Waste-to-energy: The bill was amended to further clarify “tier 1” energy sources and passed the Senate unanimously.  The House Economic Matters Committee has taken no action on a similar bill.

Automatic parole for inmates serving life sentences: The House passed a bill giving the governor 90 days to deny parole with a 74-66 vote. The Senate passed a similar bill that gives the governor 180 days to deny parole. It received a vote of 32-15.

Rocky Gap slots operator’s cut: The Senate passed the bill to increase the percentage of revenues that the slots operator at Rocky Gap would be able to keep.

July primary: The bill has been amended to make the primary in a gubernatorial election year the last Tuesday in June, and the first Tuesday in April in a presidential election year. It received preliminary approval in the Senate on Monday. There is no corresponding bill in the House of Delegates.

Novelty lighter ban: The bill passed the Senate 43-3. The House version was given an unfavorable recommendation from the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate chamber

Senate chamber

Voted down

Requiring law enforcement to forward information on prisoners’ immigration status: The House Judiciary Committee gave this bill an unfavorable report.

Requiring state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law: The bill was given an unfavorable report by the House Judiciary Committee.

Blocking bail for those who cannot prove they are legally in the United States: This bill also received an unfavorable report from the House Judiciary Committee.

Capping property taxes in owner-occupied homes: The property tax cap bill was given an unfavorable report from the House Ways and Means Committee.

Cigarette tax increase: The House Ways and Means Committee took no action on the cigarette tax, and the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee gave it an unfavorable report.

Surrogate parenting task force: The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee gave this bill an unfavorable report. The House version received an unfavorable recommendation from the House Health and Government Operations Committee, and it was withdrawn.

Crime Stoppers tipster identity protection: The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee took no action on the bill. The House Judiciary Committee gave its version of the legislation an unfavorable recommendation.

Proof of citizenship for taxpayer-funded services: The bill received an unfavorable report from the House Appropriation Committee.

Placing slots at Baltimore-Washington Airport: The bill received an unfavorable report from the House Ways and Means Committee. No action was taken on its Senate counterpart.

Allowing any bar or tavern to have slots: This bill also received an unfavorable recommendation from the Ways and Means Committee.

Taking slots out of the constitution: The constitutional amendment to take slots out and put them into the relatively easily amended laws, was given an unfavorable recommendation by the House Ways and Means Committee. The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee took no action on a similar bill.

Energy stats for government buildings: The bill received an unfavorable report from the Senate Finance Committee.

Banning smoking in cars with children: The bill received an unfavorable report from the House Environmental Matters Committee. It also received an unfavorable report from the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

E-Verify immigration status: The bill received an unfavorable recommendation from the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. The House Health and Government Operations Committee took no action on a similar bill.

No action in committee

Montgomery County portable classrooms: The House Environmental Matters Committee took no action on this bill.

Transportation Trust Fund constitutional “lockbox”: No action taken in either the House of Delegates or the Senate.

Transferring gun permits from border states: The House Judiciary Committee took no action on this bill. There is no corresponding bill in the Senate.

Death taxes on family farms: The House Ways and Means Committee took no action on this bill. A similar version was heard by the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, but they did not take any action on it either.

Gasoline tax increase: The House Ways and Means took no action on the gas tax.

Financial literacy class: Neither the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, nor the House Ways and Means Committee took action on this bill.

Public campaign financing: The House Ways and Means Committee took no action on this bill. The Senate version also saw no action from Education, Health and Environmental Affairs.

Flexibility for maintenance of effort: No action was taken on the bill by the House Ways and Means Committee. A Senate version of this bill also received no action from the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, but an amendment was added to the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act.

Funding schools based on average daily attendance: The House Ways and Means Committee took no action on this bill; the House rejected a budget amendment to apply this formula. A similar bill was not proposed in the Senate.

Requiring a photo ID to vote: The House Ways and Means Committee took no action on this bill. A similar bill was not proposed in the Senate.

Increasing minimum wage: No action taken in Senate. No action taken on corresponding bill in the House.

More protection for identity theft: Neither Senate Judicial Proceedings nor House Judiciary Committees took action on the identity theft bill.

Hotel nights for legislators slashed: The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee took no action on this bill.

Combined reporting: Neither the House Ways and Means Committee, nor the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee took action on this bill to change the corporate tax method.

Allowing veterans organizations to have slots for their members: No action was taken by the House Ways and Means or Senate Budget and Taxation committees on bills to allow veterans organizations to have slots for members and their guests to play.

Table games at slots casinos: No action was taken by the House Ways and Means Committee on the constitutional amendment to allow table games at slots parlors.

Permanent millionaires’ tax: The House Ways and Means Committee took no action on the bill.

“Right to work” state: The Senate Finance Committee took no action on this bill.

Temporary replacements in the General Assembly: The Senate Rules Committee took no action on this bill.

  • Abigail Adams

    The news out Annapolis has become so depressing. It’s good to an illegal in Maryland, the benefits just keep on coming. No lockbox for the Transportation Fund, the government slush account keeps on giving. Legislative perks haven’t been slashed. Just more taxes, sorry…fees to grab the last pennies from our pockets.

  • Ravensgirl

    Also no relief for family farms. But yet the benefits for illegals keep on coming. I’m so disgusted with our legislature, and very depressed by their actions.