A prohibition on generic drug price gouging, HB631, now heads to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk for signature after the House concurred in Senate amendments Monday morning. The legislation would be the first of its kind in the country to hold drug makers accountable for drastic spikes in prices that can’t be justified.
Many bills get a hearing, and maybe some discussion in committee, but not much more, dying a silent death with little notice. Here are some of those bills whose hearings MarylandReporter.com covered, but were never heard from afterward. All but one never got a vote in committee.
Five years in the making, the Maryland General Assembly on Wednesday passed a widely supported but controversial paid sick leave bill, HB1, which Gov. Larry Hogan has vowed to veto. Democratic lawmakers are promising an override at the start of the 2018 session, saying they will defend the rights of 700,000 Marylanders to take paid sick leave without fear of losing their jobs.
Democratic lawmakers in Annapolis get another bite at the apple to pass an Internet privacy law before the 2017 session ends next Monday. In a party-line vote on Tuesday the Senate voted, 33-14,to suspend the rules and approve introduction of a late bill, Internet Consumer Privacy Rights Act of 2017, SB 1200. Republicans in the House of Delegates had blocked a similar measure on Monday. The bill is in response to the recent repeal in Congress of Obama-era FCC privacy rules.
A late attempt to introduce an Internet privacy bill on Monday illustrated a common complaint from the Republican minority this session: Democrats continue to make Washington politics their priority. House Majority Leader Bill Frick asked the House of Delegates to allow introduction of an emergency bill to prevent Internet service providers from selling or sharing personal information without notification and consent of their customers.
The House of Delegates on Friday gave preliminary approval of House and Senate resolutions, HJ2/SJ2, to rescind all four of Maryland’s calls for a constitutional convention. A final vote is expected Monday or Tuesday. But the Republican minority in both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly have voiced opposition to rescinding the 1975 call to Congress for a balanced budget, when the national debt was $533 billion.
In a private ceremony in his State House office Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan signed an emergency bill that establishes the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, which will provide oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to regulate and enforce safety standards in a pact with D.C. and Virginia.
The Maryland Senate on Wednesday passed, HB913, the Maryland Defense Act of 2017 – mandating that the administration fund five new attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General to sue the federal government — at a cost of $1 million annually. The measure passed the Senate 30-15, a veto-proof majority. It is one of about two dozen bills delivered to Gov. Larry Hogan yesterday. He has only six days, not counting Sunday, to sign, veto or let the bills become law. Hogan has criticized the new powers for the attorney general, and is generally opposed to spending mandates.
The Maryland House of Delegates on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a Senate bill that would fill any funding shortfalls to Maryland Public Television if the Trump administration succeeds in major cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Final vote on SB1034, was delayed until Thursday.
The Maryland House of Delegates on Friday adopted its version and a Senate version of the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act to plan for the potential loss of $4 billion in annual Medicare and Medicaid dollars that flow to the state annually, should the Republican-controlled Congress succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act.