We all know that we are living in extraordinary times. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, for the first time since the Civil War, the Maryland General Assembly cut short its 90-day session. While Governor Hogan has understandably focused his energy on managing this health crisis, we expect that by the end of next month, he will determine whether bills passed by the General Assembly will go forward with or without his signature or will be vetoed.
This year, several major themes emerged during this session of the Maryland General Assembly: Kirwan Commission and potential taxes to pay for educational initiatives; passing the budget (the one and only required responsibility of the General Assembly); and major generational changes and new leadership marked by the swearing in of new House Speaker Adrienne Jones and new Senate President Bill Ferguson.
As a service to our members, the Legislative Committee reviewed certain bills introduced in the 2020 session that may be of interest to our members. Most of these bills did not pass both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly. Although we are united in our mission to serve older adults, members of our coalition have diverse business and personal interests. What may be of importance to one member may not be relevant to another member. Therefore, only a few bills that have passed both chambers are noted below. Please also note that the General Assembly may reconvene sometime in May 2020 for a special session, but this is not yet confirmed.
To assist you with any research you may wish to undertake on the status of legislative initiatives, please consult the Maryland General Assembly ( http://mgaleg.maryland.gov telephone 1-800-492-7122 -toll free). When navigating the Maryland General Assembly’s website, you may find this information to be helpful. To view all the legislation passed in 2020, on the Home Page, go to the right-hand column under the topic Legislation. Go to the prompt named “Bills Passed by Both Chambers” where a list of the 681 bills passed in the 2020 session is organized numerically. Also in the right-hand column is a prompt named “Bills Enacted” which refers to the bills already approved by the Governor (as of April 10, there are 18 bills) and a prompt named “Bills Vetoed” which refers to those bills vetoed by the Governor (none as of April 10 for the 2020 session). Alternatively, to learn about a bill introduced in 2020 by subject, on the Home page, go to the red bar at the top of the page to the “Search Archives” prompt. This will lead you to the “Subject “prompt which organizes information by word categories, not exclusively by bill numbers.
Select Bills of Interest to COGS Members Passed by Both Chambers in 2020
SB 407, Office of the Attorney General, Senior and Vulnerable Adult Asset Recovery Unit
HB 33, Criminal Law – Abuse or Neglect of Vulnerable Adult – Causing Sever Emotional Distress
HB 498, Department of Aging – Grants for Aging in Place Programs – Funding