ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — Overhauling state tax code in response to sweeping federal tax cuts, bolstering school safety after a shooting at a Southern Maryland high school and stabilizing health insurance markets in the wake of Congressional action were just a few of the myriad policy decisions the Maryland General Assembly addressed in 2018 during the 90-day legislative session.
Many lawmakers this morning are praising the now-concluded 2018 Maryland General Assembly session as a productive one. By the time the clock struck midnight last night, both houses had passed bills that, with the governor’s signature, would ban bump stocks and LGBT conversion therapy, shore up the market for Obamacare, revoke parental rights for rapists, ramp up school security and expand the state’s medical cannabis industry with 20 new licenses.
Specifically for Baltimore, politicians in Annapolis also passed legislation to protect more (but not all) residents from water lien tax sales, expand Safe Streets (as well as introduce regressive new mandatory minimum sentences) and form a commission to probe corruption by convicted Gun Trace Task Force officers.
But even with that sample flurry of legislative activity from the last 90 days, a number of high-profile bills floundered. We’re here this morning not to celebrate, but rather to pay our respects to the proposals that didn’t escape the State House.
Baltimore’s Senate delegation has decided not to support a House bill that would protect residents from having their homes and churches sold at auction due to water bill-related debt, instead backing a Senate bill that was originally amended to offer the same protections, but is now said to be under threat of being stripped down.
Baltimore’s City Council is pressuring state legislators and Gov. Larry Hogan to “protect the participation and planning process” for the nixed redevelopment proposal for the State Center government complex.