BERLIN – With the opening of the General Assembly near, dozens of bills of local and state interest have already been pre-filed in advance of the session.
The Maryland General Assembly reconvenes on Jan. 12 with several new faces in place on both sides of the aisle. Already 24 bills have been pre-filed in the House with another seven pre-filed in the Senate. The following is a brief look as some of the legislation to be discussed:
(BULLET)House Bill 1-Youth Athletes and Concussions: In what has become a timely issue, this bill would require county Boards of Education and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association to jointly establish guidelines and develop forms to educate individuals about sports concussions and head injuries. Among other things, the bill would require the removal of young athletes under specified conditions and prohibit their return to play under other conditions.
House Bill 2-Candidate Filing Fees: This bill, if approved, would increase the filing fees for candidates for specified public offices. It would also increase the amount of filing fees distributed from the filing fees received by the State Board of Elections from candidates running for statewide offices.
House Bill 3-Taking Back and Disposing of Unused Drugs: This bill would require pharmacists across the state to take back and dispose of unused prescription and non-prescription drugs in accordance with guidelines established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
(BULLET)House Bill 4: Bisphenol-A Prohibition: This bill would prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution of cans, jars or other containers containing a specified amount of Bisphenol-A, which was been identified as a health risk, if the containers contain food or beverages intended for consumption by a child under the age of four. It would also prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution of sports water bottles containing Bisphenol-A.
House Bill 5-Early Voting: This bill would alter and amend the days on which early voting centers are open before regularly scheduled primary and general elections in Maryland. It would require early voting centers across the state to be open from the second Thursday through the second Saturday prior to a primary or general election.
House Bill 6-Campaign Sign Removal: This bill would decrease the number of days after an election a campaign sign supporting a candidate for officer or a proposition question can remain standing from 15 days to five days. The bill would also authorize county or municipal governments to remove and destroy the signs if they are not taken down within the prescribed time period.
House Bill 12-Employee Uniforms: This bill would prohibit an employer, under specified circumstances, from knowingly buying, furnishing or requiring an employee to buy or acquire on-duty uniforms and other equipment unless the uniforms or equipment are manufactured in the United States.
(BULLET)Senate Bill 2-Medal of Honor Recipient License Fees: This bill would prohibit the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) from charging the recipient of the Medal of Honor a fee for the renewal of a vehicle registration or the renewal of a non-commercial driver’s license.
Senate Bill 4-Slots for Veterans Organizations: This bill would make applicable statewide the provisions that authorize eligible veterans’ organizations to own or operate slot machines and would also alter the definition of “eligible organization” to make it applicable to specified war veterans’ organizations. A similar bill specific to Worcester County has been filed and has failed the last three sessions.