May 22, 2019

2019 Senate Session Highlights – Senator Ron Young

The 2019 General Assembly Session ended at midnight on April 9th, capping an eventful legislative session for Senator Ron Young (District 3 – Frederick County). In his first session as the Senate Executive Nominations Committee Chair, Young would be directly involved with some one hundred sixty-two pieces of legislation and serve as the lead sponsor of thirty meaningful bills (you can find a link to each of these bills by clicking here). Of the fifteen bills that he carried, thirteen passed both Chambers of the General Assembly and are now poised to become Maryland law.

Senate Bill 35 – State Personnel – Professional Service – Maryland School for the Deaf – Teachers

This bill establishes that teachers who are employed by the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) are in the professional service in the State Personnel Management System (SPMS).

Senate Bill 143 – Cownose Ray Fishery Management Plan and Moratorium on Contests

This bill extends the deadline by which the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) must prepare a fishery management plan for the cownose ray by two years (from December 31, 2018, to December 31, 2020), subject to funding made available to DNR for that purpose. The bill also continues the prohibition against a person sponsoring, conducting, or participating in a cownose ray fishing contest in State waters until DNR prepares the required fishery management plan.

Senate Bill 204 – Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Volunteer Fire Company or Volunteer Ambulance Company License

This bill authorizes the Frederick County Board of License Commissioners to issue a Class C (volunteer fire company or volunteer ambulance company) beer, wine, and liquor license to a volunteer fire company or volunteer ambulance company. The license authorizes the licensee to sell, during a fundraising event, beer, wine, and liquor for on-premises consumption. The licensee must notify the board at least 14 days before a fundraising event at which the licensee plans to exercise the privileges of the license. The annual license fee is $500.

Senate Bill 224 – Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages License Applications – Repeal of Petition of Support – Notice

This bill repeals a requirement in Frederick County that signers of a petition of support for a local alcoholic beverages license are owners of real estate within 5,000 feet of the potential licensed establishment or, if an insufficient number of persons own real estate within the specified radius, within a radius of the potential licensed establishment that encompasses properties owned by at least 1,000 persons. The bill requires an applicant for a license to post, at least 14 days before the application hearing and in a conspicuous place at the potential licensed establishment, a board-approved notice specifying (1) the class of license for which the applicant is applying and (2) the time, date, and location of the application hearing.

Senate Bill 234 – Natural Resources – State and Local Forest Conservation Funds

This bill makes specified changes relating to State and local forest conservation funds under the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), requiring (1) a demonstration of the unavailability of appropriate credits generated by a forest mitigation bank (in the same county or watershed, in the case of a local forest conservation fund) before a payment is made into the funds; (2) specified mitigation plans and detailed accounting procedures for local forest conservation funds; (3) assurance of mitigation of an equal number of acres for which money is collected and paid into a local forest conservation fund; and (4) inclusion, in an existing annual report, of acreage information relating to fees collected by the funds. The bill applies only prospectively.

Senate Bill 273 – Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Cinema/Theater License

This bill authorizes the Frederick County Board of License Commissioners to issue a Class CT (cinema/theater) (on-sale) beer, wine, and liquor license for use in a for-profit cinema or theater that has at least one screening room or performance hall. The license authorizes a licensee to sell, in a designated area of the lobby, for 45 minutes before the start of a movie or performance, beer, wine, and liquor by the can, bottle, or drink for consumption anywhere on the licensed premises. A licensee may sell alcoholic beverages only to a ticket holder with proper identification and must offer food other than candy and popcorn. The bill specifies additional requirements and restrictions pertaining to the Class CT license. The annual license fee is $1,500.

Senate Bill 274 – Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages Licenses – Sunday Sales

This bill repeals provisions that prohibit a Class C beer; beer and wine (BW); or beer, wine, and liquor (BWL) licensee in Frederick County from selling alcoholic beverages from a bar or counter on Sunday.

Senate Bill 275 – Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Promoter’s Permit

This bill repeals a requirement for obtaining a promoter’s permit in Frederick County. A for-profit organization that seeks to publicize, sell tickets for, organize, produce, or stage an event at which alcoholic beverages are sold may obtain a promoter’s permit. Under current law, a for-profit organization may obtain a promoter’s permit only for an event that is conducted in conjunction with a nonprofit organization that holds a specified per diem alcoholic beverages license. In addition, the bill lowers the fee, from $250 to $50, for a promoter’s permit issued for an event for which the promoter expects that fewer than 500 individuals will attend. Accordingly, the permit fee is $50, if the promoter expects that fewer than 500 individuals will attend, and $250, if the promoter expects that at least 500 and no more than 1,000 individuals will attend.

Senate Bill 276 – Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Multiple Licenses Allowed

This bill authorizes the Frederick County Board of License Commissioners to issue (1) up to 10 Class B beer, wine, and liquor (BWL) hotel or motel licenses to a single license holder; (2) up to 10 Class B BWL hotel or restaurant licenses to a single license holder; (3) up to 10 Class EC (entertainment center) licenses to a single license holder; and (4) up to 10 hotel lobby licenses to a single license holder.

Senate Bill 325 – Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Basket of Cheer

This bill authorizes the Frederick County Board of License Commissioners to issue a basket of cheer permit, at no cost, to a Class C per diem beer and wine (BW) licensee or a Class C per diem beer, wine, and liquor (BWL) licensee. The permit authorizes the permit holder to provide, as a prize at a benefit performance, a “basket of cheer” of alcoholic beverages produced in Maryland for off-premises consumption. A basket may contain up to 288 ounces of beer and 2.25 liters of wine. For a Class C per diem BWL licensee, a basket may also contain up to 2.25 liters of liquor. A permit holder may raffle up to 10 baskets of cheer per benefit performance. The bill specifies that a permit holder may obtain alcoholic beverages for a basket of cheer only from a licensed alcoholic beverages retailer.

Senate Bill 651 – Election Law – Local Boards of Elections – Membership

This bill alters the membership of seven local boards of elections – in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Dorchester, Garrett, Howard, and St. Mary’s counties – by requiring the boards to consist of five regular members instead of three regular members and two substitute members, which is consistent with the membership of local boards of elections in other counties, with the exception of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Three regular members must be of the majority party, and two regular members must be of the principal minority party. If a vacancy occurs on a board, the Governor must appoint an eligible person from the same political party as the predecessor member to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term and until a successor is appointed and qualifies.

Senate Bill 652 – Interstate Physical Therapy Licensure Compact

This bill enters Maryland into the Interstate Physical Therapy Licensure Compact for physical therapists. The bill establishes (1) specified procedures and requirements for physical therapists to obtain and maintain a compact privilege to practice physical therapy in a member state; (2) the composition, powers, and responsibilities of the Physical Therapy Compact Commission; and (3) requirements related to the oversight, dispute resolution, and enforcement of the compact.

Senate Bill 952 – Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Theater Licenses – Seating Capacity

This bill repeals the requirement in Frederick County that a theater must seat no more than 200 individuals per performance in order to be eligible for a Class C (theater) beer and wine license.

After a successful 2019 legislative session, Senator Young now looks ahead to the 2020 session when he’ll bring with him the experience of another productive and effective year in the Maryland Senate.

RonYoung

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