April 30, 2019

2019 Senate Session Highlights – Senator Antonio Hayes

The 2019 General Assembly Session ended at midnight on April 9th, capping an eventful legislative session for Senator Antonio Hayes (District 40 – Baltimore City). In his first session in the Senate after serving in the House of Delegates from 2015-2019, Hayes would be directly involved with some one hundred twenty-nine pieces of legislation and serve as the lead sponsor of thirty important bills (you can find a link to each of these bills by clicking here). Of the thirty bills that he carried as the lead sponsor, fourteen passed both Chambers of the General Assembly and are now poised to become Maryland law.

Senate Bill 252 – Railroad Company – Movement of Freight – Required Crew

This bill prohibits, with specified exceptions, a train or light engine used in connection with the movement of railroad freight that shares the same rail corridor as a high-speed passenger or commuter train from operating in the State unless it has a crew of at least two individuals. The bill establishes criminal penalties for willful violations of that prohibition. The bill terminates if a federal rule requires two-person crews.

Senate Bill 253 – Major Information Technology Development Project Fund – Exemption and Use of Fund

This bill exempts specified money received by Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) from having to be deposited into the Major Information Technology Development Project Fund (MITDPF). As a result, money collected by BCCC through its resource sharing agreements (RSAs) may be retained by BCCC and is no longer required to be remitted to MITDPF.

Senate Bill 310 – Baltimore City – Unpackaged Cigarettes – Prohibition on Sale

This bill prohibits a person licensed to sell cigarettes at retail in Baltimore City from selling an “unpackaged cigarette.” An enforcement officer of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program in the Baltimore City Health Department is expressly authorized to enter and inspect a licensed premises (at a reasonable time) to enforce the prohibition.

Senate Bill 405 – Health Insurance – Prescription Drugs – Formulary Changes

This bill requires certain insurers, nonprofit health service plans, and health maintenance organizations (collectively known as carriers) that remove a drug from their formulary or move a drug to a benefit tier with a higher deductible, copayment, or coinsurance amount to provide a member and the member’s health care provider with (1) notice at least 30 days before the change is implemented and (2) included in the notice, the process for requesting a specified exemption. The bill also expands the current process carriers must have in place to allow a member to receive an off-formulary prescription drug or device to include a prescription drug or device that has been removed from a formulary and to allow a member to continue the same cost-sharing requirements under specified circumstances.

Senate Bill 496 – Payroll Recovery Act – Sunset Repeal

This bill repeals the June 30, 2019, termination provision of Chapter 783 of 2017 (the Payroll Recovery Act), which generally requires the Central Payroll Bureau (CPB) to establish regular pay periods and pay each employee as specified, and allows a State employee or the employee’s exclusive representative to initiate a grievance under the State’s grievance procedures under specified circumstances.

Senate Bill 499 – Baltimore City – Baltimore Police Department – Percentage of Civilian Employees and Police Officers

This bill requires, beginning January 1, 2022, that the composition of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) include not less than 20% civilian employees and not more than 80% police officers. By January 1, 2022, and every six months thereafter, BPD must provide a report to the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore and members of the Baltimore City Delegation to the General Assembly on the number of civilian employees and police officers employed by the department.

Senate Bill 792 – Baltimore City – Alcoholic Beverages – Related Event Promoter’s Permit

This bill authorizes the Baltimore City Board of License Commissioners to issue a related event promoter’s permit that authorizes an individual, for-profit organization, or nonprofit organization and a participating license holder to conduct a social event related to and around the same time and location as the basketball tournament of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

Senate Bill 793 – Community Safety and Strengthening Act

This bill authorizes the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to establish a police department and sets forth related requirements. The bill also establishes a Law Enforcement Cadet Apprenticeship Program (Cadet Program) in the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) to award competitive grants to specified law enforcement agencies. In addition, the bill modifies and establishes mandated appropriations for the Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund, the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, the Baltimore City YouthWorks Summer Jobs Program, and the Cadet Program. The bill requires the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) to conduct an evaluation of the police department and make recommendations regarding reestablishment; subject to those provisions, the authority to establish a police department terminates after July 1, 2029.

Senate Bill 796 – State Commission on Kidney Disease – Membership – Revisions

This bill prohibits specified members of the State Commission on Kidney Disease from having direct ownership of more than 30% in renal dialysis or kidney transplant centers that do business in the State. The bill decreases, from three to two, the number of names specified organizations must submit to the Governor for appointment to the commission.

Senate Bill 798 – Higher Education – Policy on Student Concerns About Athletic Programs and Activities

This bill requires, by October 1, 2019, each institution of higher education to develop and adopt a written policy for receiving and addressing student concerns about the institution’s athletic programs that includes specified elements. Each institution and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) must submit the policy and report the number of students who shared concerns under the policy during the preceding fiscal year as specified.

Senate Bill 801 – Brewery Modernization Act of 2019

This bill makes numerous changes to the regulation of Class 5 breweries, Class 6 pub-breweries, Class 7 micro-breweries, and Class 8 farm-breweries in the State. The bill also alters the eligibility requirements for and privileges associated with a Class 7 limited beer wholesaler’s license.

Senate Bill 901 – Maryland Trauma Fund – State Primary Adult Resource Center – Reimbursement of On-Call and Standby Costs

This bill expands the purpose of the Maryland Trauma Physician Services Fund (MTPSF) to include subsidizing the documented costs incurred by the State primary adult resource center (PARC) to maintain trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and anesthesiologists on-call and on standby as required by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). The Maryland Heath Care Commission (MHCC) must develop guidelines for the reimbursement of the documented costs of PARC.

Senate Bill 983 – Procurement – Small Businesses and Minority Businesses – Qualification and Certification (Small and Minority Business Certification Streamlining Act of 2019)

This bill establishes that regulations governing the Small Business Preference (SBP) program must require, by December 31, 2019, qualification of a business as a small business for the exclusive purpose of pursuing out-of-state contracts if the business has 250 or fewer employees or averaged annual gross receipts of $10.0 million or less over the previous three years. It also requires that regulations governing the State’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program allow for the certification of a business as an MBE if the business has obtained certification under the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program and meets the eligibility requirements of the State’s MBE program.

Senate Bill 985 – Confidentiality of Juvenile Records – Baltimore City Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice

This bill establishes that provisions of law regarding the confidentiality of police and court records concerning a child do not prohibit access to and use of the records by the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice (BCMOCJ) under specified circumstances. BCMOCJ is liable for the unauthorized release of any of the provided records.

Now after a successful 2019 legislative session, Senator Hayes looks ahead to the 2020 session when he’ll bring with him the experience of a productive and effective first year in the Maryland Senate.