May 14, 2019

2019 Senate Session Highlights – Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam

The 2019 General Assembly Session ended at midnight on April 9th, capping an eventful legislative session for Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (District 44 – Baltimore City and Baltimore County). In her first session as the Vice Chair of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee, Nathan-Pulliam would be directly involved with some one hundred fourteen pieces of legislation and serve as the lead sponsor of twenty-three significant bills (you can find a link to each of these bills by clicking here). Of the twenty-three bills that she carried as the lead sponsor, seven passed both Chambers of the General Assembly and are now poised to become Maryland law.

Senate Bill 134 – State Board of Nursing – Criminal History Records Checks – Revised Statement

This bill clarifies that the Criminal Justice Information System Central Repository (CJIS-CR) must provide a revised printed statement of an individual’s State criminal history record to the State Board of Nursing (BON) if criminal history record information (CHRI) is reported to CJIS-CR after the date of an initial criminal history records check (CHRC).

Senate Bill 356 – Health – Maternal Mortality Review Program – Reporting Requirement

This bill requires the Maternal Mortality Review Program to include a specified section on racial disparities in its annual report. The section must include a comparison of the maternal mortality rates (MMRs) of non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White women and data on changes in MMRs by race and ethnicity.

Senate Bill 432 – Higher Education – Cyber Warrior Diversity Program – Revisions

This bill adds two locations, the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Training Centers and the Langston Hughes Community, Business and Resource Center (LHCBRC), to the Cyber Warrior Diversity Program (CWDP), and allows the new locations to be eligible for specified grants. The bill requires each governing entity offering CWDP to use the CWDP curriculum. In addition, if a governing entity administers its CWDP through a contractual arrangement or memorandum of understanding (MOU), the governing entity must award the contract or MOU to a small disadvantaged business, as specified in the bill. Finally, the bill changes the distribution of the $2.5 million mandated for the program, to include distributions to UMBC Training Centers and LHCBRC, as specified, and requiring $250,000 beginning in fiscal 2021 for LHCBRC to hold a National Cyber Warrior Diversity Conference.

Senate Bill 472 – General Provisions – Commemorative Months – Caribbean Heritage Month

This bill requires the Governor to annually proclaim the month of August as Caribbean Heritage Month in recognition of the contributions that Caribbean Americans have made to the State. The proclamation must urge educational and cultural organizations to observe Caribbean Heritage Month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

Senate Bill 598 – Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Coverage – Hepatitis C Drugs

This bill requires Medicaid, subject to the limitations of the State budget, to provide medically appropriate drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of hepatitis C, regardless of the fibrosis score, and that are determined to be medically necessary.

Senate Bill 600 – Health – Sickle Cell Disease – Steering Committee and Services

This bill alters the membership of the Statewide Steering Committee on Services for Adults with Sickle Cell Disease and expands the intent of the Sickle Cell Anemia Subtitle within the Health-General Article to include providing resources for detecting sickle cell disease (SCD) and supporting individuals with SCD. The bill also authorizes the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), in consultation with the steering committee, to provide specified services related to SCD in the State.

Senate Bill 1032 – Morgan State University – Task Force on Reconciliation and Equity – Extension

This bill extends the date by which the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University (MSU) must submit a full report on the activities, findings, and recommendations of the Task Force on Reconciliation and Equity from January 31, 2020, to January 31, 2021. The bill also extends the termination date of the task force by one year from May 31, 2020, to May 31, 2021.

Now after a successful 2019 legislative session, Senator Nathan-Pulliam looks ahead to the 2020 session when she’ll bring with her the experience of another productive and effective year in the Maryland Senate.