May 15, 2019

2019 Senate Session Highlights – Senator Obie Patterson

The 2019 General Assembly Session ended at midnight on April 9th, capping an eventful first session in the Senate for Senator Obie Patterson (District 26 – Prince George’s County). In his first legislative session as a Senator after serving from 1995-2007 in the House of Delegates, Patterson would be directly involved with some eighty-nine pieces of legislation and serve as the lead sponsor of ten meaningful bills (you can find a link to each of these bills by clicking here). Of the ten bills that he carried, two passed both Chambers of the General Assembly and are now poised to become Maryland law.

Senate Bill 807 – State Real Estate Commission – Real Estate Brokerage Relationships, Continuing Education, and Disclosures

This bill prohibits an individual licensed by the State Real Estate Commission from disclosing confidential information obtained from a prospective client in anticipation of forming a brokerage relationship, unless the prospective client consents in writing to the disclosure. The bill also makes a clarifying change to the definition of “brokerage relationship,” repeals the “agency relationship” defined term, and makes conforming changes, including to related continuing education requirements.

Senate Bill 1014 – Assembly Areas – State-Funded Construction or Renovation – Assisted Listening System Requirement

This bill requires a recipient of State funds to install an assistive listening system (ALS) in an assembly area during the construction or renovation of the assembly area if (1) the assembly area uses or requires the use of a public address system and (2) a State contract has been executed to enable the construction or renovation of the assembly area. The bill establishes a Hearing Accessibility Advisory Board to consult with stakeholders, make recommendations, consider applications for waivers from the bill’s requirements, and monitor compliance. The Department of General Services (DGS) must adopt regulations to carry out the bill’s requirements. A person may bring a civil action for a violation of the bill’s provisions, and a court may order relief, as specified. The bill does not apply to a contract for construction or renovation of an assembly area entered into before the effective date of the bill.

After a successful 2019 legislative session, Senator Patterson now 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.