May 16, 2019

2019 Senate Session Highlights – Senator Douglas J.J. Peters

The 2019 General Assembly Session ended at midnight on April 9th, capping an eventful legislative session for Senator Douglas J.J. Peters (District 23 – Prince George’s). In his first session as both the Senate Capital Budget and Public Safety, Transportation, and Environment Subcommittee Chair, Peters would be directly involved with some one hundred fourteen pieces of legislation and serve as the lead sponsor of fifteen meaningful bills (you can find a link to each of these bills by clicking here). Of the fifteen bills that he carried, seven passed both Chambers of the General Assembly and are now poised to become Maryland law.

Senate Bill 478 – Property Tax – Vehicles Valued as Stock in Business and Notification on Annexation

This bill authorizes a county or municipality to provide a 100% property tax credit for vehicles valued as stock in business beginning in fiscal 2020. The bill requires the chief executive or the administrative officer of a municipality, after an annexation resolution is introduced, to notify commercial property owners in the area to be annexed of (1) all personal property taxes and fees imposed by the municipality and (2) the date, time, and place of the public hearing on the proposed annexation.

Senate Bill 594 – State Law Library – Renaming

This bill renames the State Law Library as the Thurgood Marshall State Law Library. The bill takes effect July 1, 2019.

Senate Bill 755 – Interagency Agreements – Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Reporting Requirements

This bill requires the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to report annually on specified information about interagency agreements with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Senate Bill 810 – Housing – Local Housing Grant Program for Homeless Veterans and Survivors of Domestic Violence

This bill establishes the Local Housing Grant Program for Homeless Veterans and Survivors of Domestic Violence to provide grants to counties for housing vouchers to be given to homeless veterans and survivors of domestic violence. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) must administer the program, establish procedures for receiving and evaluating grant applications, and adopt implementing regulations.

Senate Bill 970 – Maryland Department of Health – Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children – Reports

This bill requires the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), by December 1, 2019, and annually through December 1, 2021, to submit a report on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to specified committees of the General Assembly. The report must include (1) for the previous fiscal year, by jurisdiction, the number of women, infants, and children receiving WIC and the number eligible for but not receiving WIC; (2) by jurisdiction, the hours and locations of WIC agencies; (3) barriers to increasing enrollment; (4) an analysis of the adequacy of State WIC contracting and payment policies for meeting the resource needs of local health departments and private provider programs; and (5) recommended changes to program policies and procedures to increase participation rates and meet local resource and capacity needs. MDH must consult with specified stakeholders.

Senate Bill 1011 – Prince George’s County – Public School Construction – Prince George’s County Public–Private Partnership Fund

This bill establishes the Prince George’s County Public-Private Partnership Fund (fund) to pay a public or private entity for the availability payment due under a public-private partnership (P3) agreement authorized by the bill. Prince George’s County, the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), and the Interagency Commission on School Construction (IAC) may enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that, among other provisions, identifies a dedicated source of State funding and specifies any amounts to be contributed to the fund by the county and the school board for availability payments. Specified requirements for public school construction projects in the State do not apply to projects in Prince George’s County that use alternative financing methods. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the Governor provide sufficient funding and experts for IAC to help local school systems negotiate and execute P3 agreements for school construction.

Senate Bill 1031 – Environment – Maryland Oil Disaster Containment, Clean-Up and Contingency Fund and Oil Contaminated Site Environmental Cleanup Fund – Funding, Reallocation, and Reimbursements

This bill extends the current fee (8.0 cents per barrel) assessed on oil transferred into the State until July 1, 2021; beginning July 1, 2021, the fee is 5.0 cents per barrel. Until July 1, 2021, 7.75 cents of the per barrel fee are credited to the Maryland Oil Disaster Containment, Clean-up and Contingency Fund (Oil Fund) and 0.25 cents are credited to the Oil Contaminated Site Environmental Cleanup Fund (Reimbursement Fund). Owners of heating oil tanks are authorized to continue to apply for assistance from the Reimbursement Fund through June 30, 2021. In fiscal 2020 and 2021 only, funds from the Oil Fund may be used to pay costs associated with the purposes of the Reimbursement Fund.

After a successful 2019 legislative session, Senator Peters 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.