From the office of Del. Rick Impallaria:
“We have now reached the deadline for bills to cross over to the opposite chamber – House bills to Senate and vice versa.
The most important bills at this time are those dealing with child sexual predators, under the heading of Jessica’s law. HB 811 – Child Protection – Reporting of Children Living with or in the Regular Presence of Registered Child Sexual Offenders. HB 864 – Jessica’s Law Part II – Truth in Sentencing. HB 148 Criminal Procedure – Child Sexual Offenders – Elimination of Diminution Credits and Parole Eligibility. You should contact the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to support Jessica’s law legislation.
I am shocked to see some of the shenanigans being played with bills that you would think were meant to be consumer protection legislation. One is a state-wide towing bill, HB 1120 – Motor Vehicles – Towing Practices and Procedures. Now, there are many lawyers, accountants, teachers in the General Assembly; I am the only member who comes from the automotive industry, so I know what I am talking about. This bill was put in as a consumer protection bill, but after reading it, what it actually does is legalize car theft for anyone who has a tow truck. Why do this? Obviously, someone stands to personally profit.
We also have scrap metal legislation which we have been fighting to get passed for four years. Theft of copper, steel, brass, aluminum has been a growing problem. Tiring of waiting for the State to act, Baltimore City and Baltimore County enacted their own, strong legislation to combat this problem and help law enforcement catch the thieves. This year however, we have SB 99, Junk Dealers and Scrap Metal Processors – Required Records. This bill would not only repeal the stronger City and County laws, it would, in the words of the State Police, replace it with a weak, unworkable system which would only benefit the thieves and dishonest dealers. That is not to say that all dealers are dishonest, but those who support this bill are. Present City and County law requires that the dealer photograph the scrap and give an accurate detailed written description. There is a holding period, and notification goes to law enforcement. The new bill does not require a photograph, and the description would only be required to be X pounds of whatever metal, e.g., 20 lbs. copper. If your 40-foot of copper rain gutter has been stolen, which laws are going to help the police recover your property: the one which tells the police: a dealer has “40 feet of copper gutters and here’s the photo”, or “20 lbs. copper”? Scrap metal theft costs businesses and taxpayers millions of dollars every year. Some recent examples: new bleachers stolen from a Baltimore County high school, copper wire stolen from the lighting in Patterson Park, a business which had all their air conditioning units stolen three times in a two month period.
Why are we fighting to pass bad legislation, when good legislation would be so easy, whether it is Jessica’s law or consumer protection? This is a little insight into the shenanigans which go on in Annapolis. You can see why we say the General Assembly is loaded with lawmakers for lawbreakers, supported by criminal advocates.
By the way, the House has still not yet taken up the State Budget. This should be priority #1. But evidently the motto of the majority party is “criminals first, citizens last”.
Delegate, District 7