From State. Sen. J.B. Jennings:
Sanctuary State Bill (HB 1362)
In what I consider to be the worst bill to pass so far this session, HB 1362 makes Maryland a Sanctuary State. The examples below are the rules that ALL police officers and Sheriff’s Deputies in Maryland must abide by if this bill is passed:
A law enforcement agent may not, during the performance of regular police functions:
1. Inquire about an individual’s immigration status, citizenship status, or place of birth during a stop, search, or arrest.
2. Transfer an individual to federal immigration authorities unless required by federal law.
3. Without a judicial warrant, a law enforcement agent may not, pursuant to a request by federal immigration authorities made solely for immigration enforcement purposes:
– Transfer an individual to federal immigration authorities for purposes of immigration enforcement;
– Detain an individual solely for the purposes of immigration enforcement; or
– Notify federal immigration authorities of an individual’s location or address.
Currently, the bill is in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Thankfully, it has not moved and will hopefully not move before the end of Session.
Redistricting Reform (SB 1023)
Governor Hogan’s plan to create a nonpartisan commission to draw congressional and legislative boundaries was once again rejected by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. Another bill, with significant Senate support, would set up a Mid-Atlantic regional coalition with New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina on redrawing congressional boundaries. Simply put, there is no correlation between how Maryland draws its congressional districts and these five other states. If the contingency is not met by December 31, 2020, the bill has no effect on the redistricting process resulting from the 2020 Census, resulting in the bill’s termination if the contingency is not met by December 31, 2032. This bill is once again a way for Democrats to say they passed redistricting reform when it never actually happened.
Despite the several amendments offered by the Republicans, SB 1023 passed the Senate with a 30-16 vote and has moved to the House for a hearing.
Fracking Ban (SB 740/HB 1325)
Maryland is on track to become the third state in the nation to ban fracking, while neighboring states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia continue to experience an economic resurgence from the drilling method. The fracking ban will have a meaningful adverse impact on small businesses, particularly in Western Maryland, that are engaged in providing services related to hydraulic fracturing, like fracking equipment rental services, and the development of natural gas resources.
From the dozens of protestors in Lawyer’s Mall to the hundreds of calls and emails my office received, SB 740/HB 1325 caused quite a stir in Annapolis over the past several weeks. After much debate by the Senate and House, on March 27th, HB 1325 passed both Chambers and is awaiting final approval by the Governor.
Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations Extension (SB 505/HB 642)
There was a victory for child sex abuse victims last week in Annapolis. Both the Senate and House approved SB 505/HB 642 to allow victims who were sexually abused as children to file lawsuits until they are 38 years old – 13 years later than the current law allows. For victims up to age 25, the bill allows courts to award damages against institutions that employ or supervise abusers if negligence is proven. For older victims, the bill requires gross negligence to be proven in order to award damages.
HB 642 passed both Chambers unanimously and is awaiting final approval by the Governor to be signed into law. I proudly supported this legislation from the start.
National Guard Awards Ceremony and Honor to Our Fallen Heroes Days in Annapolis
I was recently honored to salute the Soldiers and Airmen of the Year from the Maryland National Guard, Maryland Army National Guard, Maryland Air National Guard and the Maryland Defense Force on the Senate floor. I’m thankful every day for their service and contributions to their nation and the State of Maryland.
Thank you for your continued interest in Maryland’s 2017 Legislation Session, and please stay tuned for next week’s Annapolis update. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your feedback on the issues I’ve outlined today, or anything else of importance to you and your family. As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.