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2015 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session

Each year the Board of County Commissioners submits a list of legislative requests to the locally elected delegation to the Maryland General Assembly. Under the State Constitution, county commissioner forms of government do not have the authority to pass public local laws. For this reason, the commissioners must ask the local legislative delegation to submit bills for changes to the local laws on their behalf to the General Assembly. If these bills are submitted, they then follow the state legislative process.

In addition to the legislative requests, the Board of County Commissioners may also ask the local legislative delegation, which includes two State Senators and three House Delegates, to take a specific position on other legislation being considered during the General Assembly session.


Legislative Requests

The Board of County Commissioners submitted its original legislative requests for the upcoming 2015 Legislative Session on Nov. 26, 2014. The letter was sent to:  Delegates Mark N. Fisher, Anthony J. O’Donnell, James E. Proctor, Jr., and Joseph F. Vallario, Jr.;  Delegate-Elect Michael A. Jackson; Senators Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. and Roy P. Dyson; and Senator-Elect Steve Waugh.

The newly elected board submitted a revised list of legislative requests on Feb. 10, 2015. The letter was sent to: Delegates Fisher, O’Donnell, and Jackson; and Senators Miller and Waugh.

The board received a letter from Sen. Miller, on April 14, which summarized he delegation’s efforts during the 2015 Legislative Session. Sen. Miller also requested information on the Board’s position on the personal property tax bill that was not acted on.  The board replied to this letter on May 12.  Sen. Miller answered  on May 19. 


Legislative Correspondence

The following table provides links to all other correspondence to the delegation during the 2015 session.  All legislative actions for the session were completed on June 5, 2015. 
     
 
House

Senate

Description

Correspondence
   SB360  (Calvert County Request Number 1) Budget Hearings and Procedures - Altering the procedures for preparing and adopting a budget for Calvert County; requiring each county department, agency, or board receiving county funds to submit a specified itemized budget request on or before a date set by the County Commissioners of Calvert County; requiring the County Commissioners to conduct a public hearing on a specified staff-recommended budget and a subsequent public hearing on the County Commissioners' budget; etc.  
    (Calvert County Request Number 2 - Withdrawn)  Request to authorize imposition of a water infrastructure Excise Tax added to the annual property tax bill of each improved/unimproved property in the County not served by public water (or paying the minimum service charge for water service in the instance of an unimproved property), dedicated to upgrading and expanding the existing water system.  

HB902

SB362

(Calvert County Request Number 3) Public Facilities Bonds - Authorizing and empowering the County Commissioners of Calvert County, from time to time, to borrow not more than $51,925,000 to finance the construction, improvement, or development of specified public facilities in Calvert County, and to effect such borrowing by the issuance and sale of its general obligation bonds; etc.

Passed and approved by the Governor (Chapter 27)                

Letter to Delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, March 6, 2015

HB333

SB265

(Calvert County Request Number 4) Electronic Bingo and Electronic Tip Jars - Distribution of Admissions and Amusement Tax Revenues - Altering the distribution of revenue from the State admissions and amusement tax on electronic bingo and electronic tip jars; etc. 
 
Passed and approved by the Governor (Chapter 334)
    
Letter to the delegation, Feb. 13, 2015 
           
Letter to the delegation, March 3, 2015 
    (Calvert County Request Number 5 - Withdrawn) Request to require that all sellers of real property located in whole or in part in the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area in Calvert County provide to the purchaser the Calvert County Critical Area Brochure. (Real Property Article, §14-117(e)).   

HB167

SB230

(Calvert County Request Number 6) Length of Service Award Program - Altering the age from 55 to 50 years old at which specified individuals may begin to receive benefits under the Length of Service Award Program for Calvert County; altering from $4 to $10 per month an additional amount that is payable under the Program for specified volunteer service; repealing a limit on a maximum benefit payable under the Program; authorizing a specified death benefit to be paid to an alternate beneficiary if a volunteer dies and is unmarried at the time of death; etc.

Passed and approved by the Governor (Chapter 154)           
Letter to delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, Feb. 24, 2015
   SB231 (Calvert County Request Number 7) Alcoholic Beverages - Special Beer and Wine Festival License - Altering the scope and title of the special wine festival license in Calvert County; authorizing the Board of License Commissioners of Calvert County to issue a special beer and wine festival license to the holders of specified alcoholic beverages licenses or to a not-for-profit organization; authorizing the holder of the license to display and sell beer or wine for consumption on or off the licensed premises on specified days and for specified hours; authorizing the Board to approve up to four weekends for an applicant; etc.  

HB544

SB361

(Calvert County Request Number 8) Alcoholic Beverages - Bottle Clubs - Defining a bottle club in Calvert County to mean a restaurant that accommodates the public and is equipped with a dining room with facilities for preparing and serving regular meals or a nightclub that offers to the public music, dancing or other nighttime entertainment; and prohibiting a bottle club in the county from giving, serving, dispensing, keeping, or allowing to be consumed on its premises, or on premises under its control or possession, any alcoholic beverages.

Passed and approved by the Governor (Chapter 259)           
Letter to the delegation, Feb. 13, 2015
   SB231 (Calvert County Request Number 9) Improvements to County Roads and Related Infrastructure - "Quick-Take" Condemnation - Proposing an addition to the Maryland Constitution to authorize the General Assembly to provide that specified property located in Calvert County may be taken by the County Commissioners of Calvert County for public use immediately on payment of a specified amount to the owner of the property, under specified circumstances and subject to specified conditions; establishing a specified "quick-take" procedure for the acquisition of property by the County Commissioners of Calvert County for specified purposes; etc.  
   SB229  (Calvert County Request Number 10) Sale or Distribution of Tobacco and Related Products - Civil Penalties - Prohibiting a person who owns and operates a specified business in Calvert County that engages in the retail sale of tobacco products from storing or displaying a tobacco product in a specified manner; prohibiting a person in Calvert County from distributing a tobacco product to a minor except under specified circumstances, distributing cigarette rolling papers to a minor, or distributing to a minor a coupon redeemable for a tobacco product except under specified circumstances; etc.  
    (Calvert County Request Number 11 - Not put forward by the local delegation or another delegate or senator) Request to provide enforcement provisions for the unauthorized use of electric vehicle parking spaces.  
   SB359 (Calvert County Request Number 12) Contracts and Purchasing - Bidding Process - Increasing the threshold amount from $15,000 to $50,000, above which contracts for the purchase of supplies or services by Calvert County are required to be made through a competitive bidding process; altering the threshold amount from $15,000 to $50,000, below which purchases or contracts may be awarded by Calvert County without complying with specified bidding procedures; etc.  


Other Proposed Legislation

HB69

  Personal Property Tax Exemption - Exempting from the Calvert County property tax specified personal property purchased by businesses from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2018; exempting specified personal property from the Calvert County property tax beginning on July 1, 2018; providing that specified personal property remains subject to the Calvert County property tax; providing that specified personal property subject to a payment in lieu of taxes agreement shall be subject to the Calvert County property tax on the termination of the agreement; etc. Letter to Delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, Feb. 11, 2015 

HB212

  College of Southern Maryland - Bachelor's Degree Program - Authorizing the College of Southern Maryland to offer specified bachelor's degree programs and award bachelor's degrees; requiring specified bachelor's degree programs to include specified components; and requiring the College of Southern Maryland, in coordination with the Secretary of Higher Education, to adopt specified rules and regulations relating to the implementation of bachelor's degree programs and the awarding of bachelor's degrees at the college. Letter to Delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, Feb. 12, 2015

HB354

  Task Force to Study the Commemoration of Harriet Elizabeth Brown - Establishing the Task Force to Study the Commemoration of Harriet Elizabeth Brown; requiring the staff of the Calvert County Delegation to the General Assembly to provide staff to the Task Force; requiring the Task Force to hold public hearings and make recommendations regarding commemoration of Harriet Elizabeth Brown; and requiring the Task Force to report its findings to the County Commissioners of Calvert County, the Governor, and the General Assembly on or before December 31, 2015.

Passed and approved by the Governor (Chapter 242)
Letter to Delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, Feb. 13, 2015
           

Letter from Del. Fisher, June 22, 2015

HB385

SB40

Labor and Employment - Maryland Healthy Working Families Act - Requiring specified employers to provide employees with specified earned sick and safe leave; providing for the manner in which earned sick and safe leave is accrued by the employee and treated by the employer; requiring an employer to allow an employee to use earned sick and safe leave for specified purposes; requiring an employee, under specified circumstances, to request leave, notify the employer of specified information, and comply with specified procedures; etc. Letter to the delegation, Feb. 13, 2015

HB113

Local Government Tort Claims Act - Notice Requirements and Limits on Liability - Increasing to $400,000 per individual claim and $800,000 per total claims the limits on liability of a local government for claims under the Local Government Tort Claims Act that arise from the same occurrence; altering the period of time from 180 days to 1 year after the injury during which a specified notice of a claim under the Local Government Tort Claims Act must be provided; and applying the Act prospectively.

Passed and approved by the Governor (Chapter 131)
Letter to Delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, Feb. 13, 2015

SB147

Local Government Tort Claims Act and Maryland Tort Claims Act - Repeal of Certain Notice Requirements - Repealing a specified notice requirement for a claim under the Local Government Tort Claims Act; repealing a requirement that a claimant submit a claim within a specified time to the State Treasurer or a designee of the State Treasurer under the Maryland Tort Claims Act; and applying the Act prospectively. Letter to Senators Miller and Waugh, Feb. 13, 2015

HB484

SB591

Transportation - Highway User Revenues - Phased Restoration - Increasing the portion of highway user revenues that is distributed to local governments; altering the allocation of the local share of highway user revenues among Baltimore City, counties, and municipalities; and repealing obsolete language. Letter to the delegation, Feb, 13m 2015

HB4

  Maryland Wage and Hour Law - State Minimum Wage Rate - Increase - Increasing the State minimum wage rate to $10.10 per hour; repealing specified provisions of law establishing a phase-in of specified increases in the minimum wage rate; providing specified exemptions to the Act's minimum wage requirement; etc. Letter to Delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, Feb. 13, 2015

HB1123

  Income Tax - Flat Tax - Altering the State income tax rate to 3.5% for individuals with Maryland taxable income in excess of $30,000; altering the county income tax rate to 2.3% on all Maryland taxable income of individuals; and applying the Act to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015. Letter to Delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, March 3, 2015

HB876

  Agriculture - Animal Shelters - Uniform Standards of Operation and Care (Animal Shelter Standards Act of 2015) - Requiring an animal shelter to develop and adhere to a specified written veterinary care protocol; stating specified requirements for the written veterinary protocol; requiring an animal shelter to meet specified veterinary care requirements; requiring an animal shelter to maintain specified holding periods; stating specified criteria for an animal shelter to seize, impound, or otherwise take custody of a specified cat; requiring an animal shelter to take specified steps to determine the identity of an animal in its custody; etc. Letter to Delegates Fisher, O'Donnell and Jackson, March 9, 2015

HB928

  Sales and Use Tax - Agricultural Products and Equipment - Repeal of Exemption - Repealing a specified exemption from the sales and use tax for specified agricultural products and equipment. Letter to the delegation, March 9, 2015












 

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