Lawmakers are scrambling to get votes on bills.
Annapolis, Md (KM) The end is near for the 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session, and lawmakers still have a lot of work to do. Frederick County Delegate Kathy Afzali (R) says it’s getting very busy in Annapolis as adjournment day gets closer. The gavel is expected to fall on the current session on Monday, April 9th at midnight.,
Afzali says her bill to ban “spoofing” passed the House of Delegates last week. She said she had been sick earlier in the term, and was not able to manage this legislation through the House. When her health improved, .she says she “ran around; I started texting all my friends; I showed them what the bill did and the amendment. And sure enough, the next day, they passed it through unanimously. I was so excited,” Afzali said.
The legislation now heads to the State Senate.
“Spoofing” is a trick used by telemarketers and scammers. When they call your home, a local number appears on your caller ID screen, even though that’s not the number where the call originated. This bill would ban that practice in Maryland.
Afzali says this legislation has bipartisan support. “Down in Annapolis, we can all disagree about a lot of different issues. But one group we all collectively loathe is telemarketers,” she says.
Another bill that she is co-sponsoring allow judges to admit as evidence of similar sex offenses by a defendant whose on trial for rape. This is currently not allowed under the current law, but this bill, if passed, would make an exception if the victim is a child, or the defense maintains the act was consensual.
Similar legislation passed last week in the State Senate. Afzali hopes the House bill will come up for a vote. “If leadership doesn’t want members to have to take a vote on tough bill, they’ll never bring it out for a vote. But I think it’s important for people to know where their elected leaders stand on crime,” she says.
Afzali says this legislation is needed. “I think that we’re at a point in time with all the creeps that are out there and preying on our children and innocent citizens. we’ve got to do something,” she says.
This legislation received an unfavorable report by the House Judiciary Committee.
When the General Assembly adjourns sine die on April 9th, this will be Afzali’s last term. She announced a few months ago that she’s not seeking re-election as a delegate and will campaign for the job of County Executive.
By Kevin McManus