Clock Is Ticking On 2018 Md. General Assembly

Lawmakers are hurrying to get their work done before adjournment on Apr. 9th.

Annapolis, Md (KM). Activity is picking up  in Annapolis as the 2018 Maryland General heads toward adjournment in less than three weeks. “It’s pretty busy and schedules are very unpredictable,” says Frederick County Delegate Karen Lewis Young (D).

Monday was crossover day, when bills need to be approved by the chamber where they were introduced in order to have a chance at passage. Delegate Young says two of her bills made it out of the House of Delegates on crossover day. ” One is House Bill 1132. And that is a health insurance bill giving access to local health departments to individuals who meet certain requirements,” she says. The other would prohibit employers from asking prospective employees about their salary histories, although job applicants could volunteer that information if they wished.

Delegate Young says the biosafety level three legislation passed the House of Delegates, but it’s fate is uncertain in the State Senate. “Each year, they promise they’re going to fix it on their side. But that doesn’t happen. And there’s a new excuse every year. So we’ll see if the third time is the charmer and we can convince them,” she said.

If passed, that bill would require private biosafety level three labs to inform the Maryland Department of Health of their location and provide a contact person. That’s so fire and rescue crews who answer emergency calls at these laboratories can  know what pathogens are present, and  take the appropriation precautions.

Federal biosafety level three labs are already regulated by the federal government.

But Young says her bill to allow students to apply sunscreen while in school without a note from their doctors is on its way to passage. “It was approved both in the House and in the Senate. That’s probably one out of my four that have passed the House that I’m most comfortable about,” she says.

Even though it gets very hectic as the General Assembly Session comes to a close, Delegate Young says she doesn’t get too nervous during that time. She says she’s gets very unsure before crossover day, not knowing if her bills will pass the House of Delegate by that time and head off to the State Senate.

The 2018 Maryland General Assembly adjourns sine die on Monday, April 9th.


By Kevin McManus