The 2020 General Assembly Session got underway last week.
Annapolis, Md (KM) It’s a very busy time in Annapolis as the 2020 Maryland General Assembly is underway. Frederick County Delegate Karen Lewis Young (D) says legislators are busy getting their bills drafted and officially registered o they can come up for hearings.
“There are a record number of bills this year. Drafting is quite backed up,”: she says. “So for example, bills that I submitted two months ago still have not come back to me.”
One of those measures would prohibit prospective employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. “It passed in the House twice before. It’s now passed in 13 states. The Senate did not do a vote on it. I think with a very new Senate, this is a good year for that bill to pass,” Delegate Young says.
This practice of employers asking job applicants about salary history, Young says, is a disadvantage to certain segments of the population. “The practice of asking prior salary history is very irrelevant to the job you’re interviewing for today which should have its own salary range; and it disproportionally discriminates against women and minorities,” she says.
That bill has 28 co-sponsors including three committee chairpersons. “So I’m hoping that will move,” Delegate Young says.
Another bill Young is involved with would prohibit “patient brokering” in Maryland, where an individual who refers a patient addicted to opioids to a treatment program receives a commission. . She says she and Delegate Jesse Pippy (R) are co-sponsoring that legislation. “To try to stop the practice of people being compensated. There were opioid addicts that are victimized to begin with, and then doubly by being enticed to go to treatment facilities that are very substandard,” she says.
As the volume of bills keeps increasing each year, there’s discussion in the State Senate about limiting the number of bills to 20 that a single senator can introduce. Delegate Young says she’s cut back on the number of measures she’s introducing. “Past couple of years, I’ve had 15 bills, This year, I doubt that I’ll make ten. Right now, I’m working at about eight or nine,” she says
And Delegate Young says she will be choosy about which pieces of legislation she will introduce. “I’m really making a conscious effort to be very selective and focus on those bills that I’ve really vetted in advance, brought the stakeholders to the table, passed in numerous other states,” she says. “I’ve raised the bar on the kind of efforts I will bring forward.”
By Kevin McManus