This 2022 Legislative Session, I put forth numerous pieces of legislation to remedy, restore, and relieve. After receiving favorable reports in the Senate, several bills successfully crossed over to the House Chambers on Monday, March 21.
Here is a brief, chronological overview of the bills that crossed over:
SB0013 Vehicle Theft Prevention Fund – Allocation of Grants takes a targeted approach to reducing, averting, and deterring theft of motor vehicles throughout Maryland by altering the calculation and distribution of grants allocated from the Vehicle Theft Prevention Fund. If SB0013 passes successfully, grant funds will be reasonably proportioned based on relevant vehicle theft statistics, putting money where it is needed most.
To ensure streamline communication and shared understanding amongst community partners, legislative bodies, and constituents, SB0046Housing and Community Development – Programs and Projects – Requirements directs individuals to provide the General Assembly with access to important information regarding housing and community development projects and programs. This bill will help to cultivate an environment of transparency, clarity, and awareness by keeping constituents abreast of accessible, developing opportunities and projects within their neighborhoods.
To reassign responsibility to the agency and alleviate the sudden financial burdens placed on its customers, SB0059 Maryland Transportation Authority – Public-Private Partnerships and Options for the Payment of Tolls and Civil Penalties directs the Maryland Transportation Authority to provide account-holding users of E-Z Pass with extended options to satisfy payment of delinquent accounts resulting from suspended toll, video toll, and penalty charges. This measure will provide relief to thousands of drivers impacted by the suspension and the subsequent backlog in processing tolls.
Maryland’s drivers need access to cost-effective insurance premiums and fairer payment plan options. Considering this, I proposed SB0278 Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund – Installment Payment Plans to make effective changes to the way Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund places premiums on installation insurance plans.
SB0289 Historic Revitalization Tax Credit – Funding and Extension is centered on Maryland’s Historic Revitalization Tax Credit—a catalyst of economic growth and a key tool for neighborhood revitalization. If implemented, this bill will address urgent funding needs, as well as extend the life of the Competitive Commercial program which encourages the rehabilitation of large keystone projects across the state.
The University of Maryland Extension is a premier source of research and education for Maryland farmers. SB0437 Agriculture – University of Maryland Extension – Urban Farmer Assistance will ensure that the University of Maryland Extension includes two statewide extension agents dedicated to providing technical assistance and training. This measure will bolster support for urban farmers in their initiatives.
Reading, at a young age, is fundamentally important and a foundational part of education. SB0438 Young Readers Programs – Establishment (Young Readers Program Expansion establishes the Baltimore City Young Readers Program, a program which will create an imaginary library and provide youth with access to high-quality books for their own edification and entertainment.
Makerspaces have boosted economic, educational, and workforce development opportunities throughout to State. Witnessing their beneficial impact, I proposed SB0453 Economic Development – Maryland Makerspace Initiative Program to support the establishment of a robust network of makerspaces within Maryland’s communities.
SB0536 Income Tax – Film Production Activity Tax Credit – Digital Animation Projects extends the eligibility for credit against State income tax to include digital animation works in efforts to create a fair and equal opportunity for filmmakers who record their projects in Maryland. Through this extension, more filmmakers will be encouraged to produce projects in the State—providing an increase in revenue and creating job opportunities to employ more Marylanders.
As Baltimore continues to face unique issues within public safety, regulation of crime, and the management of its jails, there is a pressing need for effective legislation that can combat and resolve roadblocks—promoting better coordination and communication amongst our public safety agencies. I introduced SB 585 Public Safety – Warrants and Absconding and SB 586 Criminal Procedure and Public Safety – Courts and Criminal Justice in Baltimore City to increase funding for warrant apprehension efforts, mandate reporting on weapons, and establish a Jobs Courts Pilot Program within the City’s district courts. These measures will encourage efficiency, accountability, and awareness across the board.
SB0601 Baltimore City Soil Conservation District – Establishment – Requirements will establish a soil conservation district within the boundaries of Baltimore City, which will bolster environmental sustainability efforts, restore natural resources, and provide new opportunities for the constituents of the City to impact and interact more with their environment.
By modifying the Maryland Electricians Act to remove barriers to practice, SB0604 Maryland Electricians Act – Revisions will accommodate, support, and provide experienced electricians with streamlined access in obtaining the licenses and/or certifications requisite to working within their occupations.
In efforts to safeguard access to transportation for Baltimore City Public School students, SB0862 Baltimore City – Maryland Transit Administration – Transit Services for Public will require the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to provide ridership to Baltimore City Public School students throughout the school year and duration of the YouthWorks program.
In closing, I trust that these solutions will address, impact, and benefit Maryland’s constituents. Looking forward to the progression of these bills as they move through the House! #Working4MD
Listening. Learning. Leading.
Cory V. McCray
Senator, 45th Legislative District