End One-Party Rule for the Montgomery County Delegation
By S. Alexandra Tuttle
By the end of the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session, it became painfully obvious that the Montgomery County Delegation had tried its utmost to ensure that “End One Party Rule” never happens.
From business to mental health to firearms, our Montgomery County delegation was busy trying to establish more government for you, the citizen taxpayer, while attempting to take away more of your freedoms. The following is but a small sample of this year’s legislative proposals:
Legislative District 14: Delegate Eric Luedtke introduced HB 152, “the Secure and Accessible Registration Act” (aka automatic voter registration). This legislation will automatically register people to vote, unless they specifically decline when visiting a social services agency, the MVA and other agencies. It will serve to further ‘muddy’ the voter rolls. Senator Smith’s version (SB 1048) passed both houses. The fact that every single MC delegation member voted for its passage would seem to indicate that they don’t care about the sanctity of your vote.
Legislative District 15: Delegate Kathleen Dumais introduced HB 1031, “Regulated Firearms – transfer.” This bill defines “transfer” of regulated firearms to include “a loan other than a temporary gratuitous exchange of a regulated firearm between two individuals who remain in the same location for the duration of the exchange. If enacted, this would have been a significant change with fines and prison time. The bill remained in committee. This legislation stems from a court case: Chow v. State, 393 Md. 431, the Court of Appeals in which the court held the word “transfer” (of handguns between individuals) refers only to permanent exchanges and, thus, a temporary handgun exchange was not a violation of the statute.
Legislative District 16: Delegate Bill Frick introduced HB 1604, “Business Regulation - Limited Residential Lodging.” This bill incorporates “limited residential lodging” into the existing regulatory framework for other lodging establishments, including licensure, taxation, building codes, and anti-discrimination provisions. Specific requirements are established for an innkeeper that offers limited residential lodging through a hosting platform (i.e. airbnb). It received an unfavorable report from the House Economic Matters Committee.
Legislative District 17: Senator Cheryl Kagan co-sponsored SB 138, “Environment - U.S. Climate Alliance – Membership”, which requires the Governor to include Maryland as a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance by July 1, 2018, and stipulates that withdrawal from the alliance is conditional on statutory approval from the General Assembly. This legislation is poised to go to the Governor.
Legislative District 18: Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez introduced HB 1461, “Criminal Procedure – Immigration – Supporting All Families Everywhere (SAFE Act).” This legislation, if passed, would have failed to protect the safety of ALL Maryland residents by impeding/prohibiting cooperation with federal authorities (without a judicial warrant) by allowing criminal aliens to be released, further brutalizing and terrorizing communities.
Legislative District 19: Delegate Bonnie Cullison introduced HB 902 Health Occupations - Conversion Therapy for Minors - Prohibition (Youth Mental Health Protection Act)– This legislation essentially prohibits healthcare practitioners from doing their jobs by specifying that practitioners should not engage in any conversion therapy or talk about ways to "eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender, and only counsel minors to embrace a gay lifestyle.” At this time, the legislation has been special ordered for 4/4.
Legislative District 20 – Delegate David Moon introduced HB 1264 - Constitutional Amendment - legalization of marijuana, allowing for possession of up to one ounce of cannabis. If passed, it would have attracted younger voters to support it in the November election by placing it on the ballot.
Legislative District 39- Delegate Kirill Reznik introduced HB 532 Elective Franchise - Registration and Voting at Precinct Polling Place. Same day voting opening the door to voter fraud. This legislation passed, enough said!
Some other interesting bills: Delegate Pamela Queen (LD 14) introduced HJ 12 – regarding presidential authority over the use of nuclear weapons and wanted a system of checks and balances in place…just in case….(unfavorable report); SB 974 by Senator Roger Manno (LD 19)would require the governor to appropriate at least $1,000,000 in fiscal year 2020, and each fiscal year thereafter…to be used for certain purposes – maybe to sue the federal government??
In sum, it is not enough just to get Republicans elected, which just became a little more difficult with SB1048 and HB 532. The focus of the legislation during this session shows that we must support them in their legislative efforts as well.