Republicans in Annapolis
Maryland Republican Caucus: 2024 Priorities
The 446th Session of the Maryland General Assembly gaveled in on Wednesday, January 10th at noon. For the following 90 days, legislators in both chambers will consider hundreds of bills impacting the lives of Marylanders. Below, we have shared important links to stay connected to this legislative session.
Hot topics will most likely be: improving public safety and juvenile crime, addressing the impending budget shortfall, housing, transportation and environmental and energy issues. For the first time in several years, the General Assembly is faced with a significant and growing budget shortfall and Democrats are hinting at tax and fee increases to close the gaps. Our members will fight against any and all tax or fee increases and will instead focus on cutting spending and holding Democrats accountable for the expensive consequences of their policies.
The Senate Republican Caucus is focused on accountability this legislative session in every policy area. In November, we presented our joint public safety agenda with our colleagues in the House of Delegates and will introduce legislation related to education, transportation and tax relief in the coming weeks.
The Joint Republican Public Safety Agenda includes five commonsense proposals to restore balance to Maryland’s criminal and juvenile justice systems and safeguard neighborhoods and communities from violent offenders.
- SB 28: Violent Firearms Offenders Act has passed the Senate previously with bipartisan support and increases penalties for violent offenders and also closes the "drug dealer loophole."
- SB 39: Gun Theft Felony Act makes the theft of a gun a felony, and not a misdemeanor and would be an important tool in getting illegal guns off our streets
- SB 44: Safe Communities Act aims to ensure that violent offenders actually serve the duration of their sentence, and does not allow repeat, violent offenders to receive bail. It removes "good time credits" for 1st and 2nd degree murder and also caps those credits for other crimes of violence.
- Drug Free Roadways Act eliminates the prohibition on police searching vehicles based on the smell of cannabis, which will remove impaired drivers from our roads and restore an important tool for law enforcement to confiscate illegal firearms. Bill number TBA
SB 52: Juvenile Justice Restoration Act seeks to right the recent wrongs of new juvenile justice laws that have made it nearly impossible to ensure that there are appropriate consequences for young offenders. It:
- Amends the law passed in 2023 that requires an attorney be present for a juvenile to be questioned, even if their parent has consented. This bill would allow parental consent as a substitute for the required consultation with an attorney.
- Requires that juveniles younger than 13 who use firearms in the commission of a crime will come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court system.
- Provides that upon the child’s third arrest for a crime that does not fall within the category of “crimes of violence” or a crime committed with a firearm, the child will come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court system. This would help eliminate the “catch and release” of juveniles repeatedly apprehended for repeatedly committing nonviolent crimes like car theft.