Maryland Legislation

A look at where some bills stood as of Tuesday, with less than two weeks left in the 90-day session. Bills with an asterisk are part of Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley's legislative agenda or budget initiatives.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Legislation What Bill Would Do Status
DNA collection expansion* Expand state database to include samples taken at arrest for violent crimes. Similar bills passed in both chambers.
Death penalty repeal Replace the death penalty with life without parole. Stalled in both chambers.
Death penalty study Establishes a commission to study capital punishment. Similar bills passed by House and Senate.
Child abuse reporting Subjects health practitioners, police and educators to a fine for failure to report suspected child abuse. Passed by Senate; similar bill withdrawn in House.
Alcohol consumption responsibility Increases penalty for adults who provide alcohol to those under age 21 House made it a misdemeanor; Senate increased civil fines.
GPS tracking of juvenile offenders Spend nearly $1 million to track 250 youths. Included in Senate budget; some money in House budget.
ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
Legislation What Bill Would Do Status
Chesapeake Bay Fund* Establish uses of a $50 million-a-year fund for cleanup. House and Senate passed bills cutting the fund to $25 million.
Critical Areas reform Tighten regulations on development in environmentally sensitive areas. Passed by House; pending in Senate.
Global warming Call for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Passed by Senate; in House committee.
Strategic Energy Investment Program* Create funds to decrease energy demand and increase energy supply. In committee.
Energy efficiency* Set goal of a 15 percent reduction in per capita electricity consumption by 2015. In committee.
Renewable energy portfolio* Boost to 20 percent the portion of the state energy portfolio provided by wind, solar and other renewable sources. In committee.
Energy efficient buildings* Require new or renovated state buildings and schools to meet standards Similar bills passed by House and Senate
Solar energy grant program* Increase amounts of grants available. Passed by House; in Senate committee.
Electricity generation Allow state regulators to control decommissioning fund for Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant. In committee.
BUDGET, TAXES AND FINANCE
Legislation What Bill Would Do Status
Computer services tax repeal Repeal a tax passed last fall on a range of computer services. No action yet in House or Senate.
Foreclosure reform* Make mortgage fraud a crime; extend foreclosure timetable; prohibit rescue transactions and prepayment penalties. Similar bills passed by House and Senate.
Banking reform Allow state banks to charge penalties to borrowers who pay off second mortgages early. Sent to governor.
Debt counseling Allow for-profit companies to operate in Maryland. Passed by Senate; in House committee.
Iran divestiture* Requires state pension board to divest holdings in companies doing business with Iran. In committee.
State government* Create a Department of Information Technology. Similar bills passed by House and Senate.
BRAC incentives* Create revitalization and incentive zones and tax credits to prepare for growth from base realignment. In Senate and House committees.
Video gambling Instant bingo and similar electronic games in violation of gambling laws would be banned. Passed by Senate; in House committee.
EDUCATION
Legislation What Bill Would Do Status
University tuition freeze* Money in budget would offset anticipated 4 percent tuition increase. Some university funding cut; effect on tuition unclear.
University tuition planning Establish a four-year college tuition plan. In House committee.
Bullying Prohibit bullying and cyber bullying at schools. Passed by House.
School attendance age Boost mandatory age to 17 from 16, only if governor provides money in budget. Passed by Senate; in House committee.
Adult literacy* Transfer program from Education to Labor department. In committee.
High School Assessment tests Eliminate HSA as a graduation requirement. Failed in Senate committee; in House committee.
HEALTH
Legislation What Bill Would Do Status
Prince George's hospital management Establish an independent authority to take over hospital system. Passed by House; in Senate committee.
Veterans' mental health* Coordinate federal and state veterans' health programs. Similar bills passed by Senate and House.
Health care for seniors Give low- and moderate-income seniors a subsidy for prescription drugs during gaps in Medicare coverage. Similar bills passed by House and Senate.
TRANSPORTATION AND DRIVING
Legislation What Bill Would Do Status
Speed cameras* Authorize speed cameras in school zones, residential neighborhoods and work areas. Similar bills passed by Senate and House.
Cellphone ban Ban use of hand-held cellphones while driving. Passed by Senate.
Teen driving suspension Suspend licenses of drivers under 18 who commit major offenses. Passed by Senate.
Teen driving restrictions* Changing curfew for 16-year-old drivers from midnight to 10 p.m. House passed version that studies curfew.
Teen driver parental notification Requiring parental notification for teenagers charged with moving violations. Similar bills passed by House and Senate.
Transit-oriented development* Making development near Metro and other transit a priority. Passed by House; similar bill in Senate.
SOCIAL ISSUES
Legislation What Bill Would Do Status
Same-sex marriage Allow same-sex couples to marry. Stalled in committee.
Civil unions Allow same-sex couples to enter unions giving marriage rights. Stalled in committee.
Expansion of legal rights Give same-sex couples medical decision-making and property rights. Passed by Senate; in House committee.

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