Archive | April 2013

Call for Nominations for the Board of Directors

It is time once again to nominate and elect a Board of Directors for MLAW for the upcoming year.

Candidates for the Board of Directors should be members in good standing, meaning that they are a member themselves, or they are representing an organization which is a member. (Note that our dues/membership year starts over again July 1. Membership renewal materials were emailed recently). Candidates must also commit to regularly attending board meetings. Currently, MLAW board meetings are held on the fourth Monday of the month from 7-9pm in the Columbia area. Finally, it is expected that board members assist in fundraising for the organization as well as making a personal financial contribution at a level that is meaningful for them.

A Board of Directors application can be downloaded here: MLAW Board Application 2013-14. If you would like to nominate yourself to serve on the Board, please complete the form and return it to me via mail or fax as listed on the application. If you would like to nominate someone other than yourself, please email the name and contact information for that person to the Nominating Committee. We will contact that person and follow up to assess her/his interest in the position.

All applications and nominations must be submitted to the Committee no later than 5/31/13. A ballot will be prepared and sent to voting members shortly after nominations have been closed.

2013 Legislation – Final Report

HB 713 Criminal Procedure – Seizure and Forfeiture – Property Used in Human Trafficking

This bill authorized a state or local law enforcement agency to seize specified property used or intended for use in connection with a crime relating to human trafficking.
Outcome: PASSED

SB 94 Child Abuse and Neglect – Notice and Reporting Requirements, Disclosure and Task Force
This bill would have expanded immunity from civil liability or criminal penalty to a person who provides or participates in providing notice of child abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities. It required the medical examiner to send an autopsy report to specified officials in cases of child abuse or neglect, and made it a misdemeanor for a specified person to knowingly and willfully fail to make a report of abuse.
Outcome: No vote in Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

HB 735/SB 698 Labor and Employment – Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act
This bill would have required employers to allow employees to earn a certain number of annual paid sick and safe days. The safe time component required employers to allow survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault to use paid sick leave to care for their health after these incidents or seek legal protections or new housing. The bill provided for the manner of accrual, use for specified purposes, and described the process for requesting and notifying the employer.
Outcome: House bill received an unfavorable report in Economic Matters Committee. Bill withdrawn. No vote in Senate Finance Committee.

HB 478/SB 861 Crimes – Committing a Crime of Violence in the Presence of a Minor – Penalties
This bill enhanced the penalty for persons who are convicted of a crime of violence and the person knew or should have known that a minor was within sight or hearing of the crime of violence. The penalty was to be separate from and consecutive to the sentence for the crime.
Outcome: Passed by both House and Senate with amendments. Different versions not reconciled before the end of the Session.

HB 715/SB 620 Family Law – Denial of Paternity, Custody, and Visitation [Akin’s Law]
This bill would have allowed rape victims who become pregnant as a result of the rape to ask the family law court to end the parental rights of the rapist.
Outcome: No vote in House Judiciary Committee or in Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

HB 1230/SB 490 Domestic Violence – Persons Eligible for Relief and Orders to Vacate Home
This bill would have moved dating violence and sexual assault out of the Peace Order statute and into the Protective Order statute.
Outcome: No vote in House Judiciary Committee or in Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.