2021 MLAW Legislative Agenda – Final Report

BILLS THAT PASSED

SB 505/HB 277  ▪  Criminal Law – First Degree Child Abuse – Continuing Course of Conduct
Establishes as first-degree child abuse three or more acts that constitute second-degree child abuse committed as a continuing course of conduct.
PASSED.  Sent to Governor.

SB 427/HB 205  ▪  Public Schools – Provision of Menstrual Hygiene Products – Requirements
Will require each county board of education to ensure that each public middle and high school provide, at no charge to students, menstrual hygiene products via dispensers in the restrooms at the school.  It will require a public middle or high school to install menstrual hygiene product dispensers in at least two women’s restrooms by October 1, 2022 and in all women’s restrooms by August 1, 2025. It will require the state to reimburse a county board for the costs of purchasing and installing menstrual hygiene product dispensers.
PASSED.  Sent to Governor.

SB 172/HB 463  ▪  Maryland Health Equity Resource Act
Establishes a Pathways to Health Equity Program in the Community Health Resources Commission to provide the foundation and guidance for a permanent Health Equity Resource Community program.  It requires the Program to provide grant funding to reduce health disparities, improve health outcomes, improve access to primary care, promote primary and secondary prevention services, and reduce health care costs.  It requires the Commission to establish Health Equity Resource Communities to target State resources to certain areas for certain purposes.
PASSED.  Sent to Governor.

SB 486/HB 581  ▪  Labor and Employment – Employment Standards During an Emergency (Maryland Essential Worker Protections Act)
Requires each essential employer to take certain actions related to occupational safety and health during an emergency.  It provides that an essential worker has the right to refuse to perform a certain task as provided under certain provisions of law, and it requires essential employers to take certain steps to minimize the risk of transmission of an infectious disease.  It also requires essential employers to report certain test results to the Maryland Department of Health and requires the Department to categorize and the publish the results.
PASSED.  Sent to Governor.

BILLS THAT DID NOT PASS

SB 57/HB 748  ▪  Family Law – Custody and Visitation
Would codify the best interest of the child factor in child custody cases to ensure consideration of allegations of child abuse or domestic violence.
Passed both chambers with amendments but did not cross back over.  Referred to Rules Committee.

SB 211/HB 375  ▪  Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment  (The Time to Care Act of 2021)
Establishes a family and medical leave insurance fund to provide partial wage replacement for employees to care for a new child, a family member’s serious health condition, their own health condition, or a family member’s military deployment.
No votes in committees.

SB 250/HB147  ▪  Criminal Law – Sexual Crimes – Repeal of Spousal Defense (Love is No Defense Act to Sexual Crimes)
Repeals allowing marriage as a defense to sex crimes. 
Passed House.  Amended in Judicial Proceedings Committee, which significantly weakened the bill.  Conference Committee failed to produce an acceptable bill.

SUCCESSFUL VETO OVERRIDES (FROM 2020)

HB 4/SB 208  ▪  Public Safety – Rifles and Shotguns – Sales, Rentals, and Transfers
This legislation closes a loophole in Maryland law to require a background check on all gun sales (including unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows). This bill would keep rifles and shotguns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories, including domestic abusers, convicted felons, and subjects of red flag laws.
VETO OVERRIDEN

SB 684/HB 801  ▪  Correctional Services – Prerelease Unit for Women – Facilities and Services (Gender-Responsive Prerelease Act)
This legislation establishes a pre-release center for women with re-entry services such as family reunification, employment, housing, and addictions counseling.  While there are many pre-release centers for incarcerated men, there are ZERO pre-release centers for women in Maryland.
VETO OVERRIDEN

Click here to download a PDF version of our Final Report.

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