Archive | May 2023

2023 Legislative Agenda Final Report


HB705/SB798Declaration of Rights – Rights to Reproductive Freedom

Sponsors:  House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senate President Bill Ferguson

This legislation authorizes a ballot measure (constitutional amendment) to enshrine the fundamental right to reproductive freedom in Maryland Constitution, including decisions related to preventing, continuing, or terminating a pregnancy.

HB808/SB859 – Reproductive Health Protection Act

Sponsors:  Delegates Nicole Williams and Terri Hill, Senator Will Smith

This legislation creates protection for pregnant individuals seeking abortion care as well as health care providers, support organizations, and volunteers from civil, criminal and administrative liability.

HB477/SB341– Public Senior Higher Education Institutions – Reproductive Health Services Plans – Requirements

Sponsors:  Delegates Ariana Kelly and Stephanie Smith, Senator Brian Feldman

Under this legislation, public 4-year colleges and universities will be required to provide 24-hour access to over-the-counter contraception (emergency contraception and medicated abortion) on campus through student health centers, retail outlets on campus, and/or vending machines; provide or refer a full range of reproductive services; and, submit a plan.  [This bill does not cover private colleges and universities or high schools]

HB4/SB129 – Criminal Law – Sexual Crimes – Repeal of Spousal Defense

Sponsors:  Delegate Charlotte Crutchfield, Senators Ariana Kelly and Pam Beidle

This legislation repeals the current statute that makes marriage a defense to some sex crimes.  Currently, spouses can be prosecuted for any sex crime only ifthey have a limited divorce, and some sex crimes if they have been separated for 3 months or have a written separation agreement.  This legislation repeals the prohibition on prosecuting a person for rape or certain sexual offenses against the person’s legal spouse at the time of the alleged rape or sexual offense.  Marriage will no longer be a defense against rape or sexual crimes.

HB297/SB292 – Criminal Law – Victims of Child Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking – Safe Harbor and Service Response

Sponsors: Delegate Sandy Bartlett, Senator Jeff Waldstreicher

This legislation provides a safe harbor for child victims of sex trafficking and prevent prosecution for acts committed as a result of their trafficking, including prostitution and other related offenses.  It would prevent the criminalizing of children and divert youth into services (now available statewide).

HB495/SB350 – Early Childhood Development – Child Care Scholarship Program – Alterations

Sponsors:  Delegate Jared Solomon, Senator Nancy King

This legislation, as amended, prohibits the State Department of Education from increasing the copayment levels, reducing the reimbursement rates, reducing the income eligibility requirements, or implementing an enrollment freeze for the Child Care Scholarship Program in effect as of January 1, 2023, unless certain conditions are met. 

HB3/SB185 – The Maryland State Police Gun Center – Firearms Surrendered Under Final Protective Orders

Sponsors: Delegate Sandy Bartlett, Senator Pam Beidle

This legislation expands the role of Maryland State Police Gun Center (which tracks firearm crimes in Maryland) to include collecting and tracking data on guns surrendered under a final protective order (required in federal and state law).  It requires local law enforcement agencies to report to the Gun Center.


HB___/SB___ – Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act (CCEJ)

This bill would have charged fossil fuel companies (heat and gas) a fee for damages and use the revenue from the fee to create two funds:  1) protect low- and moderate-income households and businesses; 2) help county and municipal governments to develop local Climate Action Plans (including clean energy infrastructure).

This bill was WITHDRAWN this year.  It will be reintroduced next year.