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The Minority Report 2018
Week 7 - We're Halfway There!

Greetings from the 438th Legislative Session! We want to connect with you to keep you informed on caucus initiatives and the latest in Annapolis. Please feel free to share this with friends, family, and colleagues, and on your own social media sites.

Session Reaches the Halfway Point 

Friday February 23rd is the 45th day of session. With only 45 days left until Sine Die, there is a lot of work left to do. 

The only thing the General Assembly is constitutionally required to do during the 90-day session is pass Maryland's budget. But, with over 1,700 bills introduced in the House and nearly 1,200 introduced in the Senate a great deal of work lies ahead.  

There are important pieces of legislation that have not yet moved. Governor Hogan's package to combat violent crime, legislation to provide small businesses with tax credits to ease the impact of Paid Sick Leave, and many other important pieces of legislation, remain in Committee. 

As we move into March, we approach the "Cross Over" Deadline, where bills must be passed by the House and Senate and move to the opposite chamber to avoid additional legislative hurdles. The next few weeks will see a lot of voting sessions in Committees and more frequent and longer floor sessions. 

Making Good Bills Better and Sending Bad Bills Back to Committee

This week, Delegate Deb Rey took the opportunity to make a good bill even better. House Bill 96 - Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Living Organ Donors came to the floor this week. This bill provides a $7,500 tax credit for living donors to help defray their costs of donating all or part of an organ. The bill was introduced by House Speaker Michael Busch who received a live-donor transplant last year.

As drafted the bill only allowed for an individual to take the tax credit once. Delegate Rey offered an amendment on the floor that eliminated this limitation. The bill unanimously passed the House and is expected to pass in the Senate. 

To learn more about organ donation, or to register as an organ donor, click here

Delegate Bill Folden's effort to make a bad bill better ultimately led to the bill being sent back to committee. House Bill 122 - Criminal Procedure - Sentencing Guidelines - Previously Adjudicated Delinquent, would have softened the sentencing guidelines for young adults who commit crimes. Under the bill, criminals between the ages of 18 and 21 who had a history of juvenile offenses could not have their juvenile crimes considered at the time of their sentencing. This is very concerning because in the interest of public safety, prior criminal history should be considered during sentencing. 

Last week, Delegate Bill Folden successfully amended the legislation, requiring juvenile criminal history be considered if the offender was imprisoned as a juvenile. The debate sparked by Delegate Folden's amendment led to more questions and further debate on the bill and slowed the bill's progression as opposition to the bill grew. On Thursday, the bill was sent back to Committee - an action that is rarely taken - and is in all likelihood dead for the year. 

Red Scarf Day

The Maryland Federation for Republican Women (MFRW) held their annual Red Scarf Day in Annapolis earlier this week. Over 100 grassroots Republican activists headed to Annapolis to see their legislators in action. They attended Caucus Meetings, watched the floor sessions in the House and Senate, observed Committee hearings, and heard from a variety of Speakers during their lunch reception. It was great to see such an invigorated group of Republicans in Annapolis!

Members Making News

Our members are busy in Annapolis and in their home districts! Click here for a recap of their media coverage this week.

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