Bill Number: SB0403
Title:   Labor and Employment – Maryland Wage and Hour Law – Agricultural Standards
 
Legal Summary:
Establishing an exemption from the Maryland Wage and Hour Law for an individual employed at an agricultural stand that primarily sells at retail perishable or seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, or horticultural commodities that the employer has produced.
 
Real Issue: Same as above
 
Hearing Date: 2/20
 
Suggested Position: FYI
 
Action/Outcome:
 

Bill Number: SB0491
Title:   Regulation of Invasive Plants – Bamboo – Prohibitions
 
Legal Summary:
For the purpose of prohibiting a person from allowing bamboo to grow in a certain manner or spread onto certain property or rights–of–way; requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to provide written notice to a certain person under certain circumstances; requiring a certain person to dispose of or contain bamboo in a certain manner on written notice from the Secretary; providing for certain civil penalties for a certain violation; prohibiting a series of violations from resulting in penalties that exceed a certain amount; establishing that a certain person is not subject to a certain penalty under certain circumstances; authorizing the governing body of a county to adopt rules and regulations to govern the upkeep and containment of bamboo; authorizing the governing body of a county to enforce certain rules and regulations;  defining a certain term; altering a certain definition; and generally relating to the regulation of invasive plants in the State.
 
Real Issue: Treats Bamboo as a Tier 1 Invasive Plant. Tier 1 plants are defined as plant species that cause or are likely to cause severe harm with the State.  A person may not propagate, import, transfer, sell, purchase, transport, or introduce any living part of a Tier One plant in the State.  The additional new part of the proposed law is that a person may not allow bamboo to grow without proper upkeep and containment measures, must work to prevent spread from the property of the person to public rights-of-way and to adjoining properties. The bill provides for penalties between $50 and $3000 for violations, in one calendar year. This bill allows any county to adopt this proposed rule.
 
Hearing Date: 2/11
 
Suggested Position:
 
Action/Outcome:
 

Bill Number:  HB0229 and SB0300
Title: Pesticides - Use of Chlorpyrifos - Prohibition

Legal Summary:
Prohibiting the use of chlorpyrifos in the State, including insecticides containing chlorpyrifos and seeds treated with chlorpyrifos; and requiring the Department of Agriculture, with existing budgeted resources, to provide to farmers, certified crop advisors, and pesticide applicators certain education and assistance relating to integrated pest management.

Real Issue:
All out ban on use of C; requires MDA to provide assistance relating to IPM and alternatives to Chlorpyrifos

Hearing Date: House: 2/12; Senate 2/11

Suggested Position: Join with MFB and peers across MD agriculture to oppose the bill; ornamental horticulture is not a significant user of C, however, members are opposed to removing the option of using this pesticide, when needed. Also question that MDA may be able to provide alternatives and IPM education with “existing” budgeted resources.

Action/Outcome: MNLGA will be included with larger MD ag group to testify in opposition to these bills


Bill Number:  HB0161          
Title: Nutrient Management - Professional Fertilizer Applicators - Requirements and Penalties

Legal Summary:
Prohibiting a person from commercially applying fertilizer to certain property unless the person is a professional fertilizer applicator or employs a professional fertilizer applicator; requiring a person that employs a certain professional fertilizer applicator to obtain a certain license for each place of business for which the professional fertilizer applicator provides certain services; and altering the application of a certain civil penalty to include the employer of a person who violates certain provisions of law.

Real Issue:
Requested by MDA - for purpose of adding to the law that a business has a fertilizer applicator license, not just an individual. Right now, regs require a businss to have a fert app license, but it is not in law. Bill is “by request of the Governor”

Hearing Date: 2/5 cancelled and rescheduled to 2/12

Suggested Position: Follow to make sure no other provisions of the current law are suggested for change.

Action/Outcome:


Bill Number:  HB0279
Title: Real Property - Restrictions on Use - Low-Impact Landscaping
 
Legal Summary:
Prohibiting a certain restriction on use from imposing unreasonable limitations on low-impact landscaping under certain circumstances; providing that the Act may not be construed to prohibit a certain restriction on use from including certain reasonable guidelines regarding the type, number, and location of low-impact landscaping features; and exempting a certain restriction on use on certain historic property from the applicability of the Act.

Real Issue:
Prevents something like an HOA from prohibiting a homeowner to put in a rain garden, etc.

Hearing Date: 2/11

Suggested Position: FYI to members; members may want to support; MNLGA needs more feedback from members as to whether to actively support

Action/Outcome:

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FYI Only

MNLGA does not have a position on activities within the hemp industry. Hemp-related bills are presented below with other “FYI” bills. There is a newly formed Maryland Hemp Coalition,  managed through Grow & Fortify, that is a good resource for your hemp-related questions. Please visit www.hempmaryland.org .


Bill Number:   HB0574
Title: Agriculture- License to Produce Hemp – Limitations
 
Legal Summary:
For the purpose of altering a certain licensing requirement for producing hemp in the 4 State; prohibiting the Department of Agriculture from issuing a license to a person 5 to produce hemp in the State under certain circumstances; requiring the Department 6 to make a certain determination in a certain manner; and generally relating to the 7 production of hemp in the State.
 
Hearing 2/19
 
Bill Number:  HB0510
Title: Agriculture – Hemp Research and Production – Prohibitions
 
Legal Summary:
For the purpose of prohibiting the Maryland Department of Agriculture from certifying 4 and registering a site that will be used to grow or cultivate hemp under the Hemp 5 Research Pilot Program if the area on which the hemp will be grown is located within 6 a certain distance of a certain residential community; prohibiting the Department 7 from issuing a license to a person to produce hemp in the State if the area on which 8 the hemp will be produced is located within a certain distance of a certain residential 9 community; and generally relating to hemp research and hemp production.
 
Hearing Date: 2/19
 
Bill Number:  HB0805; SB0964
Title: Montgomery County - Public Safety - Buildings Used for Agritourism
 
Legal Summary:
Adding Montgomery County to the list of counties where an existing agricultural building used for agritourism is not considered a change of occupancy that requires a building permit under certain circumstances
 
Real Issue:
Adding Montgomery County to the list of counties where an existing agricultural building used for agritourism is not considered a change of occupancy that requires a building permit
 
Hearing Date: 2/21
 
Suggested Position: FYI to members
 
Action/Outcome:



Bill Number:  HB0335 ; SB0432
Title: Charles County - Public Safety - Buildings Used for Agritourism

Legal Summary:
Adding Charles County to the list of counties where an existing agricultural building used for agritourism is not considered a change of occupancy that requires a building permit under certain circumstances

Real Issue:
Adding Charles County to the list of counties where an existing agricultural building used for agritourism is not considered a change of occupancy that requires a building permit

Hearing Date:  House 2/21

Suggested Position: FYI to members

Action/Outcome:

 
Bill Number:  SB0092
Title: Secretary of Ag - Weed Control Law
 
Legal Summary:
Authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into an agreement with a county or other subdivision of the State to conduct surveys and perform other work related to noxious weeds or other plant species within the county or subdivision; providing that the agreement between the Secretary and the county or subdivision of the State may be terminated by either party on 30 days' written notice; and defining "subdivision of the State" to include a soil conservation district.

Real Issue:
Requested by MDA - allows MDA to work with county Soil Conservation Districts to surveys of location and amount of noxious weeds and to provide control and eradication efforts

Hearing Date: 1/16

Suggested Position: FYI

Action/Outcome: 1/21– passed in Senate; sent to House