Just under 100 bills have been officially filed in the House of Delegates thus far this year. A majority of them won't survive, but here's a look at some of the more interesting bills some of your legislators want to add to the laws of Maryland:
With all of the substantive issues facing the State, as well as the country, it's telling that the very first bill filed in Maryland this year (by two Montgomery County delegates) is to prohibit the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration from authorizing the display of the Confederate battle flag on license plates.
Another bill prompted by the unpopular actions of Governor O'Malley is a bill to direct that Program Open Space funds be used only by and for the Depertment of Natural Resources.
Baltimore County Delegate Ric Metzgar has filed a bill that would protect certain individuals and entities from being required to perform certain religious ceremonies, if such ceremonies violate the basic religious beliefs of that individual or entity.
The first bill my husband, Bob Kittleman, filed as a Delegate was to repeal the "prevailing wage" law. It is now 34 years later, and we are still trying to make a dent in this very expensive legislation. This year, Delegate Tony McConkey has filed a bill to waive the prevailing wage law if it will increase the cost of constructing a school by 10% or more.
This bill would extend collective bargaining rights to community college employees.
Delegate Arentz is hoping to pass this bill that would decrease taxes for retirees who are disabled.
In a bill that I am particularly fond of, the Maryland Transportation Authority would be required to make the Chesapeake Bay Bridge "all E-ZPass" by 2026. This is not only an excellent way to relieve congestion, but would allow pricing to vary during the summer months as a way to even out the flow of traffic.
This bill would allow cameras to record in the courtrooms of Maryland.
(Note: I have paraphrased the topic of these bills. If you are interested in any of them, please be sure to go to the full text of the bill to determine exactly what it says and how it would work.)