Del. Long awaits fate of bills in com­mit­tee

The Avenue News - - LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - By MIA MCCASLIN mm­c­caslin@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Mi­aMcCaslin

As the 437th 90-day ses­sion of the Mary­land Gen­eral As­sem­bly reaches its mid­point, the dead­line for the in­tro­duc­tion of bills has ar

rived. Dur­ing the first 55 days of the ses­sion, Del. Bob Long (R-6) has in­tro­duced seven bills.

Although six of his pro­posed bills are still wait­ing for var­i­ous votes and hear­ings, Del. Long has suc­cess­fully worked out an agree­ment that led to the with­drawal of his fi­nal pro­posed bill, HB193. HB193 was Long’s at­tempt to ad­dress safety is­sues in Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools (BCPS). He first be­came con­cerned about the trans­parency of the is­sue when a school board mem­ber was not able to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about school safety.

Af­ter the in­tro­duc­tion of the bill, Del. Long con­sulted with BCPS and Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. S. Dal­las Dance to reach an agree­ment. BCPS agreed to adopt a more trans­par­ent safety pol­icy as well as in­sti­tute reg­u­la­tions that call for an an­nual up­date of BCPS’s poli­cies and pro­ce­dures.

“I am glad that BCPS and Dr. Dance were able to meet our re­quests with­out go­ing through leg­is­la­tion. It’s al­ways bet­ter to come to­gether in­stead of forc­ing a man­date. We all have the same in­ter­ests and that is keep­ing our chil­dren safe,” Del. Long said. “We don’t want our safety pro­ce­dures to be­come pub­lic, but it’s im­por­tant that school board mem­bers are up-to-date on chil­dren safety.”

Of the re­main­ing six bills, three have al­ready been heard by the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee, which Del. Long is a mem­ber of, but are still await­ing a vote. The Ways and Means Com­mit­tee is re­spon­si­ble for leg­is­la­tion re­lat­ing to chil­dren, youth and fam­i­lies, ed­u­ca­tion fi­nanc­ing, pri­mary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, elec­tions, lot

tery and horse rac­ing and tax­a­tion. Long has been a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee since his first ses­sion the House of Del­e­gates in 2015.

The three bills that are wait­ing for com­mit­tee votes are HB750, which deals with ex­pand­ing el­i­gi­bil­ity for tax cred­its for fallen or dis­abled law en­force­ment of­fi­cers and res­cue work­ers; HB751, re­quir­ing the gov­ern­ing body of Bal­ti­more County to grant a spec­i­fied prop­erty tax credit to supplement the state home­own­ers’ prop­erty tax credit; and HB1235, which would make spec­i­fied tolls ex­ceed­ing $300 an­nu­ally tax de­ductible. Long ex­pects that these will be voted on in the com­ing week or two.

An­other bill, HB114, was heard by the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee in early Fe­bru­ary but has still been not been voted on. HB114 pro­poses “au­tho­riz­ing the gov­ern­ing body of Bal­ti­more County to grant, by law, a prop­erty tax credit against the county prop­erty tax im­posed on a dwelling that is lo­cated in a re­vi­tal­iza­tion dis­trict and is owned by a home­owner who made sub­stan­tial im­prove­ments to the dwelling on or af­ter June 1, 2017, that cause the dwelling to be re­assessed at a higher value.”

Long in­tro­duced a sep­a­rate piece of leg­is­la­tion, HB1323, look­ing to achieve a sim­i­lar ef­fect. This piece of leg­is­la­tion would “[au­tho­rize] the Mayor and City Coun­cil of Bal­ti­more City or the gov­ern­ing body of a county or mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion to grant, by law, a prop­erty tax credit against the county or mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion prop­erty tax im­posed on a dwelling that is lo­cated in a re­vi­tal­iza­tion dis­trict and is owned by a home­owner who, on or af­ter June 1, 2017, made spec­i­fied sub­stan­tial im­prove­ments to the dwelling that cause the dwelling to be re­assessed at a higher value.” This bill will be heard in the Ways and Means com­mit­tee in the com­ing week.

Del. Long’s fi­nal bill for the ses­sion, HB1253, will also be heard by the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee in the com­ing week. HB1253, if en­acted, would en­act stricter man­dates and ex­pand li­a­bil­ity pro­tec­tions in re­gards to the re­moval of aban­doned or sunken ves­sels.

Del.Bob Long can be reached by phone at (410) 841-3458 or (301) 858-3458 and by e-mail at bob.long@house.state.md.us.

DEL. BOB LONG (R-6)

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