MGA’s 437th legislative session “overall successful” for District 6
After the 437th session of the Maryland General Assembly concluded on Monday, April 10, the District Six delegation is celebrating this as “an overall successful session,” according to Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-6).
On the last day of the session, the fates of hundreds of bills were decided. Some passed and were signed into law by Gov. Hogan on Tuesday, April 11 and others died on the floors of the House and Senate.
The District Six delegation feels confident that a majority of the bills
that they believed negatively concerned the region and the state were not passed including HB172, modifying Section Eight housing requirements, and HB1362, which would have declared Maryland a sanctuary state.
“If I had to summarize the end [of the session], I would call it a people’s uprising,” said Del. Robin Grammer (R-6). “There were some people trying to sneak through controversial bills at the last minute and the public backlash halted that.”
The session end brought more good news for the delegates. Del. Bob Long (R6) passed two of his seven introduced bills in the final day of the session: HB1253, which allows for the disposal of abandoned sunken vessels; and HB1323, which provides a five-year tax credit for homeowners who revitalize dilapidated housing.
Del. Long also lauds the passing of other bills not sponsored by himself: SB317, requiring the Governor to appropriate at least one million dollars per year for the Partnership for Workforce Quality Program, which will help Sparrows Point laborers; SB307, the Roadkill Bill; and HB879, the Public Integrity Act to promote transparency between government officials and their constituents.
Sen. Salling also feels good about what the session was able to provide for the consituants of District Six. “We were able to promote jobs in the state of Maryland and job training for veterans as well as helping promote tax relief for veterans,” Sen. Salling explained. “I’m glad that we were about to promote more business in the area with Tradepoint as well.”
He went on to explain that they were “able to kill some super bad bills” and “sustain” other bills that he says “wouldn’t be friendly for business.”
Sen. Salling was also pleased with the budget which he called “good and sound,” and, once again, taxes were not raised statewide.
The session did not bring everything the District Six delegates were hoping for, however. Del. Grammer’s bill focusing on renovating foreclosure properties just ended its second session without being voted into law.
“Although my bill didn’t get voted in, a different foreclosure reform was passed,” Grammer explained. “It requires that people go through the courts, and while I don’t think it’s the best mechanism it is some kind of mechanism that we can use to bring change.”
“I’m just not necessarily happy about it,” he continued. Grammer stated in a previous interview that he would keep introducing and amending this bill until it was passed.
As of press time, Del. Ric Metzgar (R-6) was unavailable for comment.
Two town hall meetings will be held in District Six to discuss and debrief after the session.
The first was hosted on Wednesday, April 12 at 6 p.m. at the Victory Villa Rec Center in Middle River.
The second will be hosted on Thursday, April 27 at 6 p.m. at the North Point Library located off Merritt Blvd. in Dundalk, MD.
Del. Bob Long of District Six attended the Tuesday morning signing of bills by Gov. Hogan.