How Video Chat Helped Maryland Legislators Get Their Job Achieved

(TNS) – The Maryland House of Delegates has spent the past two or more months in an environment unparalleled since it was first called up in 1776.

The delegates worked on the ground in two separate chambers in the statehouse and in the office buildings of the house. The committees communicated through Zoom meetings, with computer screens often resembling the opening credits of the Brady brunch.

Even so, the six Frederick County's delegates are working to get bills to the government.
Larry Hogans
Writing desk. Here are some of them.

Karen Lewis Young

Lewis Young
(D-Frederick), who chaired the delegation at that meeting, tabled several bills focusing on the state's medical and health laws.

A bill that got through the House and Senate would allow patients to get more types of injectable drugs for chronic pain and discomfort treatment through pharmacists.
Lewis Young
said during a hearing it would help patients with mental illness and those dependent on opioids.

Many patients could feel more comfortable working with their pharmacists to get access to the medication, she said.

The bill was amended by the House of Representatives and the Senate to require government agencies to report, among other things, the use of drugs against sexually transmitted diseases.

It is currently being checked in-house and should, aside from any challenge, go to Hogan's desk.

Lewis Young
The bill already on the governor's desk is House Bill 10, which increases a living organ donor tax deduction from $ 7,500 to $ 10,000 and increases the amount of credit on child or elderly care-related expenses and medication elevated.

Jesse Pippy

Pippy (R-Frederick and Carroll), chairman of the delegation last year, tabled a bill that made it through the House that increases the number of ways someone can petition a judge who has an order to do so Retrieving information from an electronic device requesting of interest.

This legislation, which Pippy said would streamline the process of filing a court order via fax or email and reduce face-to-face interaction during a pandemic, has been referred to the Senate Judicial Committee.

Pippy is also trying to change the state indecent exposure law. He said in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year the intent was not to be too broad, like criminalizing someone who moons another at a football game.

Currently, the bill states that someone may not make their private parts publicly available "with lascivious or prurient intent" in a public setting, which means in a sexual way. It is currently still on the House Committee, which means it is unlikely to pass this meeting.

Ken Kerr

Kerr (D-Frederick) has a bill that changes the expiration date for some prescriptions under certain circumstances, regardless of whether they were set by the manufacturer or the prescribing doctor. That has reached Hogan's desk.

He has also received a proposal that would allow Frederick County, the City of Frederick, or other parishes, to set and offer property tax credits to businesses affected by Hogan's state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. If signed by Hogan, it will take effect June 1st and will apply to taxes after June 30th.

Kerr said in a hearing earlier this session the bill is important as 15 percent or more of the county's businesses may not get through the pandemic, according to the county's Chamber of Commerce.

Dan Cox

Cox has spoken out against several actions taken by the governor during the pandemic and has tabled House Bill 17 calling on the governor to seek approval from the General Assembly to continue the state of emergency.

This measure has not been voted on in the House Committee on Health and Government Operations and is unlikely to be passed in both chambers as the last hearing took place in late January.

Cox also filed House Bill 874, which aims to set up a government trust fund to help veterans affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, or other medical conditions. It is named after
David Perez
, an Army veteran from Frederick who died in Florida last year.

The cross file of Sen.
Johnny Ray Salling
(R-Baltimore) – who Perez used to work for – made it through the Senate but is still waiting for action at the House.

Carol Krimm

Krimm (D-Frederick) submitted laws ranging from teleworking policy to the state program for healthy floors and cybersecurity training.

A bill she filed last year that went through the house at that session would require homeowners to disclose whether their properties are in "areas of drainage" meaning they are vulnerable to sinkholes or are similar problems. House Bill 399 is pending Senate action.

Another Krimm-sponsored bill, House Bill 756, would allow the state's Legislative Review Bureau to investigate claims of waste, fraud, and abuse while increasing the resources dedicated to those investigations. It has passed in the house.

Barrie Ciliberti

Ciliberti (R-Frederick and Carroll) was relatively calm at that meeting and only submitted two invoices. One of them is the legislation he introduced last year that would make attacking an emergency room nurse a crime, with sentences of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $ 5,000, or both.

He said in the last session that legislation is difficult to make because patients have certain rights, but there should be a mechanism for those attacking nurses and social workers to face more than one offense that is currently state law.

Ciliberti said in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee that there should be "zero tolerance" for attacks on ER workers. Several nurses testified at the hearing for the bill, but there has been no movement in the House as of Monday, which means it is unlikely to be passed.

The Maryland General Assembly examines thousands of bills each year, so many of them fail to pass both chambers uniformly to reach the governor's desk before Sine Die, the end of the session. This year, Sine Die is April 12th.

(c) 2021 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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