2019 Maryland General Assembly Update Week Twelve-Votes and Vetoes
2019 Maryland General Assembly Update
With 11 days to go before adjournment, we are in the final stretch of the 2019 legislative session and bills are flying out of Committee and on to the Senate Floor. This included Senator Carozza’s commonsense public safety legislation Senate Bill 248—Wade’s Law. The full Senate also voted to stop the physician-assisted suicide legislation from advancing. Also this week, Senator Carozza supported all three of Governor Hogan’s vetoes on the Senate Floor, testified in support of her bill to honor Korean War Veterans, and met with a delegation from Ocean City Elementary School who were honored in Annapolis.
CAROZZA’S CRIMINAL NEGLIGENT DRIVING BILL CLEARS SENATE
The Maryland State Senate unanimously approved Senator Carozza’s legislation, Senate Bill 248 Criminal Law – Life–Threatening Injury Involving a Vehicle or Vessel – Criminal Negligence (Wade’s Law) on March 27.
This legislation would establish the offense of a life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel as criminal negligence. A violator is guilty of a misdemeanor and if convicted is subject to a maximum of 18 months imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine. The current penalty for criminally negligent driving causing life-threatening injuries is a $500 motor vehicle citation.
“I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for passing this common sense public safety legislation,” Senator Carozza said after the vote. “This legislation provides a just penalty for people like Wade Pusey who has suffered life-threatening and life-sustaining injuries as result of criminally-negligent driving. I call on the House of Delegates to move this legislation forward.”
ASSISTED SUICIDE FAILS TO ADVANCE IN SENATE
On Wednesday, the full Senate debated Senate Bill 311—End-of-Life Option Act. If passed, this legislation would have legalized physician-assisted suicide in the State of Maryland. Senate Bill 311 failed by a vote of 23-23. Senator Carozza spoke out on the Senate Floor and voted against this legislation.
“I share the deep concerns that physicians can make diagnostic mistakes and many patients can live for years after a prognosis of imminent death,” Senator Carozza said on the Senate Floor during the debate. “The American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics states that ‘physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.’ I am also concerned that legalizing physician-assisted suicide would make suicide socially acceptable and would increase overall suicide rates in Maryland. Since passing a PAS law in 1997, Oregon has seen a 49.3 percent increase in non-assisted suicide. While we won today, I will continue to speak out against any and all attempts to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Maryland.”
CAROZZA DEFENDS GOVERNOR HOGAN’S VETOES
On Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan vetoed three bills: Senate Bill 280 (Minimum Wage increase), Senate Bill 128 (Community Control of School Calendars Act), and House Bill 1052 (Alcohol and Tobacco Commission). The bills came back to the Senate Floor for a vote to override the vetoes. Senator Carozza voted to sustain all three of Governor Hogan’s vetoes. The vetoes were overridden by the majority party.
“With the minimum wage legislation, the lack of flexibility, one-size fits all approach simply does not work. We live in a diverse state, reflecting different lifestyles, different industries, and different economic realities,” Senator Carozza said during the veto override debate. “With so many pressing education challenges facing our State, it makes no sense whatsoever to overturn Governor Hogan’s Executive Order to Start School After Labor Day and influence the ballot language on a possible referendum in the November 2020 Election. And as Governor Hogan noted in his veto message, this legislation to remove oversight of the state alcohol and tobacco industries from the Comptroller was nothing more than a solution in search of a problem.”
CAROZZA INTRODUCES RESOLUTION HONORING KOREAN WAR VETERANS
On Friday, Senator Carozza testified in support of Senate Joint Resolution 5—Welcome Home Korean War Veterans Day. This Resolution would declare July 27 as Welcome Home Korean War Veterans Day.
“Time is of the essence for the opportunity to honor as many living Maryland Korean War Veterans in a special statewide ceremony to be held in Annapolis,” Senator Carozza said during her testimony in strong support of SJ 5. “This is a simple resolution with a significant impact to honor our veterans from the Korean War, the Forgotten War.”
Senator Carozza, Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Bob Finn (far right), and representatives from AARP and the American Legion testified in strong support of SJ5—Welcome Home Korean War Veterans Day.s First Lady Yumi Hogan.
SJ 5 has the support of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, AARP, the Maryland General Assembly Veterans Caucus, the American Legion, and Maryland’
LOCALS IN ANNAPOLIS
Shore visitors to Annapolis this week included Ocean City Elementary School Principal Dawn Rogers, Assistant Principal Julie Smith, and instructors Julie Justice, Linda McGean, Heather Robins, Lisa Brown, and Kristen VanKirk; Worcester County Public Schools Superintendent Lou Taylor and senior staff Dr. John Quinn, Dr. Annette Wallace, Steve Price, and Vince Tolbert; Worcester County Board of Education members President William Gordy and Elena McComas; Wicomico County Local Management Board Director Michelle Bradley, Markeshia Macer, and Kirsten Hoofing; and Worcester County Local Management Board Coordinator Christen Barbierri.
Senator Carozza, Delegate Hartman, and the dedicated teachers and faculty of Ocean City Elementary School, who were honored with the distinction of being named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School.
Click on this link to see a calendar of the list of bills that are coming up this week. Once on the calendar, you can click onto the various committees to see which actual bills are being taken up. Senator Carozza serves on the Education-Health-Environment Committee ( also referred to as: EHE) Calendar of Bills This Week
Mary Beth Carozza
Week Twelve-Votes and Vetoes