Last Week of Session 2018April 02, 2018
As the 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly enters into the last week, I would like to take an opportunity to update you on several bills that I believed to be noteworthy. These are certainly not all there is, and in the week ahead, I will update you further on legislation and information to share.
My bill, HB1509 the Copper Plan was not moved out of committee. But it did successfully bring a potential solution to the table for discussion for the 174,000 people that currently do not have health insurance because they make too much to receive an Obamacare subsidy, yet are priced out of current health insurance options.
The General Assembly chose instead to advance HB1782, which constitutes levying a 2.75%, $380 million dollar tax on all private health insurance providers to fund what is essentially a Band-Aid of Obamacare. I believe there are other solutions to solving our health insurance problems and I voted NO on this bill.
HB1635- Mental Health Law - Involuntary Admissions - Procedures
This bill specifies that the Maryland Department of Health must provide for the admission of an emergency involuntary patient to a State facility or another appropriate facility within six hours of receiving notification from an examining physician who is unable to have an emergency patient admitted to a facility involuntarily. It also prohibits a hearing officer from ordering the release of an individual who meets the requirements for involuntary admission on the grounds that the patient was kept at an emergency facility for more than 30 hours in violation of the law. I support this legislation.
HB420- Higher Education – Financial Aid – In-State Students
This bill will grant illegal immigrants eligibility to receive taxpayer dollars in the form of student financial aid. Essentially, the pool of students applying for need-based scholarships will increase, all competing for a finite amount of financial aid, funded and provided by taxpayers. I voted against this because of the detrimental effects on American students.
HB1461- Criminal Procedure – Immigration – Supporting All Families Everywhere (SAFE Act)
This bill is the new version of the sanctuary state bill. This bill encourages lawlessness by granting criminal or civil immunity to any state or local government official (Law Enforcement officer) for refusing to provide information to the federal government or another state that will be used for certain purposes, such as verifying immigration status. I do not support this bill. The likelihood of this bill moving in the last week is slim, meaning that for the second year we stopped Maryland from becoming a Sanctuary State.
HB532 - Elective Franchise - Registration and Voting at Precinct Polling Place
This bill opens our elections to potential voter fraud by allowing anyone to register to vote and vote on Election Day, at the polling precinct. This clearly negates any effort to validate legitimate voter registration and I voted no on this.
SB1048 - Secure and Accessible Registration Act
This bill will require the MVA to automatically register people to vote at the point of MVA transactions (license renewals, etc.) Current law already exists that require MVA employees to ask whether an individual would like to register. Again, this has the great potential to lead to voter fraud. I voted against this bill.