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The Rest of My Legislative Agenda 2024

The legislative session is currently in full swing and has been incredibly busy. I wanted to take a moment to personally reach out to you and provide an overview of the remaining items on my legislative agenda for this session.

I want to begin by bringing attention to a few bill proposals that I haven't discussed in previous newsletters.

HB 521 - St. Mary’s County – Public Ethics – Prohibition on Campaign Contributions From IndividuaRegistered Lobbyists

This is a bill I had originally drafted, but I am happy to say it was converted to a Delegation Bill. This bill simply prohibits a registered lobbyist who is engaged to lobby on behalf of a county government of St. Mary's County from making a personal political contribution to a member of the General Assembly who represents any part of St. Mary's County, a member of the Commissioners of St. Mary's County, or any other State or local official who is elected to represent only St. Mary's County.

HB610 - Food Service Facilities - Food Containing Insect Flour - Labeling

For the second consecutive year, I am presenting this bill to tackle the increasing prevalence of alternative proteins in our food system. It proposes transparent and standardized notification requirements on menus where cricket flour is used, ensuring consumer awareness and choice.

While cricket flour can offer numerous positive benefits as a sustainable protein source, it is crucial to ensure that consumers are well-informed about the ingredients in food products. Although some may embrace bug consumption, it is important to consider individuals who do not and those with allergies or dietary restrictions who may unknowingly consume insect-based ingredients, which could pose significant health risks.

HB 1132 - Drugs, Biological Products, and Devices – Off–Label Use – Promotion

This legislation allows pharmaceutical companies and doctors to discuss the legal and factual use of "off-label" medications, ensuring patients receive better treatments and care.

Off-label use, or "off-label prescribing," makes up about one-fifth of annual prescriptions. This practice involves legally prescribing medications for purposes, patient populations, or dosages that differ from the FDA's original approval. For example, aspirin, FDA-approved for pain, fever, and cardiovascular disease, is commonly used off-label as a prophylaxis for coronary disease in high-risk patients, including those with diabetes. Unfortunately, the FDA restricts how companies can share information about the already-legal use of their products with healthcare providers and payers, impacting patients. A recent survey found that approximately one-quarter of specialists and primary care physicians heavily consider FDA approvals for narrow indications in treatment decisions. Companies face prosecution and criminal penalties for "misbranding" by communicating off-label uses that fall outside federal requirements. However, sharing truthful and scientific information about off-label uses can benefit patients by expanding treatment options and providing new treatments sooner. Current restrictions contradict the rapid availability of healthcare information and infringe upon constitutionally protected speech.

HB955 - Motor Fuel Tax Rates – Consumer Price Index Adjustment – Repeal

I am again introducing legislation that decouples the gas tax from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), ensuring that this financial burden is not compounded by inflation. At a time when inflation is high and continuing to climb, it is unconscionable to expect taxpayers to shoulder a more significant burden at the pump.

HB1025 - Transportation equity, fairness - Republican House Caucus Initiative

This bill is supported by the republican caucus, and it also separates the gas tax from CPI. Moreover, it will prohibit the implementation of a mileage tax and establish requirements for transit systems to achieve farebox recovery, ensuring efficient public transportation that meets economic standards.

Your support and advocacy for these bills would be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to testify on any of these proposed bills, please get in touch with my office, and we will assist you throughout the process. Thank you for your time and dedication. Your involvement in the democratic process is fundamental to our shared future.

You can see the complete list of the legislation I have proposed and bills I have co-sponsored for the 2024 session here. https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Members/Details/morgan02