ANNAPOLIS – Senator Richard F. Colburn (R. Eastern Shore) reported on events that are taking place in Annapolis. Senator Colburn stated, “February 7th will mark the one-third mark, 30th day of the 2014 Session of the Maryland General Assembly. Thus far, nearly 1,200 bills have been introduced (about 600 Senate Bills and over 600 House bills).
Here is an update on some of my bills:
Senate Bill 73 (Talbot County – Chesapeake Bay Critical Area – Prosecution or Civil Suit for Certain Violations) passed the Senate 45 – 0. This bill will require a criminal prosecution or a suit for a civil penalty for a violation of local laws relating to environmental protection or natural resource conservation occurring in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area in Talbot County to be brought within 3 years after the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays or the local authorities in fact knew or reasonably should have known of the violation.
Senate Bill 442 (Vehicle Laws – Law Enforcement Vehicles – Tinted Windows) will be heard in the Senate Judicial Proceeding Committee (JPR) on February 18 at 1:00. It would exempt a vehicle used by a law enforcement agency from a prohibition against affixing specified tinting materials to a vehicle’s windows.
Senate Bill 443 (Vehicle Laws – Hidden Compartments – Prohibition and Penalties) will be heard in the Senate JPR on February 18 at 1:00. This bill prohibits a person from knowingly creating, building, or installing a hidden compartment, or knowingly owning or operating a motor vehicle that contains a hidden compartment. The intent to use an enclosure to hide a person or contraband may be inferred by the discovery in the enclosure of a person or contraband, or evidence of the earlier presence of a person or contraband. A violation of the bill is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to $10,000 and/or up to two years imprisonment.
Senate Bill 445 (Alcoholic Beverages – Micro-Breweries – Annual Production Limit) will be heard in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee (EHEA) on February 21 at 1:00. This bill would increase to 60,000 the limit on the number of barrels of malt beverages that a micro-brewery may collectively brew, bottle, or contract for in a calendar year. This bill would enable Salisbury’s Evolution Brewery (EVO’s) to grow their business and meet their business plan.
Senate Bill 476 (Criminal Procedure – Seeking Medical Assistance for Another who Ingested Alcohol or Drugs – Minors) will be heard in the Senate JPR Committee on February 25 at 1:00. This bill would provide that a minor who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for another person who is experiencing a medical emergency after ingesting alcohol or drugs may not be charged with or prosecuted for drug possession or underage possession of alcohol. This bill can be compared to a law that grants immunity to mothers who give their babies away without any criminal charges.
Senate Bill 477 (Education – Talbot County Board of Education – Lease of Public School Facility) will be held on February 12 at 1:00. This bill would authorize the Talbot County Board of Education to lease a public school facility to an organization that operates a community-based educational and recreational program. This would help facilitate the Talbot County YMCAs expansion in St. Michaels.