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Legislative Wrap-up

2022 Legislative Wrap-up

As the year comes to an end, we are pleased to share the progress Maryland has made in public health policy. In 2022 the Maryland Public Health Association (MdPHA) weighed in on 42 bills, of which 22 passed thus far. Our determined representatives and partners made their voices heard on a variety of topics this year: establishing behavioral crisis response services, improving medical assistance programs for children and pregnant women, and even played a role in making Maryland a national leader in reducing climate change with the Climate Solutions Now Act, among many others. The following report describes the results of bills that MdPHA provided testimony for in the 2022 legislative session.

Bills Passed and Signed by the Governor or Enacted

Md Medical Assistance Program - Dental Coverage for Adults

This bill required the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide certain dental services to adults whose annual income is at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, and repeals provisions of the law requiring the implementation of a limited dental coverage pilot program to adult recipients in the Program.

SB150: Senators Augustine and Guzzone;  Passed in Senate

HB6: Delegates Cullison, McKay, Pendergrass, Pena-Melnyk, Bagnall, Belcastro, Bhandari, Carr, Chisholm, Hill, Johnson, Kaiser, Kelly, Kerr, Landis, R. Lewis, Rosenberg, Szeliga, and K. Young; Passed in House

Outcome: Approved by Governor

Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022

This bill requires the State to reduce greenhouse emissions to new statewide goals, to establish a statewide net-zero greenhouse gas emission goal, develop energy efficiency and emissions reductions requirements for buildings, require electric companies to increase their annual incremental energy savings, to establish zero-emissions requirements for vehicles in the State fleet and to establish the electric school bus pilot program.

SB528: Senators Pinsky, Ferguson, Kelley, Guzzone, Smith, Kagan, Waldstreicher, Lam, Washington, Patterson, Hester, Ellis, Zucker, Kramer, Hettleman, Young, Sydnor, Hayes, Watson, Beidle, Carter, Augustine, Elfreth, Feldman, Jackson, King, and Lee; Passed in Senate

Outcome: Enacted into Constitution

Cannabis Referendum

This bill establishes that on or after July 1, 2023, individuals in the state that are at least 21 years old may use and possess cannabis.

HB1: Delegate Clippinger; Passed in House

Outcome: Constitutional Amendment

 Public Schools - Grant Program to Reduce and Compost School Waste

This bill establishes a grant program in the State Department of Education to award to county boards of education and public schools to develop and implement programs to reduce food waste, and to establish composting of pre- and post- consumer waste. This requires the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education to review grant applications and select recipients.

SB124: Senator Hettleman; Passed in Senate

HB0150: Delegates Charkoudian and Solomon; Passed in House

Outcome: Approved by the Governor but funding was stripped from the bill.

Pharmacists - Aid for the Cessation of Tobacco Product Use

This bill authorizes pharmacists who meet the requirements and regulations of the State Board of Pharmacy to prescribe and dispense nicotine replacement therapy medications for the purpose of aiding in tobacco cessation.

SB62: Senator Washington; Passed in Senate

HB28: Delegates Bhandari and R. Lewis; Passed in House

Outcome: Approved by the Governor 

Environment - PFAS Chemicals - Prohibitions and Requirements (George “Walter” Taylor Act)

This bill prohibits the use, manufacture, selling and distribution of Class-B fire-fighting foam that contains intentionally added PFAS chemicals to certain rug or carpets, and certain food packaging designed for direct contact with food in the State on or after January 1, 2024.

SB273: Senators Elfreth, Beidle, Lam, and Bailey; Passed in Senate

HB 275: Delegates Love, Rogers, Bagnall, Clark, Crosby, Hill, Jackson, Korman, Lehman, and R. Lewis; Passed in House

            Outcome: Approved by the Governor

Behavioral Health Crisis Response Services - 9-8-8 Trust Fund

This bill establishes the special and nonlapsing 9-8-8 Trust fund to provide reimbursement for costs associated with designating and maintaining 9-8-8 as a universal telephone number for suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. The Maryland Department of Health must designate 9-8-8 as the primary phone number for the State’s behavioral health crisis hotline and report on the expenditure of funds on December 1 of each year.

SB241: Senators Augustine, Beidle, Benson, Feldman, Hayes, Hershey, Jennings, Kelley, Klausmeier, Kramer, and Ready; Passed in Senate

HB293: Delegates K. Young, Belcastro, Charkoudian, Forbes, Healey, Kaiser, Kerr, McComas, Reznik, Ruth, Pendergrass, Pena-Melnyk, Bagnall, Bhandari, Carr, Chisholm, Cullison, Hill, Johnson, Kelly, Kipke, Landis, R. Lewis, Morgan, Rosenberg, Saab, and Sample-Hughes; Passed in House

Outcome: Approved by the Governor

 Dedicated Bus Lane Enforcement

This bill prohibits persons from driving a motor vehicle in dedicated bus lanes unless authorized by local jurisdiction, requires the City of Baltimore to issue a new competitive request for proposals to select a contractor to carry out certain provisions of the act, and requires the Baltimore City Police Department to issue a warning notice in place of citations in the first 45 days that bus lane monitoring in in operation.

HB53: Delegates R. Lewis, Amprey, Boyce, Lierman, and Prettyman; Passed in House

Outcome: Approved by Governor

Maryland Health Benefit Exchange - Small Business and Nonprofit Insurance Subsidies Program

This bill requires the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to convene a work group to study and make recommendations on the establishment of a Small Business and Nonprofit Health Insurance Subsidies Program to provide subsidies to small businesses and nonprofit employers and their employees for the purchase of health benefit plans. The workgroup must submit its report to the Governor and committees by October 1, 2022.

SB632: Senators Hester, Feldman, and Benson; Passed in Senate

HB709:  Delegates R. Lewis, Lierman, and K. Young; Passed in House

Outcome: Approved by Governor

Public Safety - Untraceable Firearms

This bill alters the definition of “firearm” to include an unfinished frame or receiver. This prohibits individuals from purchasing, receiving, selling, offering to sell, and possessing a firearm unless it is required by federal law, and has been, imprinted with a certain number in a certain manner. This law would go into effect on March 1, 2023.

SB387: The President and Senator Lee; Passed in Senate

HB425: The Speaker and Delegate Lopez; Passed in House

Outcome: Enacted into Maryland Constitution

Cannabis Reform

This bill requires the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission, in consultation with certain stakeholders, to conduct a baseline study of cannabis use in the State by March 1, 2023. It also alters provisions on the penalties, charging procedures, expungement, shielding, and sentencing of cannabis related offenses, and establishes the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council and a Cannabis Public Health Fund.

HB837: Delegate Clippinger; Passed in House

Outcome: Enacted into Maryland Constitution

Cannabis - Regulation - Revisions (Delta-8 bill)

This bill prohibits the sale of products containing Delta-8- or delta-10-tetrahydrocannabinol to individuals under the age of 21. It also requires the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission, in consultation with the State Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders to make recommendations on the classification and regulation of tetrahydrocannabinols other than Delta-9 and some other manufactured products.

SB788: Senator Feldman; Passed in Senate

HB1078: Delegates Pena-Melnyk, Pendergrass, Bagnall, Bhandari, Carr, Cullison, Hill, Johnson, Kaiser, Kelly, Kerr, R. Lewis, Rosenberg, Sample-Hughes, and K. Young; Passed in House

OutcomeL Enacted into Maryland Constitution

Maryland Medical Assistance Program - Children and Pregnant Women (Healthy Babies Equity Act)

This bill requires the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide comprehensive medical care and services to noncitizen pregnant women who would qualify for the program if not for their immigration status and having children up to the age of 1 year.

SB778: Senator Lam; Passed in Senate

HB1080: Senator Pena-Melnyk; Passed in House

Outcome: Enacted into Maryland Constitution

Bills That Did Not Make it Out of Committee, Were Withdrawn, or Had Unfavorable Reports: and Signed by the Governor or Enacted

Health - Food Service Facilities - Beverage Options With Children’s Meals

This bill requires that food service facilities that offer children’s meals include water, milk or nondairy milk alternative, or a beverage of 8oz or less of 100% fruit or vegetable juice combined with still or sparkling water and no added sweeteners, as default beverages included with a meal.

SB263: Senator Beidle; Passed in Senate

HB661: Delegates Fennell and D. Barnes; Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters

Cigarettes, Tobacco Products, and Electronic Smoking Devices - Local Law Authorization

This bill authorizes a county or municipality to enact and enforce local laws regulating the sale and distribution of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices, except for the issuance of some licenses and the imposition of certain taxes.

SB99: Senator Kramer; In the Senate

HB477: Delegate Fennell; Withdrawn by Sponsor

Environment - Single-use Plastics Restrictions

This bill would prohibit food service businesses from offering customers who order carryout or delivery certain single-use food or beverage products without request from the customer.

HB135: Delegate Love; Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters

Constitutional Amendment - Beer and Wine Licenses - Retail Grocery Establishments

This bill proposes an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to establish that retail groceries in the State can maintain a license authorizing the sale of beer and wine products to customers who are at least 21 years old.

SB603: Senator McCray; Unfavorable Report by Education, Health and Environmental Affairs

HB506: Delegate Qi; Withdrawn by Sponsor

PG Co-Alcoholic Beverages - Licenses for Supermarkets PG 304-22

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners for Prince George’s County to issue Class A beer and light wine licenses for use in grocery stores certified by the Prince George’s County Council as being located in a food desert or food swamp. This bill specifies that no more than three of these licenses may be issued in any single legislative district.

HB356: Prince George’s County Delegation; Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters

Pesticide Regulation - Transfer to Department of Environment

This bill transfers the regulation of Maryland’s pesticides, plant disease and mosquitos from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Environment.

SB268: Prince George’s County Delegation; Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters

HB387:Delegates Ruth, Boyce, Foley, D. Jones, and Lehman; Withdrawn by Sponsors

Baltimore City - Alcoholic Beverages-Sales in Grocery Stores and Supermarkets - Referendum

This bill authorizes the Baltimore City Board of License Commissioners to issue Class A beer and light wine licenses to grocery stores, chain stores, supermarkets and discount houses.

SB618: Senator McCray; Unfavorable Report by Education, Health and Environmental Affairs

Baltimore City - Cigarettes, Other Tobacco Products, and Electronic Smoking Devices - Local Laws Authorization

This bill authorizes Baltimore City to enact and enforce laws regulating the sale and distribution of cigarettes, tobacco products and electronic smoking devices.

SB249: Senator Hatyes; Withdrawn by Sponsor

HB442: Delegate Rosenberg; Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters

Alcoholic Beverages - Class A Licenses - Retail Grocery Establishments

This bill allows an exception to the prohibition on issuing Class A beer and wine licenses for use in or in conjunction with grocery stores.

HB858: Delegate Boyce; Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters

Worcester County - Alcoholic Beverages - Class L License

This bill establishes a Class L beer, wine and liquor license in Worcester county and authorizes the Board of License Commissioners to issue this license to those who hold a manufacturer’s license. The license specifies that holders may are authorized to sell or provide samples of beer, wine and liquor for on-premises consumption under certain circumstances.

SB351: Delegate Carozza; In the Senate

HB1123: Worcester County Delegation; Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters

Harford County - Alcoholic Beverages - Class L License

This bill establishes a Class L beer, wine and liquor license in Harford County and authorizes the Board of License Commissioners to issue this license to those who hold a manufacturer’s license. The license specifies that holders may are authorized to sell or provide samples of beer, wine and liquor for on-premises consumption under certain circumstances and requires the holder to provide pre-packaged snacks.

SB1000: Harford County Senators; Hearing Canceled

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