June 2012 Issue
The Maryland General Assembly held its three-day Special Session last month to complete work on the FY 2013 state budget that was left unfinished during the 2012 Regular Session that ended in April. With the passage of the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (SB 1301) and the State and Local Revenue and Financing Act of 2012 (SB 1302), the so-called “doomsday” budget cuts were averted for FY13 and the state’s structural deficit will be reduced by $560 million, essentially halved.
The Governor has appointed a workgroup to examine the issue of expanding legalized gambling to 6 locations in the state and to allow table games along with slot machines. The workgroup is scheduled to meet 3 times and if there is consensus on moving legislation forward, another special session could be called the week of July 9th. The reason proponents want the bill passed this summer is to ensure it gets on the November ballot, as these changes to the State Constitution require voter approval.
The month of May saw numerous bill signings of Public Policy Partners’ clients’ successful legislation. Some are shown here. We will show you more in next month’s newsletter and we intend to have all of them on our website soon too.
The ACLU of Maryland saw its landmark social media privacy bill signed (SB 433/HB 964).
NCADD-Maryland’s support of HB 96 will allow more people with substance abuse problems who are in the criminal justice system access to addiction treatment.
The Public Justice Center’s Just Kids Campaign pushed through HB 1122 requiring the Department of Juvenile Services to issue a report detailing a number of juvenile justice reforms.
The Public Justice Center’s tenant advocacy team succeeded in passing legislation to establish a workgroup led by the Public Service Commission to make recommendations on how to prevent the cut-off of utilities to tenants whose landlords do not pay the bill.
Labor, Licensing and Regulation announced that Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez will take on the new job of Chief of Staff for Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Deputy Secretary Scott R. Jensen is the interim secretary.