The first month of the 433th session of the Maryland General Assembly has been eventful, with hundreds of bills being introduced, including bills addressing transportation, medical marijuana, voter registration, smoking and bow hunting.
Go Montgomery! Transportation Initiative, a huge priority for Montgomery County, according to Del. Kirill Reznik (D-39), is currently stalled. The bill would ensure there is enough funding for programs like the Metro’s purple line, the Watkins Mill line interchange and the red line extension.
Reznik said they are looking for ways to get the conversation started again.
The medical marijuana bill has been on the docket for years without any immediate plans by the governor to move that bill forward.
Under the bill, co-sponsored by Reznik, marijuana would be prescribed by a doctor and sold at approved places.
Reznik has also proposed a referendum that will allow voter registration on Election Day.
“Maryland is at top of states for voter states, but the states that do better than us are those states that have Election Day voter registration, so I’m really focused on making sure that every Marylander who is entitled to vote is registered to vote. That’s a big initiative and I’ve been working on this bill for years and the governor has taken an interest in it
I’m excited about that,” Reznik said.
There is an addition to the nuisance abatement laws in Montgomery County that will allow people living in multi-dwelling buildings to take legal action if neighbors are smoking in their building and the smoke is moving into their apartment.
The Montgomery County Archery Hunter Safety Zone will decrease the distance archery or weapon may be fired near a building occupied by humans from 150 yards to 50 yards.
“The reason I am not in support of this bill is threefold, a lot of deer in Montgomery county, deer carry ticks and may have lime disease, and it’s intended to control deer population with more hunting. While I agree it may decrease the population, we need a tangible deer management bill and there are many things we can do and decreasing the safety zone is not a good approach,” said Del. Shane Robinson, (D-39).
Robinson is in support of making the Chesapeake Conservation Core Program permanent. The program is similar to programs like AmeriCorps and takes people out of university and mixes them with environmental organizations that are focused on Chesapeake Bay clean up and preservation.
Although gambling is legal in Maryland, playing a game of poker for cash is illegal. The Home Poker Law would make it legal to play poker with friends with money involved.
“If they’re not going to enforce it, they might as well let people play it will also apply to all home games. Most people understand that it is not gambling expansion but letting people do what they’re already doing. I am simply hoping that people can play at home with friends,” Reznik said.
Proposed gun control laws have not been heard yet, and both the House and Senate are believed to have enough votes to pass a death penalty repeal.
Other bills directly affecting Montgomery County include funding to renovate the Laytonsville Fire Department, a grant for the Olney boys and girls club to help restore a Falling Green home, a move to prevent the theft of shopping carts, an expansion of healthcare, a bill to license behavioral analysts, a tax credit of up to $20,000 for retail gas station to buy generators and a bill to mandate tree experts to be licensed and insured.