The Maryland Public Interest Research Group (Maryland PIRG), a non-profit, non-partisan advocate for the public interest, monitors the voting records of Maryland’s state legislators. Do your legislators support the public interest? Our 2017 State Legislative Scorecard reviews their votes on key public interest issues.
The bills selected for the Maryland PIRG legislative scorecard include some of the top issues we worked on this session including: public health, transportation, consumer protection, and democracy reforms.
Not sure who your State Senator and Delegates are? It’s easy to find out here.
You can find details for any bill by entering its number on the state website.
A 100 is the best possible score a lawmaker can receive on the scorecard; a 0 is the worst possible score. Scores are calculated by dividing number of votes with the public interest by total eligible votes.
In 2017 we scored 10 votes in the Senate, and 9 in the House of Delegates. This is because the Internet Consumer Privacy bill (SB1200) did not receive a vote in the House. In 2017 all 10 bills we scored were bills we wanted to pass.
- A plus (+) indicates a vote for the public interest on the bill.
- A negative (–) indicates a vote against the public interest on the bill.
- Abstentions (A) indicates an unexcused non-vote, and is scored as a (–).
- Excused absences (E), are not counted towards score.
2017 Bills Scored
The Maryland Legislative session wrapped up in April, and Maryland PIRG was proud to be a part of important public interest victories.
However, we were disappointed that the legislature failed to pass some critical measures to: ban toxic flame retardants (bill, our testimony); ensure out of state companies pay their share of taxes (bill); ban corporate campaign contributions (bill, our testimony); move the state towards Election Day voter registration (bill, our testimony); and reinstate online privacy protections striped by Congress (bill, our testimony).
- Keep Antibiotics Effective Act (SB422/HB602): Bans the routine use of antibiotics on animals that are not sick to protect public health from antibiotic resistance. This bill is now law. Sponsored by Senators Paul Pinsky and Shirley Nathan-Pulliam and Delegate A. Shane Robinson. This bill is now law. Bill Details. Maryland PIRG testimony.
Senate Vote: Passed 35-12
House Vote: Passed 132-6
- Testing for Lead in School Drinking Water (HB270): Requires Maryland schools to test for lead in school drinking water and calls for shut-off and remediation if lead is present. This bill is now law. Sponsored by Delegate Stephen Lafferty. This bill is now law. BIll Details. Maryland PIRG testimony.
Senate Vote: Passed 47-0
House Vote: Passed 117-23
- Farebox Recovery (HB271/SB484): Repeals a mandate that the Maryland Transit Authority must cover 35% of operating costs from fares. This bill is now law. Sponsored by Senator Madaleno and Delegate Brooke Lierman. This bill is now law. Bill Details. Maryland PIRG testimony.
Senate Vote: Passed 31-15
House Vote: Passed 85-50
- Free Credit Freezes (HB212/SB270): Allows for one free credit freeze for all Maryland consumers in order to protect from identity theft. This bill is now law. Sponsored by Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher. This bill is now law. BIll Details. Maryland PIRG testimony.
Senate Vote: Passed 46-0
House Vote: Passed 100-36
- Textbook Cost Savings Act (HB967): Textbook prices are rising four times faster than inflation. This bill provides a grant to the University System of Maryland for their Open Source Textbook Initiative to develop free open-source textbooks and incentivize professors to use them. This bill is now law. Sponsored by Senator Jim Rosapepe and Delegate William Frick. This bill is now law. Bill details.
Senate Vote: Passed 46-0
House Vote: Passed 132-3
- Ban on Lead and Mercury Wheel Weights (HB66): Bans the use and sale of lead or mercury in wheel weights. This bill is now law. Sponsored by Delegate Clarence Lam. This bill is now law. Bill details.
Senate Vote: Passed 32-14
House Vote: Passed 99-39
- Prescription Drug Price Gouging (HB631/SB415): Authorizes the Office of the Maryland Attorney General to take legal action to prevent price gouging by major drug corporations. This bill is now law. Sponsored by Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker of the House Michael Busch on behalf of Attorney General Brian Frosh. This bill is now law. Bill details.
Senate Vote: Passed 38-7
House Vote: 137-2
- Online Predatory Loans (SB527/HB1270): Closes loophole to stop online predatory lending to protect Maryland consumers. This bill is now law. Sponsored by Senator Mac Middleton and Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher. This bill is now law. Bill Details. Maryland PIRG Testimony
Senate Vote: Passed 40-5
House Vote: Passed 139-9
- Election Day Voter Registration (SB423/HB345): This Enables eligible voters to register to vote, fix problems with their registration, and vote on Election Day, and would need to be approved by voters at the ballot. While versions of the bill passed in both chambers, ultimately the bill failed. Sponsored by Senator Paul Pinsky and Delegate Kirill Reznik. Versions of this bill passed through both the Senate and House, but did not become law. Bill details. Maryland PIRG testimony.
Senate Vote: Passed 32-12
House Vote: Passed 88-49
- Internet Consumer Privacy (SB1200): Reinstates online privacy protections stripped by the U.S. Congress to stop internet service providers from selling consumer information. This bill did not receive a vote in the House. Sponsored by Senator Jim Rosapepe. This bill passed out of the Senate but not the house. Bill Details. Maryland PIRG testimony.
Senate Vote: Passed 34-13