The 2023 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly has come to an end. Now, Governor Wes Moore will decide which bills that have passed he will sign, veto, or let go into law without a signature.
Some of our priorities are on that list sitting on the Governor’s desk, others did not make it this year. Here is a quick synopsis of those that passed.
Bills that passed
- Smart Energy Solutions: Updates to the state’s low income energy efficiency program to set clear goals and planning to better serve low income Marylanders with home energy efficiency improvements. The bills (SB144/HB169) are sponsored by Senate Chair Brian Feldman and Del. Lorig Charkoudian.
- Smart Energy Solutions: The POWER Act to expand offshore wind generation and make necessary upgrades to the grid. The bills (SB781/HB793) are sponsored by State Sen. Katie Fry Hester and Del. Lorig Charkoudian.
- Don’t Trash Maryland: A bill requiring producers to bear financial responsibility for recycling the packaging waste they create to reduce waste and save taxpayer money passed the Senate but was downsized into a study by the House of Delegates. The chambers reached a compromise which will result in a needs assessment completed by the end of 2024. The bills (SB222/HB284) are sponsored by State Sen. Malcolm Augustine and Del. Sara Love.
- Don’t Trash Maryland: A bill to expand the ability of farmers to compost on their land passed with UNANIMOUS support. On-farm composting is a great opportunity to address the issues of food waste, soil health, and carbon sequestration. The bills (SB262/HB253) are sponsored by State Sen. Jason Gallion and Del. Emily Shetty.
- Strengthening our Democracy: A bill to update and improve the ballot processing has passed both the State Senate and House. A similar bill was vetoed in 2022 by then Gov. Hogan. The bills (SB379/HB535) are sponsored by Senate Vice Chair Cheryl Kagan and Del. Jessica Feldmark.
- Protecting Public Health: A bill to update the reporting timeline for the Department of Agriculture on the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs for large Maryland farms passed the House with UNANIMOUS support. This bill will improve implementation of the 2019 Keep Antibiotics Effective Act which became law without the signature of then Gov. Hogan. The law ensures that farmers in Maryland restrict antibiotic use on livestock and poultry when animals are not sick and also collects important data regarding antibiotic use on farms. The bill (HB516) is sponsored by Del. Sara Love.
- Protecting Public Health: Trucks are some of the most polluting vehicles in the transportation sector. The Clean Trucks Act of 2023 requires manufacturers to produce zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024 and increase sales targets through 2035. The bills (SB224/HB23) are sponsored by State Sen. Malcolm Augustine and Del. Sara Love.