Lawmakers Getting Busy As Md. General Assembly Heads Into The Home Stretch

Adjournment Sine Die is Monday, April 8th at midnight.

State Senator Karen Lewis Young   (Photo from Md. General Assembly)

Annapolis, Md (KM) It’s expected to get very busy for the reminder of the 2024 Maryland General Assembly Session which adjourns for the year on Monday, April 8th at midnight.

Lawmakers held crossover day on Monday, March 18th. That’s when bills must pass at least one chamber of the General Assembly in order to have a chance at becoming law. “We only have two weeks to hear all the bills that were moved in the opposite chamber,” says Frederick County State Senator Karen Lewis Young. “And, of course, we only have two weeks to cross the street and have our bills heard.”

A number of bills sponsored by Frederick County legislators and those endorsed by the full delegation crossed over into their opposite chambers last week. One sponsored by Senator Lewis Young is called Lochlin’s Law. “which is in honor of Lochlin DeSantis. That was already voted out of committee, and that should go to the floor this week.” she says. Lochlin was a five-year-old Frederick boy who died in 2020 because he was not diagnosed properly for sepsis.

This bill, if passed, would require hospitals and other health care centers to develop procedures and protocols to diagnose and test for sepsis for patients who display those symptoms. That would allow these patients to get treatment immediately Sepsis is when the body’s immune system overacts to an infection.  It can lead to bodily  organs shutting down.

Another bill which made it out of the Senate covers superfund sites. “which was really Frederick motivated; which would require that any sale of a property within a mile of a superfund site would have to have disclosure of that,”; Lewis Young says. She says that resulted from a proposal to build houses on property  on the other side of the fence from Fort Detrick’s superfund site.

A similar bill sponsored by Frederick County Delegate Kris Fair also passed the House of Delegates during Crossover Day.

The Frederick County Legislative Delegation gave its support to a bill covering truancy, and it passed the Senate on Crossover Day. “That is one of the bills I feel very strongly about because that will assist our young people who have a record of truancy to get them help and support to get them back into school again,” says Senator Lewis Young.

The legislation would set up a Truancy Reduction Pilot Program in Frederick County’s juvenile court system. “The way Frederick County has implemented the program, the emphasis is on collaboration, encouragement, reinforcement It’s not punitive,” she says.

Senator Lewis Young says the legislators will be hearing all the bills that that have crossed over from  their opposite chambers, and lawmakers will be crossing into their opposite chambers to testify in support of their legislation. “As we get closer to April 8th, we’ll probably have double sessions both in committee and on the floor because we’ll just be voting constantly,” she said. “And at a certain point, we won’t even be hearing bills any more. We’ll just be voting..”

By Kevin McManus