Md. General Assembly Coming Up On ‘Crunch Time’

Legislators are trying to get bills passed before adjournment on April 8th.

Frederick County Delegate Jesse Pippy (Photo from Md. General Assembly)

Annapolis, Md (KM) The 2024 Maryland General Assembly is nearing the end.  Monday, March 18th was Crossover Day, where bills, to have a chance of enactment,  must “cross over” to their opposite chambers. Frederick County Delegate Jesse Pippy says it’s now “crunch time.” “The overwhelming majority of bills that are going to pass have crossed over from one chamber to the other. So House bills are now in the Senate; Senate bills are in the House. And the committees are now having to review and vote on the other chamber’s bills,” he says.

Pippy says a number of Frederick County bills made into their opposite chambers. “One related to supporting our breweries and distilleries,  which you may know,  we have the most breweries, wineries and distilleries in the state. We have several of those bills that help our small businesses. We have a tax credit,” he says. “We have a bill that helps with hunting. We have a bill that addresses a truancy court for Circuit Court judge.”

Now legislators from one chamber will be trying to persuade lawmakers in their opposite chamber to vote for the bills which were just sent over. “In order for a Senate bill to become law, the House has to also vote for it. And in order for the House bill to become law, the Senate has to vote for it. So what ends of happening is there tends to be a lot of horse trading and back and forth because they need our help in the House, and we need their help in the Senate,” says Pippy.

But sometimes that process can run into some problems. “It’s gets a little interesting and a little crazy at times toward the end because the Senate may not want to pass a bill. And the House will say ‘hey look, if you’re not going to pass our bill, we may not move yours.’ So it ends up being a little bit of back and forth,” says Pippy.

However, Pippy says he’s confident the Frederick County bills will pass and make it to the Governor’s desk for his signature. “So I had five bills, personal bills, move over from the House to the Senate that are kind of going through the process. The Delegation had, I think, 13 or 14 bills move from one chamber to the next. So I do feel confident that Delegation members plus Delegation bills, there will be some legislative success. But a lot could happen between now and the end.”

The 2024 Maryland General Assembly will adjourn for the year on Monday, April 8th at midnight.

By Kevin McManus