Hogan signs 79 bills into law, meanwhile legislators give their thoughts on General Assembly session wrap up
MARYLAND– Tuesday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed 79 bipartisan bills into law.
“We haven’t always agreed 100 percent of the time, but I do really want to thank the legislators on both sides of the aisle for working together with us in a bipartisan way,” Governor Larry Hogan said.
Legislators we spoke with said this year’s session was an intense one and in some ways challenging.
“We had a record surplus, we’re not used to having that and that meant a lot more negotiations and budget work, a lot of initiatives, a lot of requests from communities,” Senator Addie Eckardt said.
And, those hurdles didn’t stop until late Monday night with some bills passing, while others were left behind. Senator Addie Eckardt said in her opinion a big downside this session is the Family and Medical Leave bill passing.
“Either the employee will have to make a contribution if there are less than 15 employees, but over than 15 employees and you don’t have a generous benefit package,” Sen. Eckardt said. “Then, the employer is going to have to foot that cost.”
This is something Delegate Christopher Adams isn’t thrilled about either.
“I gotta tell ya, I don’t know how many citizens were paying attention to what was going on but we are in the middle of the end of a pandemic, inflation at historic highs, there’s a geo-political war,” Del. Adams said.
Delegate Adams said Paid Family Leave wasn’t the only hot topic this year. A top issue was the serious debate over redistricting, one that was even heard in court.
“They redrew the lines more fairly and I was happy to be part of that process because I think it sets in motion a conversation that we don’t know how it’s going to end which on legislative redistricting,” Del. Adams said.
Senator Eckardt said she experienced some wins as well, like a Suicide Fatality Review Committee being approved.
“We have been working on that for three years and finally got it passed and really believe that’s going to be instrumental in kind of sorting out the opiate deaths from the straight suicide, deaths by suicide,” Sen. Eckardt said.
Now that session has wrapped up, legislators told us they will focus on election season. Delegate Christopher Adams said next year they we will see new faces in session, including a new Governor.
Delegate Adams also said he’s curious to see how much money will be in Maryland’s budget next year following this year’s surplus.
Meanwhile, Senator Eckardt said lawmakers should start early next year with pre-filling bills and make sure they have a team of people in both houses that could help their bills make it to the finish line.