ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The second month of the 2021 General Assembly session approaches a close, more and more bills are moving through both chambers. Additionally, several positive COVID tests at the statehouse led to a short-lived panic in Annapolis, and Governor Larry Hogan[R] testified before the U.S. Senate.

Stories of the Week

  • Several positive COVID-19 tests were reported from the Maryland statehouse this week, which subsequently led to six senate members missing a floor session, although two of those said their absence was not due to quarantine concerns. Senate President Ferguson said that later testing showed that these were false positives, which is are more likely due to the rapid testing method in use at the statehouse.
  • Governor Hogan testified before the U.S. Senate today Committee Environment and Public Works this week regarding legislation that aims at improving infrastructure throughout the country. In Governor Hogan’s testimony, he praised his administration’s efforts in pushing for various infrastructure initiatives and called for bipartisan action nationally on the issue.

Bills to Watch

HB 655 – County Commissioner Elections – District Voting – This bill replaces at-large County Commissioner election in five Maryland counties with a district representation system. This bill stems from long-running concerns of voter disenfranchisement due to these election procedures. Status: Passed 2nd Reading in the House of Delegates. 

SB 283/HB 156 – Student and Military Voter Empowerment Act – This bill would require the State and Local election boards to create initiatives aimed at increasing voter turnout amongst certain groups such as military personnel, students, and seniors. Status: Passed 3rd Reading in the House of Delegates.

SB 218 – Child Tax Credit and Expansion of Earned Tax Credit – This bill would create a refundable child tax credit for qualifying individuals.Status: Passed in House and the Senate and has been sent to the governor for approval.

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