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This site has the information we posted for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly session.

For 2014 session information, please visit our new site at MDLegWatch.com.

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If you subscribe to our site, we will continue to send stub posts through this site but they will not be timely.  For full posts, please visit MDLegWatch.com.

2014 bills

MD State House - Original Pic by MDLegWatch.com

We’re starting to post write ups on 2014 pre-filed legislation at Maryland Legislative Watch’s new site.


If you’re subscribed to Maryland Legislative Watch through the old WordPress.com site, please consider subscribing through the new site.  We’ll keep this site updated but it won’t be as timely as the new site.

Have a happy and safe new year!

Do You Have a Copy of the MD Constitution?

The Maryland Constitution is a long document – much longer than the United States Constitution.  While a pocket US Constitution is easy to carry around, the Maryland Constitution is more suitable for a book bag or briefcase.  However, the most important part, the Declaration of Rights, can …

New Maryland Laws, Effective October 1, 2013

Dept. of Legislative Services

Dept. of Legislative Services

Maryland, in 2013, will see 692 new “chapters” or entries into Maryland code (many are repetitive, so the number is somewhat misleading).  We all know about SB 281 and hand held cell phones being a primary offense while driving.  But the General Assembly passed much more – here are some that are in effect on Tuesday, October 1.

HB 179 increases the number and types of vaccines that pharmacists may administer.  It also mandates that all vaccines administered by pharmacists be reported to the state’s ImmuNet program.  The state will now have a pharmacist administered vaccine registry.  This passed unanimously.

HB 489 adds more state and local employees to the protected class – meaning, it’s more of a crime to threaten or harass them than it is to threaten or harass the People.  Only Delegate Oaks voted no – the rest of the House and Senate approved of making one set of rules for certain government employees, and one for the People.

One of the more egregious bills is HB 653, where the General Assembly voted to allow Charles County code enforcers to both find code violations and arrange to have the violations fixed.  The bill’s text (changes to the law are in CAPS):

The County Commissioners of Charles County may:

(1) provide penalties for a violation of the building code; AND


Per the government of Schertz, TX, this is the definition of abatement:

Continue reading

Do you have your copy of the Maryland Constitution?

The Maryland Constitution is a long document – much longer than the United States Constitution.  While a pocket US Constitution is easy to carry around, the Maryland Constitution is more suitable for a book bag or briefcase.  However, the most important part, the Declaration of Rights, can be printed and fit in any pocket.

All Marylanders may contact the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) and request two copies of the Maryland Constitution be sent to their homes.


410-946-5400 or 301-970-5400

TTY:    410-946-5401 or 301-970-5401

You may email the DLS.

In person:

Legislative Services Building

90 State Circle

Annapolis, MD 21401

2012 General Assembly Voting Records – we have them, too!

Dept. of Legislative Services

Dept. of Legislative Services

Maryland Legislative Watch is pleased to announce that we have the 2012 voting records for each Maryland Delegate and Senator!  This is in addition to the previously posted 2013 voting records.

Each record is linked and will display as a .pdf file.  Votes listed are floor votes, only.

Please take some time to view your representatives’ votes.  Does their rhetoric match their voting records?  How did they vote on issues important to you?


  • First Reading means, “A bill as printed for the first time with its assigned bill number.”
  • Third Reading means, “A bill that is printed after second reading in the chamber of origin, including adopted committee or floor amendments.”
  • Special Orders means, “Floor action on a bill is postponed until a definite date or time.”
  • Any other terms you don’t understand?  The Maryland General Assembly (MGA) website has a, “legislative lingo” file that may answer your questions.
  • Third Reading may include amendment votes.  For bills with many amendments, e.g. HB 987 (the “rain tax”), there will be many votes.  You’ll have to visit the MGA website for more details on those bills.
  • Don’t know who your representatives are?  Go to mdelect.net to find out.

These files are presented for information purposes by Maryland Legislative Watch.  Why did we spend all this time and energy collecting this information?  We believe that sunshine is the best disinfectant.  Please use this information to research your current legislators and candidates.  Please also spread the word, so others may research their legislators and candidates.

MD General Assembly – 2013 Stats

Here are some data we found worthy of remark.

House Bills 2013House statistics:

  • Bills introduced in the House:  1535
  • Bills with Third Readings:  571
  • Bills passed:  570
  • 99.82% of bills with Third Readings, passed
  • 37.14% of bills introduced in the House, passed

Not all of those bills passed both chambers.  When House bills are passed, they cross into the Senate.

House Bills in Senate 2013House bills in the Senate:

  • 455 of 570 had Third Readings
  • 454 of those 455 bills passed the Senate
  • 99.78% of Third Read House bills passed the Senate
  • 79.6% of bills that passed the House, passed the Senate (including those with Amendments)

Senate Bills 2013Senate statistics:

  • Bills introduced in the Senate:  1072
  • Senate bills with Third Readings:  450
  • Senate bills passed by the Senate:  448
  • 99.56% of bills with Third Readings, passed
  • 41.79% of bills introduced by Senate, passed Senate

After these bills pass the Senate, they cross over into the House.

Senate Bills in House 2013Senate bills in House:

  • Senate bills heard in House (First Reading):  448
  • Senate bills with Third Readings in House:  330
  • Senate bills passed in House:  330
  • 100% of Senate bills with Third Readings in the House, passed
  • 73.66% of Senate bills crossing into the House, passed

What does all of this mean?  Simply put, once a bill comes out of committee in the House or the Senate, the chance of it passing is nearly 100%.  Only 3 bills that made it out of committee failed in their House of origin.  This is why we stress that it is so important to fight bills in committee.

In 2014, the website will be improved, we’ll make it even easier to contact the committees, and when more Marylanders make their voices heard early in the process, we’ll have even more success.   Here’s to 2014!