2017 Bills to Watch


Engage Mountain Maryland keeps a close eye on legislation that is introduced to the General Assembly that's specific to Western Maryland. See the bills below that could be beneficial or detrimental to the local economy.

Select the bill number to link to the Maryland Government website for up-to-date information. Then, select the "Documents" tab to review the actual bill language. You can submit testimony on any bill to urge support or to denounce them. Garrett County Commissioner requested Legislation: SB591 (HB758) Entitled: Garrett County - Payment to Rescue Squads - Repeal Sponsored by: Senator Edwards Status: In the Senate - Hearing 2/21 at 1:00 p.m.

Repealing from the Public Local Laws of Garrett County specified provisions of law relating to specified payments to rescue squads by the Board of County Commissioners of Garrett County. SB640 (HB930) Entitled: Municipalities and Counties - Local Roads - Regulation of Travel by Heavy-Weight Vehicles Sponsored by: Senator Edwards Status: In the Senate - Hearing 2/22 at 1:00 p.m.

Authorizing a municipality and specified counties, with regard to short-term, high-intensity or high-usage travel by heavy-weight vehicles, to provide for the designation of local roads on which a heavy-weight vehicle is prohibited unless the hauler has satisfied specified local government requirements for the travel; and authorizing a municipality and specified counties to require a specified hauler to satisfy any specified local government requirements before conducting specified travel on local roads. Statewide Legislation: SB0273 Entitled: State Forest, State Park, and Wildlife Management Area Revenue Equity Program Sponsored by: Senator Edwards Status: In the Senate - Hearing 2/15 at 1:00 p.m. (Budget and Taxation)

Prohibiting a county from receiving specified revenues derived from a State forest or State park reserve and concession operations within a county if the county receives specified payments in a fiscal year; requiring specified payments to counties for State forests, State parks, and wildlife management areas that are exempt from the property tax; providing for a payment of $250,000 for each open space unit in specified counties beginning in fiscal year 2019; etc. SB0396 Entitled: Natural Resources - Protection and Restoration of State-Owned Lakes Sponsored by: Senator Edwards Status: In the Senate - Hearing 2/14 at 1:00 p.m.

Establishing the State Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund as a special, nonlapsing fund; specifying the purpose of the Fund is to protect and restore State-owned lakes; requiring the Department of Natural Resources to develop a specified budget; requiring any interest earnings of the Fund be credited to the Fund; requiring the Department, in coordination with local governments, organizations, and citizens, to develop an annual work plan that prioritizes and details projects that will receive funding from the Fund; etc.

SB740 (HB1325) Entitled: Oil and Natural Gas - Hydraulic Fracturing - Prohibition Sponsored by: Senator Zirkin Status: In the Senate - Hearing 2/28 at 1:00 p.m.

Prohibiting a person from engaging in the hydraulic fracturing of a well for the exploration or production of oil or natural gas in the State; repealing a provision of law that requires the Department of the Environment to adopt specified regulations; and repealing a provision of law that prohibits the Department from issuing a specified permit until October 1, 2017. SB0787 (HB973) Entitled: Garrett County Commissioners - Marijuana Facilities - Location Sponsored by: Senator Edwards Status: In the Senate - Hearing canceled Status: In the House - Hearing 3/03 at 1:00 p.m.

Authorizing the County Commissioners of Garrett County to enact a local law and adopt regulations relating to the location of any marijuana facility in Garrett County. SB0796 Entitled: Economic Development - County Economic Development Tax Incentives Program and One Maryland Tax Credit Sponsored by: Senator Edwards Status: In the Senate - Hearing 3/07 at 1:00 p.m.

Establishing the County Economic Development Tax Incentives Program to encourage businesses to locate and expand in specified counties of the State; providing that after a business is designated as a qualified business, the business is eligible for a specified State property tax exemption, income tax subtraction modification, and sales and use tax exemption; authorizing a county and municipal corporation to provide a specified exemption from the county and municipal corporation property tax; etc. SB862 Entitled: Environment - Hydraulic Fracturing - Moratorium and Referenda Sponsored by: Senator Conway Status: In the Senate - Hearing 2/28 at 1:00 p.m.

Prohibiting the Department of the Environment from issuing a permit for the hydraulic fracturing of a well for the exploration or production of natural gas in the State until October 1, 2019, and only under specified circumstances; prohibiting a person from engaging in hydraulic fracturing in a local jurisdiction unless the local jurisdiction has submitted to a referendum of the voters of the local jurisdiction a specified question and a majority of the voters have voted in a specified manner; etc. HB863 Entitled: State Agricultural and Conservation Property Interests - Solar Facilities (Right to Solar Farm) Sponsored by: Delegate Barve Status: In the House - Hearing 2/22 at 1:00 p.m.

Exempting a specified facility that generates electricity by utilizing solar energy from specified development restrictions under an agricultural land preservation easement; altering the limitation on the percentage of the land subject to an agricultural land preservation easement that may be used for the generation of electricity from solar energy; and authorizing the Maryland Environmental Trust to lease properties for the generation of electricity under specified circumstances. SB0980 Entitled: Environment - Natural Gas and Oil Interest Restitution Fund Sponsored by: Senator Edwards Status: In the Senate - Hearing 3/07 at 1:00 p.m.

Establishing the Natural Gas and Oil Interest Restitution Fund as a special, nonlapsing fund; specifying the purpose of the Fund; requiring the Department of the Environment to administer the Fund; requiring the State Treasurer to hold the Fund and the Comptroller to account for the Fund; specifying the contents of the Fund; specifying the purpose for which the Fund may be used; requiring that a specified owner of a natural gas or oil interest make a specified demonstration in order to receive compensation from the Fund; etc. HB1387 Entitled: Criminal Law - Hydraulic Fracturing - Prohibition Sponsored by: Delegate Kramer Status: In the House - Hearing 2/22 at 1:00 p.m. (Environment and Transportation)

Prohibiting the use of hydraulic fracturing for any purpose; and providing that a violation is a misdemeanor and is subject to, for a first conviction, imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $50,000, and for each subsequent conviction, imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $100,000.

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