Senate President: Bills Are Backed Up

With the “crossover” date approaching, Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson yesterday warned lawmakers that necessary health and safety measures are complicating the legislative process, which may jeopardize the fate of hundreds of bills awaiting committee action.

“There are going to be a lot of good bills this year… that may not make it through,” said Senate President Ferguson. “This is going to be a very hard year, it’s just very difficult to operate.”

In short — the crossover deadline is the General Assembly’s way of moving things along toward passage. Bills need to pass both the House and the Senate to become law – so during the 90-day session, a bill needs to be “on its way” with enough time to be considered by the opposite chamber, and, if necessary, the two chambers sort out their differences.

Bills not clearing their chamber of origin by March 22, the 69th day of the session, will be assigned to the “Rules Committee” in the second chamber. That means an additional procedural step, to get the bill re-assigned from that Committee to its proper committee of subject jurisdiction. With only three weeks left in the session, this alone is frequently enough to prevent the bill from being enacted into law.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.