What to expect during today's General Assembly session
By By Baltimore Sun staff
Apr 05, 2014 at 1:14 PM
Here are some of the things expected to happen as the General Assembly goes into one of the body's busiest days of the session.
• Marijuana: The House will debate marijuana decriminalization, and it's likely that lawmakers could have a deal by the end of the day. This morning, the House Judiciary Committee approved amendments to the marijuana bill that restored decriminalization.
PRELIMINARY APPROVALS IN THE HOUSE:
• Slavery vote: The House is expected to give initial approval to rescind a 150-year-old vote that endorsed the institution of slavery.
• Salaries: The House is scheduled to consider raises for House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, but an aide said those votes could get held over until Monday.
• Bail reform: The House solution to resolving the lawyers-at-bail-hearings-issue is scheduled to be on the house floor for an initial vote. It's one of the thorniest topics tackled by lawmakers this year, and is likely to drag out until Monday.
THIRD READING IN THE HOUSE:
• Collegedevelopment: The House could grant final approval to bills that would offer tax incentives to develop property around colleges. House could also grant final approval that to a new tax-credit program that effectively allows corporations to invest in endowment chairs at universities in lieu of paying some taxes. These bills were part of the business climate package pushed by Miller and Busch at the beginning of the session.
• Minimumwage: The Maryland Senate voted 34-13 to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2018. It's closer to finish line, but House must approve changes.
• Wind power: Haggling continues over whether to allow an Eastern Shore wind farm that the Southern Maryland delegation hopes to block.
• Drunken driving: The Senate will discuss harsher penalties for a third driving while impaired offense, which is a charge for drivers whose alcohol content is beneath the threshold to be charged with a DUI.
• Film tax incentive: We're waiting to see what the House Ways and Means Committee does with the Senate's proposal to let film companies get up to $18.5 million in tax credits for filming in the state.