2007 Final Legislative Report

Midnight on April 9, 2007 marked the end of the first session of the 2007-2010 General Assembly term.  Close to 2,500 bills were introduced; approximately 800 passed.

This is the final legislative update for 2007.  However, it is possible that there may be some regulatory matters throughout the year that require MAWC’s attention.  In this case, this website will be updated to reflect any such matters.

Following are bills of interest with their respective outcomes:

SB 188/HB 632, Harford County – Deer Hunting on Private Lands – Sundays.  Several years ago, when Sunday hunting became law, a few counties decided they wanted to opt out.  Each subsequent year one or two of those counties have decided to opt in and allow Sunday hunting.  This bill will more than likely pass with no opposition since farmers and landowners are suffering crop losses resulting from deer overpopulation. Committees:  Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs; House Environmental Matters.  This legislation did not pass due to internal Harford County politics.  Expect it to return next year.

SB 341/HB 431, Creation of a State Debt – Montgomery County – Woodstock Equestrian Parkwould authorize a state debt not to exceed $500,000, the proceeds to be used as a grant to the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery County Parks Foundation, Inc. for the planning, design, construction and equipping of a public equestrian park.  Committees:  Senate Budget and Taxation; House Appropriations.  This project was included in the final capital bond loan bill (SB 56/HB 51) which passed both houses.

HB 601, St. Mary’s County-Deer Hunting on Private Property-Sundays, would allow only bow hunting on private property in St. Mary’s County on the last three Sundays in October, the second Sunday in November, and on the second Sunday of the deer firearms season.  Committee:  House Environmental Matters.  This bill passed both houses with the amendment that eliminated one Sunday.

HB 701, Natural Resources-Preservation of Parkland.  This bill would require the Governor to increase funding to preserve State forests and parkland.  Committee:  House Environmental Matters.  House Environmental Matters.  As expected, this bill was given an unfavorable report by the House Appropriations Committee due to its mandate that the Governor appropriate money for the purpose of preserving parkland.  In other words, it carried a big, continuous price tag.

SB 717, Somerset County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County – Deer Hunting on Private Lands – Sundays, is another local bill that would remove these three counties from the list of counties that currently do not allow Sunday firearms deer hunting and would also allow bowhunting on private property the last three Sundays in October and the second Sunday in November. Currently Dorchester County allows this.  This bill passed both houses.

The Maryland General Assembly’s website, www.mlis.state.md.us, is packed with all sorts of information.  You can find status of legislation, bill hearings, legislators’ biographical information, contact information, and much, much more.