Of the 2,353 bills introduced in the 2011 General Assembly session, 707 passed. Following is final action on bills of interest to MAWC:
SB 45/HB 129, Natural Resources – Deer Hunting – Sundays. This is the bill that would allow DNR to establish Sunday hunting dates without legislative action. SB 45 was given an Unfavorable Report. No action was taken on HB 129. Since this is the second consecutive year that similar legislation was introduced and killed, I doubt it will be brought up again, at least not in the next several years.
SB 425/HB 294, Abuse or Neglect of Animals – Use of Rifle, Handgun, or Other Weapons – Penalties. This bill was introduced because someone shot a dog at an Anne Arundel County park a few months ago. Both bills had hearings but since no action was taken on either, they died in their respective committees.
SB 468/HB 625, Carroll County – Deer Hunting on Private Property – Sundays. These are local courtesy bills. This legislation passed and will most likely be signed into law by the Governor.
SB 839/HB 940, Counties – Kennel Licenses – Requirements for Breeders. This legislation does not affect MAWC’s activities. However, I reported on it because of all the interest shown in it. Its provisions are:
- A person must get a kennel license from local licensing agency if the person: Owns or has custody of 15 or more unspayed female dogs over the age of six months kept for the purpose of breeding the dogs and selling their offspring – and, sells dogs from six or more litters in a year.
- It goes on to require each county to collect and maintain a record of each kennel license issued in the county and report to the state once a year. Counties may establish addition fees to cover their costs.
This legislation passed and will most likely be signed into law by the Governor.
HB 301, Natural Resources – Suspension of Hunting Licenses and Privileges. This bill included “chasing fox” in the list of activities in which a person, who has been twice convicted of a hunting violation, cannot participate for a certain length of time. This bill was passed by the House of Delegates. The Senate EHE Committee had a hearing and took no further action on it. It’s dead. This is another bill that has now been introduced two consecutive years and probably will not be introduced again in the next several years at least.
HB 540, Montgomery County – Leghold or Body-Gripping Traps – Prohibition. This bill had a hearing but the committee took no action – it’s dead.
HB 994, Harford County – Deer Hunting on Private Property – Sundays. This bill passed the House 122-9 but died in the Senate.
HB 1284, Cecil County – Deer Hunting on Private Property – Sundays. This bill was dead on arrival.
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.