News From Senator Ed Reilly’s Office

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The 441st Maryland General Assembly was gaveled to order on Wednesday, January 8, with both chambers welcoming new leadership to their bodies. The House of Delegates swore in Adrienne Jones of Baltimore County as speaker of the House. Speaker Jones will replace longtime Speaker Michael Busch, who passed away in April. Senator William “Bill” Ferguson of Baltimore City was sworn in as the new Senate president, replacing Senator Thomas V. “Mike” Miller. Senator Miller has served in the Senate chamber since 1975 and as its president for the past 33 years. He was the longest-serving Senate president in United States history. These leadership changes have set a new tone for the General Assembly. The business of the legislature will seamlessly continue.

I have sponsored four major bills this session, and would like to briefly explain to you the content of each piece of legislation.

The first bill you may have read about already in a local newspaper. It is entitled Maryland Income Tax Refunds – Warrant Intercept Program. This is an incentive program to clear non-felony summons to appear in court. In 2018, before the program’s sunset in 2019, over 200 tax refunds were held with over a 70% clear rate.

The second bill is the Guaranty Fund for Master Electricians. This is a consumer protection bill. If a licensed electrician damages a home or business, the property owner could apply for restitution if the contractor fails to perform his duties correctly.

My third bill is Enrollment in State Health Insurance Benefit Options – Optional Retirement Program – Employees with Optional Retirement. This allows retirees from different departments of state government to combine years of service to enhance the retirement benefits.

Finally, I am sponsoring a bill called Domestic Animals Left In Vehicles – Immunity. This bill will give anyone immunity if they see a domestic animal in distress when locked in a vehicle on a hot day. You must first call 911 to report the vehicle and the location of the vehicle. Once you have imparted this information to the 911 operator, you may break the car window to rescue the animal. Laws are in place to protect infants and children. This law would protect domestic animals.

If you have any questions pertaining to these pieces of legislation, or anything else I might be able to help you with, please contact me at edward.reilly@senate.state.md.us or call me at 410-841-3568.

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