The Maryland General Assembly’s bill introduction deadlines have passed. Any bills introduced after the bill introduction dates go to the respective chamber’s Rules Committee. To be viable, a bill must get out of the Rules Committee and be assigned to the appropriate standing policy committee.
As of February 14, there are 928 Senate bills, one Senate resolution, 1,310 House bills and eight House resolutions, for a total of 2,247 bills. There will be more bills introduced, but the bulk of the legislation is now accounted for at this point in the session.
The quantity of legislation introduced varies from session to session. There are often fewer bills introduced during the first year of a four-year term, so this year’s lower workload makes sense. Freshman legislators are still learning the legislative process and controversial legislation is often introduced in years two or three of a four-year term.
Four years ago, the first session of the previous term, there were 2,832 bills introduced. The 2019 haul of 2,247 so far will likely fall well short of the 2015 number. This year’s total is also substantially lower than the 2018 session, the fourth of a four-year term, which saw 3,127 bills. That figure represents the most bills introduced in many years.
The quantity of bills introduced means little, however, in the long run. While more bills requires additional hearings and longer days for legislators, what counts is what policymakers do with their time. The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) will continue to be a constant presence in Annapolis advocating for a stronger climate for business competitiveness.