2022 Legislative Session Victories Waiting for Governor Hogan to Take Action

The 44th Session of the General Assembly of Maryland ended on April 11.  The legislature now has until April 30 to present bills to the Governor for his consideration.  The Governor then has until May 30 to take action on legislation by signing, vetoing, or allowing to become law through passivity i.e. neither signing nor vetoing.  This has been a standard practice of Governor Hogan, using passivity to a much greater extent than his predecessors. 

Below is a review of the outcome of bills AFSCME Council 3 advocated for this past session.  By 2023, there will be a new Governor and administration, as well as a new Senate and House of Delegates.  We need to ensure more champions of working families (especially state workers) are elected this year.

Presumption of Line-of-Duty Death Benefits Eligibility with COVID-19 + Diagnosis

SB 409 / HB 742 extends for two years and one month eligibility of members of the State Retirement and Pension System for “line-of-duty” death benefits when COVID-19 caused or contributed to the death of a member.  Effective date June 1, 2022.

Union Dues Deduction

HB 172 would allow union dues to be tax-deductible, just like other “business expenses” are allowed to be deducted.  This reinstates a deduction that existed before federal taxation legislation removed it during the Trump Administration. Effective date July 1, 2022. 

20 Year Retirement for DJS Case Management Specialists- HB 763 - Del. Bridges

This legislation would place DJS Case Management Specialists and Group Life Managers into CORS.  Effective date July 1, 2022.

Saint Mary’s College of Maryland COLA- HB 54 – Del. Crosby

This legislation would have the State pick up 100% of the costs and hold SMCM harmless going forward.  Effective date July 1, 2022.

Drinking Driver Monitor III  SB803 

This law recognizes that there is a gap in the career ladder for DDMP Monitors and addresses it by creating a DDMP III position.  Effective date July 1, 2022.

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Staffing

HB 373 requires that the Maryland Department of Health ensure the number of staff employed by the State Postmortem Examiners (OCME) does not fall to a level that would constitute a Phase II violation according to the National Association of Medical Examiners.  If not for COVID, the division would have most certainly fallen into violation given staffing shortages and significant backlogs of postmortem examinations.  Effective date is October 1, 2022.

Formally Establishing Juneteenth as a State Holiday

HB 227 establishes Juneteenth National Independence Day as a State legal holiday and State employee holiday.  Effective date June 1, 2022.