ANNAPOLIS – Maryland state delegates took part in some playful April Fool’s Day fun on the House floor Tuesday, but also passed bills on subjects that were far from light.
Minority Leader Delegate Nic Kipke, R-Anne Arundel, called roll at the podium, while House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, took the delegate’s seat on the floor.
The party play continued when Delegate Patrick McDonough, R-Baltimore and Harford, teasingly called a bill sponsored by state Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr., D-Calvert, Charles and Prince George’s, “subterfuge.”
The bill, which would establish a council within the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to develop a plan to reduce the population in prison and the spending on corrections, passed with a 126-10 vote and is on its way to the governor’s desk.
It was one of 24 bills that had already been passed in the state Senate and were approved Wednesday in the House of Delegates and sent to Gov. Larry Hogan for a final signature.
Also receiving final approval from the legislature were a bill sponsored by state Senator James DeGrange, D-Anne Arundel, that would increase the time local social services departments must maintain records of suspected child abuse or neglect from 120 days to five years; a bill sponsored by state Senator Susan Lee, D-Montgomery, that would establish a workgroup to study a safe harbor policy for youth victims of human trafficking; and a bill submitted on behalf of the Maryland Judicial Conference that would allow individuals tried in juvenile court to remove their records from criminal court when applicable.
Most of the two dozen bills passed with no opposing votes.