After several high-profile incidents of gun violence, including the attack on Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, I worked with Sen. Brian Frosh to introduce bill SB 161/HB 1043. This bill, backed by the Maryland State Police, would have cracked down on gun dealers who reopen under a friend or relative’s name after losing their dealers license. It would also have tightened recordkeeping requirements for gun sales, and it would have empowered police to inspect those records more often, without limiting the rights of individual gun owners in any way. The bill passed the Senate but was killed in the House, where there was an edict by the committee leadership that no gun control bills would pass this year. Read more about this important legislation in the Gazette.
Regulating the Public Service Commission (HB 708):
When Washington Post reporter Theola Labbé-DeBose released an April 3 story about Verizon’s failure to notify Montgomery and Prince George’s counties about thousands of dropped 911 calls, elected officials were outraged. They wanted the PSC and Verizon to explain how this could have happened. The story broke a month after I had introduced HB 708, authorizing the PSC to assess and report to the General Assembly on exactly these problems. My bill failed to make it out of the Economic Matters Committee, but the issue has now gained the attention of the FCC, and is finally being investigated by the PSC.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Information – Sign Posting Requirements (HB 1304):
Human trafficking is one of the most odious and rapidly growing crimes in our state. Traffickers use the Internet to recruit customers for both labor trafficking and sex trafficking. Last year, I successfully sponsored HB 1322, which requires certain hotels and motels to post signs in each guest room that detail the signs of human trafficking and list the National Human Trafficking Hotline number. This enables both victims and witnesses to identify human trafficking and know how to get help. This year’s HB 1304 would have expanded that posting requirement to highway rest stops and truck stops, which are also frequently used by traffickers. Although the bill passed the House of Delegates 134-1, it did not make it to the Senate floor in time to be voted upon. I intend to re-introduce the bill in 2012. With near unanimous, bipartisan support, I am quite confident that we will pass this important measure to cut down on trafficking.
Vehicle Laws – Overtaking and Passing School Vehicles – School Bus Monitoring Cameras (HB 462):
Even though it’s a felony, a survey conducted by the Department of Education showed that over 1,600 drivers passed stopped school buses in Montgomery County on a single day in February. Passing a stopped school bus, especially when a child is crossing, often ends in injury or death. So I sponsored HB 462 with Republican Delegate Patrick Hogan. This successful bill will institute a pilot program for camera installation in school buses, and it is our hope that we will see a dramatic decrease in these reckless driving violations. Read more about this legislation at News-Life.com.