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Legislative Newsletter #2



 

Crunch Time


Less than one month remains in the 2023 legislative session, but there is much work left to be done! A total of 1,500 bills have been introduced in the Senate and assigned to their respective committees. Among these 1,500, is one bill that I want to highlight.



 

Guide Dog Bill Update (SB 535)


In our previous newsletter, I discussed the hearing my bill, SB 535, had before the Judicial Proceedings Committee. As a quick refresher, this legislation extends existing anti-discrimination housing protections for blind Marylanders and their active guide dogs to also cover retired guide dogs. As you can see above, it passed unanimously in the Senate! Shortly, SB 535 will travel across the street into the House of Delegates where it will begin the second half of its journey.



 

Mail-in Ballot Improvements


I am also pleased to share the advancement of another commonsense bill that I have co-sponsored. SB 379 recently passed the Senate, and it enables mail-in ballots to be processed eight days before the start of early voting. Previously, a local board of elections was prohibited from opening any mail-in ballot envelope prior to 8:00 a.m. on the day after an election. This bill eliminates unnecessary inefficiencies and will return the winner of an election much more promptly. The mail-in ballot vote tally will be released once the polls close on election night.



 

Senatorial Scholarship Applications are Live!


Our Senatorial Scholarship program is still accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year. These scholarships can be used to cover the cost of vocational training, trade certifications, education at a two or four-year institution of higher education, and graduate school. The deadline is May 1st, and you can view the application here.




 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact my office at 410-841-3158 or marydulany.james@senate.state.md.us


Sincerely,

Mary-Dulany James


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