Firefighter Benefits Among 174 Bills Governor Hogan Signs Into Law
Legislation Also Targets Corruption and Doubles Funding for Clean Cars
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today signed 174 bills into law, including critical legislation to improve cancer coverage benefits for firefighters, make much-needed reforms to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, and double funding to expand the use of clean cars in Maryland. The governor was joined by Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and Speaker Pro Tem Adrienne Jones for the signing.
“Firefighters suffer from cancer at a much higher rate than the rest of the population, and I am proud to enact these bipartisan measures on behalf of these brave heroes,” said Governor Hogan. “Today, our administration is proud to continue our strong record of environmental stewardship by expanding the Clean Cars Act. We also came together this legislative session to target corruption, and today, we are strengthening transparency and accountability measures in our state’s higher education system.”
House Bill 595—Workers’ Compensation—Medical Presumptions. Firefighters are at an increased risk of certain types of cancer as a result of occupational exposure. Identical to Governor Hogan’s legislation, House Bill 595 adds bladder and kidney, or renal cell cancers to the types of cancers considered as occupational diseases for firefighters under the workers’ compensation law.
House Bill 604/Senate Bill 646—Workers’ Compensation—Medical Presumptions for Diseases and Cancer—Eligibility (Firefighter Jesse McCullough’s Cancer Protection Law). This bill honors Prince George’s County firefighter Jesse McCullough, who passed away in October 2018 after a battle with metastatic colon cancer related to his occupation, and expands workers’ compensation coverage by closing loopholes regarding cumulative time served. Governor Hogan attended a fundraiser in support of McCullough last August and spoke at his funeral this past fall.
House Bill 1246—Clean Cars Act of 2019. This bill expands on the governor’s popular and successful clean cars initiative by doubling the amount of funding available for the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit program. It also makes clear that fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are eligible for the EV tax credit. This bill will help us meet our state’s zero emission vehicle (ZEV) goal of 300,000 ZEVs by 2025. Governor Hogan promoted the bill in February, joining First Lady Yumi Hogan for a drive around State Circle in the world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV.
House Bill 493/Senate Bill 198—Crimes—Solicitation and Conspiracy to Commit Murder Resulting in Death (Stacey’s Law). This bill clarifies that a person who solicits another or conspires with another to commit murder in the first degree is guilty of murder in the first degree if a murder actually occurs. The bill is named in honor of Stacey Lynn Seaton, who was murdered in Bowie in 2005. The man who solicited her murder could not be held accountable years later because the statute of limitations had expired.
House Bill 606/Senate Bill 856—Juvenile Justice Reform Council. This bill establishes an inter-branch Juvenile Justice Reform Council, which will use a data-driven approach to increase public safety and reduce recidivism of youth offenders. The council will make recommendations to limit risk factors that contribute to juvenile contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
University System of Maryland Board of Regents
House Bill 533/Senate Bill 719—University System of Maryland—Board of Regents—Transparency and Oversight. This bill expands the University System of Maryland Board of Regents by adding four additional members and brings increased accountability and transparency to the board. This bill requires for each open session of the board to be livestreamed and allows for public comment at each open meeting. All motions and votes made by the board, must be made public for both open and closed sessions.
Ocean City Convention Center
House Bill 178/Senate Bill 177—Maryland Stadium Authority—Ocean City Convention Facility—Renovation. This bill fulfills a pledge Governor Hogan made last summer to seek funding for the renovation and expansion of the Ocean City Convention Center. The project is set to create between 470 and 670 new jobs, and $67 million in new economic benefits to the State.