Following the end of the 2019 legislative session, Governor Larry Hogan has signed 174 bills into law, ranging across a variety of issues.
The Governor signed House Bill 178/Senate Bill 177, which fulfills the Governor’s pledge to seek funding for the renovation and expansion of the Ocean City Convention Center. The Governor’s Office says the project is slated to create between 470 and 670 new jobs and bring upwards of 67 million dollars in new economic benefit to the state.
Also of note were two pieces of legislation pertaining the firefighter’s benefits. House Bill 595 adds bladder and kidney, or renal cell cancers to the types of cancers considered an occupational disease for firefighters under the worker’s compensation law. He also signed House Bill 604/Senate Bill 646, which expands worker’s compensation coverage by closing loopholes regarding cumulative time served.
Governor Hogan also signed the “Clean Cars Act of 2019”, which doubles the amount of funding available for electric vehicle tax credits, and makes clear that fuel-cell electric vehicles are eligible for the tax credit. On the issue of crime, the Governor signed what is known as “Stacey’s Law”, clarifying that a person who solicits another or conspires with another to commit first degree murder is guilty of first degree murder, if the murder actually occurs. It is named in honor of Stacey Lynn Seaton, who was murdered in Bowie in 2005.
At the signing ceremony, the Governor was joined by Senate President Mike Miller and Acting House Speaker Adrienne Jones. The Governor has called for a special session in May to elect a new Speaker of the House, following the passing of Michael Busch.