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2010 wrap up

2010 wrap up

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Published by: Maryland League of Conservation Voters on Apr 13, 2010
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 April 13, 2010Dear Conservation Voter:A few days before the Maryland General Assembly adjourned, Maryland LCV was ready to declarethis session a washout. The phrase “Dead Zone” was used a number of times to describe theSenate, as a place where otherwise good and healthy bills go to die. Budget items to restore theChesapeake Bay, preserve open spaces, and fund energy efficiency programs all seemed headedfor rejection. Priority legislation to create long-term plans for our transportation and energy needs,fund critical stormwater management projects, and preserve Maryland’s treasured oyster population, were stuck in Senate committees.The environmental community responded with a barrage of letters, phone calls and visits to thoseSenators, who were contributing to the Dead Zone. Our message was clear — that in good timesand in bad, sound environmental policy is sound fiscal policy.In the final tally, the General Assembly was strong on the budget, including $22.5 million for theChesapeake Bay and Atlantic Costal Bays Trust Fund and preserving most of the funding for Program Open Space (with the help of a strong last minute push by Governor O’Malley andSpeaker Busch.) With the help of Senate President Miller, legislators passed a bill ensuring thatMaryland’s transportation decisions improve our quality of life. They also, passed the Governor’sbill to accelerate Maryland’s solar energy production, though the House significantly weakened hisoriginal proposal.Unfortunately, neither chamber passed bills to create a funding stream for much neededstormwater management projects or tried to stop the diversion of energy efficiency funds, bothissues that we will be addressing in 2011.You will find more details here on these and other important environmental bills from the 2010legislative session. Thank you for all your work this session, your emails, phone calls, visits, andattendance at the environmental summit helped us pass laws to protect our air land and water.Stay tuned for our 2010 General Assembly Scorecard in June!And remember, 2010 is an important election year and Maryland LCV will be there working to electpro-conservation candidates—we look forward to it and hope you will join us!Cindy SchwartzExecutive Director 
 
Green Budget
 
 Transportation
 
Clean Water Clean EnergyGood Government Toxics
 
Sustainable Communities Other Important Bills
 
Board of Directors
 
Frederick Hoover 
,
Chair 
 Kevin Rackstraw
,
Treasurer 
 Chuck Porcari
,
Political Chair 
 Marcia Verploegen Lewis
,Secretary 
 
Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin
 
Jennifer Bevan-DangelAnthony CaligiuriGeorge ChmaelJay FalstadJ. Elizabeth Garraway, PhDBob Gallagher Peter HammTerri Shuck
Staff 
Cindy Schwartz,
Executive Director 
Jen Brock-CancellieriKimberly DissenPete JohnsonDanielle LipinskiAnne Fitzgerald PittmanCatherine Stirling
 
Nine State CircleSuite 202Annapolis, MD 21401410-280-9855410-280-9857 (fax)info@mdlcv.orgwww.mdlcv.org
2010 E
NVIRONMENTAL
L
EGISLATIVE
W
RAP
-
UP
 2010 G
ENERAL
SSEMBLY 
W
INNERS
& L
OSERS
 
 
 
 At midnight on April 12, the 2010 session of the Maryland General Assembly adjourned. With your help, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters worked to keep the environment front and center for lawmakers. Here are some highlights and lowlights of the 2010 legislative session:
The legislature overwhelmingly passed two bills, SB 213/HB 33 and SB 556 on toxics. The first banned Bisphenol-A(BPA), a toxic chemical found in baby bottles; the other banned the use of Decabrominated Diphenyl Ether (Deca-BDE),a toxic flame retardant found in the plastic casings of televisions.Maryland has committed to ambitious goals to achieve clean, affordable, and reliable energy that will create thousandsof new jobs in Maryland, but we need a statewide plan to ensure that we achieve those goals. SB 910 and HB 522, if passed, would have required the creation of a state energy plan that is consistent with all state environmental laws andall new proposals would be reviewed with respect to that state plan. Both bills died in committee.The recession continued to dominate the legislative session in Annapolis, but in the end legislators chose to follow theGovernor’s lead and invest in the environment to protect jobs today and create jobs tomorrow. Unfortunately, there wasone notable exception - the legislature extended the two-year diversion of energy efficiency program funds from theStrategic Energy Investment Fund.
Budget
In a time of scarce transportation dollars, we needed to make sure we are investing state funds wisely. SB760/ HB 1155 established smart and fair growth criteria for funding transportation projects. This makes iteasier for the state to choose proposals that ensure our transportation and land use decisions worktogether, providing more travel choices to Maryland citizens, especially for those who do not own cars. Itwill also reduce environmental damage from transportation projects and improve access to jobs. HB 1155passed in the final hours of the legislative session.
 Transportation
SB 760/ HB 1155 Sens. Pugh & Harrington, Del. Lafferty
In order to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, each city and county throughout theregion needs funding to invest in its community to reduce the polluted runoff poisoning our waterways.This legislation would have given these local jurisdictions a dedicated funding source, by assessing asurcharge on impervious surfaces to clean up their rivers and the Bay, create green jobs, and leverageadditional dollars from the state and federal government for watershed protection and restoration. Thesebills died in committee in both the House and Senate.
Stormwater Utility Fee
SB 686/ HB 999 Sen. Raskin, Del. Hucker and Cardin
 
Clean Energy
SB 910/ HB 522 Sen. Lenett and Del. Manno
 
Chesapeake Bay Trust Fund - $22.5 million
Energy Efficiency – $30 million diversion
Program Open Space - preserved funding
Agency Enforcement - protected
University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic— rejected funding restrictionsAs part of his legislative agenda, Governor O’Malley introduced SB 285/ HB 475 which continues the Historic Tax Creditand better coordinates key revitalization programs such as the Maryland Main Street Program and Community Legacy.This key smart growth victory passed the House and on Sine Die unanimously passed the Senate.
Sustainable Communities
 
SB 285 /HB 475 Governor O’Malley
 
 Toxics
SB 213/ HB 33 Sen. Frosh, Del. Hubbard and SB 556 Sen. Conway
 
 
 
Good Government
SB 407/ HB 344, HB 107, HB 1031
We supported several good government bills this session as open transparent government is critical to Maryland LCV’smission. SB 407/ HB 344 required all standing House and Senate committee votes be posted and accessible on theMaryland General Assembly website and enabled more public participation in General Assembly and Board of PublicWorks hearings. HB 107 required that certain votes on a bill or amendment in a standing committee be made availableon the Maryland General Assembly website. Finally, HB 1031 required the State Open Meetings Law Compliance Boardto develop and offer an online training program on the requirements of the law to employees, officers, and members of the public. All of these bills died in committee.
Other Important Bills
Arsenic in Chicken Feed:SB 859/HB 953 (Sen. Pinsky, Del. Hucker) would have prohibited a person fromusing, selling, or distributing poultry feed that contains roxarsone or any other additive that contains arsenic.These bills were held up in a Senate and House committees.Bag Bill: SB 462/HB 351(Sen. Raskin, Del. Carr) would have established a customer credit for usingreusable bags and establish a fee on the use of disposable bags. These bills died in Senate and Housecommittees. Bike Safety:SB 51/ HB 461, SB 624, HB 282 (Sen. Frosh, Del. Cardin, Sen. Raskin, and Del. Del Pena-Melnyk) will require that cars safely pass at least three feet from bicyclists, permits bicyclists to ride on theshoulder, and ensures funding for bike lanes.Clean Energy Loans -SB 720/HB1014 (Sen. Middleton, Dels. Hecht and Waldstreicher) would have helpedproperty owners afford clean energy projects. These bills were held up in a Senate and House committeesCoal Ash:HB 1467/SB 653 (Sen. Lenett, Del. Stein) would have prohibited certain uses of coal ash, abyproduct of coal fired power plants, added stricter requirements to prevent its toxic dust from poisoning our waters. This bill died in a Senate committee.Energy Efficiency Televisions:SB 455/ HB 349 (Sen. Pinsky, Dels. Carr and Bronrott) would haveestablished minimum efficiency standards for televisions sold in Maryland. This bill died in a HouseCommittee.Energy Efficient Buildings:SB 713/ HB 827 (Sen. Lenett, Del. Hecht) would have required that allgovernment and commercial building owners publicly disclose their building’s energy use. These bills died inSenate and House committees. Fertilizer and Pesticide Reporting:SB 359/HB 930 (Sen. Lenett, Del. Frush) would have mandated trackingand geographic mapping of fertilizer and pesticide use. This bill died in a Senate committee.Incinerator Regulation:SB 514/HB 1427 and SB 228 (Sens. Lenett, Mooney, Del. Hucker) would haveestablished important criteria for the building, re-licensing, or re-permitting of any incinerator or waste-to-energy facility. These bills died in a Senate committee. This bill died in a Senate committee.Keep Farmers Farming:SB 396/HB 1571 (Sen. Middleton, Del. Conway) creates a pilot program thatstretches out the estate taxes for up to six years, this will help prevent agricultural land being sold for development.Oysters:SB 342/HB 1191 (Sen. Frosh, Del. McIntosh) was introduced to complement the Governor's oyster initiative by curtailing oyster poaching. The Senate added a bad amendment that would prohibit theDepartment of Natural Resources from creating new oyster sanctuaries until 2011. This bill was held up in aHouse committee.Net Energy Metering:SB 355/ HB 801 (Sen. Pinsky, Del. McHale) will require utilities to pay customers backfor surplus energy they create with renewable sources, creating a more robust market for energy generation.Solar Energy:SB 277/HB 471 (Governor O’Malley) this bill which will accelerate Maryland’s solar energyproduction, however the House significantly weakened the governor’s original proposal.

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