Busy Saturday: Home passes Trans Well being Fairness Act, advances price-gouging and knowledge protections, backs a brand new state spirit

Busy Saturday: Home passes Trans Well being Fairness Act, advances price-gouging and knowledge protections, backs a brand new state spirit

The Home of Delegates chamber. Picture by Danielle E. Gaines.

The Maryland Home of Delegates voted Saturday to approve the Trans Well being Fairness Act — a invoice that only a yr in the past disappeared from the chamber’s agenda forward of a flooring vote.

Delegates debated the laws for about 25 minutes early Saturday afternoon earlier than passing the measure 93-37.

Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery), the lead sponsor of the invoice, was joined by 59 cosponsors this session.

Kaiser mentioned she thought it was vital to function a voice for the trans neighborhood within the chamber.

“What’s being mentioned nationally about trans individuals are the identical lies that have been mentioned about gays and lesbians 20 years in the past,” mentioned Kaiser, who was one of many first brazenly homosexual members of the Basic Meeting. “And that’s a part of the rationale I really feel the eagerness and the connection to our trans brothers and sisters.”

She recommended Del. Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery) for defending the invoice within the chamber throughout flooring debates earlier within the week.

Republicans within the chamber launched a few amendments to try to curtail the laws, however these have been voted down.

Whereas the invoice generated vital debate, it modifications state coverage solely modestly.

The invoice would require Maryland Medicaid, starting on Jan. 1, 2024, to offer protection for added gender-affirming therapies, that are presently disallowed within the state’s plan however generally coated by personal insurance coverage. The expanded therapies embrace hormone remedy, hair alteration, voice remedy, bodily alterations to the physique, and fertility preservation.

The state’s Medicaid program already covers therapies together with psychological well being companies, hormone substitute remedy and gender reassignment surgical procedure.

The invoice doesn’t elevate state insurance policies on present necessities to qualify for gender reassignment surgical procedure: Sufferers have to be 18 or older, have a prognosis of gender dysphoria, endure a minimum of one yr of steady hormonal remedy when really helpful by a psychological well being skilled, and obtain two referrals from a psychological well being skilled earlier than the surgical procedure.

Through the 2022 legislative session, comparable laws handed the Senate chamber and out of Home committee, however by no means got here up for a vote on the ground and the committee’s vote was faraway from the invoice web page.

Related laws is predicted to come back up for debate within the Senate on Monday.

Worth gouging

Lawmakers wish to get powerful on worth gouging following issues that arose firstly of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Home gave preliminary approval to Home Invoice 775 which might restrict non-seasonal worth will increase on important items and companies to fifteen% throughout a state of emergency. The invoice would additionally give the governor the facility throughout a state of emergency to designate important items and companies.

The Workplace of the Legal professional Basic reported that it acquired lots of of complaints of worth gouging in the course of the pandemic on gadgets together with meals and cleansing provides.

The Senate gave ultimate approval to the cross-filed Senate invoice on Friday.

Youngster on-line protections

The Home gave preliminary approval to a invoice that will require social media firms and different apps to evaluate how youngsters would possibly use or be affected by their on-line actions.

Home Invoice 901, modeled on comparable legal guidelines in Europe, would require social media firms working in Maryland to carry out assessments on how youngsters are seemingly to make use of their merchandise. The businesses would even be required to evaluate how they use the personal info of kids and the way it would possibly doubtlessly expose them to dangerous on-line content material.

The businesses would even be required to contemplate how their merchandise have an effect on youngsters’s privateness, well being, security and psychological well being.

The Senate model of the invoice awaits motion by the Finance Committee.

The Spirit of Maryland

Marylanders who’re followers of state symbols might quickly have a chance to toast the addition of a brand new one.

The Home of Delegates unanimously authorised Home Invoice 178 which might make Maryland Rye Whiskey the official state spirit.

Previous to Prohibition, Maryland was the third-largest distilling state within the nation behind solely Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

Del. Kirill Reznik (D-Montgomery), sponsor of the invoice, informed the Home Well being and Authorities Operations Committee he envisions an financial enhance to the state from the adoption of the state image much like how Kentucky markets Kentucky Bourbon and the Bourbon path.

“I’ve discovered Maryland Rye in six totally different states not Maryland,” he informed the committee. “Now, I deal with Maryland Rye not produced in Maryland the identical means I deal with Maryland-style crab desserts on a restaurant menu outdoors of Maryland however it’s a actual factor and it’s one thing that’s a part of our historical past and our heritage and one thing we have to wrap ourselves round for the advantages of the economic system and tourism and enterprise.”

There are roughly two dozen official state symbols together with the state crustacean (Blue Crab, in fact), cat (Calico), dinosaur (astrodon johnstoni) and cake (Smith Island).

There’s even an official sport (jousting) and staff sport (lacrosse).

Not each proposed image makes it.

In 2017, David Shore, 10 of Bethesda, made a powerful push to have chromite named the state mineral (he even had a pro-bono lobbyist and testimony from the state geologist).

There have been additionally a number of unsuccessful makes an attempt to have the delicate crab named the official state sandwich.

Supply By https://www.marylandmatters.org/2023/03/18/busy-saturday-house-passes-trans-health-equity-act-advances-price-gouging-and-data-protections-backs-a-new-state-spirit/