Legislators wrapped up their work for the year and celebrated with balloons and confetti, but a heated atmosphere filled the State House earlier in the day, with many lawmakers giving this year's session two thumbs down.
"I think this is probably one of the most left-winged sessions we've ever had in the history of
"We did pretty well in
"We've had an awful lot of interesting legislation passed, but not a lot of it has been good for
In addition to the gas tax, the legislature passed medical marijuana and made it a primary offense to talk on a handheld cell phone while driving. Hough voted against that bill.
"We already have a distracted driving law, so that means any time you're eating a hamburger in your car or doing anything else, police can actually cite you for that," Hough says.
This year, legislators didn't have as much pressure with the big bills already passed. Some of the major bills included the state budget, repealing the death penalty, and enacting tough gun control laws.
The Maryland Senate passed a bill on Sine Die, or the last day of session, repealing the Maryland Court of Appeals Decision labeling all pit bulls as "inherently dangerous." Senator Chris Shank served on the conference committee asked to handle the differences between the house and senate bills.
"It's very important because of the court of appeals decision last summer that basically put landlords, apartment owners, and anybody that owns property as liable, so a lot of people had to make the choice of moving or euthanizing their dog or giving their dog to a shelter," says Shank, (R) - Washington County.
However, the house didn't bite on the bill, and it died.
Another bill passing was sponsored by Senator Ron Young and requires the state to give preference to buying American-made products.
"There are certain exceptions where it's hard to find American-made products. I would like to see it straight out because there's no better way to foster job growth than to buy American products, and there's nothing much being made that can't be made here or that isn't being made here," says Young, (D) -
Governor Martin O'Malley will begin signing the bills into law this week, and your lawmakers are glad, unlike last year, the 2013 session didn't end with having to come back to
Some other bills passing on the last day of session include expanding early voting to include same-day registration and speeding up the process veterans go through to get professional licenses.
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