2020 General Assembly

The 2020 General Assembly is now in session! We’ll be using this page and comments to track bills of specific interest to FAIR’s constituency. The really “hot” item this year is a push to fix a problem in our current law language that does not provide a juvenile-friendly path forward when teens engage in consensual, legal behavior and share pictures of the activity with other teens. (Current language in the child pornography statute simply states “a person.”) A number of bills are being filed to address this.

Other items include adding solicitation of a child through a parent/guardian, and an expansion of who can be sentenced to Maryland’s lifetime supervision.

To express concerns or praise for a bill, contact members of the committee currently scheduled to hear the bill. Click here to see all Judiciary and Judicial Proceedings Committee members and locate their contact information. If you wish to testify, visit the committee’s home page and carefully review their guidelines about written and spoken testimony.

Questions and comments are welcome on our forum. Due to lack of response, there will be no additional information here beyond a bill listing which is updated weekly. You can click the individual bill links below to get a more immediate status update. Please visit THIS LINK to see nearly all bills that mention sexual offenses.

Number
(Cross File)
Title Primary Sponsor Committee(s) and
Hearing Dates
HB0081
(SB0735)
Criminal Law – Sodomy and Unnatural or Perverted Sexual Practice – Repeal Delegate Moon Now in Judicial Proceedings no date set
HB0201 Immunities – Associations, Organizations, and Charities – Liability of Agents and Volunteers Delegate Crosby Judiciary
1/29/2020 – 1:00 p.m.
HB0272 Criminal Law – Obscene Matter – Sexting by Minor Delegate Clippinger Judiciary
2/27/2020 – 1:00 p.m.
HB0501
(SB0365)
Criminal Law – Child Pornography and Exhibition and Display of Obscene Items to Minors Delegate Moon Judiciary
2/27/2020 – 1:00 p.m.
HB0812
(SB0922)
Correctional Services – Diminution Credits – Education Delegate Wilkins Judiciary
2/25/2020 – 1:00 p.m.
HB1245 Juvenile Law – Conduct by Children Involving Sexually Explicit or Nude Images Delegate Wilson Judiciary
2/27/2020 – 1:00 p.m.
HB1348 Criminal Procedure – Sex Offender Registration – Indecent Exposure by Inmate Delegate Arikan Judiciary
2/21/2020 – 1:00 p.m.
HB1527
(SB0833)
Adult Protective Services – Vulnerable Adults Registry – Investigations and Records of Abuse and Neglect and Workgroup Study Delegate Lewis, J. Judiciary
3/5/2020 – 1:00 p.m.
SB0045 Criminal Law – Child Pornography – Distribution, Creation, or Possession by Minor Subject Senator Waldstreicher Judicial Proceedings
2/11/2020 – 12:00 p.m.
SB0320
(HB1116)
Criminal Procedure – Sexual Offenders – Lifetime Supervision Senator Bailey Judicial Proceedings
2/11/2020 – 12:00 p.m.
SB0365
(HB0501)
Criminal Law – Child Pornography and Exhibition and Display of Obscene Items to Minors Senator Lee Judicial Proceedings
2/11/2020 – 12:00 p.m.
SB0735
(HB0081)
Criminal Law – Sodomy and Unnatural or Perverted Sexual Practice – Repeal Senator Lam Judicial Proceedings
2/20/2020 – 12:00 p.m.
SB0833
(HB1527)
Adult Protective Services – Vulnerable Adults Registry – Investigations and Records of Abuse and Neglect and Workgroup Study Senator Benson Judicial Proceedings
3/4/2020 – 12:00 p.m.
SB0922
(HB0812)
Correctional Services – Diminution Credits – Education Senator Carter Judicial Proceedings
3/5/2020 – 12:00 p.m.
SB0971 Correctional Services – Diminution Credits – Education Milestones Senator Carter Judicial Proceedings
3/5/2020 – 12:00 p.m.

5 comments

  • Steve Derrer

    Brenda:

    A couple months ago there was an op-ed piece in the Baltimore Sun from a legislator advocating that possession of CP be upgraded to a felony instead of a misdemeanor. I don’t find that anywhere in the legislative synopsis. Am I missing something, or was she just grandstanding?

    • Thought I had answered this, but I don’t see it here so I’ll try again. In reviewing our current statutes, I think all of our current child pornography statutes ARE felonies at this point. Perhaps some were misdemeanors at one time. Perhaps someone informed the legislator of this. The only child pornography bills I’ve seen are ones attempting to clarify that sexting between minors can remain in the juvenile system and juveniles can avoid a criminal record and potential placement on the registry.

  • Here is a quick summary of the bills being heard this week (Jan 28 and Jan 30)
    HB246 and SB231 – Solicitation Through Parent, Guardian, or Custodian
    Hearings 1/28 in Judiciary and 1/30 in Judicial Proceedings
    This bill is expanding the offense of solicitation of a minor (Criminal Law 3-324) to cover instances where a person is soliciting through the Parent, Guardian, or Custodian of the minor. I would imagine this is closing a perceived loophole, or perhaps there has been an instance when this happened and someone used it successfully as a defense.

    SB230 – Repeal of Spousal Defense
    Hearing 1/30 in Judicial Proceedings
    This is striking the entirety of Criminal Law 3-318. That statute presently states that if persons are married and have been living together with no extended interruption, or if they are separated/filing for divorce and there HAS been some cohabitation, they cannot be charged with (or make a charge of) rape (§ 3–303, § 3–304, § 3–307, or § 3–308) in any degree. The current statute does state that prosecution can occur if force or threat of force is used without consent.

    • And here is the WORST one. Needs people to call.

      HB201 – Adding a Liability for Agents or Volunteers of Associations, Orgs, and Charities
      Hearing Judiciary, January 29 at 1 p.m.
      Alters Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article 5-406 to exclude from immunity (and coverage by the organization’s mandated insurance policy) anyone who is facing ALLEGATIONS of a sexual offense (all of Title 3 of the Criminal Law Article) or that ALLEGE “intimidation, bullying, or coercion of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive environment.”

      The existing language has an exception for willful violations of Title 6 of Business Regulations Article that have been alleged AND PROVEN. See the problem here? If anyone even alleges any sort of sex-related charge, it doesn’t matter what actually turns out to be true; the person is not covered at all by the organization’s insurance, even up to whatever limit the organization has.

      • Stewart Levy

        I suggest opposition to this Bill could be made on the basis that this bill imposes restriction to free commerce. I suggest that it is up to the insurance companies to determine what overages they want to provide. Unilaterally excluding an entire area of coverage is limiting and I suspect not consistent with the constitution of the laws of free commerce. I know of no other area where the state has legislated by mandate that a free enterprise entity must exclude an offered service.

        More research in necessary, but those are my initial thoughts.

        Stewart Levy
        FAIR BoD.

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