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Legislative Update: Final List

The General Assembly is Maryland’s legislative body and directly represents the electorate. The state has 47 districts represented by 47 Senators and 141 Delegates.

The 2024 Legislative Session came to a close on April 8.

2024 Session By the Numbers:

● 78 veteran/military family-related bills tracked
● 23 MDVA letters of support (most ever)
● 15 MDVA testimonies (most ever)
● 24 bills passed (most veteran/military family-related bills ever passed)

Highlights:

Department of Veterans Affairs – Renaming and Deputy Secretary of Military Family Policy and Programs (SB411/HB431)
○ Renames MDVA to the Department of Veterans and Military Families.
○ Requires MDVA Secretary to appoint a Deputy Secretary of Military Family Policy and Programs.

Families Serve Act of 2024 (SB478/HB604)
○ Allows private employers to grant a hiring & promotion preference to spouses of eligible service members.
○ The State will add 10 points to any hiring selection test for eligible military spouses.

Time to Serve Act of 2024 (SB477/HB580)
○ Doubles paid time off from 15 to 30 days for state employees to use for National Guard training.
○ Doubles the disaster leave from 15 to 30 days for Executive Branch employees.

Vehicle Laws – Special Registration Plates – Gold Star and Next of Kin Families (HB231/SB275)
○ Waives the special registration license plate fee for Gold Star or Next of Kin designees.

Maryland Commission on Veterans and Military Families (SB88/HB55)
○ Establishes a commission to study and make recommendations for developing and implementing a statewide strategic plan to make Maryland the best state for veterans and military families, including legislative and budgetary recommendations.

Discrimination – Military Status – Prohibition (SB413/HB598)
○ Prohibits discrimination based on military status in housing and employment.

Education – Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery – Student Information (HB1492/SB1042)
○ Requires public schools to notify students taking the ASVAB and parents or guardians of students taking the ASVAB of the option to prohibit the release of a student’s ASVAB test scores to military recruiters.
○ Establishes an opt-out process for scores to be shared with recruiters.

Fishing and Hunting Licenses and Trout Stamps – Complimentary Licenses and Stamp Exemption – Veterans Determined to be Unemployable (HB715/SB533)
○ Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to issue complimentary fishing and
hunting licenses to unemployable veterans.

General Provisions – Commemorative Days – Maryland Veterans Suicide Prevention Day (SB615)
○ Requires the Governor to annually proclaim September 30th as Maryland Veterans Suicide Prevention Day.

Higher Education – Douglas J. J. Peters Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship – Repeal of Service Terminal Date (SB1178)
○ Expands eligibility by removing the terminal date required to be eligible for the Douglas J.J. Peters Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship.

Maryland Military Installation Council – Membership (SB214)
○ Altering the membership of the Maryland Military Installation Council to include the Maryland Secretary of Labor or a designee, the State Superintendent of Schools or a
designee, and the President of the Military Alliance Council of Charles County; and increasing the number of members selected by the Governor from 5 to 6 and requiring
that at least one is a spouse of a service member.

Maryland National Guard – Tricare Premium Reimbursement Program – Alterations (SB697/HB1504)
○ Extends the full benefit of the Tricare Premium Reimbursement Program to service members’ families.

Mental Health Law – County Mental Health Advisory Committees – Membership (HB408/SB412)
○ Adds a member who has experience with mental health care for veterans or is currently serving in the military to the list of groups from which individuals may be appointed to county committees.

Property Tax – Credit for Dwelling House of Disabled Veterans – Alterations (HB63/SB6)
○ Closes a loophole to provide a 50% property tax credit for those veterans who are 100%, but not permanently disabled.
○ Allow for the counties and Baltimore City to monitor the disability status of veterans who are not permanently 100% disabled.

Vehicle Laws – Disabled Veteran Registration Plates – Issuance (SB55/HB178)
○ Authorizes the MVA to issue disabled veteran plates at no additional cost to veterans who are between 50% and 99% disabled

Final List: This full list represents bills introduced and/or passed this year that impacted military service members, veterans, and their families

Visit the Maryland General Assembly Website.


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