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Photo of book with Law typed along the spine of book with mallot sitting on book.During the legislative session, the Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is responsible for monitoring various bills that are introduced in the state legislature and may be of interest to Deaf and hard of hearing Marylanders. The office also ensures that the community remains informed of updates on hearings and votes on pending legislation.

How Our Laws Are Made

To understand more about the legislative process and how a bill becomes a law, please review How a Bill Becomes Law.

This flowchart on the Maryland General Assembly may help you understand its structure. It will be helpful to also explore the Maryland General Assembly’s website and learn about the dates of interest for the 2020 session.

2019 Legislative Session

Citizens may testify on issues of concern to them. To submit a written or oral testimony, please attend the bill’s scheduled hearing; in particular, you will need to arrive early to sign the witness sheet before the hearing begins (typically at least an hour in advance) and provide copies of your testimony.

Each committee has its own rules on how to offer testimony. Should the rules/guidelines change, please contact that specific committee.

As the date gets closer to the hearing, the weekly hearing schedule will specify the number of copies of written testimony required and when to show up to sign the witness sheet before a hearing begins.

Please contact the Department of Legislative Services if you need accommodations for the hearing, such as sign language interpreters.

Scheduled Bill Hearings (2019) 

Below are some bills that the office is currently monitoring. To find out the current status of each bill and its scheduled hearings, click on the bill’s link for more information:

HB 137: State Personnel – Professional Service – Maryland School for the Deaf – Teachers
SB 035: State Personnel – Professional Service – Maryland School for the Deaf – Teachers

HB 145: Hospitals – Patient’s Bill of Rights
SB 301: Hospitals – Patient’s Bill of Rights

HB 1064: Maryland Sign Language Interpreter Act

HB 1192: Assembly Areas – State-Funded Construction or Renovation – Assisted Listening System Requirement

SB 064: Maryland School for the Deaf – Employees – Annual and Personal Leave

SB 677: Deaf or Hard of Hearing Individuals – Support for Parents

SB 678: State Government – Notarial Acts and Notaries Public

SB 785: Education – Deaf or Hard of Hearing Infants or Toddlers