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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 enter the state legislature and may potentially impact the needs of Deaf and hard of hearing Marylanders. The office also ensures that the community remains informed of updates on hearings and votes on bills already introduced.

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.

2018 Legislative Session

Citizens are encouraged to 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 (2018) 

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:

SB 482: Remote Access Information Program for Deaf-Blind Individuals – Establishment
HB 1206: Department of Information Technology – Remote Access Information Program – Establishment

SB 530: Hospitals – Patient’s Bill of Rights
HB 562: Hospitals – Patient’s Bill of Rights

HB 1154: Teachers and Teacher Preparation Programs – Bilingual Certification and Instruction

SB 1021: Community Colleges – Baccalaureate Degrees – Prohibition

HB 518: Alcoholic Beverages – Reform on Tap Act of 2018
HB 1052: Alcoholic Beverages – Class 5 Brewery License – Alterations