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Legislation

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. While the Governor’s Office does not endorse specific bills, Deaf and hard of hearing Marylanders are encouraged to get involved, be informed, and make their concerns known to their elected officials.

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. The office also has a video series of the legislative process in ASL on Facebook and YouTube.

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.

2020 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 (2021) 

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:

SB0431: Maryland Sign Language Interpreter Act
HB0535: Maryland Sign Language Interpreter Act

SB0464: Education – Educational Interpreter – Certification Requirements
HB0651: Education – Educational Interpreter – Certification Requirements

SB0183: Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact
HB0288: Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact

HB0837: Collective Bargaining – Teachers at the Maryland School for the Deaf – Separate Bargaining Unit
SB0556: Collective Bargaining – Teachers at the Maryland School for the Deaf – Separate Bargaining Unit

SB0523: State Board of Examiners for Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech–Language Pathologists – Duties, Appointment of Members, and Requirements for Licensees
HB0600: State Board of Examiners for Audiologists, Hearing Aid Dispensers, and Speech–Language Pathologists – Duties, Appointment of Members, and Requirements for Licensees

HB0910: Health Insurance – Hearing Aids for Adults – Coverage

HB0920: Employment Discrimination – Time for Filing Complaints
SB0455: Employment Discrimination – Time for Filing Complaints

HB0161: Health Occupation – Licensing of Audiology Assistants
SB0379: Health Occupations – Licensing of Audiology Assistants

SB0236: Maryland Commission on Civil Rights – Employment Discrimination – Reporting
HB0257: Maryland Commission on Civil Rights – Employment Discrimination – Reporting