Legislative News

View from Annapolis – Week 10

The countdown to Crossover is on!

Next Monday, March 21 is the day where the House and Senate complete work on bills that originated in their respective bodies and begin to consider legislation that has passed from the opposite chamber.

One of our REALTOR® Priority Bills is set to be on that list.

On Wednesday, the House Economic Matters Committee gave a FAVORABLE report to HB 568, known as the “Pay at the Table” bill. This legislation protects the 30-year-old practice of giving real estate brokers the option to pay agent commissions at the time of settlement. HB 568 will head to the House floor on 3/17 for its second reading.

Other bills on the move include:

SB 875 – Would add Citizenship and Immigration Status to the list of Fair Housing protected classes statewide. Both Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties currently prohibit housing discrimination based on citizenship status. Maryland REALTORS® Position: Monitor

SB 770 – Creates a repair fund for low- and middle-income homeowners to cover the costs of utility conversions and upgrades. Maryland REALTORS® Position: Support

HB 323 – This bill prohibits local governments from penalizing property owners or declaring a nuisance when tenants summon law enforcement to a rental property. In return, landlords may not impose lease terms that limit or penalize a tenant from calling law enforcement. Maryland REALTORS® Position: Support

HB 777/SB 92 – These bill both address partition of sales of inherited property with the goal of preserving equity for the heirs. HB 777 passed unamended, while SB 92 was heavily amended in committee. These bills will need to be reconciled following Crossover. Maryland REALTORS® Position: Support

HB 1186 – Allows local governments to extend property tax relief for the elderly, veterans and surviving spouses from the current 5 year maximum to a total of 10 years. Maryland REALTORS® Position: Support

HB 834 – This bill promotes septic awareness among Maryland residents. Originally requiring distribution of septic toolkit materials at the time of settlement, it was amended to instead include a notice in the residential contract of sale that directs sellers to the septic toolkit on the EPA website. Maryland REALTORS® Position: Support

With Committees meeting from sunup to sundown and floor sessions stretching hours at a time, a bill’s status may chance quickly. We’ll have a recap of Crossover actions in next week’s View from Annapolis, but until then, you can check on any of the bills we are following in the 2022 Legislative Status Report.