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February 1, 2020

Political Corner - Karen Lewis Young

Guest Columnist

Karen Lewis Young

What follows is a summary of the bills that I will be introducing this session. They are in varying stages of drafting, negotiating, and hearing preparation.

Salary History - This bill prohibits employers, employing 15 or more employees, from seeking salary history information as a basis for screening job applicants and making compensation offers. Salary should be based only on position responsibilities as well as candidate skills and qualifications. This has passed the House twice. We are optimistic that it will move in the Senate also this year.

LOCAL Act - This legislation protects the ability of municipalities and counties to pass stronger laws for their own communities by preventing state government from passing legislation that preempts local law. It is also intended to avoid lawsuits by bringing greater transparency.

Athletic Training Expansion – This is intended to expand athletic training practices by giving athletic trainers greater flexibility to practice in additional settings.

Pharmacists Administration of Medicine - Expands access to medication by allowing pharmacists to administer certain types of medicine directly to patients. Maryland would join 27 other states that give pharmacists greater flexibility to administer medication. The focus will be on medications that treat mental health and addiction.

Living Donor Support Act of 2020  - The bill expands a tax credit for financial support and reimbursement for state residents who are living organ donors and whose donations go to a resident of the State. Increases this tax credit to $10,000.

Healthcare Discrimination - Protects vulnerable populations by requiring hospitals and related institutions to admit and treat individuals regardless of certain immutable characteristics and type of treatment sought.

Self-Direction Preservation Act - Allows persons living with developmental disabilities the freedom to allocate funds to caregivers.

Mental Health Admission - This gives Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners more flexibility to admit patients with mental health and psychiatric ailments. There is a statewide lack of available mental health treatment beds and authorized admitting practitioners. Many patients are going untreated.

Patient Brokering - Eliminates the practice of healthcare kickbacks. Paid brokers, who lack transparency and integrity, are misleading many individuals seeking treatment for opioid dependence toward illegitimate treatment facilities.

Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) Laboratories – This legislation requires the Department of Health to develop and make available a list of private BSL-3 labs to emergency management and public health officials so that they can respond to emergencies more appropriately. This passed as a Frederick County delegation bill on 1/24.

Physician Dispensing - Ensures patient safety and expands access to healthcare by allowing patients to receive specialty medication at the point of care without the intervention of Pharmacy Benefit Manager middlemen, who take a large cut of the price and drive up costs.

Expanded Insurance Coverage for Lyme disease - Introducing legislation passed in other states that require insurance companies to cover extended treatment of Lyme disease.

Voting Rights for Student Member of the BOE – Working with two students from FCPS to obtain voting rights for the student member on all issues except for budget and personnel.



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