What you can do to help pass the vehicular homicide bill
Yesterday I mentioned that Maryland House Bill 363 (Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel–criminal negligence) had cleared the House Judiciary Committee unanimously after seven years of inaction. A vote on the House floor is scheduled for this Friday. The bill will almost certainly clear that hurdle, possibly without even a word spoken about its content on the floor. Bills that are reported out of a committee unanimously almost always pass on the House floor, usually without debate. So it seems to me that the most serious potential obstacle for this bill is the Senate Committee to which the bill would then be referred, which presumably will be the Judicial Proceedings Committee. Not that there is any opposition: but the Legislature adjourns April 11 and they have other things to do. The Senate committee Chairman is Brian Frosh from District 16 in Montgomery County. This district is mostly between MD-355 and I-270 spur from the DC line up to Montrose Road, plus some areas west of I-270 spur up to around Great Falls. If you or your friends live in that District, it is worth giving him a call. Senator Jamie Raskin from Montgomery (District 20, i.e. south of Randolph Road, east of Northwest Branch) and Victor Ramirez from Prince Georges (District 47) are also on the committee. District 47 is a district that includes the land between US-50 and MD-450 inside or barely outside the Capitol Beltway, as well as Cottage City, Brentwood, part of West Hyattsville, and all the land between Northwest Branch and the DC line, as well as part of Langley Park). If you live in one of those three districts, the rest of us are counting on you to call your state Senator. Otherwise–even if you do not live in Maryland–I’d say that the most important thing you could do to help this bill would be to call your friends that do live in that district and ask them to make a call or at least send an email to one of the three Senators–especially Senator Frosh. You can find the contact information for your Maryland elected officials HERE.