O’Malley Signs Bills Passed By Md. Legislature

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ/AP) — It was a busy day in Annapolis Tuesday.  Governor Martin O’Malley signed more than 100 bills passed by the General Assembly.

Alex DeMetrick has more on how the new laws will affect you.

O’Malley joined state Senate and House of Delegate leaders for the bill signing ceremony following the closure of the legislature. Lawmakers worked right up to the end on two of the most controversial bills before finally approving an extension of in-state tuition for some children of illegal immigrants and an increase in the state’s alcohol tax.

In the end, lawmakers approved a 50 percent increase in the state sales tax on alcohol, now nine cents per dollar. It will take effect in July and in its first year, it’s expected to generate $85 million. The money generated will help schools and the developmentally disabled.  It’s the first such increase in a generation.

The other bill gives in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants, as long as they complete two years at a community college and can show their parents paid state taxes for at least three years.

The governor says this is just a first step.

“Whenever Congress figures out how to fix a broken immigration and naturalization system in our country, all of these children will be citizens of our country one day,” said O’Malley.

The most far-reaching bill signed brings Maryland in compliance with the new federal health care law.

O’Malley signed a bill to create a framework for the state’s health exchange. That’s a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will have access to competitive prices for health insurance. Recommendations made by the exchange’s board of trustees will need the legislature’s approval.

Another bill aligns Maryland law with consumer protections in the federal law, including provisions that bar exclusions from insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

This session also saw changes to the state employee pension fund, as well as job eliminations.

“We knew it was going to be a tough session when we started,” said House Speaker Michael Busch.

The session also managed to bring state costs and a deficit down.

“There are not many states in these times that would be able to pull off what this General Assembly was able to accomplish in InvestMaryland,” said O’Malley. “[They’re] betting on that better future that comes from innovation, science, healing and discovery, if we have the guts to harness its potential.” 

With little time to spare, lawmakers also voted to set aside about $8 million to fund horse racing.

A bill decriminalizing medical marijuana also passed, preventing the conviction of anyone with less than an ounce, as long as a doctor signs off.

Two laws O’Malley will not sign are two he strongly backed: offshore wind power along Maryland’s coast and a massive upgrade to the state’s septic system. Both of those failed to make it through the legislature.

“These are items that are going to be put on the table, discussed and studied and they’re going to happen,” said Senate President Mike Miller.

But not this time around.

Not all the bills that passed were signed into law Tuesday.  That process frequently takes months.

The first laws will go into effect July 1.

More from Alex DeMetrick




    • Debbie

      I couldnt agree more- college is expensive and only a handful of scholarships are merit based. The majority are need based and this adds to the pot to those who have rarely put into the pot. I really wonder where the brains are in our government. Lisa

      PS. I am an immigrant of a WWII soldier- Ipaid my way for college and have paid into the system all of my life(45 years) My children fight for our freedoms. If they want coolege they need to earn it- put a uniform on.

    • Graham B. Henry Jr.

      Why don t you tell us how you really feel.

      • Robert Long

        I did. i called and left him a nice nasty voice mail. telling him what i thought of him and his bs

  • ken

    a fee is a tax in case you forgot omally

  • peter higgs

    if they are illegal why are they still here i dont understand this and why give them anything but a ticket out of the country

    • Graham B. Henry Jr.

      They were born here

      • Robert Long

        so what? there parents broke the law. so lets give there kid’s a free ride. that will show them. i dont think after hearing what maryland has in store for them and there families they will ever do it again……… not!

      • SMH

        NO Not all of them were

      • j. kramer

        no they were not born here graham. educate yourself before making such inane comments

      • Ryan Smyth

        Lest we not forget that this country was founded by immigrants. Unless you are an American Indian complaining about immigrants, you haven’t a leg to stand on.

      • overtaxed

        The difference is LEGAL immigration. People came here, legally, learned the language, and did not look for special treatment. Huge difference.

        Take your head out of your rear end.

      • Mike

        American Indians were immigrants to.



  • Graham B. Henry Jr.

    Thank you WJZ for having this forum for people to vent.

    • Billiam

      Thank you, Graham, for wasting the air we breathe

  • Kim

    The difinition of illegal is: in violation of statute, regulation or ordinance, which may be criminal or merely not in conformity. So can anyone tell me why we are doing this. I like to know everyone who voted for this and make sure they do not get reelected.

    • Bernie

      Kim. WJZ. the Sunpaper don’t have the balls to publish a list of the lawmakers who voted yea or nay. I tried on the internet & just a lot of *&^%$#.

    • Terry

      According to the Maryland General Assembly’s website, in the Senate, the following people voted YEA for this bill (SB 167):
      Voting Yea – 27
      Mr. President Forehand Kelley Montgomery Robey
      Astle Frosh King Peters Rosapepe
      Benson Garagiola Madaleno Pinsky Young
      Conway Gladden Manno Pugh
      Currie Jones-Rodwell McFadden Ramirez
      Ferguson Kasemeyer Middleton Raskin

      And in the House:
      Voting Yea – 74
      Speaker Busch Cullison Hixson Mitchell Stukes
      Alston Davis Holmes Mizeur Summers
      Anderson Dumais Howard Murphy Tarrant
      Arora Feldman Hubbard Nathan-Pulliam Turner, F.
      Barkley Frick Hucker Niemann Turner, V.
      Barnes Frush Ivey Oaks Valderrama
      Barve Gaines Jones Pena-Melnyk Valentino-Smith
      Bobo Gilchrist Kaiser Pendergrass Vallario
      Branch Glenn Kelly, A. Proctor Vaughn
      Braveboy Griffith Kramer Reznik Waldstreicher
      Cane Gutierrez Lee Robinson, B. Walker
      Carr Guzzone Love Robinson, S. Washington
      Carter Harrison Luedtke Rosenberg Wilson
      Clippinger Haynes McIntosh Ross Zucker
      Conaway Healey Miller, A. Simmons

      go to http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/billfile/sb0167.htm
      scroll down the page and look under the heading “Roll Call Votes”.

  • Patty Burr

    O’mallley keep up the good job .. Not a easy time with all the Stuff the rep. Are doing … You Dem. Love you .. Great Job …

    • SMH

      Patty, I’m guessing you don’t have a problem with people running red lights, or robbing stores, or stealing from companies, or cheating on their taxes. These actions fall under the catagory of illegal also….

  • bernie

    OMalley thinks he’s on the “Left Coast” & in Cali. with his thinking. Meanwhile the people who pay for all these luxuries shrinks while the rolls of those illegals & just plain lazy grows. There will come a breaking point & eventually someone or bodies will snap. Then watch out with all the pundits. I told you so.

  • Dale

    Just another example of how our government helps themselves and anyone
    else that isnt one of their constituants. Money for illegal immigrants can
    easily be found while true citizens of MD cannot find work and are losing their
    homes and families?? There is no doubt that our government needs a total
    elected official overhaul , locally and federal. How much is enough?
    EVERYONE, go to the polls and make the changes we really need!!!!

    • Voter

      I did not vote for any of these people who are ruining our country/state. I check to see how my local representatives vote…

      It’s not just here in Maryland. I noticed a downward trend once Obama was put into office… Our society is becoming more socialist because of our leader. Not that Hillary would have done any better.

  • bmoregyrl

    I knew sooner or later the supporters of Owe Malley will come out. Wow really you support the illegals taking away from our children. He is not doing a good job and neither is the house or senit I want to know how voted yes for the illegal children to get a better education than my daughter because I will remind everyone who voted yes and then they can answer why they did. The children are not born here they are after they are born and now they get help where as our children does not…. I am so happy Pam Burr that you voted for the slim ball. You are as much as a slim ball as Owe Malley why don’t you keep voting for him and have our taxes keep going up. We appauled you Owe Malley supports I hope in two years someone comes along and knocks Owe Malley out of office….

    • bernie

      Bmoregyrl, OMalley can not succeed himself, he will have served two terms & that is the limit set by law thank god. You get your next chance when he either runs for the Senate or if he gets a cushy appointee position in the OBama administration.

  • nationalrealist

    Apparently the state government just de-legitamized itself by breaking its own laws, since illegal is obviously legal now. Hmmm, I wonder if a certain someone is playing the part of political opportunist and trying to win favor with a specific group…

    Here is a crazy idea. Let’s all start voting for people who care about the state more than their future careers. Say no to Democrats and Republicans.

  • janet..Baltimore Native

    If an person is here illegally, an employer cannot legally hire them. I keep hearing that the bill to educate illegals is “good” so we can enjoy a higher educated workforce. This doesn’t make sense to me. In addition, an education stills costs $$$. Who is footing the rest of an illegal immigrants education expense? the answer: Maryland Employers. If this is the case, then the employers are hiring illegally. One cannot continue to enforce the prosecution of employers for hiring an illegal while still touting the need to educate illegals to better our workforce.

    • T

      Ironically, even with a degree, if they remain illegal immigrants, no one will hire them in the field for which they received the degree. Landscaping, carpet laying, etc, sure maybe. Computer Science, teacher, business, advertiising – forget it. Nothing about this bill makes sense.

      Once they’re college age, they can apply for a student visa and start their citizenship process WHILE going to college.

      • College Dream

        Okay, so then perhaps the illegal immigrants should pay full tuition amount until they complete the citizenship process… Those that serve in the military, live just over state boundaries, etc. will not receive in-state tuition, so why should those who are in our country illegally?

        No one has denied these people the right to an education. It’s just that the taxpayers should not have to foot the bill.

        How does an illegal immigrant get to pay taxes for three years legally? I still don’t understand this…

  • TAZ

    Is O’Malley also signing a bill changing the definition of ‘ILLEGAL’?? Anybody up to challenging this law in court? I hope so!

    • Fed Up

      I would love to find out how to get involved in that! This is an issue that should have been voted on by TAX PAYING, LEGAL, REGISTERED VOTERS in this State and not jumped over the Boarder fence. My only relief in this “law” passing is that most illegals are too stupid or too lazy to get a job anywhere else other then cutting grass and working at McDonalds.

  • Corey

    Hold up you uneducated clowns!!!! I am a white student attending college at UMBC! To all the people here hating on Mexicans you need to stop, because there are more illegal canadians in this country that hispanics, you just dont think about it because they are white and you arent educated!

    • Robert Long

      I dont see Canadian’s taking our job’s and using tape and glue to fix stuff at 1/3rd the price. and not speaking english expecting me to learn spanish so i can get my order right at a fast food joint. or to tell them to get out of my way when i am trying to park and they are standing everywhere in the parking lot with 20 kid’s per family and they dont move and just keep standing there.

      they have no respect for this county. they come here expecting handout’s and dont even have the respect to learn english or even slow down with having kid’s. they are trying to over populate our county and slowly turning it into mexico. because they all work job’s that pay under the table so they dont pay tax’s like everyone else. so all the tax’s we pay. goes to them for there welfare and schooling now. it makes me sick!

    • tylerjake

      Note to Corey: You’re a young dumb virgin who needs to occasionally step out into the real world. I’m sure your mommy and daddy have spoon feed you, your entire life!

    • Fed Up

      Well Corey, if you were so educated you would have seen the latest Cenus stating that the Hispantic races is higher then the black, white and mixed. I don’t have to think about it, I see it EVERY DAY! And, for your information, I am educated.

    • T

      Cory, illegal immigrants are illegal immigrants regardless of their country of origin or skin color. Unfortunately, your data is wrong – the majority of illegal immigrants in the US are in fact Mexican.

      Take YOUR education and do some research before calling people racists. And also learn to use periods and apostrophes.

  • Derf

    Recent polls show that 96% of Marylanders were against tuition aid for illegal immigrants. Can anyone explain, logically, how our elected legislators ignored the people & voted for this bill?

    • tylerjake

      I know the one’s in Anne Arundel County that voted for this mess, (ie: Mary Ann Love) won’t be getting much “love” during the next election!

    • Fed Up

      Sure, that’s easy! It’s because our State government could care less about what we want or think. They do what they want and just raise our taxes to pay for it. People need to smarten up and get rid of those who are responsible for these silly bills. We need to start with Victor Ramirez and his co-hort Anna (whatever her name is). If they want all these benefits for their Countrymen then they can move back to where ever they came from and run for office there. I can’t understand who voted them in to begin with, unless the illegals are allowed to vote.

      An earlier post made comment about some kind of legal action. I would love to know if that can actually be done.

  • Doug

    Wake up Cory.
    We don’t see Canadians choking our hospitals and schools,
    at our expense.


    Mann he don’t give a good rats behind about us. I don’t want to pay for them to go to school here. R u serious??!!! I think I pay for more then enough. He is Rewarding Criminal Behavior and making Maryland pay for it. When’s the last time he gave us A TAX CUT!!! Huh???? Breaking the backs of hard working ppl and not giving them Anything back in return but a hard way to go. Thanks A Lot.

  • Charlie

    Corey, gdet a clue!! There are not more illegal Canadians here than Hispanics. There are an estimated 12 million illegal aliens (nearly all hispanic). How many Canadians are here? Not12 million. Just because you are against ILLEGAL immigrants living of off the taxpayers dole doesn’t nake you antiHisoanic.There are millions of Hispanics here legally. No one is complaining about them, just the ILLEGALS. You see, illegal means that they are here ILLEGALLY, just in case you needed a reminder.

    • Robert Long

      yea. i was always told a lie is a lie. a crime is a crime. when did it become ok to lie all the time and commit crimes? i guess because O’Malley and the rest of his bag chock full limitless supply of idiots lie and steal our hard earned money. he figured he would pull a robin hood on us. Steal from the poor and give to the prisoners.

  • Robert Long

    Im telling you guys. Here are the new bill’s he will be working on to pass.

    1. Free apartment’s for child molesters within a quarter mile of school’s.
    2. Free handgun’s for drug dealer’s.
    3. 8 Grand per kid no social security number required tax pay back’s for illegal immigrants.
    4. One time per year each illegal immigrant family will choose a house of there liking that a legal tax payer and his or her family reside in and move them out to the street and sign the house over to them.
    5. For every family you sneak across the boarder into maryland you get a free mini van and a 20 grand signing bonus at tax payers expense of course.
    6. change the maryland flag to a picture of a taco
    7. Force all marylanders to speak spanish. Each offense you are caught speaking english you will have to live in mexico for a week. 10th offense you will live there for ever.

    Nice things to look forward too huh?

  • Shannon

    It’s not just O’Malley that is a complete idiot it’s every person who VOTED FOR HIM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • charles

    Corey…….you freeloader. Mommy and daddy takes care of you. Get a job, then work your way through college like most of us. How much have you paid in taxes? Probably zero. Move into the real world where honest people work, pay taxes, raise their kids and contribute to this society.

  • sheriff willie

    Corey, Well lad today was a first lesson for you in going to the woodshed to get your ass ripped & did you ever deserve that spanking pimples.

  • marian

    you all could start impeachment hearings for unlawful signings of illegal bills. the people of md put them in office we can take them out

  • Raoul

    Thanks to the action of the MD Assembly and the incompetent Governor this state is well on its way to Third World status. Under MD law we will now punish those who work for a living and obey the law and reward those who break it.

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