DAVIDSONVILLE, Md. — Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) followed 139 bills during the 2022 General Assembly, which ended this week. Of those, MDFB supported 65 — on issues like wildlife damage to crops; supporting urban agriculture; and right-to-repair farm implements — and opposed 19. Of the 65 supported, 29 passed. Of the 19 opposed, only three passed and all three were significantly amended to either remove MDFB’s opposition or lessen the impact to farmers.
“The 2022 legislative session has been interesting, to say the least,” said Colby Ferguson, MDFB director of government and public relations. “It all started with a December special session to review and vote on a new congressional district map — which caused some changes this year to the process of setting policy — and ended with many wins for Maryland farmers.”
During the session, MDFB held a virtual Day in Annapolis where Farm Bureau members discussed priority bills with legislators and met with Governor Larry Hogan. Here are the results of those bills:
Bills supported by MDFB:
- HB558/SB296: Adding “farm camping” to the agritourism state definition. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
- HB855/SB942: Urban Agriculture Water and Power Infrastructure Program. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
- HB562: Right-to-Repair – Farm Equipment. Bill died in committee.
- HB1216: Urban Agriculture Grant Program. Bill died on the Senate floor on Sin E Die.
- HB1002/SB800: Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Farm Electricity. Both bills died in the House committee.
- HB592/SB497: Deer management permits on state-owned land statewide. House bill passed and awaits the Governor’s signature.
- HB682/SB427: Baltimore County groundhog hunting permit exemption. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
- HB956/SB582: Landowner liability exemption for allowing hunting. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
Bills opposed by MDFB:
- HB11: RPS Tier 1 renewables – removal of biomass energy. Bill died in committee.
- HB387/SB268: Transfer of the regulation of pesticides from MDA to MDE. Both bills died in committee.
- HB596/SB783: Environmental rights – Constitutional Amendment. Both bills died in committee.
- HB798: Community Healthy Air Act. Bill died in committee.
- HB496/SB275: Family Medical Leave Insurance Program. Both bills passed but were amended to exempt employers of less than 15 employees and employees that work less than 680 hours annually.
“During the 2022 legislative session, Maryland Farm Bureau worked diligently to ensure the voice of our members was heard as we worked to protect and grow Maryland agriculture and preserve rural life,” said Ferguson.
The total number of bills introduced this session in Maryland was 1,487 House bills and 1,011 Senate bills.
MDFB members are invited to its annual Day in Annapolis and given weekly legislative updates or calls-to-action during session. Visit members.mdfarmbureau.com for membership information.
–Maryland Farm Bureau