MDFB Satisfied With Results of 2024 Maryland General Assembly

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) expresses satisfaction with the results of the 2024 Maryland legislative session, marking good achievements for the state’s agricultural community. Amidst a busy session where over 2,700 bills were introduced, MDFB actively engaged with 140 bills, advocating for the interests of Maryland farmers.

During the session, MDFB testified on 46 bills, strategically supporting or opposing legislation crucial to the ag sector. Of the 18 bills supported by MDFB, 10 successfully passed, reflecting the effective advocacy efforts of the organization. Perhaps even more importantly, MDFB opposed 13 bills and were able to kill 12 of those bills.

“We are pleased with the outcomes of the 2024 legislative session, which reflect our commitment to advancing the interests of Maryland’s agricultural community,” stated MDFB Director of Government Affairs Tyler Hough. “Through our grassroots advocacy efforts and engaging with legislators, we have achieved significant victories that will benefit farmers across the state.”

Policy Victories for Maryland Farmers:

SB0367/HB0481: Natural Resources – Antlerless Deer Hunting Programs – Authorization

Senator Mautz and Delegates Hutchinson, Adams, Anderton, Hartman, Otto, and Sample-Hughes

This bill would authorize and protect programs like the Lower Shore Doe Harvest Challenge. These programs have been under more scrutiny the past few years, and needed a legislative fix to continue. This bill was brought up twice in prior sessions but never passed – this year, we issued an action alert that resulted in over 150 messages sent to legislators that got this bill over the finish line.

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support

HB1190: Pesticides – PFAS Chemicals – Prohibitions

Delegate Ruth

Maryland Farm Bureau strongly opposed HB1190. Every session, bills come up that take tools out of the toolbox for farmers. This bill would prohibit the selling of a pesticide that has PFAS chemicals as an active ingredient. We do not support regulations concerning PFAS without conclusive scientific data. This bill died in committee with no cross-file.

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Oppose

SB0193/ HB0357: Agriculture – Confinement of Egg-Laying Hens in Commercial Egg Production – Prohibitions

Delegates Terrasa, Lehman, Allen, Bagnall, Cardin, Embry, Fair, Feldmark, Foley, Holmes, J. Long, McCaskill, Palakovich Carr, Patterson, Pena-Melnyk, Rosenberg, Ruth, Solomon, Stein, Stewart, Wells, Wilkins, and Wu and Senator Lewis Young

This bill negatively impacts our shell egg producers and places pressure on them to convert to a cage-free system. With the strenuous standards in this bill, it is considered a threat to the viability of egg layer operations in Maryland. The economic viability of going cage-free and the biosecurity concerns of HPAI will lead this bill to render more harm than good. This bill would put the few egg-laying farms that farm this way out of business. Bill died in committee in both the House and the Senate after MDFB members sent over 400 messages to legislators in opposition.

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Oppose

Bills That Passed:

SB808/HB1466: Anaerobic Digestion Technology – Coordination and Guidance 

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support

HB1101/SB0653: Standing – Environmental and Natural Resources Protection Proceedings

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Oppose

HB0979/SB0915: Agriculture – Invasive Plant Species – Regulation (Biodiversity and Agriculture Protection Act)

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support with Amendment

HB0991/SB1074: Agriculture – Food Processing Residuals Utilization Permit – Establishment

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support with Amendments

HB1165/SB0969: Stream and Watershed Restoration – Stream Restoration Contractor Licensing and Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Restoration and Funding

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: No position

SB0589/HB0812: Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland – Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission – Funding

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support

HB0447/SB0440: Income Tax Credit – Venison Donation

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support

HB0113/SB0042: Vehicle Laws – Horse Riding – Helmet Requirement for

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support

SB0196: Soil Conservation Districts – Small Ponds – Plan Review Fees

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support

SB290: Certified Local Farm and Fish Program – Annual Waiver Reports – Alterations

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support

SB0178/HB0022: Agriculture – Pollinator Habitat Plan – Requirements for State Highway Administration

Maryland Farm Bureau’s Position: Support with Amendments

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