News Release, Office of Governor Larry Hogan

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan Friday announced in letters to General Assembly leaders that, in accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, he has vetoed the following legislation passed during the 2019 legislative session:

HB 66/SB 252 – Railroad Company – Movement of Freight – Required Crew
“Maryland cannot afford to be at a competitive disadvantage to our neighboring states. The increased costs associated with this legislation, negative impact on the approximately 37,300 jobs generated by port activity, and potential to jeopardize the livelihood of Maryland workers who depend on a thriving Port of Baltimore is too harmful to allow these bills to become law.” Read the governor’s letter here.

HB 262/SB 537 – Higher Education – Tuition Rates – Exemptions
“To build on the success of that program, I proposed legislation to establish the Promise Plus Program, expanding available scholarships and giving all eligible Maryland students—United States citizens, permanent resident immigrants, and undocumented ‘Dreamers’ alike—the opportunity to receive free tuition for the remaining two years at a public four-year institution. Inexplicably, the General Assembly refused to support this common sense expansion to help all Maryland students. Instead, you adopted legislation that only narrowly expanded existing law to the total exclusion of all Maryland students holding U.S. citizenship or permanent resident (‘Green Card’) immigration status. This is unfair and unacceptable.” Read the governor’s letter here.

HB 720/SB 830 – Natural Resources – Fishery Management Plans – Oysters
“My administration strongly opposes secret backroom dealmaking that will endanger the State’s long-term oyster restoration efforts, especially at a time when we are just making measurable progress.” Read the governor’s letter here.

HB 994/SB 839 – Labor and Employment – Criminal Record Screening Practices (Ban the Box)
“Employers have the right, and often the need, to know the criminal history of applicants they may hire. Senate Bill 839/House Bill 994 prohibits businesses from requiring an applicant to disclose this important information until the first in-person interview. This would result in costly and time-consuming human resources work that ultimately goes nowhere.” Read the governor’s letter here.

HB 1343/SB 1000 – Public Safety – Handgun Permit Review Board – Repeal
“When given an opportunity this year to adopt tougher sentences for repeat violent gun offenders, the legislature refused to act. However, abolishing the Handgun Permit Review Board is not a solution to violent crime problems. It is just another in a long series of politically-motivated and ill-conceived power grabs.” Read the governor’s letter here.

HB 891 – State Personnel – Grievance Procedures
“This is yet another ill-advised attempt by the General Assembly to insert themselves into the collective bargaining process and to interfere with the good faith efforts by our Administration to negotiate an agreed upon grievance process with the state employee unions.” Read the governor’s letter here.

HB 1281 – Transportation – Bikeways Network Program and Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan
“In the final days of the legislative session, language was unfortunately added to House Bill 1281 that fundamentally and inexplicably changes the scope of the Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan, creates unnecessary and costly bureaucratic hurdles, risks federal funding, and impedes our progress to improve transit services in the Central Maryland region.” Read the governor’s letter here.

SB 751 – Governor’s Appointments Office, Appointing Authorities, and the Secretary of Budget and Management – Duties and Reports
“This unconstitutional law will impede the Executive Branch’s ability to do business and have a chilling effect on our efforts to recruit qualified candidates. Personnel matters are confidential by law for a reason. Applicants for jobs trust their potential employer to be discreet and professional in every way. Having every movement logged and reported will have a detrimental effect on applicants for positions that affect every Marylander.” Read the governor’s letter here.

Also today, in accordance with Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution, Governor Hogan announced that a number of measures will become law without his signature.

  • For a complete list of House bills that Governor Hogan will allow to become law without his signature, click here.
  • For a complete list of Senate bills that Governor Hogan will allow to become law without his signature, click here.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...