The 2019 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly began with many newly elected Delegates and Senators taking their seats. Retirements and lost elections resulted in changes in leadership on several committees, specifically those that typically address energy policy and funding; House Economic Matters and Senate Finance.
MCEC staff tracked 63 pieces of legislation pertaining to the Clean Energy sec introduced during this session. In summary, 22 bills pertaining to the Clean Energy Sector were returned passed and 39 failed through withdrawal by the sponsor, receiving an unfavorable report or failing to make it out of committee and cross over.
Legislation pending this session focused largely on proposed alterations to the RPS, with the most high-profile bill being the Clean Energy Jobs Act which passed on Sine Die.
Incentives to support electric vehicle adoption and use were also prevalent with the General Assembly electing to pass bills to permanently extend the excise tax credit for purchase, require future school buses purchases to be net zero emissions vehicles and continuing the provision for plug in electric vehicles to use HOV lanes.
Also among the bills that passed were initiatives requiring the Public Service Commission to establish a certain customer choice website for electric customers and to establish an energy storage pilot program. Legislators also lifted the sunset on the Environmental Trust Fund surcharge which funds the Power Plant Research Program at the Department of Natural Resources.
While bills designed to consider plans for regulating solar system siting failed, a bill designed to continue advancing community solar generation passed.
View the MCEC Policy Watch Report for the 2019 MD Legislative Session.