The Maryland General Assembly concluded its 2024 legislative session Monday night after passing hundreds of bills over the last three months.

Here’s a look into some of the key pieces of legislation sent to the governor’s desk.


Several passed bills aim to make Maryland housing more affordable and easier to access — one of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore’s top legislative priorities this session. Other bills will create stronger protections for renters and tenants.

On Feb. 20, Moore testified on his package of three housing bills to the General Assembly. A lack of housing supply has contributed to an increased cost of living in the state, he said.

“Most Marylanders are putting a third of their monthly paycheck into rent,” Moore said. “If we don’t address the fact that the top driver of poverty in our state is housing insecurity … then we are never going to unleash the true potential of our state.”

The Renters’ Rights and Stabilization Act, one of Moore’s three housing bills, will establish an Office of Tenant and Landlord Affairs in the state’s housing and community development department. The office will create a bill of rights for tenants and require the bill of rights to be included in residential leases, according to the bill.

The bill also limits the cost of security deposits to one month’s rent and makes eviction more difficult by increasing the amount it costs landlords to serve an eviction notice.

Del. Linda Foley (D-Montgomery) told The Diamondback that housing is “one of the most critical problems we have in the state of Maryland right now.”

Foley appreciated Moore’s leadership on the bills and said the legislation was improved with amendments from the House of Delegates.

“It’s a good package, and I think we made it better,” Foley said.

Moore’s other two bills will make it easier for local jurisdictions to build more affordable housing, will increase density of new developments and establish funds for housing or redevelopment projects in low-income communities through grants or loans.

[Maryland legislators pass bill to aid recovery in Baltimore after bridge collapse]

Moore told reporters on Monday he was happy with the package of housing legislation headed to his desk, Maryland Matters reported.

“This is going to be the most aggressive housing package in the history of the state of Maryland,” Moore said Monday according to Maryland Matters.

Juvenile justice

The General Assembly also passed a bill Friday to reform the state’s juvenile justice system.

The reforms in the bill include expanding the juvenile court’s jurisdiction to include children over 10 years old for crimes relating to weapons or stealing motor vehicles, and raising the maximum length of probation for juvenile offenders.

The legislation, sponsored by House speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) and Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City), also enhances reporting requirements and legal oversight in the juvenile justice system.

“I brought this bill forward because our juvenile system is clearly failing a small set of children who are repeat offenders,” Jones said in a Feb. 8 hearing for the bill. “And they are increasingly calling out for our help because they’re not getting the services they need.”


House and Senate leadership avoided a potentially-extended session last week after they compromised on a $63 billion state budget.

The budget includes increased taxes and fees on vehicle registration and tobacco products to increase revenue sources. It will not increase income taxes.

A joint statement from Senate president Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) and Jones said the budget deal “would restore funding for immediate transportation needs and continue to invest in establishing a world-class education system.”

The proposed budget includes $9.1 billion in funding for the state’s public schools, a 5.3 percent increase from last year.

The plan also eliminates a projected deficit in fiscal year 2027 in funding for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future — the state’s sweeping education reform bill passed in 2021 — by raising revenue with the increased vehicle registration fees and tobacco taxes.

Relief for Port of Baltimore workers

The General Assembly approved a bill Monday night to provide economic relief to workers in the Port of Baltimore who have been affected by the collapse of the city’s Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The Maryland Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade Act, sponsored by Ferguson, will enhance grant programs for businesses and people affected by the collapse and create a scholarship fund for the dependents of construction workers killed in state projects.

The Key Bridge’s collapse on March 26 killed six construction workers who were on the bridge when it was struck and has almost entirely shut down the Port of Baltimore.

[UMD faculty, staff criticize bill to reduce prescription drug coverage for state retirees]

Ferguson said the bill aims to provide “protection and relief for the individuals and small businesses in the port industries that rely on the everyday, full operation of the Port of Baltimore.”

Accountability for gun manufacturers

One of the final bills passed Monday night will authorize the state’s attorney general to sue firearm manufacturers or sellers if they fail to “establish and implement certain reasonable controls,” according to the bill.

The bill, sponsored by Del. N. Scott Phillips (D-Baltimore County), states that firearm manufacturers or dealers may not knowingly create, maintain, or contribute to “harm to the public through the sale, manufacture, distribution, importation, or marketing of a firearm-related product.”

“This bill is about holding bad actors accountable, and there are bad actors,” Phillips said in a hearing for the bill on Feb. 28.

Protecting state officials

Two bills passed this session aim to enhance protections for judges and election poll workers.

The Judge Andrew F. Wilkinson Judicial Security Act would allow Maryland judges to not disclose personal information — such as their address — in public records.

Wilkinson, a judge on the Washington County Circuit Court, was murdered last year by a man he previously ruled against in a custody case, The Associated Press reported.

“This vicious attack on a member of the Maryland judiciary leaves an indelible mark not only in our local community, but throughout the entire state of Maryland and our country,” Sen. Paul Corderman (R-Washington and Frederick), the bill’s sponsor, said in a hearing in January.

Corderman said in the hearing the attack warrants action to protect state judicial officers and their families.

The other bill — the Protecting Election Officials Act — will prohibit people from making threats against election officials or their family members.

The bill creates a penalty of up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $2,500 for those who violate the law.