SENATE

STANDING COMMITTEES

EDUCATION, HEALTH & ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


[photo, Miller Senate Office Building entrance, 11 Bladen St., Annapolis, Maryland] Functions of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee started in the Economic Affairs Committee which became the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee in 1985. The Committee reformed under its present name effective April 10, 2001 (Senate Rules 18(a)(1)).

Miller Senate Office Building entrance, 11 Bladen St., Annapolis, Maryland, January 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Because the concerns of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee cover a broad range of legislation, the Committee's origins trace to many earlier committees. Among these were standing committees concerned with agriculture, education, natural resources, and economic affairs.

The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Manufactors was created in March of 1839 and by December of that year renamed the Standing Committee on Agriculture. In 1880, it was reorganized as the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Labor. The Committee was renamed the Standing Committee on Agriculture in 1945. Its responsibilities later would devolve on the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee.

In 1900, the Standing Committee on Fish and Game was formed and continued until 1943. Concerns of that committee were assumed in 1945 by the Standing Committee on Natural Resources. In 1951, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and the Standing Committee on Natural Resources merged to become the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee. Responsibilities of the Committee were reassigned in 1967 to the newly formed Economic Affairs Committee from which the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee was created in 1984.

Duties of other earlier committees were assumed by the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee. Among these were the Standing Committee on Education (1856-1966) and the Standing Committee on Chesapeake Bay and its Tributaries (1860-1966). Responsibilities of both Committees fell to the Economic Affairs Committee in 1967 and were assigned to the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee in 1984.

Today, the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee reviews legislation relating to agriculture and land preservation; alcoholic beverages; licensing and regulation of businesses, including business, health, and related occupations and professions; education policy; elections; energy; environment; ethics; fire prevention; local government; natural resources; procurement; State government organization and procedures; and veterans affairs.

Eleven senators serve on this committee (Senate Rules 18; Code State Government Article, secs. 2-1103 through 2-1105).


SUBCOMMITTEES

Under the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee for the 2015 legislative session are four subcommittees: Comptroller Issues; Education; Environment; and Health.

EDUCATION SUBCOMMITTEE
By 1988, the Education Subcommittee reviewed legislation.

ENVIRONMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
The Environment Subcommittee functioned by 1988.

HEALTH SUBCOMMITTEE
The Health Subcommittee considered bills by 1988. It reformed as the Health Occupations Subcommittee in January 2011. In January 2015, it reverted to its former name.

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