Today, Maryland became the second state in America to pass a law addressing the issue of motorcycle profiling. Senate Bill 233 landed on the Governor’s desk after unanimously passing through both chambers of the statehouse and was signed into law a few minutes before 11am. The law goes into effect in October of this year, as do most laws passed in Maryland.
Significantly, the Maryland Confederation of Clubs, with the collaborative support of ABATE, was able to pass anti-profiling legislation on the second attempt. In 2015, the Senate passed a similar bill unanimously but ran out of time in the House. Maryland’s success should serve as solidified proof that grassroots manpower movements work, and they can work very quickly.
This year, time was on the movement’s side and the bill was better positioned as a result of strategic sponsorship decisions made after the 2015 session. The Maryland COC and ABATE initiated a collaborative grassroots legislative campaign founded on a solid pattern of evidence and relentless lobbying. In fact, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Vallario, co-sponsored the bill. Impressively, 18 of 23 House Judiciary Committee members joined Vallario as sponsors on the bill.
The MPP is proud to have been a part of Maryland’s efforts and going forward other states should gain confidence that an aggressive lobbying strategy can work well and work quickly. We now have anti-motorcycle profiling laws coast to coast. And the momentum being created is undeniable. There is currently Federal legislation that recently received sponsorship making motorcycle profiling a national policy discussion.
Congratulations Maryland! Your state serves as a model for an effective and collaborative grassroots legislative campaign and lobbying strategy.