UELMA 2017 – Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Hearing

uelmahearingOn Thursday, January 26, 2017, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee held a committee hearing on SB 137, the Maryland Uniform Legal Materials Act (UELMA). Sponsored by Senators Susan C. LeeBrian J. Feldman, and William C. Smith, Jr., SB 137 provides for access, authentication, and preservation of specified online state legal materials that have been deemed official. UELMA takes a technology-neutral, outcomes-based approach to ensure that official online legal materials will have the same level of trustworthiness as official print publications.

Thursday’s hearing at the Miller Senate Building presented the public with an opportunity to provide input on the proposed bill. Following an introduction by Senator Lee, four speakers testified in support of UELMA: Brian Lewis, on behalf of the Uniform Law Commission; Steven Anderson, on behalf of the American Association of Law Libraries; Joan Bellistri, on behalf of LLAM; and Mary Jo Lazun, on behalf of LLAM. Each speaker addressed how UELMA will ensure Marylanders’ access to the law. In addition to sharing their prepared remarks, the speakers answered questions from the committee. At the end of the hearing for SB 137, Vice Chair Delores G. Kelley complimented the panel on their preparedness.

SB 137 is cross-filed with HB 165. This week, the House Health and Government Operations Committee will hold its hearing on UELMA on Wednesday, February 1st at 3:00 p.m. We need your support! Contact your local delegates and senators to show your support for UELMA.

Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, February 14, 2017 for Maryland Library Legislative Day! Law Librarians are needed to visit their legislators to advocate for UELMA and other issues important to Maryland libraries. The Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Law Library will be hosting librarians and library supporters from across the state, and LLAM will provide participants with a continental breakfast starting at 8:00 am. We hope to see you there! (More details later.)

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