As quickly as the legislative session begins, it also ends. Neither Bill was voted on, thus the bills in both the House and Senate no longer exist. MAAPPS Lobbyists were able to elevate the knowledge and professionalism in the process serving industry. The political strategies and tactics utilized were incredibly complex and time consuming, illustrating the dedication and commitment of MAAPPS to its members.
Prior to the legislative session, MAAPPS representatives met with the proponents of process server licensing. This included the Maryland School of Law, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, Debt Collection Attorneys, Maryland Bar Association members, and others. In addition, MAAPPS representatives also met with the Maryland State Trooper Association, Maryland Office of the Judiciary, Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation Agency (DLLR). In addition, from a political perspective Lobbyists met with numerous Senators and Delegates – both Republican and Democratic Parties, in an effort to truly analyze the standings on process server licensing and regulation.
These conversations and meetings were utilized to evaluate and conduct formal policy analysis to develop strategies and tactics in order to defeat or seriously handicap licensing requirements as proposed by SB 838. -Hence, the creation of HB 1293.
The “Battle of the Bills” created a mechanism (for political purposes) to encourage significant political thought, which MAAPPS was determined to bring to the forefront and center the issues, rather than the emotional response that MCRC brought forth as part of their testimony. The prioritization of issues ranged for each voting committee member in the House and Senate. MAAPPS offered a diversion from emotional voting -to voting based on fiscal implications, statistics, etc. In essence, the strategy utilized in the MAAPPS effort to combat SB 838 was successful in advancing additional considerations and thoughts by the legislative representatives to encourage formal policy analysis and program evaluation prior to reaching any vote.
Think-tanks, law professors, and special interest groups where promoting SB 838 in the name of public interest and safety. Their criteria and commentary only provided an informal policy analysis seeking an emotional response. These “quick and dirty” critiques of the process serving industry were nothing more than speculation. While they may have been made with style, wit, and propaganda, the proponents lacked methodological rigor and formal policy analysis.
Formal policy analysis utilizes a set of techniques that seek to answer the question of what the probable effects of any policy or statutory regulation may have BEFORE it actual occurs. It is not a program evaluation nor is it comparable to similar types of regulations found in other areas. Thus, what works (or does not work) in one state doesn’t necessarily fit in another state. This also falls into the realm of the separation of the states found in the United States Constitution.
Through its efforts, MAAPPS sponsored an alternative bill that effectively, caused legislative bodies to consider both the positive and negative aspects of each provision. In other words, the legislature was presented with opposing options. It required the legislature to ask questions and address concerns, stalling any forward movement sought by the proponents.
MAAPPS would like to take this moment to thank all of those individuals who have supported and contributed to this association in support of opposition of SB-838. However, contributions are still needed to pay for services that have protected our profession and our industry.
PLEASE contribute to the MAAPPS Legal Fund Today!
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MAAPPS Legislative Committee Chairperson