FAQ

The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) is the central professional staffing agency for the Maryland General Assembly and provides a number of services.  These “Frequently Asked Questions” should help you determine where to go in DLS for these various services. 

System Requirements and Privacy Policy

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Services

  • Title II of the federal 1990 ADA requires state legislatures to ensure that access to the legislative process and public programs is as effective for individuals with disabilities as for individuals without disabilities. Mandated services include providing, on request, qualified interpreters for hearings or meetings with a legislator, as well as bills and documents in braille or on audiotape. Buildings in the Legislative Complex are accessible for individuals with physical disabilities.

  • Where:  Library and Information Services, Basement, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5400 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5400, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5400, Text Telephone (TTY) 410-946-5401 or 301-970-5401, Maryland Relay Service 1-800-735-2258

Audits

  • The Office of Legislative Audits, Department of Legislative Services, conducts fiscal compliance, performance, and financial statement opinion audits of State agencies and reviews the audits of local governments.  Copies of the audit reports and responses by the auditees are available through Library and Information Services.  For specific information, contact the Office of Legislative Audits.
  • Where:  Office of Legislative Audits, Department of Legislative Services, 301 W. Preston Street, Room 1202, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, Baltimore area 410-946-5900 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5900, Other areas in Maryland 1-877-486-9964
  • Library and Information Services, Department of Legislative Services, Basement, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5400 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5400.
  • Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5400 or online at http://www.ola.state.md.us/


Bill and Amendment Drafting

  • At the request of legislators, nonpartisan, professional staff in the Office of Policy Analysis researches, drafts, and prepares over 3,000 bills and joint resolutions annually.  Bill drafting is divided into areas of expertise by subject matter.  A bill request remains confidential until the bill is released by the primary sponsor.
  • Where: Office of Policy Analysis, Department of Legislative Services, Room 110, First Floor, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5350 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5350, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5350

  • Bills and resolutions are distributed to each legislator’s office, the committee rooms, and the Senate and House chambers by Bill Room staff.  Bill requests from staff and members of the public are accommodated at the Bill Room walk-up service window.  Additionally, the text of bills can be found online at the Maryland General Assembly website.
  • Where:  Bill Room, Distribution Services, Ground Floor, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5065 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5065, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5065 or online at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov


  • After bills are introduced, nonpartisan, professional staff in the Office of Policy Analysis prepares and processes individually sponsored and committee amendments to legislation.  The Amendment Office is staffed from the first day of session through the last day, Sine Die.  Additionally, committee staff also draft amendments.  Staff works hard to ensure timely delivery of amendments. Requests are made to the Amendment Office and assigned to a staff member for processing.
  • Where:  Amendment Office, Room H-9, Ground Floor, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5355 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5355, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5355

  • Print copies of amendments may be obtained at the information desk in the Library of the Department of Legislative Services.  Additionally, each day’s proceedings for the Senate and the House of Delegates contains a link to amendments that have been considered that day on the Maryland General Assembly website.
  • Where:  Library, Department of Legislative Services, Basement, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5400 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5400, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5400 or online at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov

Bill Status and Legislative Information

  • Bill Status and other legislative information are available from the Information Desks, through toll-free telephone lines, by mail, and in person.  Legislative information is also available through the Maryland General Assembly website.  Information includes committee assignments, hearing dates, votes, floor proceedings, and amendments.
  • Where:  Library, Department of Legislative Services, Basement, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5400 or Washington, D.C. Area 301-970-5400, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5400 or online at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov


  • Visit the Maryland General Assembly website and choose the Legislation By Session tab.
  • Select the Change Session drop down box and choose the appropriate year.
  • Type the bill number in the Number field and click the arrow to the right of that field.
  • You can also search by Sponsor, Broad Subjects, Narrow Subjects, Committee, Status Affected, and Legislation List.

Budget Information

  • Nonpartisan, professional staff reviews the executive budget requests for each fiscal year and prepares budget analyses for State agencies.  The analyses include a discussion of major budget issues, performance outcomes, and recommendations for budget reductions and other related actions.  Staff processes the State budget bills (operating and capital), prepares summary briefing materials explaining legislative budget actions, projects revenues and expenditures, monitors executive budget actions, and reports on the effect of long-term debt on the State.
  • Where:  Office of Policy Analysis, Room 214, Second Floor, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5530 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5530, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5530

Distribution Services

  • Legislative Bill Room - The Bill Room serves as the central distribution point for all versions of bills, resolutions, and chapter laws from the most recent session. Up to five copies of a bill are available to the public on request without charge.

  • Subscription Services - The Department of Legislative Services operates a subscription mailing service for those interested in obtaining bills, hearing schedules, synopses, "advance sheets," and bound volumes of the Laws of Maryland, as well as journals of the Senate and House of Delegates.

  • Bin Services - For a fee, there is a "bin" or pickup service for anyone who is interested in picking up bills and other legislative documents at one location in Annapolis on a regular basis.

  • Where:  Distribution Services, Ground Floor, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5065 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5065, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5065

Fiscal and Policy Notes on Legislation 

  • The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) is required by law to provide a written estimate of the fiscal impact on State and local government finances for all proposed legislation.  A small business impact assessment is also required. These "fiscal notes" also include a plain English summary of the bill and current law, plus relevant background information.  Nonpartisan analysts use their professional judgment and data from databases, affected State and local government agencies, and other interested parties in estimating the fiscal impact of the proposed legislation.  Fiscal notes are provided to the sponsor of the legislation, the committee assigned to consider the legislation, and the full chamber for second and third reading. Copies of fiscal notes are available at the public hearing and through the Maryland General Assembly's website.

  • The Office of Policy Analysis publishes reports to fulfill its statutory charge to conduct general research studies, develop options, make recommendations, and report to the General Assembly on various fiscal and policy matters.  All reports prepared by the Office of Policy Analysis may be found in the Library of DLS.  Some reports are available electronically on the DLS website.
  • Where:  Library and Information Services, Basement, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5400 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5400, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5400 or online at http://dls.state.md.us/

Jobs

Library and Information Services

  • This Library and Information Services staff provides reference, research, and information services to the General Assembly, its staff, and the public. The Library's collection includes all current and historical documents and materials relating to the legislative process, codes of all the states, and a wealth of other legal and general reference material. Among its many services, the Library maintains a newspaper clipping file from 1967 to date and performs computer searches of proposed legislation and legislative reports of other states, subject databases, the Annotated Code of Maryland, and the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR).
  • Pursuant to State Government Article section 2-1246, the Library receives and preserves copies of all reports mandated by law to be sent to the General Assembly.  The Library periodically prepares a Maryland documents list of reports received and sends it to all members. 
  • Members and staff may borrow from the Library; photocopying is free and inter-library loan is available. The public may use the Library but may not borrow any materials.  Additionally, the public may make photocopies for a per-page fee.
  • Where:  Library and Information Services, Basement, Legislative Services Building, 90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401, Baltimore area 410-946-5400 or Washington, D.C. area 301-970-5400, Other areas in Maryland 1-800-492-7122 x5400.


  • Starting with the 1992 session, the Senate began audio recording its committee and floor proceedings. Beginning with the 2004 session, the Senate uses a digital recording format. Committee hearings and floor proceedings are now reproduced on data CDs playable on a computer or DVD or CD player that supports the MP3 format. Computer software, such as Windows Media Player, will open the data files and play the CDs. Data CDs for the legislative sessions beginning in 1992 are available through Library and Information Services for $7 payable in cash or by check. Additionally, the audio portions of Senate and House floor proceedings, beginning in 2000, are available on the MGA website.  From Legislation by Session, choose the Session, then under Legislation List choose Proceedings - Senate or House Audio.  Beginning with the 2011 session audio of the Senate committee hearings and video of the House committee hearings are also available on the MGA website.

Public Information Act

  • Maryland's Public Information Act (PIA) gives the public the right to review and obtain copies of public records without unnecessary cost and delay.  The PIA can be found in the General Provisions Article, Sections 4-101 through 4-601 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Student Programs (Session Only)

  • The Intern Program is coordinated in the Human Resources office of the Department of Legislative Services (DLS). College and university students interested in working during session as interns with a legislator, committee, or caucus may apply by October 31.  After members, or their designated staff, review application materials and conduct interviews, placements are made by the DLS Intern Coordinator.  To qualify, students must be enrolled and be able to work a minimum of two days per week during session.  Interns earn academic credit and receive a set stipend for their work.

  • The Page Program  is coordinated in the Human Resources office of the Department of Legislative Services. This is a nonpatronage program for high school seniors.  Each year 105 pages and 36 alternates are selected through their local school systems by October 31. Pages serve two nonconsecutive weeks in either the Senate or House chambers.  Interested students are advised to visit their guidance offices during the first two weeks of their senior year and ask for a Page Program application.  Each county may have additional requirements, such as an essay or an interview.