The Honorable Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
Speaker of the House
State House
Annapolis MD 21401

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 515 - Maternal Mortality Review Program.

This bill establishes the Maternal Mortality Review Program in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to identify maternal death cases; review records and data; contact appropriate individuals to collect additional data; consult with experts; make recommendations concerning preventability; develop recommendations for the prevention of maternal deaths; and disseminate findings and recommendations to policy makers, health care providers, health care facilities, and the general public. The bill details reporting requirements and access to death certificates and relevant medical records in cases where maternal death is suspected. A health care provider or facility may not be held liable for civil damages or subject to criminal or disciplinary action for good faith efforts to comply with the bill's requirements. The bill also requires the Secretary to submit a report on findings, recommendations and program actions to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1 of each year.

Senate Bill 459, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by me on April 25, 2000, accomplishes the same purpose. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to sign House Bill 515.

Parris N. Glendening