- Track legislation important to you. For more information, or to sign up for this free service, please click here.
- Track government spending. If you’re interested in knowing where your money goes, visit the database at http://spending.dbm.maryland.gov
Senate Floor Sessions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC965i3n0wndwj90muUZlyFQ
House Floor Sessions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqELNxEkj2ZNATl4eXWouRw
The 2023 General Assembly is over and the bills that passed are now on the Governor’s desk to be signed. Unlike in previous years, Maryland’s Democratic Governor – Wes Moore – will probably sign nearly all the legislation since by the Democratically-controlled legislature.
There were a lot of very good bills passed. At the same time, we at Our Revolution Maryland were hoping for even more.
Areas where we were disappointed include:
- Economic fairness – legislation to make the tax code more progressive failed.
- Immigration rights – some progress was made but healthcare availability remains contingent on legal status.
- Labor issues – bills to A) expand collective bargaining rights & B) mandate two crewmembers on freight trains ultimately failed.
- Election reform – the General Assembly refused to expand public financing for candidates who forsake corporate and large contributions.
- Criminal justice – possession of drug paraphernalia remains a statutory basis for a police stop.
- Healthcare – Del. Sheila Ruth’s proposed Commission on Healthcare was again sidestepped by the House of Delegates.
On the other hand, we saw progress on a number of fronts:
- Debtors will no longer face possible imprisonment.
- Judgment Creditors will no longer be able to seize a debtor’s last $500
- Price gougers will no longer be able to sell an essential good or service for more than a specified increase in price during and after a state of emergency.
- The Statute of Limitations on lawsuits against child sexual abuse has been repealed.
- The Maryland Attorney General is empowered to Investigate Police who are Involved in incidents that result in injury.
- Police officers can no longer search a vehicle solely based on the smell of cannabis.
- Governor’s Moore’s $15 Initiative accelerates the timeline from July 2026 to January 2024. Unfortunately an amendment stripped out the provision indexing the minimum wage to the cost of living.
- The Family Prosperity Act extends permanently Maryland’s Earned Income Tax Credit The bill would also expand the state’s Child Tax Credit to cover taxpayers with children 5 and under who have a federally adjusted gross income of $15,000 or less.
- An increase in funding, from $9 million to $18 million, is now being made available to help those burdened with student debt.
- Of the total amount of relief paid out annually, $5 million is earmarked for graduates of historically black colleges or universities (HBCUs).
- Assistance is prioritized for low income borrowers.
- Tax credits for student debt may be used within five years from issuance (up from two).
- The Maryland Sign Language Interpreters Act establishes a licensing and regulatory system for sign language interpreters. Licensing sign language interpreters is a vital step to ensure professionally trained and certified interpreters are providing language access for Deaf and hard of hearing Marylanders.
- Non-collegiate educational institutions must have a policy prohibiting the administration of corporal punishment.
- The Maryland Educator Shortage Act of 2023 provides financial support for college students pursuing a degree in education.
- The Community Solar Energy Generating Systems Pilot Program requires a community solar projects to serve at least 40% of their output to low-income and moderate-income subscribers. It also eliminates dual billing (from the regular energy supplier and separately from the solar supplier) which prevents low- and moderate-income homeowners from using community solar.
- Offshore Wind Energy – The target for generating energy from offshore wind has been raised to 8.5 GW (billions of watts) by 2031.
Local Elections Boards must now (a) commence ballot canvassing eight days before early voting starts and (b) provide voters an opportunity to fix a missing signature up to ten days after Election Day.
- Maryland Police Gun Center Protective Orders now include the mandate that local police officers collect and track guns from persons subject to a protective order.
- The Gun Safety Act of 2023 prohibits individuals from knowingly wearing, carrying, or transporting firearms within 100 feet of various public spaces including: hotels, movie theaters and retail stores.
- The Trans Health Equity Act requires Maryland Medicaid to provide coverage for additional gender-affirming treatments, which are currently disallowed in the state’s plan but commonly covered by private insurance. The expanded treatments include hormone therapy, hair alteration, voice therapy, physical alterations to the body, and fertility preservation.
- The Medical Bill Reimbursement process now explicitly requires hospitals to reimburse indigent patients who were wrongly charged for health care paid for by the State.
- Landlords operating without a mandated license may not avail themselves of streamlined court processes in eviction proceedings.
- Landlords must inform tenants holding a long-term lease at least 90 days before they raise the rent. Month to month tenants are entitled to 60 days notice.
- Union Dues are now Tax Deductible in Maryland.
- Contingent on ratification by the voters in a 2024 referendum, the Maryland State Constitution will be amended to include the Right to Reproductive Freedom thereby codifying Roe v. Wade.
Thank you for your support!
When we organize, we win!
bills to follow:
Healthcare for All
The Access to Care Act (/HB588SB265)
Stuck In Senate Finance 😦
Tenants’ rights protect our community members’ mental and financial well-being through legislation on housing rights such as the Just Cause Eviction bill (HB1023) No vote in Environ and Trans
and the Tenant Safety Act (HB691/SB807) . These bills protect families’ security and stability by requiring landlords to provide just cause for evicting a tenant, ensure that any previous court-ordered evictions are strictly scrutinized to make sure that just cause is present, and allow tenants to sue landlords en masse for negligence and serious conditions of disrepair that threaten the health and safety of tenants.
In Jud Proceed
1. Reform EmPOWER Maryland [FACT SHEET]
2. Make Community Solar a permanent part of Maryland’s solar energy efforts [FACT SHEET]
3. Pass Advanced Clean Trucks Rule [FACT SHEET]
4. Strengthen Forest and Land Conservation [FACT SHEET]
Promote greater conservation of forests, farms, and other undeveloped lands through the Maryland the Beautiful Act. This bill will establish goals of protecting 30% of the state’s lands by 2030 and 40% of the state’s lands by 2040.
5. Pass a Maryland beverage container deposit program [FACT SHEET]
Ten states in the U.S., covering about 90 million people, have long-standing, successful, and cost-effective beverage container deposit programs that incentivize recycling and deter littering by refunding a small deposit for each container to those who return them for recycling. A modern program requiring a 10-cent deposit on single-use beverage containers would boost Maryland’s recycling rate for beverage containers, from 23% to more than 80%; remove about 3 billion beverage containers annually from landfills, incinerators, or the environment; and yield substantial cost savings for local governments.
- require recycled content in new plastic containers, to displace virgin plastic and incentivize the redesign of products to make them more recyclable;
- increase reuse and recycling of used paint and mattresses through two new stewardship programs; and
- require owners of synthetic turf playing fields to report the chain of custody from installation to disposal of the fields’ turf and infill, to deter improper disposal.
HB694 Labor and Employment – Workers’ Compensation – Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical
This bill would authorize a licensed social worker-clinical to register with the Workers’ Compensation Commission to provide rehabilitation services. HB694 was unanimously passed in the House and will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee on March 22nd.
HB36/SB100 (Rental Licensing Accountability) is now before Governor Wes Moore. It bars landlords operating without a required rental license from using a streamlined eviction process – a process that frequently leaves families facing homelessness without sufficient time even to look for a new residence.
Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit (HB0680)
|House||3/15/2023||3/06/2023||Third Reading Passed (125-13)||43Click to view Recorded Media|
|Senate||3/16/2023||3/07/2023||Referred Budget and Taxation||44Click to view Recorded Media|
|Senate||3/23/2023||3/23/2023||Hearing 3/30 at 1:00 p.m.|
HB0232: Child in Need of Assistance – Neglect – Cannabis Use
- This bill was heard on Thursday, February 2nd at 2:30 PM in the House Judiciary Committee.
- This bill received a favorable vote in the House Judiciary Committee and was voted favorably by the House of Delegates. The bill will now move on to the Senate where it has been assigned to the Judicial Proceedings Committee.
- The bill will be heard in the Judicial Proceedings Committee in the State Senate on Wednesday, March 22nd at 1:00 P.M.
- Provides that a parent, guardian, or other caregivers for a child who uses cannabis do not count as neglect (except in some circumstances) for provisions of laws relating to children who need assistance. (134-1), Judicial Proceedings canceled the hearing.
|View this email in your browser|
Only three weeks left until Sine Die (the last day of session) and my team and I are pushing as hard as possible to get all of my crossover bills through the Senate. I will be spending a lot of time in the coming weeks listening to, and evaluating, Senate bills in my committee. I trust that if you have particular concerns or support for a Senate bill being heard in the Environment and Transportation Committee you will contact me and let me know. I am always happy to listen to constituents no matter the issue. Please use the following email address – email@example.com – rather than replying to this newsletter, and we will be able to respond faster.
I am extremely honored to have been chosen once again as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record. I am grateful to those who nominated me for this recognition and am privileged to be able to work alongside so many terrific advocates who appreciate my work on their behalf. My inclusion on this list of remarkable female leaders is especially meaningful because the last year I was recognized (2018) I had not yet been elected to the General Assembly. My goal in running for office was to continue making a difference and these accolades certainly give me a boost during the last tough weeks of the legislative session.Bill Updates Things are moving very fast in the legislature! HB 870 passed the House on Monday and already had its hearing in the Senate on Thursday. This important bill will make it easier for individuals and families struggling to navigate both the Division of Rehabilitation Services and the Developmental Disabilities Administration.
HB 525 is a smart way to expand options and opportunities for childcare and preschool. Outdoor preschools are joyful and creative but can only operate a few hours per day and cannot accept any scholarships. By licensing them, more families will be able to take advantage of the benefits outdoor preschools provide for their children.
My cross-file for HB 1222 (SB 934) passed out of the Budget & Taxation Committee Friday morning! We cannot continue to leave millions of federal dollars on the table that would help the disabled community receive more services. This is a huge step towards improving the Division of Rehabilitation Services.