Maryland Legislation 2020

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The League of Women Voters:

Acts as a force to create positive, lasing change in our communities, empowers millions of voters to exercise their right to vote, educates citizens and fosters dialogue on pertinent issues – from healthcare and climate change to openness in government.

Works to ensure that ALL votes are counted and ALL voices are heard Helps to make democracy work!  The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization of women and men, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Our goal is to empower citizens to shape better communities world-wide. 111 Cathedral Street, Ste. 201 Annapolis MD 21401 410-269-0232 email: action@lwvmd.org Website: www.lwvmd.org Follow Us @LWVMD MAJR How We Work Together Each of us brings unique strengths and perspectives to this work. Our work is enhanced by learning from each other, building on one another’s ideas, and sharing responsibility for the group’s success. Our priorities are informed by workgroups that address three major policy areas: (1) The “Front Door” workgroup considers changes in how we strive to prevent crime and handle the pretrial process; (2) The “Behind the Walls” workgroup addresses issues related to people who are incarcerated, such as the effects of solitary confinement and the need for education; (3) The “Back Door” workgroup recommends changes to help people returning from prison re-enter society, including measures to reduce recidivism (return to prison). Membership is open and all are invited to participate at general meetings. Maryland Legislative Coalition Mark Chang, sponsor

Summary

Prohibiting a person from affixing, erecting, or placing a noose or swastika on any building or real property, without the express permission of the owner of the building or property, the owner’s agent, or a lawful occupant, with the intent to threaten or intimidate any person or group of persons; and establishing that a penalty of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both applies to a violation of the Act. https://legiscan.com/MD/bill/HB4/2019 
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Priority bills for the 2020 session

  • Just Transition Off of Coal. Maryland continues to burn coal at six electricity-generating plants, which massively pollute our climate, air, and waters. The coal plants emit the carbon equivalent of over two million cars each year!  This bill will establish a firm timetable for phasing these plants out, and provide financial assistance to impacted workers and communities. Coal Transition Fact Sheet
  • Climate-Based Decision-making by the Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC has significant authority over how electricity is generated in Maryland, including approving all new plants. Yet, the PSC does not consider our state climate goals in its decision-making. Under this bill, the PSC will now be required to do this.  PSC fact sheet
  • Funding Public Transit and Opposing Huge Highway Expansions. Promoting public transit is one of the keys to transforming our transportation sector. This bill will remedy the funding gap for the Maryland Transit Agency. A second bill will tighten controls on the “public-private partnership” funding mechanism Governor Hogan is relying upon to expand the Capital Beltway and I-270. Transit Fact Sheet  P3 Reform Fact Sheet
  • Ban almost all disposable plastic shopping bags, require payments for other disposable bags, and initiate a work group to study and make recommendations on additional actions to reduce plastic waste.  Our world is being overwhelmed by plastic waste.  On our present course, for example, there likely will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by weight within 30 years. Maryland took an important step in 2019 by banning most disposable foam food containers. This legislation is the next step.  Plastic Bag Ban Fact Sheet
  • Other important climate bills we are supporting include: fixing problems with the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act; authorizing local governments to establish their own “community choice” energy plans; ending state financial support for energy generated from incinerators and the burning of black liquor (paper mill waste); expanding support for rooftop solar; and converting bus fleets to electric buses.

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