Lorig’s 2022 Legislation
Legislation sponsored by Lorig for the 2022 Legislative Session
Grid Reliability and Inclusive Distribution Act (HB88)
Modernizing Maryland’s energy grid is a high priority and a key tool in fighting climate change. This bill requires the planning and regulations for the distribution grid to support Maryland’s goals of decarbonization, greenhouse gas reductions, renewable energy, equity, family-sustaining employment, energy resiliency and reliability, and cost-effectiveness in an inclusive and transparent manner.
Microgrids or “resiliency hubs” are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate independently during extended grid outages, such as those due to extreme weather events. This bill will help expand microgrid development in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods; develop opportunities for community ownership of solar; and coordinate emergency preparedness efforts and funding in a way that maximizes federal funds for these efforts.
Supporting Energy Efficiency for Low-Income Marylanders (HB108)
Too many low-Income Marylanders face high energy bills and unhealthy living conditions because of broken HVAC systems, drafty windows, and unreliable electrical systems. This bill helps low-income residents save energy and lower their energy costs. It coordinates and consolidates a range of federal and state funding sources, enables state-funded home energy audits in qualified low-income homes, and increases Empower and state funding for programs targeting low-income households to make energy efficiency improvements such as new insulation, better windows, EnergyStar® appliances, LED light bulbs and more.
Grants for School-Based Food Waste Diversion (HB150/SB124)
This bill creates a competitive grant program to support school-based initiatives to prevent, reduce, and compost pre- and post-consumer food waste. Initiatives can include training and education, school infrastructure improvements, new programs to serve food that has already been prepared, contracts with commercial composters, and other innovative techniques for managing school-based food waste.
Farm to Food Security Act (Maryland Food for Maryland Families)(HB147/SB121)
A shift to a more sustainable, localized food system can help strengthen supply chains, build up local farms, and bring equity to consumption and access. This bill invests in three programs to enhance resiliency and reduce food insecurity:
increasing Maryland Market Money, which doubles the value of federal nutrition benefits spent at farmers markets
piloting a Farm to School grant program to increase school purchases of locally grown and produced food, and
creating the Maryland Food and Agricultural Resilience Mechanism (MD FARM) to support Maryland-based procurement, harvesting, contracting, distribution, or processing for hunger relief efforts.
Making Montgomery County Business Improvement Districts More Democratic (MC 8-22)
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a self-taxing district designed to enhance the economic vitality of a specific commercial area. All additional taxes collected within the BID are given to a nonprofit organization managing the BID. Currently, only property owners can elect members of the Board. This bill improves BID governance by requiring a wider range of stakeholders—including commercial tenants—to participate in decision-making, establishing more representative board election processes, and allowing broader participation in the decision to establish a BID.
SAFE Roads Act of 2022 (SHA Pedestrian & Bike Safety Improvements) (HB656)
This bill aims to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. It requires the State Highway Administration to review high pedestrian and bike injury corridors/intersections and implement timely engineering improvements with increased spending and to design future projects for even greater safety.
Universal Access to the Electric Universal Service Program (HB 138)
This bill requires the Maryland Department of Human Services to establish a process to grant access to utility assistance for all income-qualified Marylanders, regardless of immigration status. All people should be able to keep their heat and lights on in difficult times.
Mobile Crisis Units (HB 129)
This bill requires mobile crisis units to be designed in order to minimize interactions between law enforcement and people experiencing behavioral health crises; the bill prioritizes a mental health response. It also requires 911 systems to develop policies to triage behavioral health crises and to dispatch the most appropriate services.
Medical Debt Protection – Part 2 (HB 694)
Hospitals collected approximately $120 million in 2017 and 2018 from patients who were eligible for free care and should not have been billed, according to a 2021 Health Service Cost Review Commission report. This bill establishes a process to identify these patients and requires the hospitals to refund the money they have collected from patients. Stay tuned for a link to this bill.
Prohibition on Declawing Cats (HB 22)
This bill prohibits declawing cats, the cruel procedure of amputating the last section of each toe bone in the cat’s paw that can cause permanent pain and behavioral changes in the declawed cat.
Ensuring Due Process in Unemployment Insurance Determination (HB955)
This bill aims to ensure people who have filed for unemployment insurance receive adequate notice and due process protections when their cases are reviewed. I am dismayed to report Governor Hogan’s Department of Labor is out of compliance with both federal and state law and has been collecting funds from claimants without giving claimants notice of their re-determinations or a chance to appeal them.