Approaching Sine Die




Dear Friend:


The end of our 2022 legislative session is only a few days away! I am proud of the advocacy and legislative work we have done in Annapolis to build a more just and inclusive Maryland.


Friday, April 1st was the deadline for early “Presentment.” This is the last day bills could be passed from the legislature and presented to Governor Hogan to ensure the General Assembly has time to override any of his possible vetoes before Session ends on April 11th (“Sine Die,” the last day of this Session). Bills sent to the governor after April 1st and vetoed may not have the opportunity to be overridden. This is because next January we will have a newly elected group of representatives and the process of considering ALL bills is required to begin anew.

UPDATES ON MY LEGISLATION

Many of my bills are on the move!

Several have passed both the House of Delegates and the Senate in the same format and are on their way to the Governor:

  • HB 31 expands microgrid development in low and moderate income neighborhoods and develops opportunities for community ownership of solar power.

  • HB 108 increases the state’s investment in weatherization for low-income households, which will help low-income Marylanders save energy and lower their energy bills. This legislation promotes crucial equity objectives and serves as a model for other states. Check out this coverage in Utility Dive.

  • HB 129 requires mobile crisis units to be designed to minimize interactions between law enforcement and people experiencing behavioral health crises and prioritizes a mental health response to these crises.

More of my bills have passed the House of Delegates and are moving through the rest of the legislative process:

  • HB 22 prohibits the declawing of cats, a cruel procedure that can cause permanent pain for cats.

  • HB 147 will help Maryland shift to a more sustainable, local food system in order to strengthen supply chains, build up local farms, and bring equity to access and consumption.

  • HB 694 establishes a process to identify hospital patients who should not have been billed and requires hospitals to refund the money they have wrongly collected from these patients.

  • HB 656 requires the State Highway Administration to invest greater funding in pedestrian and bike safety on state roadways.

  • HB 1340 improves the governance of Business Improvement Districts (BID) in Montgomery County. This bill will make Montgomery County BIDs more inclusive in their development and in their governance structure.

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS NOW ACT


Several other key pieces of legislation recently passed the General Assembly and are now waiting for the governor to act, including the Climate Solutions Now Act. This bill sets ambitious goals and plans for Maryland to mitigate the effects of climate change. If passed, the Climate Solutions Now Act would raise greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, pilot an electric school bus program, and prioritize environmental justice when combating climate change. One of my bills, HB 88, was incorporated into this climate bill, which now includes clauses requiring Maryland’s electric distribution grids to support our state’s sustainability goals.

PAID FAMILY LEAVE

The Time to Care Act would provide Marylanders with up to 12 weeks of partially paid family and medical leave per year to care for themselves and their family members and up to 24 weeks of paid leave for new parents. This act passed both legislative chambers last week and now awaits the governor to act. I am proud to be part of Maryland’s efforts to improve conditions for workers and look forward to seeing our paid family leave program in action in the coming years. You can read more about the Time to Care Act, including my amendment to the bill, here.

STATE BUDGET

The General Assembly recently passed Maryland’s $61 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2023. This budget, which is balanced, will fund our legislative priorities, invest in public schools, higher education, and child care, and expand Maryland’s healthcare services. It also responsibly sets aside money for the state’s “Rainy Day” fund and bolsters other reserves.


THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS!


We had great turnout for our joint District 20 canvass last week! I greatly appreciate the efforts of our volunteers and my fellow legislators to reach out to community members as we move closer to the primary (now set for July 19th) and general elections. I will continue to canvass every weekend to ensure we reach as many voters as possible. If you are interested in canvassing with me, please sign up here.

INTERN WITH ME

My campaign is looking for interns and volunteers for the summer! As an intern or volunteer, you will canvass, staff campaign events, and recruit other volunteers, all while gaining valuable experience working on a campaign. If interested, please email jill@lorigcharkoudian.com for more information.

STAY IN TOUCH My staff and I are here to serve you. Please contact my office at lorig.charkoudian@house.state.md.us or call (410) 841-3423 if you need any assistance.


Onward,


Lorig Charkoudian

Delegate

Maryland General Assembly (District 20)