We made it through crossover last Monday, the day in the legislative session when bills should be passed by one chamber to get consideration in the other. The House passed significant pieces of legislation to improve the lives of Marylanders. Some highlights include:
Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2025
Making a Historic Investment in School Construction
Expanding Voter Access
Creating a Gender Neutral Option on Driver’s Licences
Banning the use of the Pesticide Chlorpyrifos
Expanding the Childcare Tax Credit
Closing the background check loophole for rifles and shotgun transfers
Protecting Healthcare for Marylanders with Pre-existing Conditions
Banning 3D Guns
Protecting Oyster Sanctuaries
Banning Tobacco Sales to those under age 21
Banning the sale of single use Styrofoam food containers
And much more…
We eagerly await Senate passage of these bills and the Governor’s signature so these all become law. Many of the bills I introduced have passed out of the House. Below is a brief update and you can find more details here.
HB 82: My bill to add access to healthy food in the design process for complete streets in food deserts has passed the House and the Senate.
HB 84:My bill to mandate funding for the Farms and Families program, which doubles the value of federal nutrition benefits at farmers markets has passed the House and the Senate.
HB 88: My bill to decriminalize open containers of alcohol, making it a civil rather than criminal offense, has passed the House and awaits a hearing in the Senate.
HB 305: My bill to create a task force to increase state procurement of locally grown food has led to the creation of this task force at the request of the committee chairs.
HB 527: My bill to build micro-enterprise business opportunities through cottage food expansion has passed the house and is on to the Senate.
HB 725: My bill to establish that the goal of discipline is “rehabilitative, restorative, and educational” and define restorative approaches in school discipline statute has passed the House and is on to the Senate.
HB 1210: My bill to create a Crisis Intervention Team Technical Assistance Center to support law enforcement to improve their response to mental health crisis has passed the House and is on to the Senate.
HB 730: My bill to enable Community Choice Aggregation is still in Committee. You can read the Op Ed I published along with County Executive Marc Elrich here.
Finally, as you may have heard our incredible D20 Senator Will Smith will be deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the Navy Reserve on March 29. I join so many in thanking him for his service to the State and to our Country, and wishing him a safe deployment.
There is, as usual, a lot going on. Please follow me on Twitter for regular updates and come visit in Annapolis any time. My Annapolis office is Room 226 in the House Office Building at 6 Bladen Street in Annapolis and my office email address is email@example.com. My office phone number is 410-841-3423 and 301-858-3423.
Onward, Lorig Charkoudian