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I'm a Policy Wonk At Heart

My birthday is on Valentine's Day.  This year I spent some of my day in a four-hour Economic Matters Committee meeting, part of which focused on my bill to modernize Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance program. Chatting about alternative taxable wage base scenarios and average high cost multiple values may not be everyone’s idea of how best to celebrate February 14th, but my policy wonk heart rejoiced! (Discussion of my bill begins at the 2:45 mark.)

Modernizing the Unemployment Insurance Program

When the pandemic hit, Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program imploded. I worked hard and advocated successfully for increased staffing, better technology, and maximizing the funds we received from the federal government (all of which then-Governor Hogan opposed, just as a reminder).

Since then I have developed a more comprehensive overhaul to modernize Maryland’s UI program.  At a hearing before the Economic Matters Committee last week, we discussed how my bill ensures people who lose their jobs receive adequate benefits while looking for new work.  Importantly, it also makes structural changes to ensure our UI trust fund is adequately funded and prepared to protect Maryland’s economy during and after possible future recessions.

Access to Care Act

I am proud to stand in support of one of Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus’s top priorities: allowing everyone to purchase health insurance on our state exchange, regardless of immigration status.  It is a compassionate response that makes economic sense.

Hearings on My Bills

Hearings will be held on six more of my bills in the next two weeks.  For more details, including exact bill language and hearing information, go to the “Legislation” page on my website.

Networked geothermal systems are potentially a great source of clean energy.  Maryland can be a pioneer in this field while creating good-paying green jobs.

Making our streets and sidewalks safe is important as we move beyond car-centric modes of transportation.

Some low-income Marylanders are falling into deep poverty as a result of wage garnishment. I propose a more balanced and fair approach.


Data centers use huge amounts of water and energy.  This bill incentivizes those centers to use more clean energy.

Improving fire safety in older high-rise buildings can save lives.

My bill (HB 505)—and efforts to organize in states across the country—to require more transparency in the votes made by our public utilities has been getting a fair amount of attention in the press (and by the utilities’ corporate lobbyists).  The public should know how our interests are being advanced by these organizations.  Secret decisions made at the regional level affect the reliability of our electrical grid, electric rates, and our clean energy transition. Read more here, here, and here.

CCAN Polar Bear Plunge

 The day might have been mild, but I promise the water was freezing!  I have proudly participated in CCAN’s (Chesapeake Climate Action Network) Polar Bear Plunge for the past 15 years to raise funds for and bring awareness to local climate action.  

*Superheroes are awesome, but addressing the challenges of climate change works best when done by caring and dedicated ordinary people–like me and you–working together. 

Stay in Touch: Need help with a state issue? Please contact my office at or leave us a message at (410)-841-3423.




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