Legislation is on the move!

Updated: Mar 12



Dear Friend:


Action has picked up in Annapolis! Bills, including several of mine, are moving from their committees to be voted on by the entire House of Delegates.


CANNABIS LEGISLATION PASSES THE HOUSE

Recently, several big legislative packages moved from the House of Delegates to the Maryland Senate. HB 1, which starts the process to allow people 21 years of age and older to use and possess cannabis, passed the House of Delegates on a vote of 96-34. If it passes the Senate, a referendum would be placed on the ballot for voters in November to legalize marijuana.


The House of Delegates also passed HB 837, a companion bill to HB 1. This bill will help ensure the legalization of cannabis is done in an equitable process through the State conducting studies of public health impacts, supporting minority-owned businesses, and expunging the records of Marylanders previously convicted of cannabis possession.


MY BILLS ON THE FLOOR

HB 31 and HB 108 were approved by the Economic Matters Committee and will go to the floor this week. Both bills will increase equity in our climate policies in Maryland, contributing to my overall goal of a more just and inclusive Maryland. HB 31 will expand microgrid development in low and moderate income neighborhoods and develop 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 week, HB 22 will also be on the floor of the House of Delegates. This bill prohibits the declawing of cats, a cruel procedure that can cause permanent pain for cats. See more coverage in The Washington Post.



MY BILLS ON THE MOVE!

In the last two weeks, hearings have been held on the following bills I have sponsored:

  • HB 955 would ensure due process in the re-determination process for unemployment insurance. View the Economic Matters Committee hearing here.

  • 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. View the Health and Government Operations Committee hearing here.

  • 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. The Health and Government Operations Committee voted favorably on this bill and now the bill needs to be voted out of the Judiciary Committee.

  • HB 147 would 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. The Environment and Transportation Committee voted favorably on this bill and now it needs to be voted out of the Ways and Means Committee.


DIVESTING FROM RUSSIA

I am co-sponsoring HB 1482, emergency legislation directing the Maryland Retirement and Pension System to divest its holdings in Russian assets. Financially, this is a prudent step for Maryland. It also shows our resolve to stand with the people in Ukraine who are living with such devastation and heartbreak. Reckless tyranny must not be supported or rewarded.


FRIENDLY GARDEN APARTMENTS EXPLOSION

I have been following news of the explosion and fire at the Friendly Garden Apartments on Lyttonsville Road last week with a heavy heart. Having worked closely with the survivors of the Flower Branch Apartment explosion for the past six years and with victims of the more recent Flower Branch fire, I know the injured and displaced residents are facing tremendous difficulties. I appreciate the work of our first responders and neighbors who joined in the rescue effort. You, too, can help our affected neighbors by donating here. So far, our community has raised over $300,000 to help affected residents.


SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

Looking for an easy way to support my campaign? “Re-elect Lorig Charkoudian” yard signs are here! Fill out this form to receive a free yard sign, which we will deliver to your house or apartment.


CANVASSING THE COMMUNITY


As the 2022 election draws near, I will be collaborating closely with the campaigns of the rest of the District 20 delegation to reach our constituents through canvassing. It is critical for us to ensure all residents have the resources they need, including information about voting.


Please help us do so by joining me and the other District 20 legislators—David Moon, Will Smith, and Jheanelle Wilkins—for our next group canvass Saturday, March 26th, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. You can find more information, including if the event is postponed, and sign up here.


If you are unable to join us on March 26 but are still interested in volunteering with my campaign, please sign up here.


COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

As a Member of the House of Delegates, I am able to provide constituents with an academic scholarship. This scholarship is available to students—including undocumented students—who attend or are planning to attend a Maryland community college, a Maryland four-year university, or a Maryland graduate school during the 2022-2023 school year. More details can be found on my website.


STAY IN TOUCH

My staff and I want to hear from you! Please contact my office at lorig.charkoudian@house.state.md.us or call (410) 841-3423 if you need assistance or if there are any issues you would like to communicate to me. We are here to serve.


Onward,

Lorig Charkoudian

Delegate

Maryland General Assembly (District 20)