Proponents of Offshore Wind rallied to show their support of the POWER Act (HB 793/SB 781) on a bright and truly windy day in Annapolis.
Monday was “Crossover Day” in Annapolis. It is the day when bills have to be passed by either the House or Senate to guarantee full consideration in this legislative session. My fellow legislators and I have been holding marathon floor sessions and met on the weekend to handle the sheer number of votes on bills. With only three weeks left, it will be a mad dash to Sine Die (the end of this legislative session).
Crossover Update Highlights of some of the bills passed by the House; now being considered by the Senate
Budget: The House has passed its $62.5 billion version of the state’s budget. We included $900 million dollars in additional funding for our state educational reforms envisioned by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. This article provides a quick summary of other major items in the budget.
Of special note is the $5 million in the budget for refugee/migrant resettlement. I worked closely with the Legislative Latino Caucus to get this included. It is especially important in District 20 because many of the migrants bused from border states have been welcomed by and are now residing in our community. This funding ensures they can receive needed services as they await their asylum hearings.
Community Service Year Program (HB 546): A priority for Governor Moore, the “Serving Every Region Through Vocational Exploration Act” would provide access and exposure to public service for young Marylanders by creating a service year option for high school graduates to work with community organizations and nonprofit groups.
Access to Care (HB 588): Under this bill, every Marylander–regardless of immigration status–would be ensured access to health care through the ability to enroll in the state’s Health Benefit Exchange.
Restricting Gun Access (HB 824): House Bill 824 strengthens gun safety by adjusting Maryland's concealed-carry permitting process to include additional disqualifications to state law. The bill complies with last summer’s Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which struck down Maryland’s requirement that concealed-carry permits could only be obtained by individuals with a special safety need. Among other new requirements, this bill prohibits possession of a regulated firearm by a person who is younger than 21, a person who suffers from a “mental disorder” and has a history of violent behavior, or a person who has been involuntarily admitted for more than 30 consecutive days to a facility for treatment of a mental disorder.
Reproductive Freedom (HB 705): Maryland voters will now be able to decide by referendum whether to establish a right to abortion and other reproductive health care in our state constitution.
Trans Health Equity Act (HB 283): This bill would ensure Maryland Medicaid covers gender-affirming care when that care is deemed medically necessary by a licensed healthcare provider in accordance with current clinical standards. This bill establishes equity between what Medicaid covers and what private health insurance covers.
Expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit (HB 547): The Family Prosperity Act will reduce childhood poverty and help Maryland families by making the 2021 expansion of Maryland’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) permanent.
Transportation Equity (HB 9): In its Maryland Transportation Plan, the Department of Transportation would be required to prioritize ways to achieve equity in transportation when developing overall transportation goals. This legislation was vetoed by former Governor Hogan last year.
Tenant Safety (HB 691): Tenants would be allowed to work together in the same lawsuit if a landlord refuses to fix serious issues associated with living conditions in their units.
District 20 Breakfast Club The D20 Team has been hard at work. Join me, Senator Will Smith, Delegate David Moon, Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins, and Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, as we discuss the state of play during the final three weeks of this legislative session. It’s $18 per person for brunch (and tips are appreciated for the staff of El Golfo).
Sunday, March 26th 11:00 a.m. El Golfo Restaurant 8739 Flower Avenue
My Legislation as of Crossover Twelve of my bills have passed out of the House, as of Crossover. To see each bill’s brief fact sheet and actual bill language or to track its status, go to the “Legislation 2023” page on my website.
• SAFE Roads: Improving Bicyclists' and Pedestrians' Safety (HB 70/SB 16) • Energy Efficiency: Investing in Efficiency for Low and Moderate Income Housing (HB 169/SB 0144) • Treatment Plans: Improving Care for People Experiencing Mental Health Challenges (HB 121/SB 8) • Categorical Eligibility: Streamlining Applications for Safety-Net Services (HB 111/SB 26) and (HB 323) • Pollinator-Friendly Powerlines: Protecting Pollinators (HB 62/SB 62) • Maryland Food System Resiliency Council: Making it Permanent (HB 32/SB 124) • Medical Bill Repayment: Righting a Wrong (HB 333/SB 404) • PJM Interconnections: Increasing Transparency (HB 1186) • Corporate Effective Tax Rate: Increasing Transparency and Accountability (HB 39) • Chesapeake Invasive Species: Incentivizing Removal of Invasive Species and Building a Market (HB 63/SB 386) • Solar and Clean Energy Equipment in Condominiums: Easing the Switch to Clean Energy (HB 101/SB 593)
Be in Touch My staff and I are here to serve you, particularly if you or anyone you know needs assistance—in the short or long term—with a state issue. Please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (410)-841-3423.