There are only two weeks left until the Maryland legislative session ends on April 8th. We are striving to get our high priority bills listed below passed by both the Senate and the House of Delegates before then. We need your help to keep pressure on our representatives by either calling their offices or emailing them ASAP this week. Below is information that you can use.
- 2019 Maryland Legislative Session page on the DTMG website
- Committee Assignments for State and Local Elected Officials
- Find Your State Representatives
Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 516) passed the Senate, with a few amendments, by a veto-proof majority! The bill will double Maryland’s Renewal Portfolio Standard to 50% renewable electricity by 2030, and by 2023 will determine the best plan to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2040. Trash incineration would no longer be considered a renewable source. The Senate bill has gone on to the House of Delegates, where it must first be approved by the House Rules Committee and then by the House Economic Matters Committee, where Sen. Brian Feldman (D15), sponsor of the Senate bill, will present the bill as passed by the Senate.
ACTION: Contact the MoCo Delegates on these two committees to express your support for the Clean Energy Jobs Act and ask them to encourage other members to support the bill:
D14: email@example.com, 410-841-3036
D15: firstname.lastname@example.org, 301 858 3052
D17: email@example.com, 410-841-3990
D39: firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-841-3039
D14: email@example.com, 410-841-3380
D15: firstname.lastname@example.org, 301 858 3052
D15: email@example.com, 410-841-3090
D20: firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-841-3423
A 2018 MD Public Service Commission study found that the Clean Energy Jobs Act solar-based benefits to MD's economy would be over $4 billion in the next decade.
To meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals, Maryland must move away from burning fossil fuels and trash to using solar, wind and hydro-produced energy.
Energy produced through trash incineration is not clean renewable energy.
Maryland has lost hundreds of solar and wind jobs to neighboring states with more aggressive solar and wind energy requirements.
Maryland will lose out on approximately $247 million in federal tax credits between 2019 and 2022 if passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act is delayed by one year.
Maryland has the opportunity to regain leadership on clean energy by passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act this year.
Maryland’s huge shoreline is extremely vulnerable to climate change, economically and socially.
Use of clean energy is an obligation we should undertake for our descendants.
Chlorpyrifos Ban (HB 275) would ban use of the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos after December 31, 2020. The bill passed the House of Delegates on March 15, and has moved on to the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.
ACTION: Contact MoCo Senators
Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D17) is a member of this committee. Contact her at Cheryl.Kagan@senate.state.md.us or 410-841-3134 to express your support for the bill and ask her to encourage other committee members to support it.
Sen. Susan Lee (D16), email@example.com, 410-841-3124, while not a member of this committee, is the Senate Majority Whip, so a contact can be made to emphasize the importance for our state of enacting this legislation.
Chlorpyrifos devastates bees we need to pollinate crops, as well as fish and insect populations many birds rely on for food.
People can be exposed to toxic chlorpyrifos residues in foods that have been sprayed, through contaminated drinking water, and toxic drift.
Young children exposed to chlorpyrifos may show learning and behavior problems.
The Federal EPA has determined that no level of chlorpyrifos can be considered safe and has recommended that the pesticide be banned for all uses. But the Trump Administration does not support a ban, so Maryland must act to ban this toxic chemical.
Health - Prescription Drug Affordability Board (HB 0768) was approved by the House Health and Government Operations Committee. The bill would create the first-of-its-kind-in-the-nation Prescription Drug Affordability Board and give the Board the authority to collect information on drug prices from other states and to use this and other information to set upper payment limits on what state and local governments would pay for high cost drugs.
Although we preferred the original language in the bill, which gave the Board the authority to set upper payment limits for all insurance plans offered in Maryland, the bill as amended to allow these limits only for plans that insure state and government employees is an important step forward in our effort to make prescription drugs more affordable for Marylanders. The House bill will get a floor vote March 26.
But, our work is not done. The drug corporations and PhRMA made clear at hearings before the House that they strongly oppose the House-passed measure and suggested changes such as such as removing all upper payment limits authority from the Board, which would have substantially weakened it, . We must do all we can to block their efforts to weaken HB 768 in the Senate.
ACTION: Contact MoCo Senators on the committee to thank them for their support of this bill and urge them to work hard for its passage:
Brian Feldman (D15), Committee Vice-Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-841-3169)
Ben Kramer (D39), email@example.com, 410-841-3151
Skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs adversely affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Marylanders. It is imperative that prescription prices be lowered for these higher priced drugs.
The inability to pay medical bills is a leading cause of bankruptcies.
Many residents do not fill prescriptions because they cannot afford the cost.
It is time to stand up to the drug companies; this legislation should not be weakened to placate the drug companies.
The Blueprint for Maryland's Future (HB1413 and SB 1030) would provide additional funding to begin implementation of recommendations of The Kirwan Commission to substantially increase spending for Maryland’s public schools. The legislation calls for an additional $325 million to be appropriated this year and more than $700 million next year, as recommended by the Kirwan Commission, to begin implementation of its policy recommendations, which are also incorporated into these bills.
On March 14 the House of Delegates passed legislation appropriating $320 million in additional funds for the first year. On that same date, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee reported out legislation appropriating $225 million, saying more would be added if the legislature passed legislation to impose a sales tax on all internet purchases. In the Senate version, some of these additional funds could also be used to provide additional funding to private schools.
ACTION: It is imperative to keep up the fight for full funding of the Kirwan recommendations for SY2019-2020 and SY 2020-2021. Contact MoCO Senators on the Budget and Taxation Committee to emphasis the importance of supporting full additional funding for public education:
- Sen. Nancy King (D39) Committee Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-841-3686
- Sen. Craig Zucker (D14), email@example.com, 410-841-3625
- Education is the State’s most important function; the full potential of its citizens as well as economic growth is dependent on this.
- Maryland’s national ranking on education has slipped considerably and must be addressed now.
- Kirwan Commission recommendations are well thought out and deserve full funding of $325 million this year. All of these funds should go to public schools; none to private schools.