Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for April 3-9

One week to go in the 2017 legislative session, with plenty still on the table. Democratic leaders in the Assembly are hoping to put some veto bait in front of Governor Hogan well before sine die so he’ll be vulnerable to an override on some big-ticket items now, not next year. Meanwhile some important measures are still stuck in traffic and it may be time for us to blow the whistle on those who are slow-walking bills.

  Welcome to the Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for April 3-9

One week to go in the 2017 legislative session, with plenty still on the table. Democratic leaders in the Assembly are hoping to put some veto bait in front of Governor Hogan well before sine die so he’ll be vulnerable to an override on some big-ticket items now, not next year. Meanwhile some important measures are still stuck in traffic and it may be time for us to blow the whistle on those who are slow-walking bills.

Still on the agenda: The bill for a health care commission helping the state monitor the effects of the Trump/GOP healthcare bill passed the Senate two weeks ago; it has had a committee hearing in the House but awaits floor action.

PLUS…  We hear from Vinnie DeMarco that it looks as if the Senate Finance Committee may vote on a prescription drug price gouging bill tomorrow (Tuesday, April 4). Progressive Maryland testified in favor of the bill earlier in the session. Contact Finance Committee members with a simple message: "Please pass House Bill 631, a strong prescription drug price gouging bill supported by the Attorney General. Please don't let the drug corporations weaken the price gouging bill." Chairman Mac Middleton, and Senators Kathy Klausmeier and John Astle are critical contacts.

 ENDING CASH BAIL: The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus voted in overwhelming opposition to Senate Bill 983 as amended in order to allow the new Maryland Court of Appeals rule to take effect in July 2017 (Dels. Conaway, Atterbeary, and Brooks; Sen. Muse and Oaks voted in opposition.)

There is still a possibility that the bill could make it out of the Rules Committee. So, we now need to focus our energies on House Rules Committee members to urge their opposition to Senate Bill 983.  Progressive Maryland Executive Director Larry Stafford outlined reasons to oppose the bill on Monday’s Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU-FM, in debate with a lawyer for bail bondsmen. You can listen at the link.

 Fight for 15: Workers and advocates were in Annapolis recently in support of the Fight for $15 legislation before the Senate Finance Committee. Over 500 people took action by meeting with, calling, or sending messages to their legislators. Help us keep the momentum growing by signing the petition for a statewide $15 minimum wage: http://www.mdfor15.org/petition

A FAIR ELECTIONS TWOFER:

Fully Fund Montgomery County's Fair Elections Program -- Montgomery County was the first county in the state to establish a program to get big money out of local elections and empower small donors. Now, candidates are starting to use the program so we need to ensure it is properly funded for the upcoming elections. County Exec Leggett’s FY18 budget shorts the fund by $1 million, so he and the Council need to hear from energized voters that they want candidates who aren’t beholden to big corporate money. We're almost there in the fight against big money! Sign here to tell the Montgomery County Council to fully fund Montgomery County's fair elections program.

Not only that, but -- Finalize Fair Elections in Howard County  In November, Howard County residents voted to establish the Citizens’ Election Fund  to curb the influence of large and corporate donors. We’re calling on the County Council to move quickly to pass a final program that will: Only be available to candidates who reject large donations and donations from corporations, unions, and PACs; encourage candidates to fundraise from Howard County residents by providing limited matching funds for small donations from County residents; and establish an independent commission to make funding and policy recommendations to the Council. Tell the Howard County Council to finalize the Citizens’ Election Fund program this spring and bring Fair Elections home to Howard. Sign here.

ON THE PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND CALENDAR

Tonight, April 3 Anne Arundel County Progressive Maryland meets 5:30 at BarOak, 126 West St. in Annapolis. https://www.facebook.com/events/213731019106743/

 Friday, April 7  Women for Citizens’ Election Fund (Howard County) event 6:30 p.m. 3136 Burnt Mountain Path, Columbia 21045. There will also be canvassing during the weekend; get updates here.

 Saturday, April 8, 2017 Frederick, MD Rally for Healthcare for All, 4pm - 5pm Carroll Creek Park Amphitheater -- With the failure of Republicans to offer a workable alternative to the Affordable Care Act, the time is now to push for universal health care. Join Frederick County Progressives for a rally calling on Maryland officials to support a single-payer, Medicare for all system. EVERY person deserves healthcare. That should NOT be negotiable! Healthcare is a human right, and the only way to truly have universal coverage is with Single-Payer healthcare! We can do that with H.R. 676 - National Improved Medicare for All!!!

 Google map and directions Speakers will include: Dr. Margaret Flowers, PopularResistance.org; Mike Hersh, National Communications Director, Progressive Democrats of America; Rev. Carl Gregg, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick; Jim French, Leader, Healthcare is a Human Right Frederick; Jessica Feltz, Owner and Accupuncturist, The Turning Point; Kate MacShane, Clinical Social Work; Sasha Czeh, Special Needs Parent, Women's March – Frederick; Chris Adams, Healthcare recipient under the ACA;  James Van Kuilenburg, Support FCPS Trans Students.

Hosted by Frederick County Progressives (a Progressive Maryland affiliate chapter), with solidarity from Healthcare is a Human Right Maryland and Our Revolution-Western Maryland
https://www.facebook.com/FrederickProgressives/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE

Sunday, April 9th Frederick County Progressives General Membership Meeting and Candidate Forum 1:30-4:30 at  C. Burr Artz Public Library 110 E Patrick St, Frederick, Maryland 21701 -- – Part I of the Frederick County Progressives 2017 Candidate Forums as a part of a series for the upcoming city elections. Candidates: 

Antonio Bowens, City Alderman Candidate

Jennifer Dougherty, Mayoral Candidate 

 Anyone in attendance will be able to ask questions, so be sure to attend.  It will take place at our April General Membership meeting! Send a message to Frederick County Progressives or email frederickprogressives@riseup.net with thoughts and questions! We will be sending out meeting reminders and other important info periodically. https://www.facebook.com/FrederickProgressives/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE

 [Disclaimer: Frederick County Public Libraries does not promote or endorse the views of Frederick County Progressives or Maryland Progressives.]

April 19, 2017 Montgomery County Council Town Hall 7:30 – 10 p.m.

Long Branch Community Center
8700 Piney Branch Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20901
United States
Google map and directions

FROM OUR ALLIES

Thursday, April 6 – Progressive Cheverly Dist. 4 legislative briefing: Rep. Anthony Brown will speak about the political and legislative issues facing Congress and the nation. Please note that Congress will still be in session and Rep. Brown's appearance will be subject to the House schedule (more details to follow). 7:00 pm Hoyer Education Center (cafeteria) 2300 Belleview Ave. (Parking Available) Cheverly

Wednesday, April 12, Screening of "Before the Flood," by Leonardo diCaprio & Fisher Stevens 7:00 pm, College Park City Hall: discovers a disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests to confuse the public about the urgency of the climate crisis. (Additional screenings in central and south County to be announced.)  Co-sponsored by PG Sierra Club and College Park Committee for a Better Environment (CBE). RSVP: Janis.Oppelt@mdsierra.org.


  It all happens for free… right? Not exactly. Organizing for change in our society and our politics requires both people and money. Keep change moving with a quick, secure impulse-buy contribution here.


 Reading the Progressive Maryland BlogSpace: our blogs for the previous week are shown below, but if you want a handy way to keep track – and never miss a blog post – you can sign up to get this Weekly Memo by email. Remember this is your blogspace and your participation is heartily invited. See something going on that you don’t like – or that you do like and hope to see more of? Send us your thoughts; submit to the moderator at woodlanham@gmail.com

We recently published these blogs:

April 1, 2017 Montgomery County Chapter Enters New Phase of Growth

Progressive Maryland is building power in Montgomery County to take on corporate Democrats and resist the Trump agenda by fighting for family economic security, grassroots democracy, and community institutions that benefit all residents.


March 30, 2017 Veto battles on Assembly's mind as it moves with unusual speed

Democrats hope to drag Larry Hogan down with associations with Donald Trump, and are lining up some early veto bait to sharpen their fights with the governor as the session aims for Sine Die in less than two weeks.

 March 29, 2017 Education scoring bill passed and heads for possible veto battle

Democratic legislators send Larry Hogan a bill tying his hands in case he decides to plunge into charter and voucher solutions without examing alternatives for poorly performing schools. This CNS-Maryland Reporter dispatch outlines the disagreements that may lead to a juicy veto battle -- in this session.


March 28, 2017 Assembly considers one step toward gender equity in pay

A couple of bills that would help make women’s pay more equal to men’s are slogging through the final weeks of the General Assembly session. Though a Senate hearing on these bills has been postponed or canceled, the effort continues. Progressive Maryland testified in favor of the bills earlier in the session.


March 27, 2017 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for March 27-April 2

Welcome to the Weekly Memo, with news of a terrific launch for the Anne Arundel Chapter, chapter meetings this week in MoCo and PGCo and ongoing tasks and opportunities including the new workspace around healthcare following a certain big-time implosion last week.

Keeping up with the blogs is easier with the index. The blogs published in the PM BlogSpace since June 2015 are all available with descriptions and links here.