Hogan's proposed MoCo toll lanes get increasing pushback in Assembly

wind_farm.jpg“Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s plan to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 could be pushed back for a year if the General Assembly adopts a bill that would require the state to complete an environmental assessment before moving forward,” a report today in Maryland Matters details. As we see here, it's just the latest in a cascade of pushbacks against the proposed "Lexus Lanes."



 

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019

The Assembly session is under way and we've set Monday, March 4 as a mass Lobby Day for Progressive Maryland members across MD_state_house.jpgthe state. Find out more below. And we have a one-day training session coming up this weekend that will sharpen your skills at turning your activist passion into results and building power for your community. Plus all the events and actions in our chapters across Maryland -- all in the Memo.



 

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Think tank floats tax reform to fund Kirwan education upgrade

The Kirwan Commission’s educational reforms would make deep improvements in our children’s education but would cost a good deal. How to fund them? “Marylanders are facing an important choice. We can continue to spend our resources on ineffective tax breaks that benefit limited special interests and don’t help our economy, or we can fix our schools and support thriving communities across the state,” says the director of a state-based economic policy think tank. Danielle Gaines in Maryland Matters explains the tax-reform proposal.



 

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Organizing to win governing power -- read all about it

union_struggle.jpgProgressive change sometimes seems like one step forward, two steps back, but People's Action leader James Mumm shows how over time power has been steadily, doggedly gained by organizing -- and with the help of three excellent books he discusses here, he further shows that activists today have these "how-to" tools for organizing more at their disposal than ever in history. Together these works show that, as one says, it IS possible "to scale grassroots participation to a height that could actually let us go toe to toe with the billionaires and win.”



 

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Progressive coalition loudly backs "clean" $15 minimum wage bill

MD_state_house_sketch.jpgLawmakers, advocates ― and even some small business owners ― gathered in Annapolis on Monday evening, vowing to push for a $15 minimum wage bill. Ricarra Jones of Maryland Fight for $15 said more than 70 legislators have already signed a pledge to support a “Clean 15” bill, which would not include exemptions for some workers, carve-outs for certain industries or proposals floating around the State House that would establish different geographical minimum wages within the state. [Progressive Maryland is an active member of the coalition]. Danielle Gaines of Maryland Matters has the story and we include other info from media coverage.



 

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Progressive groups in MoCo celebrate their winner in Exec race

ballot_box.jpgFour progressive groups in Montgomery County -- who campaigned separately and together for endorsed candidates last Fall -- met recently to celebrate success. In particular they welcomed new County Executive Marc Elrich, a persistent left voice in the county, now in charge of a jurisdiction larger than ten US states. Hal Ginsberg describes the celebration.



 

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, Jan. 14, 2019

The Maryland General Assembly has opened its 2019 session (last Wednesday) and Progressive Maryland, in harness with many progressive allies, is working to advance a progressive agenda within the session-- but meanwhile, local governments move forward on a general path to completing their local operating budgets by June; early town hall meetings for public information and input are shown below under our individual chapter links.



 

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MoCo, Pr Geo leaders tackle Assembly session opener, as they must

maryland_state_house.jpgRecently elected, the two first-time county execs of Montgomery County (Marc Elrich) and Prince George's County (Angela Alsobrooks) walked into the quite different environment of opening day at the 2019 General Assembly session to line up allies and network opportunities at the seat of state government, whence cometh a lot of their cash resources. Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters trailed the two as they took their bows and made their visits, and reported on how our state's two biggest political units may fare in 2019 as education and its funding remains a top bone of contention.



 

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Assembly session opens with progressive goals on the line

MD_state_house.jpgThe Maryland General Assembly begins its 2019 session today with a lot of handshaking and baby-carrying, as a large (though not record-setting) group of first-timers begins the process of settling in while some veterans in new positions of authority look to shore up their fiefdoms as early as possible.

Progressive Maryland and allies will be carrying an agenda for working families and empowerment to every part of the session from committees to the floor between now and the finish of business with April's sine die.



 

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Medicare for All gains traction among Dem 2020 aspirants

As the Assembly session opens and progressive groups call for big changes in the state's health care regime under the banner "Medicare for All," Assembly Democrats "are reintroducing their bill to establish a health care mandate, similar to the federal ACA_saved_my_life_crop.jpgmandate that existed under the Affordable Care Act until Congress and President Trump eliminated it in the 2017 tax reform package," say Josh Kurtz and Danielle Gaines of Maryland Matters in their omnibus session preview. Progressive activists hope this is a wedge to do better in Maryland but understand that state legislatures are always reduced to playing small-ball where full-bore health care advances are concerned. But as Hal Ginsberg points out, the ground swell behind real health care reform -- Bernie Sanders's Medicare for All bill, doubtless soon to be refiled in the 116th Congress -- attracted major support from senators who are in the mix for the 2020 presidential nomination, including Sen. Kamala Harris of California (now an early and likely superheavyweight primary state).


 

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