News You Can Use: Assembly scuffles to scrape up money to match dreams

NUCU_logo_new.pngMost of the action in Annapolis, as we see below, is focused on scraping together enough revenue to cover the state's ambitious transportation and education plans, long-range.New taxes are on the table. Today is "Crossover Day," a largely made-up date by which bills need to have passed at least one chamber of the Assembly to have a good chance of passage by the session's end in about three weeks. Many advocates and corporate lobbyists got overtime (psychic rewards or actual moolah) for navigating the rapids as the Assembly plowed through a weekend of work to see favorite bills make it out of committees or get successful floor votes. Including one about an inquiry into the use of psychedelic substances that may not have crossed your radar. Plus the off-and-on news about a federal shutdown. News You Can Use, for better or worse.


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Progressive Maryland Enclave Tenant Association Leads Charge Against Hazardous Living Conditions, Urges County Intervention

Congressman Jamie Raskin and Councilmember Kristin Mink Join Tenants in Demanding Immediate Action Against Corporate Negligence


Silver Spring, Maryland – On Saturday, March 9 tenants and elected leaders came together at The Enclave Silver Spring Apartments to demand justice and accountability in housing conditions. Led by the newly-elected Board of the Enclave Tenant Association, supported by Progressive Maryland, the rally drew attention to the urgent need to address hazardous living conditions and tenant mistreatment. The livestream of the action may be found on Progressive Maryland’s Facebook page. 

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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 11, 2024


This past Saturday, the Progressive Maryland Enclave Tenant Association held a rally for our ongoing fight for housing justice as tenants and elected leaders united at The Enclave Silver Spring Apartments. We demanded urgent action to address hazardous living conditions and mistreatment of tenants. If you missed the event,  you can catch up on the action by watching the livestream on our Facebook page.


Our rally also garnered significant media coverage. If you didn't catch it on TV, you can read about it here.


In other great news, we celebrate a significant victory for healthcare with the passing of the Access to Care Act. This vital legislation will ensure better healthcare access for all Marylanders, allowing residents to purchase an individual private health care plan, regardless of immigration status. As the bill now moves to the governor's desk, we eagerly await its final approval to become law.


But our work is far from over. There are still critical bills we're fighting for so read on for updates and ways to get involved.

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Assembly is on verge of final-month gallop; no new taxes (for now)

NUCU_logo_new.pngInteresting events here and in DC as the General Assembly this week enters on the last month of the session, while Joe Biden’s budget (released Monday) has some big moves on housing, one of the big complaints for many folks otherwise benefiting from a flush economy. How much can be squeezed through the knife-edge GOP House majority is another question – the mantra there is “Who cares if it’s good for the general population – don’t give Biden a win.”


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New Analysis Shows Maryland Is Wasting Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Subsidizing Trash Incineration

Classification of Trash Incineration as “Renewable” Hurts the Climate and Consumers

Washington, DC — A new analysis by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Clean Water Action, and Progressive Maryland reveals that Maryland is poised to waste over $300 million dollars subsidizing trash incineration between 2012 and 2030. These findings come days before the Maryland General Assembly is scheduled to hold its final hearing on the Reclaim Renewable Energy Act of 2024 (HB166/SB146), which would remove incineration as an eligible source from Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.


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Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 4, 2024


Happy Monday and Happy Women's History Month! This month is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women, femmes and non-binary people throughout history and recognize their ongoing struggles for equality. Throughout March, we'll be highlighting women leaders, past and present, who are making a difference across various avenues. Stay tuned for these inspiring stories later in the memo.


Last week was a whirlwind of activism and media coverage. Our healthcare rally and RREA Press Conference in Annapolis garnered significant attention. We were featured on WMAR, WBALTV, and Maryland Matters for our impactful healthcare rally, and WMAR 2 News covered our RREA press conference and rally. Catch up on the coverage to see updates on what we're fighting for during the legislative session.


Looking ahead, we have another opportunity to stand in solidarity for justice. This weekend in Silver Spring, we're hosting a rally for housing justice and it's not too late to sign up and join us in supporting residents at the Enclave.


Read on for updates on our task force and issue campaigns and news you can use!


In Solidarity,

The Progressive Maryland Team



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News You Can Use: as pandemic boost winds down, states hustle to avoid cliff for low-income households

News_You_Can_Use_graphic_(2).pngThe Maryland General Assembly enters its March sprint to get to sine die in early April. Good bills could fail to make it over the finish line while bad bills breeze through. Keep an eye on that. And support for low-income families, which was frequently the difference during the Covid and post-Covid realignment, is now lapsing. Catastrophe is always just a paycheck away now. See what states and the feds are doing (or not) to fill the gap.

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Healthcare Advocates Form a Picket Line and Present Nine Demands as Legislators Head into Committee

Advocates and workers spoke about the demands around jobs, care, and justice.

Annapolis, Maryland –  Yesterday evening, at Lawyer's Mall, a resounding call for health justice reverberated as various healthcare community groups, unions, and healthcare workers united to demand legislative action from Maryland's lawmakers. Organized by Progressive Maryland, Caring Across Maryland, End Medical Debt Maryland, Trans Rights Advocacy Coalition, CASA, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Maryland Healthcare for All and FreeState Justice, the rally of more than 80 in-person participants and 60 virtual attendees drew attention to nine critical health justice demands that encompassed the urgent needs of Marylanders across various healthcare sectors. The livestream of the action may be found on Progressive Maryland’s Facebook page. 

Advocates march in picket line around Lawyers Mall. Photo Credit: Camila Reynolds-Dominguez

Brige Dumais (they/them) from End Medical Debt Maryland emphasized the interconnectedness of the healthcare struggles, stating, "Our organizations are standing united today to demand JOBS, CARE, and JUSTICE. 'Health justice' isn't something we win through any one of these fights alone - it's what we win by being in these fights together."

The rally presented nine health justice demands, including fair wages for care workers, healthcare for immigrants, protection of gender-affirming care, safe staffing in healthcare, lower prescription drug costs for all, ending the stigma of HIV as a crime, workers' rights for home care, stopping health insurance company care and claim denials, and ending barriers to financial assistance for hospital care.

Speakers shared personal stories and called for specific legislative action, each naming the bill crucial for addressing their concerns.

Rhonda White (she/her), a Certified Medicine Aide & Geriatric Nursing Assistant &  1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East , highlighted the dire staffing crisis in healthcare facilities, calling for the passage of HB462/SB328, The Nursing Home Staffing Crisis Funding Act. "Healthcare workers are stuck in a painful cycle of not having enough workers, so more workers burnout and quit, and the short staffing cycle continues. We are so short-staffed because of low wages!"

Crystal Parker (she/her) from the Progressive Maryland Health Care Task Force highlighted the importance of having real healthcare security, focusing on bills like HB1137 and HB328. "What good is a health insurance policy if the insurance company won't let us use it? What good are financial assistance policies if hospitals have burdensome asset tests to deny income-eligible people?"

Delegate Jamila Woods (Sponsor of HB1137) & Progressive Maryland member, Mike Walsh

As the rally concluded, advocates formed a powerful picket line around Lawyer's Mall chanting "Healthcare is a human right! Fight, fight, fight!"


List of Bills Advocates Called on Legislators to Pass:

HB462/SB328 The Nursing Staffing Crisis Funding Act

HB728/SB705 Access to Care Act

HB691/SB119 Legal Protections - Gender Affirming Treatment

HB1194/SB1020 Hospital Safe Staffing Act

HB340/SB388 Prescription Drug Affordability Expansion

HB485/SB1165 Prohibition on Transfer of Human Immunodeficiency Virus - Repeal

HB39/SB197 Homecare Workers Rights Act

HB1137 Health Insurance - Appeals and Grievances Process - Reporting Requirements and Establishment of Workgroup

HB328 Hospitals - Financial Assistance Policies - Revisions




Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, February 26, 2024


With just 42 days remaining in the legislative session, we're ramping up our efforts to push forward our progressive priorities. As February draws to a close, we find ourselves with numerous events and meetings shaping our agenda for the final stretch of the month. 


This past Saturday, our Returning Citizens Taskforce and Black Workers Center hosted a highly successful hiring fair and expungement clinic last Saturday. You can find more details about the event later in this memo.


Later today, we are gearing up for a crucial healthcare rally in Annapolis, where we will advocate for healthcare justice from our lawmakers. It's not too late to join us – sign up here and stand with us.


And as we bid farewell to Black History Month, don't forget to check out our dedicated section in the memo where this week, we honor the profound contributions to music. 


Stay engaged, stay informed, and let's continue building a more just and equitable Maryland together.



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Shutdowns, showdowns, good ideas and bad -- it's News You Can Use

NUCU_logo_new.pngGov. Moore testifies on his own bill (Housing) to an Assembly committee; coming up five weeks to go till sine die (that's when the legislators go home, finished or not). The latest on Maryland, good (grants for behavioral health work; licensing speedups) and bad (wow, who forgot to put the updated tax assessment notices in the mail?). Plus what other states are doing and what we can learn from that, and the circus that is the US House of Representatives continues to entertain right up to the edge of shutdown. Will they slip?

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