Bottom line: What did the General Assembly accomplish (and what are other state's legislatures doing as they wrap their sessions)
Maryland, like many states, has a springtime legislative session -- and, like ours, many are wrapping up now and seeking governors's signatures on their hard-forged bills. We feature several takes on what the Assembly accomplished as well as some tidbits from other states legislative bodies that echo Maryland's concerns but may well show opposite tendencies. And Congress is back at work with the GOP caucus in the House still trying to leverage the potential for a US debt default to slash social services and roll back some of Joe Biden's accomplishments. For all of these consequential issues, we can only say,stay tuned. But our legislative session is a wrap and the next metric is what the Moore administration makes of the results. We'll be watching; you should too.
RGGI is good for Maryland and other states in the cap-and-trade consortium. Including Virginia.
Utility Dive, an online business newsletter about, well, utilities, keeps a close eye on changes in electric power companies and the grid, more in the news all the time. The newsletter reports here on a study about us and our near-dozen neighboring states in the deal called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade plan that collects revenue from carbon-emitting power sources (and so incentivizes their replacement). The report is outlined below, and shows that Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's knee-jerk attempt to reverse former Gov. Ralph Northam's ushering in of Virginia to the compact is (to be kind) misguided. Dominion Power, which owns a lot of Virginia lawmakers, of course finds RGGI a pain. Read more about a setup that could be a pathway to our grid keeping up with the surging need for electric power in the face of climate catastrophe.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, April 10, 2023
Today is Sine Die, the final day of the Maryland Legislative Session until it reconvenes next year in January 2024. Lawmakers will be on the floor all night to get any outstanding votes completed and move the last bills across the finish line as the General Assembly prepares to adjourn at midnight.
We’re currently assessing our wins and losses from the legislative session and are already beginning to prepare for next year. While there were some victories, there were also some disappointments in the failure of our legislators to pass important progressive bills. While these setbacks are frustrating, we remain committed to continuing the fight for these issues in the future by continuing to build power and engage more people in the political process. Check out the legislative updates section for a more detailed review and update of this year’s session as well as critical actions you can take, like calling for Access To Care, before midnight tonight.
Let us continue to work together toward a more just, equitable, and prosperous future for our state. Check out this week’s Memo for plenty of updates, events, actions to take, and news you can use!
Sine Die festivities loom tonight; sad things still happening though...
It’s Sine Die, the day that the 2023 General Assembly session will gavel to a close for this year, somewhere around midnight.
Good work got done -- but some important stuff was overlooked. A bill called Access to Care, which would give about a quarter-million Marylanders a chance to buy health insurance on the exchange that they can’t access now because of their immigration status, is stuck in the Senate Finance committee.
Recreational Marijuana can go on sale July 1 (see below), but a provision insuring full labor rights for employees is missing.
That is some of the News You Can Use, with more below.
And totally off the radar for the Assembly (which will party down tonight, liquidly, after the gavel falls, a venerable tradition), Charles County officials are evicting members of the Cedarville Band of indigenous peoples from land they have occupied for thirty years, to the county’s cultural benefit and enrichment. The ACLU, fighting the eviction despite near-zero news coverage of the conflict, states
“The very fact that the Cedarville Band [had been] forced to lease this land that was forcibly stolen from them is offensive, let alone the impending eviction by the County.
Reversing course and stopping the eviction is the first step to recognizing the Cedarville Band’s humanity. Eviction of native people, from native land, is the tradition of genocide, not redemption.”
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, April 3, 2023
There’s only one week left of the Legislative Session and while we’ve taken some big losses this year on our priority bills, we have made significant progress on others. As you know, we've been working hard to advocate for policies that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of Marylanders, from affordable healthcare to criminal justice reform.
With the session coming to a close on April 11, it's crucial that we continue to stay engaged and vocal about our priorities. We'll be closely monitoring the progress of some bills and working to build support among legislators and the public. We are proud of the work we have accomplished so far and remain committed to seeing these bills through to the end. We still need to push a few priority bills across the finish line and you can find quick actions you can take in our legislative updates section.
Your support is critical to our success, and we're grateful for everything you've done to help us push for a more progressive Maryland this session. Check out this week’s Memo for plenty of updates, events, actions to take, and news you can use!Read more
Time to ask what the Assembly is leaving undone: rent relief, access to care and more...
Time to ask what’s getting left undone in the General Assembly: Rent relief and access to care
Maryland’s leaders are looking the other way on the question of shelter affordability. Who benefits? Greedy landlords.
And Maryland's leaders are ignoring over a quarter-million Marylanders whose immigration status makes it hard-to-impossib le for them to qualify for health care.
Find out about these holes in the process -- and more -- in News You Can Use from Progressive Maryland...Read more
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 27, 2023
As March comes to a close, so does Women's History Month, a time to honor the contributions of women throughout history and celebrate the progress made towards gender equality. This month serves as a reminder of the remarkable achievements of women who have broken barriers and made significant strides in various fields. We’re closing out Women’s History Month by highlighting trans women for transgender visibility week. Transgender Visibility Week provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges that trans women face and to celebrate their resilience and strength in the face of discrimination and violence. Let us continue to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women throughout the year, and work towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all.
In Maryland, the legislative session is in full swing, with only two weeks left until the General Assembly adjourns. Some of our priority bills didn't make it through crossover but we’ll fight harder for them next year and through other avenues of advocacy. One thing we can do is to focus on our priority bills that have already made it through one chamber and are now being considered by the other chamber. It's also important to keep the lines of communication open with our elected representatives and let them know what issues matter to us.
Read on for more detailed updates on which of our priority bills still have a chance, events, actions to take and news you can use!
The Progressive Maryland Team
"How's he doing?" Gov. Moore's over/under as Assembly close approaches
You can contrast the Moore-Miller administration's wish list -- excuse us, goals list -- with how much they'll be getting from two legislative chambers that may be making a tough transition from the Hogan era -- difficulty taking "yes" for an answer, jealously guarding their prerogatives and inefficient methods.
And we have more from around the states and the DC scene. Read on for News You Can Use.
Statement on Emergency Rental Assistance
Progressive Maryland is deeply concerned by the Maryland General Assembly’s refusal to include Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) in the FY24 budget. This decision will harm over 100,000 Maryland families who are behind on rent. We are demanding our legislators turn this around and continue to fund the ERA program so we can keep Marylanders housed. We are urging our members to share their story about facing eviction to help persuade our elected officials and are asking the press to help keep up the pressure too by covering this urgent issue.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for Monday, March 20, 2023
Today is a significant day in the state's legislative calendar! It's Crossover Day in the General Assembly, which means that any bills that haven't passed out of their original chamber by the time lawmakers adjourn this evening, no longer have a chance of becoming state law this session. We've been tracking committee and floor votes closely to see which bills will still have a path forward when voting wraps up. We expect some success on a number of healthcare bills we’re supporting along with some disappointments when it comes to other priority bills including drug reform and renewable energy policies. Read on for updates and actions you can take today to support progressive legislation and build a more just future for our state and communities!
The Progressive Maryland Team