In a busy three months, Maryland's Assembly session showed lots of progress for progressives, but with much more to do to fight the agendas of Larry Hogan and Donald Trump. PM legislative coordinator Jennifer Dwyer puts up the tote board, and the tasks ahead.
/By Jennifer Dwyer/ On Monday, we celebrated an important milestone-- the last day of Maryland's state legislative session for 2017! With all of the amazing victories we had this year, I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work and update you on how all of your phone calls and emails to legislators, testimony up in Annapolis, rallying all over the state, and generous contributions have made Maryland an even better place for working families!
Our major victories include:
Paid Sick Leave! Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who didn't have a single day of paid sick leave will now have up to five per year!
Resisting the Trump Agenda! Our Attorney General now has the power to challenge Trump's orders in court.
Fight for $15! We preserved the rights of counties who are fighting for higher wages to raise their wage above the state's minimum-- and flooded the state legislature with hundreds of calls and emails calling on them to raise all of Maryland up to $15 per hour.
Justice for all! We stopped a push by the big bail industry to increase the number of defendants requiring cash bail-- which would have kept those who didn't have cash, guilty or not, in jail and unable to work or care for their families until the date of their trial.
We also made childcare more affordable, prohibited colleges from discriminating against applicants who have a criminal record, and helped protect hundreds of thousands of Maryland residents who depend on the Affordable Care Act from losing their healthcare and from price-gouging at the hands of greedy pharmaceutical companies, among other things!
But we still have work to do.
Too many families are struggling to make ends meet on $8.75 per hour. Women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and many others among us are still fighting for basic rights. Big Pharma and the powerful (and well-financed) restaurant, retail, and bail lobbies are already hard at work on their plans for next session.
Help keep our momentum going by joining our monthly sustainer program! Many members are giving $20 per month to support our mission to improve the lives of working families in Maryland.
Stay tuned for updates from your local Progressive Maryland chapter.
Jennifer Dwyer is legislative and policy coordinator for Progressive Maryland.