In the Weekly Memo this week: movement in Annapolis on both the earned sick leave bill (almost to the finish line!) and the state $15 minimum wage. Also calendar musts for this week and links to our most recent blog posts.
Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo March 13-19
Well, we all want to go back before last November 8 but I’m not going to get you there just by dating last week’s email Weekly Memo in February instead of March in the subject line. Since our email Memo recipients are a discerning bunch I am sure nobody was fooled or missed an appointment because of that. If you want to subscribe so you can catch us in future slip-ups, you can do so here.
With the Senate’s provisional passage of the earned sick leave bill already OKed by the House the stage is set for a reconciliation by the two chambers and brings the long-sought measure closer to passage after five years. The totally inadequate substitute proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan earlier this year seems to have been a last-ditch effort to derail this bill – which is supported by a clear majority of Marylanders and would provide sick leave to some three-quarters of a million workers in the state currently with none. The Senate reduced the total leave days a worker can accumulate from seven in the House version to five, perhaps in an attempt to find a veto-proof majority; that’s where the reconciliation must take place.
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage bill for Maryland met the press and public last Wednesday to make the case for a $15 minimum wage this year. Already heard in a House committee, the bill is considered by the Senate this week – Wednesday, March 15 (see calendar below). The raises will be phased in through 2024 both in actual dollars and in the sizes of the businesses subject to the regulation. As Progressive Maryland emphasizes, “Nowhere in Maryland can working families afford to live on less than a $15 minimum wage (Maryland Community Action Partnership).” More about the bill and why it is needed is here.
Press coverage on the Maryland for $15 campaign: www.mdfor15.org/press
Sign the petition supporting $15 in Maryland: www.mdfor15.org/petition
On the Calendar this week
Wednesday, March 15, at 1 p.m. Senate Hearing on State Fight For $15 Bill, Senate Office Building in Annapolis. A bill has been introduced in the Maryland General Assembly to raise the state minimum wage to $15/hr. If passed, this will be a huge victory for working families in our state where there is not a single county in which working families can be self-sufficient on less than $15. The legislation as introduced would: Raise wages to $15/hr by 2022 for most workers; index the minimum wage to inflation to prevent loss in buying power; eliminate the subminimum wage and unfair pay practices for tipped workers. Help us pack the hearing room in solidarity with working families across Maryland and demand fair wages for all.
Wednesday, March 15, 6:30 p.m. Montgomery County Education Forum - Takoma Park at Montgomery College – Takoma. Montgomery County Council and education officials are hosting a series of education town halls throughout the county. This is another in the series and the question of family prosperity mingles with education, as was pointed out at last week’s forum at Blair High.
FROM OUR ALLIES
Thursday March 16 Montgomery County Green Democrats - Monthly general meeting
7 p.m. Tastee Diner, 601 Cameron St, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Saturday March 18 Prince George’s County Our Revolution meeting, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. South Bowie Branch Library, 15301 Hall Road, Bowie 20721. Info at link.
Saturday, March 18 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Town Hall with 4th District Rep. Anthony Brown, Prince George’s Community College Largo Campus, Rennie Forum. Info at link.
Montgomery County is $5 million short in fully funding its public elections fund. Tell the County Council to fully fund this important program before the electoral season begins: http://www.progressivemaryland.org/fairelectionsmoco
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We recently published these:
March 10, 2017 Time to Resist Republican Health Policy
In the guise of fixing some acknowledge flaws in the Affordable Care Act, the GOP's "repeal and replace" plan is actually a huge tax giveaway to health care corporations and the rich -- at the cost of slashing accessible, affordable health care for working families.
Montgomery County residents affiliated with Progressive Maryland repeatedly challenged County Council member Craig Rice on his vote against a $15 minimum wage at Wednesday night’s (March 8) education forum.
Progressive Maryland and many allies -- including some business owners -- testified inside and outside the halls of the Assembly about the urgent need for a $15 minimum wage for Maryland, where the current minimum wage is not enough to live on anywhere in the state.
Progressive Maryland is backing HB1390 /SB880, a bill to phase out cash bail for many criminal charges because "We absolutely must not have different levels of justice for the poor and the rich." Those incarcerated because they can't raise cash bail lose jobs and the ability to support their families. PM backed the Senate bill last week and does the same for the House bill today, with the testimony below.
March 06, 2017 Progressive Maryland Weekly Memo for March 6-12
The Weekly Memo with a full week of action in Annapolis plus MoCo town halls on the school system. Plus the great news about the advance of earned, paid sick leave after a five-year struggle. Now you need to call your senator to pass it with a veto-proof majority on the Senate floor this 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.