URGENT ACTION NEEDED:
Please make a call right now to Senator Griffith, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, asking her to prioritize bringing the Access to Care Act to a vote tonight! Use this call tool.
As you know, access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right for all individuals, regardless of their immigration status. However, many immigrants in our state face significant barriers when it comes to accessing healthcare services. This is particularly true for undocumented immigrants, who often do not have access to insurance or are afraid to seek medical care due to fears of deportation or discrimination. The Access to Care Act would help address these disparities by expanding access to affordable healthcare coverage for all Maryland residents, regardless of immigration status. The bill would also establish a fund to help pay for medical expenses for immigrants who are not eligible for insurance coverage. Call our Senators to pass Access To Care.
90 DAY WRAP-UP
Many of our victories this session came from Healthcare Justice. The Trans Health Equity Act, an important bill that will provide coverage for additional gender-affirming treatments has become law, as has the Hospital Reimbursement bill, which reimburses patients wrongfully charged by hospitals. In addition, the MGA voted to fully find the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which will take action to lower prescription costs. The state also approved an extensive Reproductive Rights Package that will ensure that all individuals have access to reproductive healthcare regardless of an individual's income or immigration status, and we are eagerly awaiting Governor Moore to sign it into law
On the other hand, we took some daggering hits to our criminal justice and drug policy pushes this session. Our legislators failed to bring the De Minimis Quantity bill, which would have decriminalized possession of personal use quantities of a broad range of drugs, to a vote. They also failed to make other bills a priority such as SB285– a bill that would have authorized a police accountability board to conduct an investigation of police misconduct concurrently with a law enforcement agency investigating the complaint– and SB73, which would have substituted civil penalties in place of criminal penalties for certain offenses relating to possessing cannabis products a priority in advancing through the chambers. The Cannabis Reform bill should pass by the time the MGA adjourns tonight although the amendment we were pushing for to include LPAs was rejected.
On the issue of economic justice, our lawmakers failed to eliminate the tipped wage.
As for environmental justice, the MGA completely dropped the ball on passing the Reclaim Renewable Energy Act which would have removed ratepayer-subsidized pollution, deleting factory farm waste, woody biogas, and trash incineration from the state’s clean energy program, and stopping the greenwashing of dirty energy and also reducing the harmful impacts of air pollution from burning trash that most burdens the predominately-Black neighborhoods surrounding the large trash incinerator in Baltimore City
As the session comes to an end, we can be proud of the progress that has been made in advancing these important issues. However, there is still much work to be done. We must continue to push for policies that support the well-being of all Marylanders, and subsequently hold our elected officials accountable for their actions.