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We’re pleased with the Governor’s announcements around some key spending priorities like higher salaries for state employees, and investments in education and transit. Gov. Moore is lifting up many issues that Progressive Maryland has on our legislative agenda. He wants to accelerate the schedule for reaching a $15 minimum wage so that it happens this summer despite republican backlash and he has allocated $1 billion to education and transportation equally under his proposed budget. In addition, the Governor has released funds related to last year’s Climate Solutions Now Act to address climate change in the state. The Governor stressed the importance of holding him and his administration accountable as the money is spent.

 

We’re closely tracking the legislation being introduced in Annapolis from our legislative allies as well as bills being introduced that threaten our progressive vision. As things continue to pick up in the legislature, you can expect more opportunities in your inbox with ways for you to get involved with our advocacy efforts. Look out for calls of testimony in the coming weeks as the General Assembly begins to meet more frequently on bill hearings. 

 

We need our elected representatives to support policies that invest in the well-being of workers, families, and communities across the state. And we need your help to hold our leaders accountable. Read on, and find more ways to help your neighbors, your community -- and you and your family -- gain power in this system and achieve a better life for all.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what’s in today’s memo:

  • Legislative updates: Session status, new bills and our weekly legislative highlight!
  • Event updates: Progressive Maryland’s Annual Membership Assembly & Events from allies
  • PM task forces & issue campaigns: Healthcare and Environmental Justice
  • Local chapter updates: Harford County and Prince George’s County chapter updates
  • State & National news: New Gov, new budget, paralysis in DC– what’s not to like?

Legislative Updates:

Click here to view the suggested dates of interest provided by the General Assembly. The House and Senate reconvene tonight at 8 pm and will post live updates on their website

 

TRACKER: Click here to keep track of all active Maryland bills, their action status, top sponsors, and top committees. You can also view the bills from the previous legislative session and get more detailed updates on this year’s Legislative Session schedule at the General Assembly website.

 

This week’s legislative highlight: Criminal Justice Reform, Police Reform, & Drug Policy

 

Following the passing of Question 4 on last year’s ballot that made cannabis possession legal in Maryland, many bills have been introduced to the General Assembly that address initial steps for legalization implementation. First, we’ll be supporting Senate Bill 51 which addresses criminal procedures involving changes to determining reasonable suspicion and probable cause involving cannabis. Next, we’ll be supporting Senate Bill 73, to substitute civil penalties in place of criminal penalties for certain offenses relating to cannabis-related offenses. We’ll also be supporting Senate Bill 88 which will require automatic expungements of pardoned convictions for possession of cannabis. 

 

This session, Progressive Maryland will also be supporting multiple bills addressing police reform. Stay tuned for the House Bills we plan to support under this topic next week! 

 

If you are interested in writing testimony to support these issues, please reach out to Christianne

PM EVENTS:

Please join us Saturday, February 4th, from 10:30am-1:30pm for our Annual Membership meeting taking place at a location in Anne Arundel County. Covid precautions will be in place.

 

If you haven’t yet, become a member in order to get your invitation to attend! We will celebrate our 2022 victories and lay out our goals and organizing priorities for the new year. You don't want to miss this gathering! It’s a great opportunity to build community, learn how to get involved with our organizing campaigns, and hear from leaders, legislative allies and grassroots activists.

EVENTS FROM ALLIES:

The Maryland Association of Human Rights Agencies (MAHRA) and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights will host its annual Human Rights Day in Annapolis on Friday, February 17, from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Click here to register.

Updates: PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns 

Environmental Justice Task Force

Inaugural EJTF meeting on Saturday, Jan 28th from 3pm-4:30pm at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Cherry Hill Branch | 606 Cherry Hill Rd, Baltimore, MD 21225. Join Progressive Maryland for our Environmental Justice Task Force Launch meeting. We’ll discuss plans and current priorities for the task force and get updates on the legislative session and future events. We hope you’ll join us!! Sign up for the event here. 


If you have questions and want to learn more, contact SirJames to learn more and get involved.

Healthcare For All:

Our current campaign focuses on state legislative issues ranging from healthcare expansion to the effort to end medical debt. Let us know about the healthcare issues you’re facing, fill out our survey. Lawmakers need to hear about our experiences and concerns. We’ll submit testimony this session highlighting our stories and we’ll share them at a Health Care Lobby Day Monday, March 6. PM is proud to partner with labor, health and community advocates for this event. In advance of that, we’ll hold a virtual healthcare issues forum in late February–stay tuned for details. Our campaign to Make Medicines Affordable is focused on the work of the Maryland Prescription Drug Affordability Board to bring down Rx costs: learn more here. Want to learn more or get involved? Contact Patty 

Local Chapter Updates:

Progressive Harford County 

Thank you to everyone who attended last week's meeting for Progressive Harford. We got a preview of all the great ways to get involved with the chapter to begin the year. Join Progressive Harford's group attending the Harford County budget hearings. We're attending to accomplish two goals: 1) Voice input for the county budget and 2) Voice support for Councilmember Jacob Bennett. Councilmember Bennett is being denied from serving on the Harford County Council in a partisan power grab by the County Executive. Show up and speak out about the county budget and to show your support for Councilmember Bennett. The budget hearings are on Jan. 26 from 6-8 p.m. at the Edgewood Recreation & Community Center and on Jan. 30 from 6-8 p.m. at Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company.

 

Join Progressive Maryland to learn how a bill becomes law in the Maryland General Assembly next month. Del. David Moon, Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee, will be our featured speaker providing a case study on a bill. Click here to RSVP! 

Progressive Prince George's

Keep your eye out for a chapter meeting in February and, in the meantime, fill out the become a member of PPG form. Someone from the chapter will be in touch! 

 

State and National News:

We are in the rapids and paddling furiously, now that the General Assembly has the budget from a Democratic governor to massage. Follow the news on that, as well as managing the transition to Blueprint schools and watching the energy improvement possibilities. It's all news you can use. We have tools for keeping an eye on the Assembly actions thanks to our allies at the Maryland Legislative Coalition. When we say “news you can use” we mean info that’s a pathway to building power for working families in Maryland. Click below and read on...

 

It’s News You Can Use, in digestible form so you can make change and build power sooner.

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About

M.A. and Ph.d. from University of Maryland Merrill College of Journalism, would-be radical, sci-fi fan... retired to a life of keyboard radicalism...