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There’s a lot going on in Maryland right now. While the new cannabis legalization law won't go into effect until July, small possession of cannabis is no longer subject to criminal penalties as of the new year. In addition, the Maryland Medical Assistance Program and the Water Assistance Relief Program have launched and we encourage you to share this information with anyone you know. And in just two days, the Maryland General Assembly will convene as the legislative session will officially begin and last until April 12th. 

 

We can always count on the new year to introduce an abundance of changes in our personal lives and our state's political status. It’s a crucial time for us and our allies to prepare for the legislative session and garner support for any bills that will help fight for progressive change in Maryland and improve the lives of the working class people in our community. In the 90 days of the legislative session, we will be working persistently to achieve numerous progressive victories. As a reminder, you can view our preliminary 2023 Legislative Agenda here

 

Let's keep organizing and mobilizing against the injustice we face in our communities and across our nation. 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what’s in today’s memo:

  • Legislative updates: key dates, helpful tools to track bills, and our weekly legislative highlight!
  • Event updates: Progressive Maryland’s Annual Membership Assembly
  • PM task forces & issue campaigns: Big announcement & meeting dates
  • Local chapter updates: Harford & PG county chapter updates
  • State & National news: Maryland and other legislatures buckle down to their agendas for 2023

Legislative Updates:

The 2023 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly begins this Wednesday, January 11th!

 

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. For more detailed updates on this year’s Legislative Session and to search specific bills click here

 

We’ll be diving deeper into specific legislative goals each week, providing the ins and outs of the process, explaining the expected impact, and giving you information on how to get involved in the session with us. 

 

This week’s legislative highlight: Labor and Economic Justice

 

From the progressive perspective, there were some key improvements in this area during last year’s legislative session. Last session, we successfully passed the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act of 2022 to establish the Insurance Program in the Maryland Department of Labor which provides benefits to individuals who take leave from employment for certain purposes. 

 

This session, Progressive Maryland is supporting expanding collective bargaining rights and increasing the minimum wage. We will provide an update on any new bills we plan to support as they are introduced during the session.

 

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

SAVE THE DATE

We are less than a month away from our Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, February 4th, from 10:30am-1:30pm. There are 3 more weeks to become a Progressive Maryland member in time to receive an invitation to attend. 

 

Each year our assembly brings together Marylanders who are devoted to building a more equitable and just state. We’re planning a great event! Everyone will have the chance to meet other members, learn how to get involved with our issue taskforce’s efforts and to hear from our leaders, legislative allies, and community activists. You don't want to miss this gathering! Please join us to celebrate our 2022 victories and to help us lay out our goals and organizing priorities for the new year. 

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. Please come out to our first task force meeting! Baltimore city’s biggest polluter is a toxic incinerator birthed in 1985. The incinerator’s polluting effects have caused immense respiratory health issues and have shortened the lifespans of generations of black communities. This year, power holders will have to address this decades-old elephant in the room issue. The time is NOW to hold power holders accountable to this ecological exploitation. Come learn and be a part of the discussion! Sign up for the event here. We can't wait to see you!

Healthcare For All:

We're excited for the start of the Maryland General Assembly and about our grassroots campaign to engage with more Marylanders in 2023. With your help we can rein in the cost of prescription drugs, expand health coverage to all Marylanders, bolster our efforts to end medical debt, and make changes that benefit patients. Far too many people are facing too many obstacles to getting care. We want to hear from you. Please share your thoughts by taking our issue survey (your answers are confidential) and let us know if you'd like to come to a virtual forum on healthcare issues or talk with one of our volunteer leaders. Just drop a note to Patty.

Drug Policy Task Force:

Join our Community Meeting for Winning Equitable Drug Policy in Maryland for 2023, on Wednesday, January 11th from 6-7:15 PM. We will discuss ideas and action steps for: Equitable implementation of cannabis legalization in Maryland; Policies that prioritize a variety of treatment options and not incarceration; and Decriminalizing drugs to allow us to invest in our communities and reduce harm. Come share your thoughts and vision, and hear about action steps for the coming months. RSVP Here..

Local Chapter Updates:

Progressive Harford County 

The Harford County Council is engaging in an anti-democratic and partisan power grab by trying to prevent Councilmember Jacob Bennett from serving after winning his election. Are you interested in working with Progressive Harford to stand up and support Jacob? Email Zack to get involved.

 

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:

Maryland and other legislatures buckle down to their agendas for 2023; Covid hasn't gone away and MD hospitals are filling fast; new faces in state government; Federal money and how to get it, and the Bay gets straight D+ grades. News you can use even if it's not all good, here courtesy Maryland's tireless progressive watchdogs at Progressive Maryland. Read on, and give in to the urge to take organized action.


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

Progressive Maryland BlogSpace:

We value creating space for our members to express their thoughts on any issues related to our campaigns. Have an idea for a blog post? You can submit writing, film, graphic design, etc. to be published on our website to the blog moderator Woody.

>>Read more on the homepage of progressivemaryland.org

 

 

woody woodruff

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...