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Crossover Day is one week away, and it's a crucial day in the Maryland Legislature. Crossover Day is the deadline by which bills introduced in one chamber of the legislature must cross over to the other chamber in order to remain eligible for consideration during the current legislative session. In other words, if a bill doesn't make it through one chamber and into the other by the end of Crossover Day, it's unlikely to become law this year. We have 7 days to ensure progressive legislation continues moving forward this session! 

 

We’ll be working hard this week to urge lawmakers to support bills that will benefit working Marylanders and we want you to join us! Today, we’re hosting a Healthcare Justice Rally in Annapolis and virtually. Check out our event’s section for more information.

 

Now is the time to make your voice heard! Contact your elected representatives and let them know which bills matter most to you, and urge them to support these bills before Crossover Day arrives. You can find easy tools to contact your representatives and more calls to actions in our task forces and local chapters sections of the memo.  

 

Let's make sure that the most important issues facing our state get the attention and consideration they deserve during this year's legislative session. 



 

 

 

Here’s what’s in today’s memo:

  • Legislative updates: priority bill updates and testimony due dates
  • PM Events: End Medial Debt Rally
  • PM task forces & issue campaigns: HCTF Rally, EJTF legislative actions, & RCTF updates
  • Local chapter updates: Harford County & Prince George’s County
  • Events from Allies: Sickle Cell Blood Drive

  • State & National news

Legislative Updates:

Click here to visit the MGA website and keep track of all active Maryland bills, their action status, top sponsors, and top committees. 

 

Update on some of our priority bills we’re supporting:

 

We’re pushing hard behind the scenes to get the De Minimis Quantity Bill and the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard pushed through next week to make Crossover. As for the Cannabis Reform bill, the House voted in favor of the bill (103-32) and it will now move to the Senate. We’re still pushing for an amendment to the bill that will add Labor Peace Agreements to ensure equitable implementation of cannabis legalization. 

 

We encourage you to have a voice in the process by submitting written testimony and signing up to give in-person or virtual testimony. In the Senate, testimony is due between 8am-3pm the business day before a hearing is scheduled (if scheduled on a Monday, testimony is due on the Friday prior). In the House, testimony is due within the same parameters but TWO business days before the date of the hearing.

 

This week, we are collecting testimony for three very important bills ahead of bill hearing dates: 

  1. Cannabis Reform (SB516) on the Finance, Budget & Taxation Committee has an upcoming hearing date on on Thursday, March 16 at 1:00 pm. Testimony is due March 15 at 3:00pm. Please reach out to Max, if you would like to submit testimony for this bill.
  2. Commission on Universal Healthcare (HB329) to study the creation of a single payer healthcare system in Maryland has a hearing in the Health and Government  Operations Committee on Thursday, March 16 at 1:00. To submit written testimony and/or request to testify virtually or in person, the portal on the MGA website is open Tuesday, March 14th between 8am and 3pm. Please reach out to Patty or  Max if you need help.

PM Events:

Join us today in Annapolis for the Healthcare Justice Rally at 7pm! Speak out and tell lawmakers to open  the health exchange to Maryland’s immigrant residents, to set upper payment limits on prescription drug costs, to make hospitals refund the millions of dollars they owe to those wrongfully billed, and to work for greater gender and racial equity in the healthcare system. Watch virtually here or click here for more information on how to join us in person

Updates: PM Task Forces & Issue Campaigns 

Environmental Justice Task Force

Last Thursday, the stakes were raised by Environmentalists and the Reclaim Renewable Energy Act (RREA) coalition, at the HB718/SB590 Economic Matters Committee (EMC) hearing. Delegate Vaughn Stewart, the bill's sponsor, enthusiastically discussed the top-line issues associated with rate payers paying for "greenwashed" dirty energy through their monthly utility bills. Since 2004, ratepayers have paid millions in energy credits  to maintain the wealth of utilities that utilize trash incineration, Woody Biomass, and factory farm waste. Shockingly, the majority of ratepayers money is going out-of-state to utility companies. 

 

Meanwhile, SB590/HB718 are in limbo; we are 7 days from crossover-all bills must be filed- and if Senate President Ferguson, Chair Feldman, and Subcommittee Chair Crosby do not vote and move the bill it will be killed. Moreover, SirJames will be holding an Environmental Justice Task force meeting this Saturday to discuss implications of the hearing and prepare for an end-of-the month community meeting in Cherry Hill. Here's the timestamp for the HB718 hearing

 

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES NOW: Let them know that Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Frederick County governments all support RREA (SB590/HB718)

 

  • Senate President Ferguson, 410-841-3600, [email protected] (Baltimore city District 46)
  • E3 Committee Chair Feldman, 410-841-3169, [email protected] (Montgomery County District 15)
  • ECM Committee Public Utilities Subcommittee chair Crosby, 410-841-3227, [email protected] (St Mary's County District 29B)

Second priority:

  • Speaker Jones, 410-841-3800, [email protected] (Baltimore County District 10)
  • E3 Committee Vicechair Kagan, 410-841-3134, [email protected] 
  • ECM Committee Chair Wilson, ( Montgomery County District 17), 410-841-3325, [email protected] (Charles County District 28)

You can also take action by emailing our legislators to urge them to support this bill with this quick and easy email tool we created.

Healthcare For All:

Join us online or in person in Annapolis today at 7:00 for a speakout and rally on critical healthcare legislation. Register here to watch the livestream or tune into our Facebook page to watch. If you can attend in person, please do so! Get details here: Healthcare Justice Rally! To learn more or get involved in this grassroots campaign, please contact Patty.

 

Returning Citizens Taskforce

Progressive Maryland’s Returning Citizens Task Force held its regular bi-weekly meeting on Tuesday, March 7 with 11 people in attendance. The focus of our meeting was on the need for more transitional housing in Prince George’s County and around the state – including pre-release housing and housing specifically for women. We also reaffirmed the need for more affordable housing and for provisions that such housing not discriminate against people based on their criminal record.

 

We heard reports from RCTF’s Housing Committee which will continue doing research on the need for housing for people after release from prison, and find models of legislation and public policy implementation in other jurisdictions, and productive meetings with State Delegate Jamila Woods, and with County Council Krystal Oriadha’s office.

 

Next steps will be to schedule town halls in different parts of Prince George’s to address the need for housing solutions and respond to community concerns.  We will also see if there are ways in which we can support two pro-returning citizens measures introduced in Annapolis by Delegate Jazz Lewis:  HB464 (a jobs bill focused on Prince George's) and HB661 (to create a statewide study of the effectiveness of existing government reentry policies).  

 

Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Please contact Kurt for the zoom link or for further information.

Local Chapter Updates:

Progressive Harford County 

Join Progressive Harford County for its monthly meeting. The meeting will be on March 20 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. We'll review the chapter's platform, and the latest events and initiatives to get involved. 

 

Progressive Harford will have a table at the Harford County Earth Day Festival this year. The festival will be on April 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Aberdeen Festival Park. The chapter needs help operating our table. That includes telling visitors about Progressive Harford and handing out literature about the chapter and prizes. Email Zack Frink or call him at 443-300-8776 if you want to help with the table. 

 

Thank you all for your support in favor of Bill 22-005, Warehouse Moratorium. We are asking for your continued support at the public hearing on this bill this Tuesday, March 14, in the Harford County Council Chambers (212 S. Bond St. Bel Air, MD 21014). Doors open at 5 p.m. and the hearing starts at 6 p.m. If you want to testify, you need to sign up by 3 p.m. on Tuesday via email or phone (410-638-3343). Don’t want to speak? That's ok, we still need seat fillers. Please come out and show your support.

 

The Harford County Democratic Central Committee is seeking to fill the Harford Council vacancy in District F. Interested candidates should submit the application materials to the HCDCC by email as a single PDF by March 20, 2023. Learn more about the application requirements on their website.

Progressive Prince George's

GREAT NEWS UPDATE: The Jay Howard-Brock fundraiser was a rousing success! Jay went to the NEA Leadership Summit this past weekend and reported back how thankful she was that all of us came together to help her attend this event. Thanks to everyone who donated! We were able to raise $1350 in a very short time period and are working on returning what is left over to the Bradbury Heights PTO Squad to support them in whatever they do next. A special thanks goes out to PM member Mr. David O’Leary for covering her plane fare with his own frequent-flier-miles. With organized money and people, anything is possible! 

 

AROS-PG CALLS TO ACTION

 

  • Please SIGN and share this petition to urge the County Executive, Angela D Alsobrooks, to undertake an open, transparent and community involved process for the recruitment and hiring of the new PGCPS CEO.
  • CALL the County Executive’s Office @ 301-952-4131 to let her and her staff know how you feel about the community being shut out of the recruitment and hiring process for the new PGCPS CEO and how unfair and unsustainable that is for the growth and strength of our public school system in Prince George’s County. Make your voice heard! 
  • JOIN US at our Progressive Prince George’s: AROS Community Meeting on the PGCPS CEO issue, tentatively scheduled for April 22nd via Zoom, from 4-6 p.m. Please REGISTER to receive the Zoom link and share the registration link with neighbors, family, coworkers and friends.
  • REGISTER for Throwdown Thursday and Text Party Friday this week to share in the work of spreading the news to the community about the PGCPS CEO campaign and ways they can get involved. The more the merrier! We will be accomplishing phone and text bank outreach on this very important issue and event for the next six weeks. That’s 12 amazing opportunities to spring into action, right now!

EVENTS FROM ALLIES:

From our friends at the District 7 County Council Office:

State and National News:

The bill pileup in the Assembly, House and Senate both, is getting kind of outrageous as "Crossover Day" approaches. Sure, the legislators are trying to hold on to their perks and power as having a Dem governor seems to make everything smoother, maybe too much smoother. If some bills are being held hostage for other purposes, well, it will be hard to get an admission on that for the record.

 

We are prioritizing bills on Healthcare, the minimum wage, environmental action to match the climate crisis, and others. Read more, in It’s News You Can Use for this fast-moving time. Don’t miss it.

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

 

 

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Progressive Maryland
P.O. Box 6988
Largo, MD 20792

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...