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It's Crossover Day in Annapolis! This is one of the key dates of the Maryland legislative session — if a bill hasn't passed out of at least one chamber of the General Assembly by the time lawmakers adjourn this evening, it no longer has a chance of becoming state law this session. It's a busy day for advocates and legislators alike, and we've been watching committee and floor votes closely to see which bills will still have a path forward when voting wraps up. We expect some major disappointments, but we also anticipate movement on some critically important bills. Read on for updates and actions you can take today to support progressive legislation and build a more just future for our state and communities! 


Quick Actions:


2022 Maryland Elections

There’s a new date for the Maryland primary! The Court of Appeals has rescheduled the Gubernatorial Primary Election for Tuesday, July 19. Mark your calendars today with the key dates in the new election timeline: 

  • Tuesday, June 28: Last day to register to vote in the primary
  • Thursday, July 7 – Thursday, July 14: Early voting from 7 AM – 8 PM
  • Tuesday, July 12: Last day to request a mail-in ballot (But there’s no need to wait! Learn how to request a mail-in ballot today)
  • Tuesday, July 19: Election Day

Progressive candidates are running for state and local office across Maryland, and people power can make the difference in their races. Visit pgmd.us/electionvolunteer to get involved with our election team and join our efforts to support candidates fighting for transformative change!   

Don’t forget to check out our Throwdown Thursday phonebank, happening again this week from 6–8 PM. Click this link to let us know you’ll join! You’ll meet some great folks, and we’ll provide training and support. 

Note to Candidates: If you’re running for office, have already filed for candidacy, and are interested in being considered for our endorsement, you may complete a candidate questionnaire here.

 

🗳 Candidate Corner

Progressive Maryland is hosting a virtual Meet & Greet next Tuesday, March 29 from 7–8 PM with two outstanding candidates for Montgomery County Council! Join us to meet Natali Fani-González, candidate for the District 6 seat, and Laurie-Anne Sayles, candidate for an At-Large seat, and learn how these progressive champions plan to create a more inclusive and community-responsive County Council. RSVP today at pgmd.us/MoCoMeetAndGreet.

Ruben Amaya, candidate for House of Delegates in Baltimore County’s District 10, is hosting a Happy Hour Reception next Tuesday, March 29 from 5–8 PM at the Golden Dragon Bar and Grill (8109 Liberty Rd, Milford Mill, MD 21244). Join us to enjoy great food, learn about Ruben’s vision for the district, and hear how he plans to move our communities forward — RSVP here to attend!

Laurie-Anne Sayles, candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large, is hosting virtual campaign phone banks this Wednesday, March 23 from 6–8 PM and this Saturday, March 26 from 2–4 PM to talk with voters about the campaign. RSVP here to join the #SaylesForce team!

Join us to support Krystal Oriadha, candidate for Prince George’s County Council District 7, in a Day of Action on Saturday, April 2 from 10 AM – 2 PM! We’ll be canvassing in the district to talk about why Krystal is the right choice for PG County, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes — RSVP here to join us!

Learn more about all of our endorsed candidates for 2022 on the Progressive Maryland website! Go to pgmd.us/2022endorsements for candidate bios and links to support their campaigns.


Statewide & Federal Updates

🌱 Environmental Justice 

Climate Justice Means Frontline Communities at the Front! Progressive Maryland is coming together with our allies at CASA, Interfaith Power and Light, and CHISPA to host a Rally for Environmental Justice at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis this Friday, March 25 at 10 AM. Join us as we tell legislators that environmental justice is also a racial justice issue. Working class communities and people of color have suffered disproportionately as a result of overreliance on dirty energy and the growing climate crisis, and we’re calling on members of the Maryland General Assembly to take bold action to pass legislation that addresses this injustice. RSVP here to join us in Annapolis this Friday! 

 

⚖️ Reentry Work Group

Reentry: Where Do You Stand?, a series of virtual listening sessions with candidates for state and local office in this year’s elections, continue this week — join us for virtual events tomorrow, Tuesday, March 22 and this Friday, March 25 from 6–7:30 PM. Tuesday’s event will feature candidates for the Maryland House of Delegates in Districts 24 and 25, and Friday we’ll be joined by candidates in District 26, 27, and 47! Candidates will share their plans to support reentry services for formerly incarcerated individuals and take questions from community members during a Q & A session. RSVP here to attend this week’s Reentry Candidate Forums!

 

📣 Immigrant Rights 

HB114 is still trapped in the House Judiciary Committee, with time running out to move the bill before today’s crossover deadline. This critical legislation would ensure Marylanders have access to legal counsel in immigration proceedings. In the majority of deportation cases, detained immigrants are forced to represent themselves, which means they are far less likely to win their cases. This legislation tries to ensure immigrants in ICE detention receive due process and have a fighting chance. Check out what our allies at CASA are saying about the importance of this bill, and let them know you support it too! 

 

🩺 Health Justice & the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Critical funding for pandemic-related programs like testing and treatment was stripped out of the federal budget reconciliation bill in early March. We support the Biden administration’s request to the Speaker to bring it back before the House. Now is not the time to hang up our COVID fighting tools — we need to ensure that allocated funds are being spent and tracked, and at the same time we need to invest in systems and science that will keep us prepared. The BA.2 variant has yet to take hold yet in the U.S. but is racing through Europe. We need to proceed with caution and be ready for another potential wave. 

We stand with our national partner Justice is Global and other allies who continue to press for global vaccine equity. Experts across the world agree that the pandemic won’t end entirely anywhere until it ends everywhere. That’s why the U.S. should be doing everything it can, using all the tools we have to get the pharmaceutical companies who have patents to give those vaccine recipes to the countries who need them. 

 

💜 Paid Family & Medical Leave

The Time to Care Act of 2022 (SB275) has passed the State Senate! This critical bill would establish a statewide paid family and medical leave program. We’d like to thank the Time to Care Coalition, the advocates who turned out in Annapolis last week, and the many grassroots organizers who have worked with us to support this important and long-overdue legislation. But our work isn’t over yet! The bill now heads to the House of Delegates, where it’s likely to face some serious challenges. Please take a minute today to add your name to our petition for our elected officials demanding paid family and medical leave for Maryland workers! 

 

🏥 End Medical Debt Maryland 

HB694, a bill introduced by Del. Charkoudian to reimburse low-income hospital patients who were overcharged for care, has been amended and passed out of the House today ahead of the crossover deadline. The bill has been dramatically changed in the amendment process, but it will still create a process by which to address the problem of low-income patients being charged by hospitals when they legally qualify for free care. This legislation is an important first step toward holding hospitals accountable for their commitments to patients. 


Become a Progressive Maryland Member 

If you care about the issues and priorities shared in this memo, please support our work by becoming a Progressive Maryland member today! We have flexible membership categories — members can choose to waive dues or sign up to give a monthly donation. You can find more details about the benefits of membership and how to join at pgmd.us/join


State and National News:

It’s crossover day in Annapolis! We have crossover highlights and updates about movement on the proposed $58.5 billion budget moving through the General Assembly. Also: the gas tax holiday, implications of the budget for Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, and potential state tax relief for retirees. Read on for all this and more, in our weekly roundup of News You Can Use!


Events From Progressive Maryland & Our Allies:

Tuesday, March 22 | 9 AM (virtual) — Live in Montgomery County? Join the Silver Spring Justice Coalition and Jews United for Justice for a watch party of the Montgomery County Council’s work session on Bill 49-21 to establish police accountability boards. RSVP here to attend

Tuesday, March 22 | 6–7:30 PM (virtual) — The Reentry Work Group of Progressive Maryland is hosting a forum with candidates for the Maryland House of Delegates in Districts 24 & 25 as part of the ongoing series Reentry: Where Do You Stand? Register here to attend.

Friday, March 25 | 10 AM (Annapolis) — Join us on Lawyers Mall in Annapolis (100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401) for a Rally for Environmental Justice! Help us tell legislators that environmental justice is an issue of racial justice, and we need bold action on legislation that will help frontline communities. RSVP here to join us!

Friday, March 25 | 6–7:30 PM (virtual) — Join the Reentry Work Group for another forum with candidates for the Maryland House of Delegates – this time in Districts 26, 27, & 47. Register here.

Saturday, March 26 | 4:30–6:30 PM (Gaithersburg) — Join the Silver Spring Justice Coalition and community members for a vigil to remember Kwamena Ocran, who was killed at the hands of Gaithersburg City Police in January 2021. RSVP here to join us as we honor his memory

Tuesday, March 29 | 7 PM (virtual) — Progressive Maryland is hosting a virtual Meet & Greet with two outstanding candidates for Montgomery County Council! Join us to meet Natali Fani-González, candidate for the District 6 seat, and Laurie-Anne Sayles, candidate for an At-Large seat — RSVP today at pgmd.us/MoCoMeetAndGreet.

Monday, April 4 | 12 PM (Washington, DC) — Join Progressive Maryland in Washington, DC for a Day of Action to Cancel Student Debt! We’re coming together with groups from across the country at the Eisenhower Memorial (540 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20500) to call on President Biden to cancel student debt before the moratorium on student loan payments ends on May 1. RSVP here to attend


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 at [email protected]


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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...