Summary –

This document represents the Maryland Legislative Coalition’s Agenda for the 2019 Session. These are the policy initiatives, and in some cases individual bills, that the Coalition will support and hope to pass during the session. The 2019 Legislative Agenda is divided into major policy areas of Education, Environment, Ethics/Elections, Gun Control, Health Care, Net Neutrality, Transportation and Social and Economic Justice.

Under each policy area, there are specific initiatives listed. Individual bills will eventually be included under each initiative. These are the bills that the Coalition will support in the upcoming session.

 

Education –

The biggest initiative in terms of schools is producing legislation in support of the Kirwan Commission’s findings. Fully funding the schools will require tapping into additional revenue streams as well as ensuring that the funding is equitable. Casino revenue will only make up part of the requirement, so we can expect a lot of legislative debate over funding this session.

Other legislation we expect to support in the Education arena will include bills related to marginalized communities –

  • Cultural competency and training for educators
  • Accommodations for transgender youth
Groups sponsoring this initiative:

Maryland State Educators Association (MSEA)
Strong Schools Maryland
Free State Justice
 

Bill Number   Description Legislative Sponsor
HB0479/SB0424 Education – Salaries of Noncertified Public School Employees – Minimum Living Salaries Delegate Ebersole/Senator Benson
HB0727/SB0731 Public School Construction – Maryland Stadium Authority – Supplemental Funds Delegate Dumais/Senator Zucker
HB0087/SB0529 State Board of Education – Teachers and Parent Delegate Ebersole/Senator Zucker
HB1000/SB0586 School Maintenance Incentive Funding Act of 2019 Delegate Valentino-Smith/Senator Rosapepe
HB0295/SB0848 Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Schools – Discrimination – Prohibition Delegate Wilkins/Senator McCray

 

Environment –

This year there will be a number of legislative initiatives. Last year was not kind to the Environmental community and many of the bills never got a vote. This year, the major areas of focus include:

  • Renewable Energy – The Clean Energy Jobs Act will make a re-appearance.  The bill is expected to be modified to include a path to 100% renewable energy.  The Clean Energy Jobs Act previously had a path to 50% renewable energy (solar and wind) by 2030.  A competing bill, the 100% Clean Renewable Energy and Equity Act, generally referred to as the 100% bill, contained a path to 100% renewables by 2035.  Both bills failed.  The strategy this year is to support one bill that would get Maryland to 100% renewables in measured steps.
  • Green Amendment – This is a Constitutional Amendment that will set forth the inalienable right to a clean environment – clean water, healthy air and an environment free from harmful chemicals and toxins.  It also ensures that the state steps away from fossil fuels and embraces actions that avoid making climate change worse.
  • Community Solar – In order to help the solar industry grow, creation of solar farms is a mandatory step.  There have recently been some successful efforts at getting consumers involved in the process, since there has been little progress on the legislative side.  Solar Farm builders get consumers to ‘invest’ in a solar farm (at no cost to the investors) and then use the promise of solar usage from the ‘investors’ to get the collateral to build the farm.  The investors then get a decrease on their energy bills for allowing energy from the farm to become part of the energy grid.  This year we should see some legislation that will help expand this process, and also expand the use of solar on public buildings and land that cannot otherwise be used for farming or development.
  • Water Conservation – In terms of water conservation, water liens and water privatization are going to be important areas of focus, especially regarding water privatization in Baltimore.
  • Banning Toxins and Lead – The Chloropyfros bill will make a re-appearance.  This bill should ban the pesticide that kills bees and we will support it again.  Additionally there will be one bill that sets levels of lead that are allowed to be in buildings in order to better protect young children and a separate bill to ban Styrofoam.  Finally, we support a ban on flame retardants.
Groups sponsoring these initiatives:
  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network
  • Food and Water Watch
  • Climate Coalition
  • Maryland Leads on Climate
  • Sierra Club
  • Maryland Educational Health Network
  • Climate XChange
  • Clean Water Watch
  • Maryland Pesticide Network
  • Earth Justice
  • Maryland Leads on Climate
Bill Number   Description Legislative Sponsor
HB0109/SB0285 Environment – Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Products – Prohibition Delegate Lierman/Senator Kagan
HB0161/SB0096 Baltimore City – Tax Sales of Real Property – Water Liens (Water Taxpayer Protection Act of 2019) Delegate Mosby/Senator Washington
HB0275/SB0270 Pesticides – Use of Chlorpyrifos – Prohibition Delegate Stein/Senator Nathan-Pulliam
HB0472 Constitutional Amendment – Environmental Rights Delegate Lafferty
HB1158/SB0516 Clean Energy Jobs Act Delegate Lisanti/Senator Feldman
SB0542 Community Healthy Air Act Senator Lam
HB0499/SB0100 Interstate Pipeline Liability Act Delegate Fraser-Hidalgo/Senator Zirkin
HB1257 Transportation Public-Private Partnership Oversight Act Delegate Carr
HB0532/SB0744 Commission on the Development of a Blueprint for Solar Energy in Maryland Delegate Stein/Senator Pinsky
HB1233 Environment – Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing (Maryland Healthy Children Act) Delegate Lewis
HB1253/SB0481 Environment – Drinking Water Outlets in School Buildings – Elevated Level of Lead and Grant Program Delegate Solomon/Senator McCray
HB0752 Environment – Lead Hazards – Environmental Investigation, Reporting and Risk Reduction Delegate Holmes
HB0683/SB0520 Electricity – Community Solar Generating Systems Pilot Program Extension Delegate Clippinger/Senator Kramer

 

Ethics/Elections –

There were some major wins last year on the elections front, so this year, the focus will be both on ethics (financial disclosures and access to the disclosures), as well as some elections-related legislation and support for our voting system. 

  • Ethics – In terms of ethics, there will be legislation introduced to combat the issues we’ve seen recently in school systems, such as more reporting on spending, particularly any spending over a ceiling amount, as well as regulations regarding treatment of vulnerable students and reporting around any incidents. 
  • Elections – For elections, some of the bills we will be supporting will include public financing for the Gubernatorial races and the Legislative races; transparency in sample ballots; allowing unaffiliated voters to vote in primaries; program specifics for Election Day registration; ranked choice voting; and audits of our elections systems.  Finally, redistricting will also be a major area of focus and we will support as much independence in the process as possible.
Groups sponsoring these initiatives:
  • Represent Maryland
  • League of Women Voters
  • Common Cause

 

Bill Number   Description Legislative Sponsor
HB0026 Baltimore City – Ranked Choice Voting and Open Primaries Delegate Lierman
HB0625/SB0847 Montgomery County – Ranked Choice Voting Delegate Clippinger/Senator Ferguson
HB0355 Public Ethics – School Boards – Disclosures and Requirements (School System Ethics and Transparency Act 0f 2019) Delegate Patterson
SB0414 Public Funding and Small Donor Act for General Assembly Elections Senator Pinsky
HB1017 Maryland Small Donor Incentive Act Delegate Mosby
HB1130 Election Law – Campaign Contributions – Prohibition Delegate Ivey
HB0676 Campaign Finance – Judges of the Circuit Court Delegate Washington
HB0147/SB0535 Election Law – Local Public Campaign Financing – Boards of Education Delegate Moon/Senator Lam
HB0530/SB0489 Ballot Access – Voter Registration – Affiliating with a Party Delegate Qi/Senator Kagan
HB0261/SB0225 Election Law – Campaign Material – Clarification of Definition Delegate Cardin/Senator West
HB0043/SB0090 Elections – Legislative and Congressional Redistricting and Apportionment – Commission and Process Speaker/President
HJ0002/SJ0001 United States Constitution – Amendments Convention – Democracy Amendment Delegate Gaines/Senator Pinsky

 

Gun Control –

For gun control, the biggest issues this year are  to make sure that guns are banned on college campuses and we get background checks for long guns and ghost guns (3D printed guns).

Groups sponsoring these initiatives:
  • Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense
Bill Number   Description Legislative Sponsor
SB0008 Criminal Law – Computer-Aided Firearm Fabrication – Prohibition Senator Benson
HB0786/SB0737 Public Safety – Rifles and Shotguns – Transactions Delegate Atterbeary/Senator Lee

 

Health Care –

Health care will be a major topic this year.  Last year, a reinsurance bill was passed that was designed to help lower premiums for 2019 and 2020.  The reinsurance support ends in 2020. 

  • Insurance/Prescription Drugs – With medical costs being a huge factor in the election cycle, the focus will be on negotiating down the price of prescription drugs as well as an attempt at a single payer system or a path towards a single payer system.  There should also be legislation introduced that will support the individual mandate in Maryland by allowing for a Health Insurance Down payment Plan that will allow those persons who do not have insurance to use the penalty they have to pay to get affordable insurance.  Additionally, legislation protecting pre-existing conditions should be expected as well as legislation to stabilize long term care premiums and require more oversight on nursing homes.  The Patient’s Bill of Rights should also reappear this session along with a bill to give college students access to emergency contraception and a Family and Medical Leave Insurance program bill.
  • Opioids/Addiction – Much must happen to deal with the Opioid Crisis – budget allocations to address the crisis including rate increases for providers; better staff education; addressing problems with patient brokering (deceptive marketing practices and manipulative practices for families); increases in recovery housing; closing loopholes in the Good Samaritan law; and increasing treatment to incarcerated persons.  Recovering persons should also have rights to see their assessments and more steps must be taken to protect the rights of recovering persons.  Additionally, steps should be taken to provide other alternatives for recovery – studying ibogaine and medical marijuana as treatments
Groups sponsoring these initiatives:
  • Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative
  • James Place, Inc
  • FACE Addiction Maryland
Bill Number   Description Legislative Sponsor
HB0033 Medical Cannabis – Provider Applications – Opioid Use Disorder Delegate Glenn
HB0035 Public Health – Opioid Maintenance Therapy Programs – Medical Director Requirement and Qualifications Delegate Glenn
HB0258/SB0239 Health Insurance – Individual Market Stabilization – Provider Fee Delegate Pena-Melnyk/Senator Feldman
HB0378 Public Health – State Provided Health Care Benefits Delegate Reznik
HB0768/SB0759 Health – Prescription Drug Affordability Board Delegate Pena-Melnyk/Senator Klausmeier
HB0814/SB0802 Maryland Health Insurance Option (Protect Maryland Health Care Act of 2019) Delegate Pena-Melnyk/Senator Feldman
HB0139/SB0135 Public Health – Overdose and Infectious Disease Prevention Site Program Delegate Pena-Melnyk/Senator Feldman
HB0399/SB0311 End-Of-Life Option Act (Richard E. Israel and Roger ‘Pip’ Moyer Act) Delegate Pendergrass/Senator Smith
HB0145/SB0301 Hospitals -Patient’s Bill of Rights Delegate Young K./Senator Benson
HB1087/SB0871 Public Health – Healthy Maryland Program – Establishment Delegate Barron/Senator Pinsky
HB0852 Task Force on the Premature Discharge of Patients with Substance Use Disorders Delegate Howard

 

Net Neutrality and 5G- 

It is not known if net neutrality legislation will be introduced this session.  All the legislation that was introduced last year failed, so there is some anticipation that we will see something.  There will also continue to be a fight over small cell antennas in residential areas.  Municipalities are trying to make deals with cell service providers to allow them in local neighborhoods.  There was a bill last year that would allow them on the state level, which failed.  That bill was sponsored by the cell service providers.  It is expected for them to try again.  Depending on how it’s written, this could be the one bill that we will not support, but will be actively opposing.

Groups sponsoring these initiatives:
  •  
Bill Number   Description Legislative Sponsor
HB0141 Commercial Law – Internet Privacy and Net Neutrality Delegate Reznik
HB0654 Wireless Facilities – Installation and Regulation Delegate Davis

 

Transportation –

In the area of transportation, widening of 270 and 495 should be hugely debated and we are looking for legislation that is more successful in moving us towards mass rapid transit and other creative solutions vs installing Lexus lanes and just widening roads.

Groups sponsoring these initiatives:
  •  
Bill Number   Description Legislative Sponsor
HB0102/SB0442 Toll Roads, Highways and Bridges – County Government Consent Requirement – Expansion Delegate Lierman
HB0771/SB0630 Transportation -Regional Transportation Authority Study Delegate Bridges/Senator Carter
HB0763 Maryland Transit Administration – Coordination of Public Transportation Network Delegate Shetty

 

Social and Economic Justice – 

There will once again be a lot of focus on Social and Economic Justice this session. 

  • Immigration – Major bills that we will be looking to support that did not pass last year will include the Safe/Trust Act and the Dream Act. 
  • Help for Low Income Residents – Other areas where critical legislation is required to help our most needy communities include the $15 Minimum Wage; Summer SNAP for Children; and expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which would help those in lower income tax brackets; affordable housing; and due process in tenant evictions (renter’s rights). 
  • Disability Rights – We will support transitioning services for young people who have become adults to help them get jobs; supportive decision making; funding for community programs for people with disabilities; and better language around physician assisted suicide.
  • Women’s Rights – In the Women’s rights arena, we are looking to support legislation for HIV prevention for rape victims; SAFE kit access; testing of all rape kits; child care for new parents after high school; and #MeToo sexual harassment law reforms such as allowing for a longer time to file complaints and inclusion of companies of all sizes in the legislation.
  • LGBTQ Rights – We will be supporting funding for the Ending Youth Homelessness Act; getting the anti-sodomy law off the books; and easing up adoption requirements.
  • Support for Children – In the area of children’s rights, we will support changing the age of child support to 21; creating more Children’s Advocacy Centers for children who have been abused; and creating penalties for failure to report known child abuse.
  • Criminalization of Poverty – We will support the Debtor’s Bill of Rights (tying the debt exemption to minimum wage like other states do); eliminating body attachments; supporting financial protections for borrowers; eliminate fines/fees that people can’t pay; eliminate the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for non-payment of small fees; allowing for occupational licensing for people with criminal records; and bail reform.
  • Policing and Prisons – In the area of policing and prisons, we are expecting legislation to ban nooses and swastikas; to allow for more transparency into police investigations of police misconduct; a prohibition on youth solitary confinement; and pre-release facility services for women.  Additionally, we will support expungement of criminal records in cases where the unit rule currently applies as well as legislation allowing for community control of police surveillance.  This means that local law enforcement can’t install surveillance technology without the approval of the community.  
Groups sponsoring these initiatives:
  • ACLU
  • CASA
  • NAACP
  • Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women
  • NARAL Pro Choice
  • Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • League of Women Voters
  • Out for Justice
  • Jews United for Justice
  • Jobs Opportunities Task Force
  • CASH Campaign
  • No Kid Hungry
Bill Number   Description Legislative Sponsor
HB0004 Crimes – Hate Crimes – Use of a Noose or Swastika to Threaten or Intimidate Delegate Chang
HB0013/SB0238 Criminal Procedure – Partial Expungement (UNIT RULE) Delegate Barron/Senator Carter
HB0019 Criminal Procedure – Expungement – Nonviolent Convictions Delegate Glenn
HB0022 Occupational Licenses or Certificates – Application Determinations – Use of Criminal History Delegate Sydnor
HB0083 Action for Change of Name – Minors – Prohibition of Publication Requirement Delegate Lafferty
 HB0166/SB0280 Labor and Employment – Payment of Wages – Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for Fifteen)  Delegate Fennell/Senator McCray
HB1096/SB0767 Criminal Procedure – Sexual Assault Evidence Kits – Analysis Delegate Hettleman/Senator Smith
HB0241 Vehicle Laws – License and Renewal – Denial Delegate Rosenberg
HB0262/SB0537 Higher Education – Tuition Rates – Exemptions Delegate Luedtke/Senator Lam
HB0301/SB0417 Vehicle Laws – Ethnicity-Based or Race-Based Traffic Stops – Policy and Reporting Requirements Delegate Wilkins/Senator Carter
SB0233 Motor Vehicle Insurance – Discrimination in Underwriting or Rating – Use of Occupation or Education Level Senator Young
HB0318 Public Institutions of Higher Education – Residency Requirements – Determinations of In-State Tuition Status Delegate Sydnor
HB0329/SB0233 Motor Vehicle Insurance – Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating – Use of Occupation or Education Level Delegate Sydnor/Senator Young
HB0338/SB0218 Human Services – Food Services (Summer SNAP for Children Act) Delegate Queen /Senator McCray
HB0351/SB0235 Motor Vehicle Insurance – Use of Credit History in Rating Policies Delegate Sydnor/Senator Young
HB0421/SB0196 Vehicle Laws – Licenses, Identification Cards and Moped Operator’s Permits – Indication of Applicant’s Sex Delegate Love/Senator Smith
HB0451/SB0812 Fair Housing Opportunities Act of 2019 Delegate Lafferty/Senator Smith
HB0715/SB0419 Correctional Services – Prerelease Unit for Women – Requirement to Operate Delegate Crutchfield /Senator Washington
HB1249/SB0657 Pilot Program – Alleged Rape, Sexual Offense, or Child Sexual Abuse –  HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis Delegate Reznik/Senator King
HB1165/SB0718 State Government – Government Agents – Requests for Use of Immigrant Status Information Delegate Atterbeary/Senator Washington
HB1273/SB0599 Immigration Enforcement – Boards of Education, Public Institutions of Higher Education and Hospitals Delegate Wilkins/Senator Nathan-Pulliam
HB0301/SB0417 Vehicle Laws – Ethnicity-Based or Race-Based Traffic Stops Delegate Wilkins/Senator Carter
HB0913/SB0817 Correctional Facilities and Police Officers – Procedures – Immigration Status Delegate Moon/Senator Smith
HB0715/SB0419 Correctional Services – Pre-Release Facility Services for Women- Requirement to Operate Delegate Crutchfield/Senator Washington
HB0214/SB0144 Victims and Witnesses – U Nonimmigrant Status – Certification of Victim Helpfulness Delegate Pena-Melnyk/Senator Augustine
HB1268/SB0569 Public Safety – Rape Kit Testing Grant Fund – Established Delegate Hettleman/Senator Elfreth
HB0224/SB0742 State and Local Government – Correctional Units – Detention Agreements and Contracting for Privatization of Facilities Delegate Barron/Senator Pinsky
HB0745/SB0809 Correctional Facilities – Restrictive Housing – Pregnant Women Delegate Fischer/Senator Lee
HB0077/SB0395 Criminal Law – Decriminalization of Attempted Suicide Delegate Moon/Senator Waldstreicher
HB1005 Action for Change of Name – Procedure and Requirements Delegate Shetty
HB1007/SB0739 Child Advocacy Centers – Expansion Delegate Shetty/Senator Lee
HB0787/SB0568 Crimes – Child Abuse and Neglect – Failure to Report Delegate Atterbeary/Senator Lee
HB1076 Criminal Procedure – Out of Court Statements of Victims of Child Abuse or Neglect Delegate Dumais
HB1252 Child Abuse and Neglect – Training of Health Care Professionals Delegate McComas
HB0758/SB0659 Criminal Procedure – Pretrial Release – Reimbursement of Special Condition Costs Delegate Moon/Senator Washington
HB0451/SB0812 Fair Housing Opportunities Act of 2019 Delegate Lafferty/Senator Smith
HB0659 Juvenile Law – Continued Detention – Minimum Age Delegate Shetty
HB0413 Public Information Act – Personnel and Investigatory Records – Formal Complaints against Public Employees Delegate Barron
HB0584/SB0263 Earned Income Tax Credit – Individuals without Qualifying Children – Eligibility and Refundability  Delegate Wilkins/Senator Ferguson
HB0585/SB0262 Earned Income Tax Credit – Individuals without Qualifying Children – Calculation and Refundability Delegate Wilkins/Senator Ferguson