Since it was organized in 2005, UULM-MD has selected annually, three or four issues which are expected to appear for
consideration by the Maryland General Assembly, speak to UU values and are of interest to Maryland UUs and UU
congregations. The Unitarian Universalist Association has provided the framework for the decision making process, which
is based on grounding, accountability, fit and opportunity. Read more.
For the latest updates, please go to our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/uulmmd.
PASSED: The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013, HB 226, The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013passed both houses of the General Assembly and was signed by the Governor on April 9, 2013! This legislation establishes the framework for an offshore wind energy project that will provide a clean, renewable energy source for Maryland. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard for passage of this legislation for the past three years! Read more about this legislation...... Please thank your legislators who supported this bill. To see how your delegates and senator voted, click here and then click on the Senate or House final floor vote. Dave Hackett is UULM-MD's Climate Change Task Force Chair. UULM-MD is on the Steering Committee of the Maryland Climate Coalition.
PASSED: The Firearm Safety Act of 2013 was passed by both houses of the General Assembly and was signed by the Governor on May 16, 2013, giving Maryland some of the strongest laws in the nation designed to help decrease gun violence! The law bans some military-style assault weapons, limits magazines to 10 bullets, enables better regulation of gun dealers and requires fingerprinting and licensing of handgun purchasers by the State Police. Additional provisions include background checks to better keep guns out of the hands criminals and others who are restricted from owning a gun. The Reverend Nancy Ladd, Minister of the River Road UU Congregation, is the Task Force leader on this issue. Opponents have filed suit to challenge this legislation in court. Read more.....
Please thank your senators and delegates, if they have voted for this bill! They need our support! You can find the votes by clicking on this link.
PASSED: --UULM-MD members were actively involved in rallies, testimonies, and a faith group press conference on this issue. They were also in the House Gallery with coalition partners from watching the extensive debate on and passage of SB276. The Governor signed this bill into law on May 2, 2013. Read more.... Please thank your legislators who voted for this bill! You can find the votes cast by following this link and scrolling down until you see "Vote-Senate Floor" and "Vote-House Floor." Opponents are seeking signatures to petition this law to referendum in November, 2014.
Gender Equity: Sadly, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee failed by 5-6 to pass SB 449, The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013. UULM-MD is dismayed that Maryland legislators, despite extensive contacts, did not afford basic rights to transgender Marylanders, including the right to be free from discrimination in their jobs, homes, credit and places of public accommodations. We are committed to ensring that all people are treated with dignity, and are celebrated for their whole selves. Rev. David Carl Olson represents UULM-MD on the Steering Committee of the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality. Read more.....
FRACKING: The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee gave an unfavorable report by a vote of 5-6 for SB601, Maryland Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium and Right to Know Act of 2013. This bill would have required that scientifically credible studies be done on the consequences of the natural gas extraction process known as fracking before it could be used in Maryland. Governor O'Malley budgeted $1.5 million to pay for studies on the safety of fracking before setting fracking policy for Maryland. David Hackett led our work. Read more.....
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: Maryland Health Progress Act of 2013(SB 274/HB228) passed. UULM-MD provided support for legislation for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Maryland as part of the Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform and Health Care for All. Jan Bird and Betty McGarvie Crowley coordinated this work. Read more....
Are you going to General Assembly in Louisville?
If you are attending the 2013 UUA General Assembly in Louisville, KY, please look for UULM-MD at Booth #506, the UU Statewide Advocacy Networks (UUSAN) booth in the Exhibit Hall. The SANs will offer several coaching sessions with topics such as how to approach your legislator, engaging your congregation in social justice work, social networking for justice actions. A list of topics, times and sign-up sheets will be at the booth. Stop by and see us!
After serving as Co-Chairs of UULM-MD since 2005, founding members Betty McGarvie Crowley and Jan Bird are stepping down. They have been instrumental in changing UULM-MD from an idea into an organization recognized statewide by advocacy groups and legislators as a strong representative of the voices and values of Maryland UUs. UULM-MD is also recognized for its effectiveness by the UUA and by other UU State Advocacy groups from Maine to California.
On May 18th, the Reverend Lisa Ward, Minister of the UU Fellowship of Harford County took over the duties of Chair of UULM-MD. Many of you know Lisa as the leader of our LGBTQ Task Force since the founding of UULM-MD and as a leader among both UU congregations and other faith groups during the years-long effort to acheive marriage equality for same gender couples in Maryland. She was also co-founder of the interfaith group, Maryland Faith for Equality.
We are delighted to welcome Lisa to her new leadership role and are pleased that Betty and Jan will remain on the Board of Directors. Jan will also take on the duties of Treasurer. Steve Buckingham (Goodloe) will continue in his role as Vice-Chair of the UULM-MD Board and Michael Benefiel (Cedar Lane) has assumed the position of Secretary.
We have welcomed several new members to the Board this year. Michael Benefiel (Cedar Lane) and Mark Patro (Towson) joined the Board in January. Andrea Hall (Rockville) is our newest member. Returning Board members are Don Chery (River Road), Dave Hackett (Annapolis), Rev. Fred Muir (Annapolis), and Rev. David Carl Olson (Baltimore). Margery Knight is Coordinator.
Are you interested in immigration reform? UUA is! For information on UUA-sponsored programs and events, follow this link to UUA Witness Ministries.