Current & Past Priorities
How UULM-MD Supports Issues and Legislation
We use specific terminology to describe our work, including how we define issue areas, issues, and the groups of members that advocate on them. We use the term "Advocacy Team" to designate the groups of members who support or oppose specific legislation (bills) aimed at implementing specific policy goals (issues) that fall within an Issue Area. For a more detailed description of the terminology, see the chart available here. Issue Areas that UULM-MD has supported so far are displayed below, although some of them no longer have an active Advocacy Team and/or are not expected to be actively supporting legislation in the current General Assembly session.
We now differentiate among three levels of advocacy commitment for each session:
"Priority Issues" are Issue Areas for which we have an Issue Lead and Advocacy Team, and one or more issues they and our coalition partners have decided to advocate for (or against) in the current legislative session.
"Possible Priority Issues" are those Issue Areas for which we have an Issue Lead and Advocacy Team, but no issues have been chosen for our advocacy in the current legislative session.
"Issues Being Monitored" are those which do not have an active Issue Lead and Advocacy Team, but nevertheless our past commitments compel us to pay attention.
Priority for 2024: One of UULM-MD's priorities since its founding in 2005, measures to combat and deal with the effects of Climate Change remain an important part of our efforts every year, and we are increasingly focused on environmental justice.
Priority for 2024: Reform of the criminal justice is a key requirement for achieving economic and racial justice. It includes measures to reform the courts and correctional system as well as holding police accountable to the communities they serve.
Priority for 2024: Although immigration is primarily a federal issue, states can pass measure to protect its residents from abuses at the hands of businesses and local govenment agents, and state services can be extended to immigrants, including access to health coverage and legal services.
Medical Aid in Dying
Priority for 2024: After years of advocacy, the End-of-Life Options Act passed one chamber in 2019 but failed on a tie vote in the other chamber. This year the Governor Wes Moore stated in a public forum that he is supportive and the Lt. Governor-Elect Aruna Miller who was a cosponsor of the bill, we feel this may be the best chance to pass the bill. The legislation would provide an option for terminally ill adults who maybe suffering to peacefully end their lives . This option is available in 10 states and Washington DC.
Health Care and Reproductive Rights
Priorities for 2024: Maryland continues its efforts to support the Affordable Care Act at the national level while passing innovative measures to increase coverage and deal with prescription drug prices. We also support measures to protect reproductive rights and will be active this year encouraging voters to approve the amendment enshrining Roe v. Wade provisions in the State Constitution. We also support measures protecting the right of trans individuals to gender-affirming health care.
Priorities in 2024: We supported sucessful gun legislation that passed in 2013 (after Sandy Hook) and in 2019, but there is still much to do. Parts of Maryland's gun regulation laws have been jeopardized by recent US Supreme Court decisions, and creative solutions are being sought to assure that Maryland can protect residents from gun violence. In addition, UULM-MD has created a curriculumto help adults and children talk about gun violence, and we support bills to provide regulate school active shooter drills/lockdowns to reduce the incidence of trauma.
Monitoring (no Advocacy Team): Having supported successful efforts to guarantee sick leave for workers and to increase the minimum wage (twice), our efforts most recently focused on making family and medical leave affordable.
Monitoring (no Advocacy Team): At the request of General Assembly leadership and many UUs, UULM-MD provided support for implementation of the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission. UULM-MD continues to monitor its implementation.
Monitoring (no Advocacy Team): Having led the fight for anti-discrimination laws, transgender rights, and marriage equality, UULM-MD remains vigilant to protect the rights of this community. Protections for gender-affirming care for trans individuals is being handled by the Health Care Advocacy Team, and additional protections are being supported by the Criminal Justice Advoacay Team.