This week will see Committee hearings for the last eleven (11) bills that UULM-MD considers a priority, including both companion bills for Medical Aid in Dying. The End–of–Life Option Act (The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings and the Honorable Shane E. Pendergrass Act) will be heard on Tuesday by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee (SB 845) and on Friday in the House Judiciary Committee (HB 933). Anyone wishing to tell their own story to the committees, in person or in writing, should let us know as soon as possible since there are deadlines to do so.
In the meantime, HB 705 - Declaration of Rights - Right to Reproductive Freedom - was given a Favorable Report (without any amendments) by the House Health and Government Operations Committee. The bill goes to the House floor for consideration by all Delegates.
Focus Turns to Bringing Priority Bills to a Vote
The remaining priority bills have all had public hearings, so now is the time to contact your lawmakers on the relevant committees seeking a (favorable) vote. Some of these bills have appeared on committee work session or voting lists (without a vote), indicating that some action is expected. However, no further priority bills came out of committee last week, and we need to press lawmakers to vote them to the floor of the House or Senate.
Committee Chairs decide when to bring bills to a vote, so contacting members of the committee is essential. We need to stress the importance of the legislation, ask for their support, and ask them to approach the Chair to have a vote scheduled. While we cannot guarantee advance notice to our readers, we are constantly updating our Upcoming Hearings table with any new information, including voting sessions when a priority bill is on the list.
Keep an eye out for alerts from our Issue Leads asking you to contact your lawmakers who sit on specific committees! This is the best time to reach out to your representatives and make an impact on their vote.
Bill Hearings This Week
Monday, March 6
Climate Change: HB 915 - Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Payment Program and Climate Impact Health Coverage Program – Establishment – in House Economic Matters
Tuesday, March 7
Climate Change: SB 843 - Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Payment Program and Climate Impact Health Coverage Program – Establishment – in Senate Education, Energy and Environment
Medical Aid in Dying: SB 845 - End–of–Life Option Act – in Senate Judicial Proceedings
Wednesday, March 8
Thursday, March 9
Climate change: HB 718 - Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Eligible Sources - Alterations (Reclaim Renewable Energy Act of 2023) - in Economic Matters
Friday, March 10
Medical Aid in Dying: HB 933 - End–of–Life Option Act – in House Judiciary
Anyone interested in providing testimony can do so in writing and/or verbally, in person or remotely, as long as they are signed up in advance. Contact our Coordinator, Ashley Egan, if you want her to assist you in making your voice heard. So far this session, she has submitted UULM-MD's testimony on 51 measures as well as written testimony from several of our members.