• Stephen Buckingham

Priority and Intersectional Bills Heard

Updated: Feb 15

While over two hundred new bills were introduced in each house last week ahead of the bill filing deadlines, the committees continued their work of receiving testimony on important bills previously filed.


Criminal Justice

House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on measures aimed at reforming the juvenile justice system, including one sponsored by Committee Chair Luke Clippinger. It also heard testimony on a bill to address the problem of untraceable firearms (“ghost guns”) that was revised by Attorney General Brian Frosh from previous versions and introduced at his request. UULM-MD provided written testimony in support of both of these measures.


Judiciary also heard two bills that demonstrated the intersection of criminal justice with civil rights concerns.

  • HB 454 - Prevention of Forced Infant Separation Act, would allow pregnant women and those who recently gave birth to transfer to the prerelease unit for women for a time to facilitate bonding and allow liberal visitation with their children.

  • HB 453 - Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act, would address the treatment of transgender, nonbinary, and intersex inmates in Maryland correctional facilities. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hear its companion SB 550 this week).

While UULM-MD is not taking an active role on these bills, we want our members to know of measures like these which we are monitoring. We are fortunate to have a General Assembly that makes such progressive legislation possible as we seek to build Beloved Community.

Economic Justice Meanwhile the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on SB 275 - Time to Care Act of 2022, which would establish an insurance fund to provide income while employees to take family and medical leave. The House Economic Matters Committee will hear the companion bill, HB 8, this coming week. In keeping with our support last year, UULM-MD is providing written testimony.


Our Issue Advocacy Teams have been hard at work preparing for the next few weeks as most of their priority bills are scheduled for hearings. This week alone:


Climate Change

The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee will hear SB 528 - Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, the primary measure we support to take significant action on climate change.


In addition, the House Environment and Transportation Committee will hear HB 695 - Better Together to Save Our Weather Act of 2022, which also contain a requirement for electric school buses, a part of the omnibus Senate bill, Climate Solutions Now Act.


In an important related development last week, the House Environment and Transportation Committee passed with amendments HB 94 - State Vehicle Fleet - Conversion to Zero-Emission Passenger Cars and Other Light-Duty Vehicles, which is another part of Climate Solutions Now.


The Senate Finance Committee will hear SB 292 - Environment - Packaging Materials - Producer Responsibility


Immigration

House Judiciary Committee will hear HB 559 - Probation Before Judgment - Probation Agreements - Probation Not Deportation. Its companion SB 265 was already heard in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.


Click Here for Full Digest: https://uulmmd.salsalabs.org/2022-2-14-digest-a






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