Posted 13 April 2018
The Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day session officially closed on Monday, April 9th. Here’s a run-down of several keys bills we’ve been following and their outcomes.
The General Assembly passed through a proposed constitutional amendment which will now go to the people to be voted on in the November elections. The amendment would guarantee that any revenue raised into the Education Trust Fund through casino gaming must be directly sent to schools above and beyond funding through the state’s General Fund. That currently amounts to about $500 million a year, a big first step to addressing the $2.9 billion annual funding shortage facing Maryland schools according to a state-commissioned study.
The General Assembly agreed to ban bump stocks, accessories which effectively turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones. Lawmakers also approved a “red flag” law, which would allow judges to order the temporary removal of firearms from people considered a danger to themselves or others. Also approved in the 2018 session is the creation of a state commission with subpoena power to investigate allegations of Baltimore Police Department corruption that arose from the federal probe of the Gun Trace Task Force. Finally, the General Assembly approved funding to provide armed officers in schools which don’t currently have them. That bill would also require that public schools have lockable classrooms and hold age-appropriate active-threat drills.
Access to Democracy:
Among several bills introduced this session regarding voter access, two stand out. The first is a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for Election Day registration. Currently, while you can both register and vote on the same day during the early-voting period, that option is not available on Election Day. This amendment would correct that disparity and will go to the voters to decide this November. Be sure to register before Election Day to have your say on this issue! The second voter-access bill is an automatic voter registration system. This legislation will streamline the voting registration process by seamlessly registering voters or updating voter registration when Marylanders interact with state agencies, such as the MVA, the healthcare exchange, or local social service agencies. Maryland will become in “opt-out” state, as citizens will need to decline to be registered, as opposed to our current “opt-in” system.
Maryland’s tax code is linked to federal law, which meant the disastrous tax bill approved for federal taxes would have inflated state taxes for many Marylanders. The General Assembly agreed to changes to alleviate the hike, giving 58 percent of taxpayers a break that amounts to $40 and targeting relief to the working poor and some retirees.
The General Assembly banned the use of conversion therapy for minors, that is the cruel practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual or gender identity. They also approved the regulation of social media sites, such as Facebook, making Maryland the first state requiring social media platforms to track all political ads, keep copies of them and record which users are being targeted. State elections officials could use this data to track bad actors or detect foreign interference.
Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’ve been following throughout the 2018 Legislative Session.
~Join MLAW to Celebrate ~
2018 Legislative Wrap Up and Happy Hour
May 2, 2018 6:30-8:30pm
Join us to raise a glass to the "Year of the Woman" and celebrate our successes in Annapolis!
Everyone is calling 2018 the "Year of the Woman" and that seems to be true here in Maryland and particularly Annapolis! This year, three of MLAW's top legislative priorities passed the General Assembly, along with many other bills that benefit women and families.
Join us on May 2nd from 6:30 - 8:30pm at HomeSlyce Pizza Bar in Columbia to celebrate our legislative victories and learn about the bills that made it through the legislative process to become Maryland law. Network with other advocates over a glass of wine or beer and sample some delicious pizza.
The event is free and open to anyone. Light refreshments will be served. Guests may also purchase alcoholic beverages or order from the menu. Please register to attend! There is no cost to register, but we would like a head count to plan. Click here for more information and to register.
For more information, call 443-519-1005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attention Calvert County Democratic Candidates:
The Calvert County Democratic Central Committee has scheduled an outreach meeting for all Democratic candidates running for office in the 2018 midterm elections. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss plans for the election cycle, determine the roll of the Central Committee/Candidates, and organize to begin GOTV outreach.
This very important meeting will be held at the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department on April 21st from 10am – noon. We hope you will join us as we are committed to doing our part to elect Democrats !
Please help us spread the word to all Democratic Candidates in Calvert County. We have also created a Facebook event to help get the word out.
Posted 30 March 2018
Last Saturday, March 24th, saw a movement that began with the teenagers in Florida but extended to all ages all across America. Hundreds of thousands attended March for Our Lives rallies in nearly 800 locations, the largest being in Washington D.C. Many local Democrats were there to stand up for safe schools and an end to gun violence.
“I volunteered to register people to vote at the March for Our Lives! We met up in the morning at the Georgetown University Law Center to pick up supplies and receive training. It was a very well-coordinated event. [The organizers] did a great job speaking to the volunteers to get us excited about what we were about to do. It may have been the biggest voter registration effort in history.” -Kim Blair
“This is a movement I feel strongly about and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to show my support with one of my best friends. The entire day was moving and it really impacted me. I have faith in March for Our Lives and I am confident that change is coming.” - Yavor Gray (on the left), CASC Historian, HHS FBLA Historian
Want to share your stories or pics? Get in touch today!
Save the Date for
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer's
Annual Bull Roast and Birthday Party
Friday, June 08, 2018 • 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rain or Shine
at the Newton White Mansion
2708 Enterprise Road Mitchellville, Maryland
Enjoy Country Barbeque & Ice Cream Sundaes
Young Professionals & Students: $15 for 1 ticket; $50 for 5 tickets
$20 Seniors • $35 Individuals • $250 Sponsors
$500 Patrons • $1,000 Hosts
Click here to RSVP and purchase tickets.
Email email@example.com if you have any questions.
While the CCDWC is extremely pleased at the passage of bill ensuring that women in prison have access to menstrual hygiene products, the fact that the bill will not take affect for 6 months is upsetting. So this month, the CCDWC is suspending its food drive for a sanitary napkin drive. At the May 1st meeting, please bring in unscented sanitary pads in their original, unopened packaging. This Women’s Month, let’s ensure that all Maryland women are treated with dignity.