PROGRESSIVE CHEVERLY LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES:
2017 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION
1.Adopt the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act (SB0835, HB 1362)
Prohibiting a specified government agent from taking specified actions for immigration enforcement purposes; prohibiting a law enforcement official from stopping, arresting, searching, or detaining an individual for purposes of investigating a suspected immigration violation or inquiring about specified matters; requiring the Attorney General, in consultation with stakeholders, to develop and adopt model policies for a specified purpose; etc.
Approved in a watered-down version by the House on 3/20. Rejected in the Senate.
Progressive Cheverly Advocate: Rose Bednar
2. Protect ACA/Medicaid in Maryland (4 separate bills)
A. Maryland Defense Act of 2017 – Joint Resolution (SJ0005, HJ0003)
Directing the Attorney General to take specified actions regarding civil and criminal suits and actions that are based on the federal government's action or inaction that threatens the public interest and welfare of the residents of the State; requiring the Attorney General, except under specified circumstances, to provide the Governor with specified notice and an opportunity to review and comment on specified suits and actions before commencing specified suits and actions; etc.
As of 2/15, approved by vote of both houses of the General Assembly; it did not require the Governor’s signature.
B. Maryland Defense Act of 2017 – Statute (SB0665, HB0913)
Authorizing the Attorney General to employ specified assistant counsel; authorizing the Attorney General to take specified actions on civil and criminal suits and actions that are based on the federal government's action or inaction that threatens the public interest and welfare of the residents of the State; requiring the Attorney General to provide the Governor with specified notice; requiring the Governor to provide $1,000,000 in fiscal year 2019 and thereafter; requiring the Attorney General to submit a specified report; etc.
Approved by the Senate on 3/29 and the House on 3/30. Became law without the Governor’s signature on 4/6.
C. Protection of the Federal Affordable Care Act (HJ0009)
Expressing the sharp disagreement of the General Assembly of Maryland with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act; urging the U.S. Congress to promptly protect provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act that ensure all Marylanders have access to affordable health insurance coverage, free from discriminatory rates and policies; and urging the Governor of Maryland to join in urging the U.S. Congress to promptly protect specified provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Approved by the House of Delegates on 3/13 and the Senate on 4/10.
Status/Hearings: Resolution Adopted
D. Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act (HB909, SB0571)
Establishing the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission; providing the purpose of the Commission is to conduct an assessment of the impact of potential federal changes to specified health care programs and to provide recommendations for State and local action to protect access of residents of the State to affordable health coverage; requiring the Commission to report its findings to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31, 2017; etc.
Approved as amended by the House on 3/27 and the Senate on 3/30. Became law without the Governor’s signature on 4/6.
Progressive Cheverly Advocate: Sonya Gross
3. Ban Fracking (SB0740, HB1325)
Prohibiting a person from engaging in the hydraulic fracturing of a well for the exploration or production of oil or natural gas in the State; repealing a provision of law that requires the Department of the Environment to adopt specified regulations; and repealing a provision of law that prohibits the Department from issuing a specified permit until October 1, 2017.
Approved in final form by the House of Delegates and Senate on 3/27. Signed by Governor Hogan on 4/4.
Progressive Cheverly Advocate: Clareen Heikal
4. Oppose Legislation Prohibiting Local Jurisdictions from Establishing a Minimum Wage Above the State Level (HB0317)
Limiting the authority of the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to enforce a local minimum wage law; prohibiting a county or municipality from enacting a law that regulates wages or benefits for employees other than employees of the county or municipality; and prohibiting a law enacted by a county or municipality that regulates wages or benefits for employees other than employees of the county or municipality from being enforced if the specified provision was enacted on or after January 1, 2017; etc.
Bill did not advance out of committee.
Progressive Cheverly Advocate: Paul Thompson
5. Adopt Mandatory Paid Sick Leave (Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, SB0230, HB0001)
Requiring employers that employ 15 or more employees to provide employees with earned sick and safe leave that is paid at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns; requiring employers with 14 or fewer employees to provide an employee with unpaid earned sick and safe leave; providing for the manner in which earned sick and safe leave is accrued; authorizing an employee to work additional hours or trade shifts with another employee under specified circumstances; applying the Act prospectively; etc.
Approved as amended by the Senate on 4/3 and the House of Delegates on 4/5 and sent to. Governor Hogan’s desk. The bill passed with sufficient votes in both houses to override a likely veto by the Governor.
Progressive Cheverly Advocate: Katherine Soffer
Status/Hearings: Approved by the General Assembly, vetoed by the Governor. Awaiting vote on override.
6. Support Prince George’s Regional Medical Center Act of 2017 (SB1198), and Ensure the Viability of its Cardiac Care Center by Opposing a Similar Center in Anne Arundel County
Requiring, for specified fiscal years, the Governor to include in the budget bill an appropriation for specified purposes related to the new Prince George's County Regional Medical Center; requiring, for specified fiscal years, the Governor to include in the capital or operating budget bill specified amounts to be used for the construction of the Prince George's County Regional Medical Center; etc.
In addition, the Maryland Healthcare Commission tentatively approved a cardiac unit at Anne Arundel Hospital that would threaten to undermine the Prince George’s unit by drawing away patients. After protests by the Prince George’s delegation, the Commission has agreed to re-examine the Anne Arundel request.
SB1198 approved by the House of Delegates on 3/29 and the Senate on 3/30, and enacted without the Governor’s signature on 4/6.
Maryland Healthcare Commission hearing on the request for a cardiac care center at Anne Arundel Hospital was held sometime in March. Outcome is unknown.
Progressive Cheverly Advocates: Barbara & Hu Guest