Policy Testimony

A key role for Family League as the Local Management Board (LMB) for Baltimore City is influencing systems by advocating for sound public policy as a foundation for lasting change for children, families, and communities. We do this, in part, by providing perspective on pressing issues through research-based written testimony.  

The Maryland General Assembly has just concluded the 2022 Legislative Session. The key pillars of our policy priorities are Children Are Successful in School, Families are Economically Stable, and Communities are Safe for Children, Youth and Families. As a result, we supported and monitored over 40 bills, while all of them did not pass, several of them will become law. The General Assembly made great strides by passing legislation that will positively impact Early Childhood and Juvenile Justice Reform, below are a few to be on the lookout for.

 

Early Childhood

There were 4 (HB 89, HB993, HB995 and HB1100) bills that will help childcare centers to expand and provide equitable access to children before they enter school. This in turn will make life easier for parents as they will be able to send their kids to school while they work and have peace of mind that their child is learning in a safe environment. There are several parents that require financial assistance to send their children to daycare but have been hesitant in applying to receive a Child Care Scholarship because centers were hesitant to accept because of the time it would take to receive payment and the requirement to place the other parent on child support. With the new laws you do not have to place the other parent on child support, payments will be made immediately and centers that accept children receiving a scholarship will receive a loan to assist with improvements. You can find more information about these bills below.

 

House Bill 89 State Department of Education – Child Care Stabilization Grants:

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), in fiscal 2022, to administer childcare stabilization grants to provide financial support to child care providers that have faced financial hardship or suffered an operational burden during the COVID‐19 pandemic. MSDE must award $50.0 million in grants to childcare providers in accordance with the bill and the fiscal 2023 operating budget. In awarding the grants, MSDE must give preference to childcare providers based on specified criteria.

 

House Bill 993: Child Care Capital Support Revolving Loan Fund – Established

Establishing the Child Care Capital Support Revolving Loan Fund as a special, non-lapsing fund to provide no-interest loans for capital expenses related to a child care facility to child care providers who participate in the Child Care Scholarship Program; requiring interest earnings of the Fund to be credited to the Fund; requiring the Department of Commerce to administer the Fund; and requiring the Department of Commerce to publicize the availability of loans from the Fund.

 

Senate Bill 920 (House Bill 995): Early Childhood Development – Child Care Scholarship Program – Alterations and Study:

Requiring the State Department of Education to establish a process for granting presumptive eligibility for a subsidy under the Child Care Scholarship Program; requiring the Department to award a subsidy to an individual who submits certain proof; requiring the Department to notify the Comptroller within 9 days of receiving an invoice from a child care provider; requiring the Comptroller to pay a certain child care provider within 6 days of receiving the notice; and requiring the Department to publish certain information on its website.

 

Senate Bill 906 (House Bill 1100): Child Care Providers and Employees – Bonuses:

Establishing funding for, the award of, and the distribution of bonuses for childcare providers and employees; and requiring, in fiscal year 2024, the Governor to include in the annual budget an appropriation of $16,000,000 to the State Department of Education to carry out the Act.

 

 

Juvenile Justice

Serving youth in Baltimore City has always been our number one priority, which is why we work with partners that promote options to keep youth safe and successful. The General Assembly passed both bills before that promote Juvenile Justice Reform and safeguards to keep youth from being wrongfully charged and incarcerated.

 

SB 691, Juvenile Justice Reform, was formed based off the recommendations by the Juvenile Justice Reform Council. As a result, it will increase the minimum age for children to be decided delinquent in Maryland and require reports from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services. In addition to this, the state passed SB53 Juvenile Law – Child Interrogation Protection Act which would prohibit a law enforcement officer from conducting a custodial interrogation of a child until the child has consulted with an attorney and the law enforcement officer has notified the parent, guardian, or a custodian of the child that the child will be interrogated. A statement or evidence obtained because of a violation of these provisions is inadmissible as evidence in any legal action involving the child. This will help to prevent wrongful convictions and allow our youth to be treated fairly.

 

 

Children Are Successful in School

HB47 Public Schools – Expanded American History – Development of Content Standards and Implementation:

Requiring the State Board of Education to, by December 1, 2022, develop content standards for expanded American history; requiring each county board of education, in collaboration with the local school system, to develop and implement certain curriculum guides for expanded American history; requiring each public school, by the 2023-2024 school year, to include expanded American history in the social studies curriculum; and requiring the State Department of Education and the State Board to jointly analyze certain content standards.

STATUS: PASSED

 

HB89 State Department of Education – Child Care Stabilization Grants:

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), in fiscal 2022, to administer childcare stabilization grants to provide financial support to childcare providers that have faced a financial hardship or suffered an operational burden during the COVID‐19 pandemic. MSDE must award $50.0 million in grants to childcare providers in accordance with the bill and the fiscal 2023 operating budget. In awarding the grants, MSDE must give preference to childcare providers based on specified criteria

STATUS: PASSED

HB200 Education – Public Middle and High Schools – Financial Literacy Curriculum and Graduation Requirement:

Requiring the State Department of Education to update the Maryland State Curriculum for Personal Financial Literacy Education and corresponding financial literacy standards to include content related to managing loans and taxes; requiring the State Board of Education to establish a financial literacy education week; requiring, beginning in the 2023-2023 school year, each county board to offer a certain financial literacy curriculum; requiring each county board to provide a certificate of completion for students completing the course; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SENATE BILL 157 Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners – Student M/embers and Task Force to Study Compensation

Altering the voting rights of and the process for electing a student member of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners; and establishing the Task Force to Study Compensation and Student Members of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners to study the compensation of commissioners, including the student members, study the possibility and effect of adding a second student member, and make recommendations regarding any proposed compensation to begin with the Baltimore City budget for fiscal year 2024.

STATUS: PASSED

HB297 Facilities – Disabilities, Juveniles, Behavioral Health, and Health Care – Safety Plans:

Requiring that certain regulations adopted by the Department of Juvenile Services governing juvenile care facilities and juvenile detention facilities include a requirement for the establishment, implementation, and revision of safety plans related to the persons in the care of the facility; requiring residential centers and group homes to establish, implement, and revise a certain safety plan; requiring regulations adopted by the Behavioral Health Administration to include a revision for safety plans every 5 years; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

HB376 Outdoor Preschool License Pilot Program – Establishment:

Establishing the Outdoor Preschool License Pilot Program in the Maryland State Department of Education to license outdoor, nature-based early learning and child care programs in order to expand access to affordable, high-quality early learning programs and to investigate the benefits of outdoor, nature-based classrooms; requiring the Department to submit a report to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2024, with its findings and recommendations for modifying or expanding the Pilot Program; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

HB513 Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Support Services Program – Established:

Establishing the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Support Services Program within the State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood Development to promote positive mental and behavioral health practices for young children by providing certain referrals and services for children, families, teachers, and caregivers; requiring the Governor to include in the annual budget bill in fiscal year 2024 and each fiscal year thereafter an appropriation of $3,000,000 for the operation of the Program; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

HB573 School Wellness and Recess Grant Program – Establishment:

Establishing the School Wellness and Recess Grant Program to ensure that public schools, nonpublic schools, and Judy Centers have strong, comprehensive, and written wellness policies that address the whole school, whole community, whole child (WSCC) model, and encourage students of all ages to participate fully in recess and physical activity; requiring that grants be awarded on the basis of quantifiable need and other factors; requiring the Governor to include $500,000 in the annual budget bill for the Program; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB506 (HB725) Children – Therapeutic Child Care Program – Funding:

Establishing the Therapeutic Child Care Program to provide specialized childcare and early childhood education by educators, early intervention providers, mental health providers, and health care providers to children under the age of 6 years who have delays in development, physical disabilities, or delays in social, emotional, or behavioral functioning.

STATUS: PASSED

 

SENATE BILL 583 Maryland Center for School Safety – Public Schools – Reporting of Classroom Disruptions

Requiring the Maryland Center for School Safety to establish a website for anonymous reports of public-school classroom disruptions; requiring the Center to establish an office that reviews and refers classroom disruption reports to the appropriate county superintendent of schools and the county board of education; requiring the county superintendent and the county board jointly to respond within 45 days after receiving the report; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SENATE BILL 617 Local School Systems – Equivalent Access Standards – Digital Tools (Equivalent and Nonvisual Access Accountability Act for K-12 Education)

Requiring a local school system to provide equivalent access to digital tools for students with disabilities, including the development, purchase, and provision of certain digital tools that are directly connected to student instruction; requiring a local school system to establish a process to evaluate a digital tool prior to purchase for nonvisual access by a certain employee or contractor of the school system; providing certain civil penalties for a vendor who fails to meet the equivalent access standards; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

SB666 (HB850) Schools, Prekindergarten Programs, and County Boards of Education – Discrimination:

Prohibiting county boards of education and certain schools and prekindergarten programs from taking certain discriminatory actions because of a person’s race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability; requiring each county board and certain schools and prekindergarten programs to print a certain statement in their student handbook; providing for the filing of a complaint under the Act with the State Superintendent of Schools; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

SENATE BILL 699 Public High Schools – Financial Literacy – Curriculum, Graduation Requirement, and Professional Development:

Requiring the State Board of Education, with the assistance of the Maryland Council on Economic Education, to develop curriculum content for a certain course in financial literacy; requiring each county board of education to implement the curriculum in every public high school beginning in the 2025-2026 school year; requiring the completion of a certain financial literacy course to graduate from high school beginning in 2029; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB888 (HB252) Education – American Studies and Social Equity Standards Advisory Board – Academic Standards and Model Policy:

Establishing the American Studies and Social Equity Standards Advisory Board; requiring the Advisory Board to review and develop recommendations for academic standards for American studies and develop a model policy on ethnic and social equity in public schools; requiring each county board of education to adopt a policy on ethnic and social equity in schools and implement a curriculum for American studies before the 2025-2026 school year.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB919 (HB993) Child Care Capital Support Revolving Loan Fund – Established: Establishing the Child Care Capital Support Revolving Loan Fund as a special, nonlapsing fund to provide no-interest loans for capital expenses related to a child care facility to child care providers who participate in the Child Care Scholarship Program; requiring interest earnings of the Fund to be credited to the Fund; requiring the Department of Commerce to administer the Fund; and requiring the Department of Commerce to publicize the availability of loans from the Fund.

STATUS: PASSED

 

SB920 (HB995) Early Childhood Development – Child Care Scholarship Program – Alterations:

Requiring the State Department of Education to establish a certain process for granting presumptive eligibility for a subsidy under the Child Care Scholarship Program; requiring the Department to award a certain subsidy to an individual who submits certain proof; prohibiting the Department or the Comptroller from seeking reimbursement or repayment of a certain subsidy from certain individuals under certain circumstances, except for cases of suspected fraud; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

 

Families Are Economically Stable

HB (SB598) Income Tax – Work Opportunity Tax Credit: Allowing employers that claim the federal work opportunity credit to claim a credit against the State income tax for certain wages paid to individuals with barriers to employment; allowing certain tax-exempt organizations to claim the credit under certain circumstances; altering the calculation of a certain subtraction modification for certain salary and wages paid to certain individuals; requiring the Department of Legislative Services to prepare a tax credit evaluation of the credit on or before December 31, 2028; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

SENATE BILL 6: Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022)

Requiring a landlord to make a certain disclosure to prospective tenants if the landlord uses a ratio utility billing system; making a certain lease provision unenforceable if the landlord fails to make the disclosure; requiring a landlord to document a bill for certain utilities; providing that a tenant organization has the right of free assembly during reasonable hours and on reasonable notice to the landlord; expanding certain provisions of law regarding the rights of certain tenants to include certain victims of stalking; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

HOUSE BILL 108 Public Utilities – Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs – Energy Performance Targets and Low-Income Housing

Requiring the Department of Housing and Community Development to procure or provide for electricity customers energy efficiency and conservation programs and services designed to achieve an annual incremental gross energy savings of at least 0.4% starting in 2023; requiring the Department to develop a plan to coordinate and leverage funding sources to support certain energy efficiency and other home upgrades and a plan to provide energy efficiency retrofits to all low-income households by 2030; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

HB200 Education – Public Middle and High Schools – Financial Literacy Curriculum and Graduation Requirement:

Requiring the State Department of Education to update the Maryland State Curriculum for Personal Financial Literacy Education and corresponding financial literacy standards to include content related to managing loans and taxes; requiring the State Board of Education to establish a financial literacy education week; requiring, beginning in the 2023-2023 school year, each county board to offer a certain financial literacy curriculum; requiring each county board to provide a certificate of completion for students completing the course; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

HB298 Landlord and Tenant – Eviction Actions- Filing Surcharge and Prohibited Lease Provisions:

Increasing, from not more than $8 to not more than $73, the surcharge that the District Court is required to assess per civil case for summary ejectment, tenant holding over, and breach of lease that seeks a judgment for possession of residential property against a residential tenant; requiring the District Court to assess the surcharge against a landlord and prohibiting the court from awarding or assigning the surcharge against a residential tenant; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

HB422 Working Marylanders Tax Relief Act of 2022:

Altering, for a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2022, the percentage of the federal earned income tax credit used for determining the amount that an individual may claim as a refund under the Maryland earned income tax credit under certain circumstances.

STATUS: FAILED

 

HB456 (SB957) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – State Supplement:

Increasing the amount of the supplemental benefit that the State must provide under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by increasing the minimum total monthly benefit from $30 to $40.

STATUS: PASSED

 

HB919 (SB805) Income Tax – Child Tax Credit – Alterations and Sunset Extension:

Altering the definition of “qualified child” to mean a dependent of a taxpayer that is under the age of 6 years or is under the age of 17 years and has a disability; altering income eligibility requirements for purposes of qualifying for a certain credit against the State income tax for certain dependent children; and repealing a certain provision of law reducing the amount of the tax credit under certain circumstances

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB920 (HB995): Early Childhood Development – Child Care Scholarship Program – Alterations and Study:

Requiring the State Department of Education to establish a process for granting presumptive eligibility for a subsidy under the Child Care Scholarship Program; requiring the Department to award a subsidy to an individual who submits certain proof; prohibiting the Department and the Comptroller from seeking reimbursement or repayment of a certain subsidy from certain individuals under certain circumstances, except for cases of suspected fraud; requiring the Comptroller to pay a child care provider within 5 days of receiving a certain notice; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

 

Communities are Safe for Children, Youth and Families

HB19 Education – School Construction – Pedestrian Safety Plans (Safe Walk to School Act):

Requiring certain county boards of education seeking State funds for the construction of a new school, or the renovation of or an addition to an existing school that would increase the capacity by more than 100 students, to submit a pedestrian safety plan to the Interagency Commission on School Construction; requiring the Interagency Commission to approve a pedestrian safety plan if the plan meets certain qualifications; requiring a county board to make all determinations about the contents of a pedestrian safety plan.

STATUS: PASSED

 

HB23 School Discipline – Data Collection:

Requiring the State Department of Education to disaggregate certain discipline-related data in an electronic spreadsheet format for the Department’s website, make the data available to the public, and report certain discipline-related information by August 1 each year; requiring the Department maintain a certain risk ratio used to identify a school’s disproportional disciplinary practices and report disproportionality data for high-suspending schools; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

HB56 Commission on Student Behavioral Health and Mental Health Treatment:

Establishing the Commission on Student Behavioral Health and Mental Health Treatment; and requiring, on or before July 1, 2023, and December 1, 2023, the Commission to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the State Board of Education, and the General Assembly.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB119 (HB84) Education – Crimes on School Grounds – Application:

Specifying that provisions of law prohibiting and penalizing disruptive and threatening behavior on the grounds of, in the classes of, or in the home of an employee of an institution of elementary, secondary, or higher education do not apply to students who commit offenses at the institution they attend or students who commit offenses while participating in or attending a sporting event or other extracurricular program sponsored at that institution.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB106 Baltimore City and Prince George’s County – Grant Funding – Violence Prevention and Community Service:

Requiring the Governor to annually include $500,000 in the annual budget bill for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for grants to nonprofit organizations to fund violence prevention and community service initiatives; requiring the offices to establish certain procedures and enhance certain coordination of services; requiring an organization that receives grant funding to comply with certain data sharing and reporting requirements; etc.

STATUS: FAILED

 

HB283 Vehicle Laws – School Bus Safety – Occupant Capacity: Requiring that a school bus be routed with the intent that the number of pupils on the bus does not exceed the manufacturer’s rated seating capacity for the bus; and requiring that, if an emergency or a temporary situation causes the number of pupils to exceed the rated seating capacity, the situation be corrected within a reasonable period of time.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB691 Juvenile Justice Reform : T1, 2022. STATUS: PASSED

SB778(HB1080) Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Children and Pregnant Women (Healthy Babies Equity Act):

Requiring the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide comprehensive medical care and other health care services to noncitizen pregnant women who would qualify for the Program but for their immigration status and their children up to the age of 1 year.

STATUS: PASSED

 

SB276 Baltimore City Public School Buildings – Notice of Demolition – Repeal:
Requiring notice to be provided to the Baltimore City Council or the President of the Baltimore City Council regarding demolition or partial demolition of a school building under the Baltimore City Public Schools’ 10-Year Plan.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB785 (HB1023) Department of Legislative Services – Collection of Information Related to Public Safety, Criminal Justice, Corrections, and Juvenile Services:

Requiring the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Department of State Police, the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission, and the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services to provide certain information related to public safety and criminal justice in a certain manner to the Department of Legislative Services on or before a certain date each year; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

 

HB1142 Department of Juvenile Services – Juvenile Offense Database:

Requiring the Department of Juvenile Services, in coordination with the Administrative Office of the Courts, to develop, maintain, regularly update, and publish a searchable database of all offenses involving juveniles on its website; and prohibiting the database from containing certain identifying information.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB514 Transportation – Investment Program – MARC Rail Service (Maryland Regional Rail Transformation Act):

Requiring the Maryland Transit Administration to establish certain investment programs for enhancing certain rail lines and services operated by the Maryland Area Regional Commuter rail service; requiring the Administration to advance certain rail projects in fiscal year 2023; requiring the Administration to conduct a MARC Cornerstone Plan Implementation Study; and establishing the Transportation Trust Fund Workgroup to study certain matters and submit a report of its recommendations by December 16, 2022.

STATUS: PASSED

 

SB556 (HB591) Public Safety – Law Enforcement Agencies – Body-Worn Cameras:

Requiring certain law enforcement agencies, on or before July 1, 2025, to require the use of body-worn cameras by certain law enforcement officers, subject to certain policies.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB668 (HB283) Juveniles – Truancy Reduction Pilot Program – Expansion:

Expanding, renaming, and altering certain provisions relating to a certain truancy reduction program in certain juvenile courts; authorizing a county or circuit administrative judge to establish a certain Truancy Reduction and School Engagement Program in certain juvenile courts in accordance with rules adopted by the Court of Appeals; and requiring the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals to annually report certain information to the General Assembly.

STATUS: FAILED

 

SB870 (Hb1276) Baltimore City Youth Data Hub – Establishment:

Establishing the Baltimore City Youth Data Hub for the purpose of promoting well-being of youth and improving access to and cost-efficiency of youth programs; providing that the Baltimore City Youth Data Hub is an integrated, electronic data management system that links data about youth from any provider; establishing an executive committee and providing for a manager to operate the Baltimore City Youth Data Hub; authorizing certain entities to provide data to the Baltimore City Youth Data Hub; etc.

STATUS: PASSED

House Bill 18/Senate Bill 154: Landlord and Tenant – Residential Tenants – Right to Counsel

Establishing that certain individuals have a right to legal representation in eviction proceedings; establishing the Right to Counsel in Evictions Program to be administered by the Maryland Legal Service Corporation to organize and direct services and resources to provide covered individuals with certain legal representation; establishing the Right to Counsel in Evictions Task Force to evaluate the services provided by the Program and provide recommendations on necessary policy and statutory changes; etc.
Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 28/ Senate Bill 5: Public Health – Implicit Bias Training and the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities

Altering the information to be included in the Health Care Disparities Policy Report Card to include disparities in morbidity and mortality rates for dementia; requiring the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities to publish health data that includes race and ethnicity information and to update the data biannually; requiring the Governor, beginning in fiscal year 2023, to include at least $1,788,314 in the annual budget bill for the Office; requiring a certain program to identify and approve implicit bias training programs; etc.

Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 49: Landlord and Tenant – Repossession for Failure to Pay Rent – Lead Risk Reduction Compliance

Requiring an action for repossession for failure to pay rent to contain certain statements on whether the property is registered or licensed under local law and is an affected property under certain lead-based paint abatement laws; authorizing a court to adjourn a certain trial to enable either party to obtain documents or certain other proof under certain circumstances; repealing a certain prohibition against raising as an issue of fact a landlord’s compliance with certain lead-based paint abatement laws; etc.

Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 97: Department of Housing and Community Development – Office of Digital Inclusion – Established (Digital Connectivity Act of 2021)

Establishing the Office of Digital Inclusion in the Department of Housing and Community Development to ensure that every resident of the State is supported by high-quality broadband Internet service at an affordable price, and has the tools necessary to use and take advantage of the Internet; requiring the Governor to appoint the Director of the Office; requiring the Office to develop, by July 1, 2022, a statewide plan to ensure all State residents have the ability to connect to reliable broadband Internet by December 31, 2029; etc.

Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 101/ Senate Bill 913: Human Services – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Heat and Eat Program and Study on Maryland Energy Assistance Program Eligibility

Establishing the Heat and Eat Program within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the Department of Human Services for the purpose of expanding food access to households that are receiving or are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits; requiring the Department to study the feasibility of establishing automatic eligibility and approval for participation in the Maryland Energy Assistance Program for households receiving or eligible to receive certain benefits under State and federal law; etc.

Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 608/Senate Bill 890: Early Childhood Education – Child Care Provider Support Grant Program (The Child Care Provider Support Act)

Establishing the Child Care Provider Support Grant Program to provide funds to eligible grantees to help support the operations of child care centers; requiring the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the State Department of Education, to implement and administer the Grant Program and, in consultation with certain industry leaders or advisory groups, to adopt certain regulations; requiring the Governor to include in the annual budget bill an appropriation of $25,000,000 for the Grant Program; etc.
Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 612/ Senate Bill 496: Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families (RELIEF) Act

Providing certain financing during fiscal years 2021 and 2022 for the purpose of relieving the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic; allowing, for certain taxable years, a subtraction under the Maryland income tax for certain unemployment insurance benefits; allowing, for certain taxable years, a subtraction under the Maryland income tax for certain coronavirus relief payments received by the person during the taxable year; allowing a subtraction modification under the Maryland income tax for certain State economic impact payments; etc.

Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 636/Senate Bill 546: School Buildings – Drinking Water Outlets – Elevated Level of Lead (Safe School Drinking Water Act)

Altering the definition of “elevated level of lead” for purposes of certain provisions of law requiring the periodic testing for the presence of lead in drinking water outlets in occupied public and nonpublic school buildings; and requiring by August 1, 2022, a school to take certain remedial measures on a drinking water outlet tested on or before June 1, 2021, if the test indicated a concentration of lead that was more than 5 parts per billion but less than 20 parts per billion.
Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 786: Department of Human Services, Maryland Department of Health, and Department of Education – Easing Access to Family Support Programs

Establishing that it is the policy of the State to do everything possible to alleviate administrative hurdles for low-income families seeking access to support programs; requiring that the Department of Human Services, the Maryland Department of Health, and the State Department of Education to take certain steps to achieve the policy goal and to simplify the application process for family support programs; requiring a joint progress report be submitted by January 1, 2023 and include areas where legislative changes are needed; etc.
Read Full Testimony Here

Senate Bill 881:Income Tax – Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Allowing certain employers to claim a credit against the State income tax in a certain amount for certain wages paid to certain individuals with barriers to employment; providing that the credit may not exceed 100% of the Federal Work Opportunity Credit claimed by an employer on the employer’s federal income tax return, or the State income tax imposed for that taxable year, and may not be carried over to any other taxable year; and applying the Act to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020.

Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 944/Senate Bill 711: Growing Family Child Care Opportunities Pilot Program – Established

Establishing the Growing Family Child Care Opportunities Pilot Program in the Department of Education; authorizing the Department to provide grants to local jurisdictions or child care licensing regions to increase the supply and ensure the sustainability of family child care providers in areas with above-average rates of poverty and unemployment; requiring the Department to report to the General Assembly by December 1, 2021, and each year thereafter, on the status of the program and an evaluation of local pilot programs; etc.

Read Full Testimony Here

House Bill 1300/Senate Bill 1000 – Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Implementation

Ways and Means; Budget and Taxation; Appropriations; Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
The Speaker et al.
Passed Enrolled

Repealing, altering, and adding certain provisions of law to implement The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which is intended to transform Maryland’s early childhood, primary, and secondary education system to the levels of high-performing systems around the world; establishing certain education aid formulas to provide funding for the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future; providing for a reduction in a certain local share of certain education aid for certain counties under certain circumstances; etc.

 

House Bill 1/Senate Bill 1 – Build to Learn Act of 2020

Budget and Taxation; Appropriations
The Speaker et al.
Passed Enrolled

Requiring or authorizing, under certain circumstances, the Maryland Stadium Authority to contract for, manage, and oversee certain public school facility projects; authorizing the Prince George’s County government and Board of Education to enter into a certain public-private partnership to enhance the delivery of public school construction projects in the county; requiring the Governor, beginning in fiscal year 2020, to include in the annual budget certain supplemental funding to be used for certain educational purposes; etc.

 

Senate Bill 207/House Bill 208 – Unaccompanied minors in need of Shelter and Supportive Services

Appropriations; Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
Mary Washington et al.
Returned Passed

Family League of Baltimore (Family League) strongly supports Senate Bill 207, which establishes that unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness have the right to consent to emergency shelter. The bill would establish that an unaccompanied minor in need of shelter has the same capacity as an adult to consent to shelter and supportive services, thereby incentivizing non-profit organizations to shelter this extremely vulnerable and underserved population.
Read Full Testimony Here

 

House Bill 231 – Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act

Judicial Proceedings; Environment and Transportation
Brooke Lierman et al.
Returned Passed

Expanding the housing policy of the State to include providing for fair housing to all citizens regardless of source of income; stating the Act seeks to deconcentrate poverty by providing additional opportunities for tenants utilizing public subsidies to live in certain neighborhoods; prohibiting a person from refusing to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because of source of income; establishing qualifications and limitations on the prohibition against discrimination in housing based on source of income; etc.

 

House Bill 286 – Public Health – Maternal Mortality Review Program – Stakeholders

Health and Government Operations; Finance
Jheanelle K. Wilkins et al.
Returned Passed

Family League of Baltimore (Family League) supports House Bill 286, Public Health – Maternal Mortality Review Program – Stakeholders. This bill would expand the stakeholder group convened under the Maternal Mortality Review Program to “reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of women most impacted by maternal deaths in the state.”
Read Full Testimony Here

 

Testimony in Opposition to Senate Bill 490 – Human Services – Youth Services Bureaus – Funding

Family League of Baltimore (Family League) opposes Senate Bill 490, Human Services – Youth Services Bureaus – Funding. This bill would create a mandatory funding minimum for all eligible Youth Service Bureaus and eliminates competitive funding for these entities, currently at the discretion of Local Management Boards.
Read Full Testimony Here

 

House Bill 837 – Public Health – Maternal Mortality and Morbidity – Implicit Bias Training and Study

Health and Government Operations; Finance
Joseline A. Pena-Melnyk et al.
Returned Passed

Altering the purposes of the Cultural and Linguistic Health Care Professional Competency Program; requiring the Program to establish and provide an evidence-based implicit bias training program for health care professionals involved in the perinatal care of patients on or before January 1, 2021; requiring certain health care professionals to complete a certain training on or before January 1, 2022; requiring the Program to offer a certain training to certain health care professionals; etc.

 

Testimony in Support of House Bill 1067 – Doulas – Doula Technical Assistance Advisory Group and Certification

Family League of Baltimore (Family League) strongly supports House Bill 1067. This bill would create a Doula Technical Assistance Advisory Group with the intention of exploring ways to better support doula services for pregnant individuals. The group will be tasked with making recommendations around, “workforce development for doulas, whether a voluntary State doula certification program should be established by the Maryland Department of Health and, if so, the training and credentialing that should be required of doulas for certification as nonclinical health care providers; reimbursement for doula services by the Maryland Medical Assistance Program; and expansion of doula care to low–income individuals and families.”
Read Full Testimony Here

Testimony in Support of House Bill 82/Senate Bill 116 Transportation – Complete Streets – Access to Healthy Food

HB 82 – Passed. Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 572

Family League supported House Bill 82 and Senate Bill 116 which would provide significant supports for access to healthy food for Marylanders living in areas identified as “food deserts.” These bills would also encourage jurisdictions to develop ranking systems for projects that prioritize designs that create access to healthy options in food deserts and define “food desert” within the Complete Streets Program.
Read Full Testimony Here

 

Testimony in Support of House Bill 130 Maryland Transit Administration – Workgroup to Study Dedicated Bus Lanes in Baltimore City

Approved by the Governor – Chapter 340

Family League was in favor of House Bill 130 as a means to support our students who use MTA as a primary means of transportation to and from school. This bill was meant to establish a workgroup to study dedicated bus lanes in parts of Baltimore where all Middle and High School students who live more than 1.5 miles from their school receive a OneCard for use on the MTA.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 166 Labor and Employment – Payment of Wages – Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for Fifteen)

Gubernatorial Veto Override – Chapter 10

Family Leage supported HB 166 which would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour and tied future increase to growth rates in the Consumer Price Index. Doing so would have raised the prospects of low-wage earners; particularly workers of color.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 218 Human Services – Food Supplements (Summer SNAP for Children Act)

Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 635

Family League supported Senate Bill 218, the “Summer SNAP for Children Act,” as a significant measure aimed at reducing food insecurity for children and families during the summer months. SB 218 supports families of school-aged children by an additional $30 per month, per child, in direction financial food assistance via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
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Testimony in Support of Senate Bill 280 Labor and Employment – Payment of Wages – Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for Fifteen)

Family League supported Senate Bill 280 which would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour and tied future increases to growth rates in the Consumer Price Index. This would have been a step the direction toward economic equity by raising the prospects of low-wage earners; particularly workers of color.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 339/Senate Bill 456 Family Investment Program – Temporary Cash Assistance – Funding

Did not pass

Family League supported House Bill 339/Senate Bill 456 which would slowly raise Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) to 71% of the Maryland MInimum Living Level, when combined with SNAP benefits, over the course of five years.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 341 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment, “Time to Care Act of 2019”

Did not pass

Family League supported House Bill 341 establishing the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program and providing paid family leave allowing workers to take the time they need to care for children, parents, or loved ones. Under HB 31, paid leave would have been made available to Maryland workers for up to 12 weeks follow the birth or adoption of a child and, when needed, to provide care for a family member or oneself.
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Testimony in Suppport of House Bill 520/Senate Bill 406 – Prenatal and Infant Care Coordination – Grant Funding and Task Force

Passed. Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 572 Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 662

Family League supported House Bill 520/Senate Bill 406 to address the fact that multiple source of federal, state, local, and privtae funding support an array of maternal, infant, and early childhood programs and services, but it is the coordination of those services that is most challenging. Funding and developing a robust Thrive By Three Fund had the potential to transform existing public and private programs and resources into an integrated system of care.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 583/Senate Bill 356 – Maternal Mortality Review Program – Reporting Requirement

Approved by the Governor – Chapter 449

Family League supported House Bill 538/Senate Bill 356 as they strengthened the annual report regarding the Maternal Mortality Review Program by including a comprehensive section on racial disparities that included a comparison of  maternal mortality rates across race and ethnicity.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 725 Public Schools – Student Discipline – Restorative Approaches

Passed Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 691

Family League supported House Bill 725, requiring a school principal to implement restorative approaches, rehabilitative, special education, or other supportive service interventions before suspending or expelling a student. Each count Board of Education would have also been required to develop a multiyear plan for the adoption, implementation, and continued monitoring of restorative approaches to student discipline.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 796/Senate Bill 602 Maternal Mortality Review Program – Establishment of Local Teams

House Bill Approved by the Governor – Chapter 448 Senate Bill did not pass

Family League was in favor of these bills that would support the work of the statewide Maternal Mortality Review Program by creating mechanisms for local health offices to assemble a more focused, regionally responsive review team. Additionally, local teams would be allowed to include a more diverse set of stakeholders, including an obstetrician-gynecologist, a direct-entry midwife, a birthing doula, and “any other individual necessary to the work of the local team.”
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 911 Unaccompanied Minors in Need of Shelter – Consent to Shelter and Supportive Services

Approved by the Governor – Chapter 553

Family League strongly supported House Bill 911 which would have established that unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness have the right to consent to emergency shelter. The bill would have established that such minors had the same capacity as an adult to consent to shelter and supportive services, thereby incentivizing non-profit organizations to shelter this extremely vulnerable and underserved population.
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