Report on 2017 Maryland Legislative Session

As you can imagine, much of our work this year has been focused on protecting Maryland from the dangers posed by President Trump and his allies. Among the most important:
  • We set up the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission to monitor attacks on Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid and prepare state action to protect Maryland families.

  • To help protect Marylanders’ jobs, homes, and retirement savings from another economic crisis, we set up a watchdog commission on federal efforts to deregulate Wall Street.

  • The legislature voted to oppose ending the Chesapeake Bay cleanup program and urged the Governor to join us.

  • The budget we passed included state funds for Meals on Wheels if federal funds are cut.

  • The budget also included state funds for Maryland Public Television if federal funds are cut. 

Other priorities in this year’s State budget include:
  • boosts in state funds for schools in Prince George's and Anne Arundel by $25.6 million.

  • more jobs in Maryland repairing UM buildings and local schools, increasing investments in roads, bridges, and transit.

  • boosts in investment in the University of Maryland and other public colleges by $36 million.

  • balanced the budget, protecting Maryland's AAA bond rating.

  • $27.4 million to protect open space and $34 million to improve local parks statewide.

  • $7.1 million for rebuilding Route One in College Park and modernizing and expanding Route 175 in Odenton.

  • $340 for construction of the light rail Purple Line, connecting the Metro Green Line and the University of Maryland with Bethesda and New Carrollton.

All of us have been outraged by corruption at the Prince George’s liquor board, revealed in recent indictments. To restore its integrity, we overhauled liquor regulation in Prince George’s, tightening ethics rules and professionalizing the agency.  

We created an elected Anne Arundel County Board of Education to be made up of members from seven districts and one student member. 

We also reduced Anne Arundel seniors’ property taxes, protecting taxpayers if they temporarily do not meet the income eligibility requirements. 

We worked together on all these initiatives: 
  • Successfully defending the bill that protects Planned Parenthood's state Medicaid funding to ensure high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, championed by Delegate Peña-Melnyk, chair of the House Public Health Subcommittee.

  • Safeguarding the health of Maryland’s waterways by instituting a statewide fracking ban, championed by Delegate Frush, a member of the Chesapeake Bay Commission and a conscientious animal rights advocate.

  • Delegate Barnes, as Vice Chairman of the Education Sub-committee, has worked to secure record school funding for Anne Arundel and Prince George’s.

  • Cutting college textbook costs by moving more courses to free, online content, championed by Senator Rosapepe. 
Please let us know if there are other issues you have questions or thoughts about. And, of course, feel free to be in touch if we can be of help to you.