LWVMD Supports the U.S. Clean Power Plan

On August 3, 2015, EPA announced the Clean Power Plan (CPP) to strengthen the move toward cleaner and lower-polluting energy by establishing standards for power plants and customized goals for states to cut carbon pollution. A Fact Sheet, Clean Power Plan, is still available from the previous EPA website.

In October 2017, Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced repeal of the CleanEPA Logo Power Plan, a key program to reduce carbon emissions from coal fired power plants and to help meet the U.S. goals under the Paris Climate Agreement.

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Priority Legislation Report

From General Priorities to Specific Legislation

Now that we have established our general legislative priorities, we are gearing up to support specific legislation. Here are just a few examples.

Election Day Registration (EDR) legislation is a Constitutional Amendment authorizing the General Assembly to put in place procedures that would allow voters to register to vote on Election Day in the same way they can during early voting. During the 2016 elections, nearly 20,000 Marylanders registered to vote or updated their registrations. Passing the legislation in this session would allow a vote on the amendment in the November 2018 General Election.

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Environmental Coalition Identifies Priorities for 2018 General Assembly

CCEEnvironmental organizations in The Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) will support four topics for potential legislation in the 2018 Maryland General Assembly. LWVMD 2018 Priorities for “Protecting the Environment” are mitigating climate change, increasing the use of clean renewable energy, and ensuring safe water and clean waterways. We’ll be joining efforts to advance the CCE priority topics. Contact Betsy Singer, LWVMD Environment Chair if you would like to participate.

Forest Conservation

According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), “The Forest Conservation Act is not currently living up to its primary objectives of minimizing forest loss and conserving the state’s best forests when it comes to intact, fully forested parcels proposed for development.” CBF finds that the Act should be updated by prioritizing protection of contiguous forests that provide intact forest ecosystems and are very limited in urban and suburban communities. Replanting formulas would be adjusted in order to lessen overall deforestation and existing mitigation systems, such as forest banking, will be improved.

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Protecting Marylanders' Right to Vote

Lawmakers, Everyone Votes MD Coalition Endorse Policies to Expand, Protect Voting Rights


Press Release: December 5, 2017

Annapolis, Md. – Everyone Votes MD, a coalition of good government, civil rights, and grassroots activists, joined lawmakers on Tuesday in support of bills to protect and expand access to voting in Maryland.

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LWVNCA Joins Metro – Fund It/Fix It Campaign

The League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area (LWVNCA) is made up of the state Leagues of Virginia and Maryland, the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia, the local Maryland Leagues of Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s; and the local Virginia Leagues of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Falls Church. In the Fall of 2016 the LWVNCA Board voted to adopt Metro Funding as an advocacy priority...



 

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Redistricting Reform’s in the Spotlight in 2018

Current MD Practice

Across the nation redistricting reform has won the spotlight this year among good government advocates, editorial teams, many important political figures, and even SCOTUS has gotten in on the action. LWVMD has been harnessing this energy to push for reform of the Maryland redistricting process in 2018 - regardless of what the rest of the nation may do. LWVMD believes in, and has been working for, a government that best represents ALL Marylanders, and that can only be achieved when election districts are drawn with the interests of the people are the primary consideration.

However, as it stands, Maryland’s redistricting process allows, and has employed for many years, tactics to favor or disfavor political parties and political incumbents - a.k.a. Gerrymandering.

LWVMD is joined in this effort by other good government advocates that form the coalition Tame the Gerrymander. The coalition work we’ve done this past year has been focused on dramatically increasing the awareness of the need to end practice of partisan gerrymandering in Maryland THIS YEAR.

 

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Widespread Support from Maryland Families & Delegates to Pass Earned Sick Days; Override Gov. Veto

Press Release from Working Matters Coalition of which LWVMD is a member -> originally posted here http://www.earnedsickdaysmd.org/?page_id=1515

The Healthy Working Families Act (HB1) would expand access to earned paid sick days to more than 700,000 Maryland families.

Annapolis, Maryland (October 23rd, 2017) – Working families from across Maryland and delegates from every corner of the state continue to build the strong momentum needed to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the Healthy Working Families Act – HB1. As the override vote approaches a coalition of 160 organizations, Working Matters, is grateful for the 87 delegates who voted to pass HB1 and now have pledged their support to override the Governor’s veto – enough votes to secure an override in the House.

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Progress to Curb Carbon Emissions in Maryland

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

Maryland made progress this summer through the program review of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a cooperative effort by nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to develop a regional power plant emissions cap-and-trade program. Revenues from the program help support the EmPOWER Maryland program for energy conservation and efficiency.

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Let the Kirwan Commission Know You Care


The KIRWAN COMMISSION (the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education) is studying the recommendations of consultants for revising the current education funding formula and also studying other ideas for improving the quality of PreK to 12 public education. The commission has heard from experts in career education, how teachers are deployed in other countries, how to deal with schools with concentrated poverty, etc. The commission will finalize recommendations in December. Then the state legislature will decide whether or not they want to pass a new law. Tell them what you think at one of their last 3 hearings. This opportunity only happens once every 15 to 20 years.

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Come Speak Out on Redistricting Reform!

In 2015, shortly after the Governor appointed an 11-member Commission to study redistricting and make recommendations for improving the way it’s done in Maryland, the Commissioners traveled around the state to hear from stakeholders.  Listening sessions took place in Towson, Hagerstown, Waldorf, Easton and Laurel.  During legislative hearings, the Commission was criticized for not seeking input from more politically and ethnically diverse population centers.  Therefore, the Commission has scheduled two more hearings for the fall....

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