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.

The Secure and Accessible Registration Act (SARA) would streamline the voting registration process, registering eligible voters or updating their registration, when they interact with certain state agencies, such as the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

Redistricting advocates have been hard at work garnering support for reform of the process.

Supporters of Washington Metro funding are circulating cards and getting signatures on petitions declaring: “We the undersigned urge our elected leaders to create a dedicated, sustainable funding source for Metro! We need a system that is reliable, safe and efficient. Any new funding source – whether a tax or a budget adjustment --must be collected equitably and aimed to improve the rider experience.” Find a print-out of those cards at the end of this newsletter. Print them out double-sided and cut into fourths to create your own small cards. You can distribute them or leave a stack in a convenient location.

Overriding the veto of HB1, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, is a priority for human needs advocates. This bill mandates 5 days of paid sick leave for employees of firms with 15 or more employees.

Pre-K to 12 education advocates are encouraged by discussion about a "down payment" on the delayed Kirwan Commission Report in 2018. Funds might come under the umbrellas of early childhood education and Career and Technology Education (CTE). Some Community School funding for schools with concentrated poverty has also been suggested.

Information on environmental legislation priorities can be found in the article below by Betsy Singer.

Read Report from State Circle (RSC) beginning in late January to learn more about legislation on these and other issues.

Lois Hybl,
LWVMD Vice President
[email protected]