Maggie’s Legislative Update: The 2018 Session Begins!

Posted by Matt on January 12, 2018  |   Comments Off on Maggie’s Legislative Update: The 2018 Session Begins!

Dear Friends,

Wednesday marked the opening of 438th session of the Maryland General Assembly and I am pleased to already have wonderful news to share from the House floor. On Wednesday, I had the honor and privilege to nominate my friend Delegate Mike Busch to continue leading the House as Speaker. Then yesterday, I proudly voted alongside my Democratic colleagues to OVERRIDE the Governor’s Veto of two common sense bills from last session: the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act and the Maryland Fair Access to Education Act.

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act will finally allow over 700,00 Marylanders to no longer have to make an impossible choice: go to work sick or send an ill child to school, or stay home and sacrifice vitally needed income – or worse, face the possible loss of a job. This bill has been a long time coming and provides crucial relief for Maryland’s working families, and it is the result of years of collaborative work with Maryland businesses both large and small as well as labor experts across the state to determine the real paid sick leave needs in our state. The bill exempts seasonal businesses, and employers who already offer comparable benefits will not have to change a thing.

The Maryland Fair Access to Education Act of 2017, which I sponsored along with my 43rd District colleague Senator Joan Carter Conway in the Senate, is a crucial victory in the fight to help those Marylanders who have been incarcerated rebuild their lives. The bill, which I call “education over incarceration,” bans the requirement that prospective students check a box on college admissions applications, prohibiting colleges from automatically or unreasonably disqualifying applicants for admission based solely on having a criminal history. The simple truth is that Marylanders with criminal backgrounds are subject to huge disadvantages in the job market, and they need access to higher education to achieve stable employment and success for the rest of their lives, and their children’s lives. We know that those can secure this access are much less likely to commit additional offenses and much more likely to become productive members of our communities.

Just hours ago, the Maryland Senate joined the House’s lead and also voted to override the Governor’s veto of these two common-sense bills, paving the way for them to be enacted into law. As a result, I head into the weekend with a renewed sense of optimism and hope. I know that we will confront the challenges facing our state in 2018 with resolve, determination, and compassion for each and every Marylander.

My best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful weekend.