Thursday, March 9, 2017

District 47 Night in Annapolis

Monday March 13th, 6 PM - 8 PM

Miller Senate Office Building

11 Bladen Street, Annapoli

President’s Conference Center 

What's better than a night out in Annapolis? Join our District 47 Legislators in Annapolis on  March 13th . We've got your dinner plans and civic duty covered!

Feel free to ask your elected officials about the local and state issues that you care about. Best of all, enjoy good food and great conversation with us.

RSVP at (301) 858-3745 or

Legislative Developments

Less Testing Legislation Passes House of Delegates

The Maryland House of Delegates unanimously passed the Less Testing, More Learning Act, which sets a 2% limit on the amount of annual instructional time that can be used for mandated standardized testing. That’s just over 20 hours a year, and far less than what we see in some districts and grade levels right now
Maryland Healthy Working Families Act Passes the House of Delegates
The House of Delegates last week passed by a vote of 88-51 a Paid Sick Day bill which will cover 750,000 employees in Maryland who have no access to earned paid sick days.  The bill was also passed by the important Senate Finance Committee.

Half of full-time Maryland workers earning less than $35,000 a year can’t earn paid sick days.  Without these earned paid sick days, Maryland’s children and working families suffer.  For a typical family without earned paid sick days, just 3.5 days without pay means losing an entire month’s grocery budget. For single-parent families, the situation is even worse.

Parents without earned paid sick days are more than twice as likely to send a sick child to school or daycare. For families among the working poor (which make up a quarter of Maryland’s African-American families), losing income due to illness can mean eviction, missed bills, and other extreme financial hardship.

Women make up 1/2 of the workforce, and 2/3 of family caregivers. Yet, 54% of working women lack access to earned sick days. 1 in 5 working women report that they or a family member have been fired or disciplined for taking time off to care for a family member.

Status of Important Legislation

(I’ve underlined where there has been a change in the status.)
  1. Fracking ban (HB 1325)
    • The House Environment and Transportation Committee voted it out of Committtee by 18 to 4.  It now has to be voted on by the full House of Delegates.  Hearings were held  Senate Committees. A vote has not been taken yet.
  1. Increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2021 (HB 1416) 
    • Hearing on the bill was heard on March 7.
  1. Legislation that would prevent local jurisdictions from raising the minimum wage above the state minimum wage (HB 317) 
    • The Chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee announced that the bill was dead and would not be moved out of Committee.
  1. Death with Dignity” legislation (HB 370) (This would allow terminally ill patients above the age of 18 to request medication to end their life. The patients must have six months or less to live, and must provide oral and written consent from at least two doctors.)
    • The Senate bill died in the  Committee because there were not enough votes to pass it.  This bill will not pass this year.
  1. Bail bond legislation that eliminates the need for cash bail using a Pretrial Services assessment, when the defendant is not a flight risk, is not accused of a violent crime, and is not a danger to the community (There are two different bills that propose similar measures, HB 1390 and HB 1218)
    • Hearings on these two bills were held on March 7 in the House Judiciary Committee.

  1. Legislation putting the issue of the legalization of marijuana on the ballot (HB 665)  Allows an individual in the State who is at least 21 years old to use marijuana, possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, and cultivate up to 6 marijuana plants.
    • Hearing was held in the House Judiciary Committee on March 7.
  1. Paid sick leave. The bill introduced covers employers with 15 or more employees. (HB 1)  
    • It was passed by the House of Delegates 88-51 and was voted out of the Senate Finance Committee and is waiting for a full vote in the Senate.
  1. Legislation requiring that all members of the Prince George’s School Board be elected (currently, 9 out of 14 members are elected, and the remaining are appointed). 
    • The Education Committee of the Prince George’s Delegation is discussing a number of bills relating to reform of the PG Board of Education.
  1. The Maryland Trust Act (HB 1362) Prevents a state government agent from using public resources to enforce civil immigration enforcement; prevents law enforcement officials from stopping, arresting, searching or detaining an individual simply to find out immigration or citizenship status; prevents a state government agency from creating a registry or database for the purpose of immigration enforcement or investigation; prevents state and local law enforcement officers from being deputized as immigration officers.
    • It was heard by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.  There is a task force working on the details.
Congressman Brown is hosting a town hall meeting at Prince George’s Community College, Saturday March 18th.
This is a good time to tell our Congressman about what you think about what is going on in Washington.  Please click on the link below for details and to rsvp.

Prince George’s Schools Letter on U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) has issued a letter in response to the actions by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE). This letter was sent by the school district to ease the concerns of parents about the safety of their children at school, and whether they would be subject to immigration enforcement. PGCPS does not track the immigration status of students or families; nor would the school system share information about students' or families' immigration status. The safety of our children is the number one priority. To read the letter sent by PGCPS click:


Scholarship are available for constituents living in District 47A, who are attending or will be attending a Maryland undergraduate, graduate, or professional school during school year 2017-2018.  If you haven’t requested an application yet, please contact me at  and request one by email.  Or you may call my office at 301-858-3326 and leave your email address.  This year, my scholarship application is due Friday, April 15th.

Prince George's Community College Online Scholarship Application is now available!

This is also an excellent opportunity for alternative funding for education made possible by the generous contributions of individuals, organizations, and corporations. . The scholarship booklet will also be available in the Prince George's Community College Financial Aid Office in Bladen Hall, Room 121.