Dear Community Leaders,
Please note that the AAC branch of the NAACP OPPOSES the following legislation and requests that you communicate this to your membership:
HB 1803 — Johns Hopkins Police Force
HB 1803 would create an armed Johns Hopkins Police Force with policing powers on and around the Johns Hopkins campuses. The NAACP MSC has not taken a position on 1803 but has raised concerns about the bill and the process. We have shared our concerns with members of the Judiciary Committee and have engaged in dialogue with the University to hold them accountable for the process and the contents of the legislation. JUD is sending HB 1803 to a Summer Study. While HB 1803 will not be voted on this session, it is not gone. Information about the Summer Study for the Johns Hopkins Police Force will be shared when we know more.
SB 122 — Comprehensive Crime Bill of 2018
Following last week’s testimony around SB 122 in the House Judiciary Committee (JUD), the members of the Judiciary committee along with representation from Appropriations and Delegate Cheryl Glenn, Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, engaged in discussions and drafted proposed amendments to SB 122. These discussion will continue in a JUD working session beginning at 4:00 p.m.on Monday, April 2. Throughout this legislative session, including in the last week, the Maryland State Conference NAACP Political Action Committee, under the leadership of Rev. Kobi Little and with the support the Anne Arundel County Branch NAACP PAC, have provided input to legislatures to further the discussions. SB 122 is not yet at a place where the NAACP MSC PAC can support it. Please stay tuned as the bill evolves in the House JUD discussions; NAACP MSC PAC will issue a call to action if/when necessary. NOTE: The JUD working sessions are held in the JUD room in the House of Delegates. The working sessions are open meetings and the public is welcome to attend, but no public input is taken during the working sessions.
The AAC NAACP SUPPORTS the following legislation:
• SB 671 – Hate Crimes – Threats and Penalties
• SB 707 – Criminal Law – Firearm Crimes – Rapid Fire Trigger Activator
The Senate Finance Committee also has an important bill hearing on Tuesday (4/3) at 1 PM:
• HB 1518 – Public Health – Maternal Mortality Review Program – Report and Stakeholder Meetings
HB 1194 — Drug Cost Review Commission
The NAACP MSC PAC continues to support HB 1194 sponsored by Delegate Pena-Melnyk and establishing the Drug Cost Review Commission. The purpose of this bill is to help control prescription drug costs in Maryland. This bill is with the House Health and Government Operations
Committee (HGO). The member of HGO will be holding a working session and possibly vote on HB 1194 on Monday, May 2 in a working session starting at 6:30 p.m. in the HGO meeting room in the House of Delegates. As with other working session, these are open meetings and the public is welcome to attend, but no public input is taken.
•SB 33 – Health Insurance – Coverage for Fertility Awareness-Based Method
◦ “Fertility awareness-based methods” means methods of identifying times of fertility and infertility by an individual to avoid pregnancy. The primary advantages of fertility awareness-based methods are that no medications or devices are involved, there are no side effects, the methods are acceptable to couples with religious concerns, and the methods cost very little to use.
◦ Third Reading Passed (Senate 46-0, House 136-0)
◦ Cross-file: HB 249
▪ Third Reading Passed (House 131-0, Senate 47-0)
•SB 81 – Sales and Use Tax – Hygenic Aids – Exemption
◦ Exempts feminine hygiene products (tampons, pads) from sales tax
◦ Third Reading Passed (Senate 46-0, House 137-0)
◦ Cross-file: HB 95
▪ Third Reading Passed (House 139-0)
▪ Hearing in Budget & Taxation on March 23 at 1 pm
Wages & Employment
•HB 512 – Labor and Employment – Wage History Information
◦ Prohibiting employers that employ 15 or more employees from seeking wage history information orally, in writing, or through an employee or an agent for an employee◦ Third Reading Passed (House 88-47)
◦ Hearing in Finance March 29 at 1 pm
◦ Cross-file: SB 377 – Labor and Employment – Pay Scales and Wage History Information
▪ No action since Hearing on February 20
•HB 664 – Labor and Employment – Payment of the Minimum Wage Required (Fight for Fifteen)
◦ This bill phases in an increase in the State minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by fiscal 2024. Beginning on July 1, 2024, the minimum wage may increase further as it is indexed to inflation.
◦ No action since Hearing on February 27
◦ Cross-file: SB 543
▪ No action since Hearing on March 8
•SB 707 – Criminal Law – Firearms – Rapid Fire Trigger Activator
◦ Ban on Bump Stock
◦ Third Reading Passed (Senate 36-11)
◦ Cross-file: HB 888
▪ Third Reading Passed (House 128-7)
▪ First Reading in Judicial Proceedings on March 16
•HB 1224 – Ending Youth Homelessness Act of 2018
◦ Establishing the Ending Youth Homelessness Grant Program to focus on preventing and ending youth homelessness in the State and addressing disparities based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity; requiring the Department of Housing and Community Development to administer the Program and provide funds to housing and supportive services for at-risk and unaccompanied homeless youth◦ Third Reading Passed (House 136-2)
◦ Hearing in Finance on March 28 at 1 pm
•HB 2 – Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission Reform Act
◦ Declaring that it is the intent of the General Assembly that programs established by the Act create a successful, but consumer-friendly medical cannabis industry in the State; establishing a Compassionate Use Fund, etc.
◦ Third Reading Passed (House 121-16)
◦ Hearing in Finance on March 20 at 1 pm
◦ Cross-file: SB 1
▪ No action since Hearing on March 20
•HB 39 – Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission – Diversity
◦ Requiring that, to the extent practicable, the members of the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission reflect the racial, ethnic, cultural, and gender diversity of the State.
◦ No action since Hearing on January 30
◦ Cross-file: HB 1648
•SB 444– Task Force on the Social Determinants of Health in Baltimore City
◦ Establishing the Task Force on the Social Determinants of Health in Baltimore City; requiring the Task Force to identify and examine certain social factors and develop and implement certain solutions for a certain purpose. The NAACP State Conference supports all efforts to improve the circumstances in which residents of Baltimore City are born, grow, live, work, and age that are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources at global, national, and local levels and are mostly responsible for health inequities. This bill is an important step in identifying and examining the negative social factors that are causing hardship for residents of Baltimore City, are cyclical in nature, and span generations.
◦ Third Reading Passed (Senate 45-1)
◦ Hearing in Health and Government Operations on March 20 at 1 pm
•HB 1136 – Student Hearing and Vision Screenings – Reporting Requirements
◦ Requiring the Maryland Department of Health to review certain reports and, in counties where fewer than 50% of students who have failed hearing and vision screenings are receiving the recommended services, to coordinate with the county board or the county health department to implement measures to improve the number of students receiving the recommended services.
◦ Third Reading Passed (House 135-1)
◦ Hearing in Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs on March 28 at 1 pm
•SB 1201 – Agriculture – Industrial Hemp Pilot Program – Establishment
◦ Establishing an Industrial Hemp Pilot Program to authorize and facilitate the research of industrial hemp and any aspect of growing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transporting, marketing, or selling industrial hemp for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes
◦ Third Reading Passed (Senate 47-0)
◦ Hearing in Environment and Transportation on March 28 at 1 pm
•SB 973 – Maryland Transportation Authority – Video Tolls – Collection
◦ Clarifying that the Maryland Transportation Authority may refer certain unpaid video tolls and associated civil penalties to the Central Collection Unit for collection; authorizing the Authority to recall certain unpaid video tolls and associated civil penalties from the Central Collection Unit under certain circumstances; establishing that the Central Collection Unit may not collect certain unpaid video tolls and associated civil penalties under certain circumstances.
◦ Third Reading Passed (Senate 45-0)
◦ Hearing in Environment and Transportation on March 29 at 1 pm
◦ Cross-file: HB 963
▪ Third Reading Passed (House 141-0)
▪ Hearing in Finance on April 4 at 1 pm
Thank you for your time and attention in supporting the NAACP!