Priorities for 2021
Gun Violence Prevention & Peace Building
Blueprint for Maryland's Future | SB1000, HB1300 (2020)
Friends join Strong Schools MD, MAJR, ACLU, and others to advocate for funding to help end Maryland’s “school-to-prison-pipeline” with better schools in poor communities, alternatives to expulsion, and vocational training of at-risk students. The Governor vetoed this bill due to budget in 2020, but the bill contains a safety-valve to delay its effective date when budget revenues have fallen by 7.5%.
Veto override vetoes may occur early during session, which starts on 1/13/21!
More information: https://bit.ly/3hXjUt1
Climate Solutions Now | SB414, HB583
This legislation would change Maryland law so that our state would be required to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2030 and be net zero by 2045. It will also require a percentage of all state funds spent on climate change to go to underserved, frontline communities, create a working group to protect fossil fuel workers, and enacts a series of policies that will reduce emissions immediately.
More information: https://bit.ly/3oc4liH
Expand Access to Healthcare
Maryland Health Equities Resource Communities Act | SB172, HB463
This new 2021 bill would revive a system shown effective between 2011 and 2016 by increasing the state alcohol beverage sales tax by one cent per dollar both to reduce alcohol overuse and raise funds that will be used for grants that support community-based programs in areas of the state with poor health outcomes that contribute to health inequities.
More information: https://bit.ly/2Xlu1yq
Criminal Justice & Prison Reform
Correctional Services - Step-Down Program | HB131, SB--
This bill requires that all individuals in solitary confinement are placed on a step-down program that allows them to gradually have access to transition/re-entry services starting six months before they are released. The goal of this bill is to prepare returning citizens for successful acclimation to their communities and reduce recidivism.
More information: https://bit.ly/3ozfLhG
Rewarding Educational Milestones | HB89, SB397
This would require Maryland prisons provide inmates with credits that can reduce their time served when they attain major educational milestones such as satisfactory completion of a course or achieving a diploma.
More information: https://bit.ly/2SgH96a
Maryland Correctional Ombuds Act | HB--, SB--
This bill would create an Office of the Corrections Ombuds, an independent, impartial public office – not part of Department of Corrections – that serves the state by provide independent oversight of prison operations, public reporting on prison conditions, and recommendations for improvement. This is a system, which is used in 14 sister states , would bring transparency to Maryland prisons, and provide recommendations for needed changes.
More information: https://bit.ly/38luSp8
5 Demands for Police Accountability
The ACLU is working with the Maryland Coalition for Justice and Police Accountability to pass legislation related to their 5 demands; Quaker Voice is supporting the Coalition in this effort. There will be multiple bills associated with this effort.
More information: https://bit.ly/36orJUh