Priorities for 2022
During this legislative session Quaker Voice of Maryland will be working on the following legislative priorities:
Correctional Ombudsman | SB0512, HB0604
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. This is a bill that Quaker Voice supported during last legislative session and chose to continue supporting in 2022.
Partner Organization: Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform (MAJR)
More information: https://www.ma4jr.org/ombuds/
Child Interrogation Protection Act | SB0053, HB0269
This bill will put the proper mechanisms in place so that when police interrogate a child, the child has consulted with an attorney and their parents or guardians are notified. This is a racial justice issue because every day in Maryland children are caught up in the criminal justice system and are questioned without a parent or attorney present and this is particularly dire for Black and Brown children, who are overwhelmingly overpoliced.
Partner Organization: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-MD)
More information: https://bit.ly/3LNskls
Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 | SB0528
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.
Partner Organization: Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN)
More information: https://bit.ly/34iOw5I
Energy Performance Targets & Low-Income Housing | SB0524, HB0108
Maryland's low-income households carry energy burdens more than twice what is considered a high burden, losing 13% of their budget to energy costs. And very low-income households are crushed by a 42% burden on average. That means almost one-half of their income is used just to keep the lights on. This issue will be exacerbated by the affects of climate change, which has already lead to more dangerous hot temperature events that require the use of more energy to cool homes to protect human health. This bill would require the DHCD to provide energy efficiency and conservation programs & services designed to increase energy savings of at least 0.4% starting in 2023 for limited income households. The Department would also be required to develop a plan for targeting efforts to increase energy efficiency and other home upgrades that provide energy efficiency retrofits to all low-income households by 2030.
Partner Organization: TBD
More information: https://on.nrdc.org/3LNuvFE