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Session Recap

Below is a brief recap of the 2014 legislative session.

Major Legislation

Below are the top four bills that you contacted me about that I supported and the House and Senate passed during the 2014 legislative session:

  • HB 295 – Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014 This bill increases Maryland’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2018. Raising the minimum wage is a huge victory for Maryland workers. However, I would have liked a stronger bill that indexes minimum wage to inflation and doesn’t freeze tipped wages at $3.63. I look forward to future sessions to correct these setbacks.

Legislation I Passed

 Here is a brief synopsis 6 of the bills I passed this session:

  • HB 27 Healthy Births for Incarcerated Women Act This bill is the culmination of a 2 year effort to ban shackling incarcerated women during labor and delivery, and establishes policy guidelines for transport, pregnancy, and post-partum recovery.
  • HB 813 Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness Establishes the Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness. Currently no state legislative ‘home’ exists to address the range of housing, health, and employment related factors that contribute to homelessness.
  • HB 1036/SB 796 Interagency Council on Homelessness Combines two existing advisory groups into a single Interagency Council on Homelessness. It adds key stakeholders such as direct service providers and persons who have experienced homelessness and reports to the Joint Committee.

 

Met with Governor O’Malley

On Tuesday March 18th Antonia Fasanelli from the Homeless Persons Representation Project, Kevin Lindamood from Healthcare for the Homeless and I met with Governor O’Malley to discuss homelessness. After the meeting O’Malley agreed to become the first Governor in the country to endorse the National Housing Trust Fund and he agreed to work on a statewide housing first model for homelessness.

 

Bond Projects

The 43rd District’s unique neighborhoods provide investment opportunities for all kinds of enhancements to our communities. We were successful in getting the following two bond bill projects funded on the House side:

  • HB 1391 This project received $100,000 for the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation (BARCO) North Avenue Arts Building. This adds another anchor to the revitalization efforts of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Lead sponsors: Washington/Conway
  • HB 474 This project received $250,000 for Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street to acquire and rehab the property at 4500 Harford Rd. (home of the farmers’ market) and strengthen the Main Street business corridor. Lead Sponsors: McIntosh/Conway