Update on 2023 Maryland Legislative Session
Higher wages and lower taxes for working families
To help our constituents faced with rising prices, we worked to:
— Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour starting January 1, 2024.
— Keep taxes down by making permanent the expansion of Maryland’s Earned Income and Child Tax Credits passed in 2021.
More community policing and gun safety rules to keep our neighborhoods safe
To protect our neighborhoods from crime, we increased investment in public safety by $50.3 million to fill police vacancies and support victim’s services, violence intervention programs, and neighborhood public safety grants.
To reduce gun violence, we passed laws to prohibit carrying firearms in public places such as schools, hospitals, and bars, strengthen standards for getting a concealed carry permit, and ensure gun owners store firearms safely, unloaded and away from children.
Holding down electric rates by boosting wind energy
With expanded demand for electricity driven by electric cars, we passed legislation to ramp up wind generation off the shore of Maryland. It will fight climate change and hold down our electric rates.
Other Key Priorities
Cracking down on drag racing: Too many of our neighborhoods are plagued with dangerous drag racing. Unfortunately the legislature again failed to pass laws we support to protect all of us. We will try again next year.
Investing state budget surplus in local schools: President Biden’s economic recovery plan created hundreds of thousands of jobs — and thus boosted state revenues — creating the second budget surplus in a decade. We put $900 million in a special fund for teacher salaries and other school needs. We also boosted state aid for local schools in Prince George’s by $197.3 million and Anne Arundel by $61.1 million.
Supporting our community:
— To fix potholes and improve local roads, we increased state funding by $19.0 million for Prince George’s and $11.1 million for Anne Arundel.
— $9.3 million for rebuilding Route One and $16.4 million for modernizing Route
175 in Odenton.
— $1 million to help restore the Dam ruins on the Patuxent River in Laurel.
— $5 million to acquire more affordable UMD graduate student housing.
— $1.5 million to help acquire the Cross Creek open space for community use in Beltsville.
— $1,000,000 for the creation of a north College Park community center
— $100,000 for Swann Park and Willows Park playgrounds in Crofton
We worked together on all these initiatives:
— Delegate Peña-Melnyk. As Chairman of the House Health Committee, she was the leader in the House who enshrined reproductive rights in the Maryland State Constitution and increasing access to healthcare, addressing workforce shortages, and improving the behavioral health service in our state.
— Delegate Lehman. To protect tenants’ rights and ensure safe, habitable housing, she passed legislation requiring landlords to prove that they have valid rental licenses before an eviction. She also passed legislation to prohibit landlords from refusing to rent to disabled tenants with retired service dogs.
— Delegate Barnes. As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, he led the House in passing a historic budget with record funding for public education.
— Senator Rosapepe. As a top Senate fiscal leader, he focused on writing the state budget to invest in good schools, public safety, and fighting climate change, while building budget reserves for future economic challenges.