MD Dems must do more for Working People

Maryland’s minimum hourly wage is currently set at $13.25 and slated to rise to $14/hour on January 1, 2024 and $15 at the beginning of 2025. For the great majority of Marylanders who live in the Baltimore or DC metropolitan areas, $15 an hour is simply insufficient.

Recognizing this injustice, Governor Wes Moore has called for an accelerated timeline with $15 per hour to be mandated by October 1st of this year and for the minimum wage to rise with inflation starting on July 1, 2025. This is a commonsense solution, although it will still leave many workers struggling. Click here to support Maryland workers! Continue reading

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Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard Needs a Refresh and so Does our Air!

We’ve joined with Food and Water Watch to promote the Reclaim Renewable Energy Act of 2023 (RRE).

Sponsored in the Senate by Karen Lewis Young and in the House by Vaughn Stewart, the RRE eliminates three problematic polluters from Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS):

  1. Trash incineration.
  2. Factory farm methane.
  3. Woody biomass.

For lots more info and to support the Reclaim Renewable Energy Act, click here!

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Shift Workers Need a Break

Senator Joanne Benson Delegate Linda Foley

Senator Joanne Benson                                                                    Delegate Linda Foley

Hal – The Maryland Fair Scheduling Act (HB0349/SB0345) would rectify an injustice frequently visited on retail and restaurant workers. Currently, employers can demand that employees appear on short notice and end shifts prematurely if traffic is slow.

Simply put, retail employees must be available at their manager’s beck and call if they wish to keep their job. Moreover, they are sometimes put to the time and expense of commuting without any recompense if their shift is abruptly canceled. Let’s give them a break!



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Maryland Families Deserve Clean Fresh Air to Breathe

We support the Clean Trucks Act of 2023.

Sponsored in the Senate by Malcolm Augustine and in the House by Sara Love, the Clean Trucks Act is a necessary response to the worsening climate crisis and toxic chemicals in our air.

CLICK HERE for more information and to tell Maryland’s Senators and Delegates to support the Clean Trucks Act.

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Let’s End Ultralow Tipped Wages in Maryland

On New Year’s Day, most Maryland minimum wage workers received an hourly pay increase for 2023 from $12.50 to $13.25. But “tipped” workers – primarily servers in restaurants and bartenders – saw no change from the measly $3.63 per hour that they’ve been “enjoying” for the past 14 years.

For non-tipped workers, additional minimum wage increases are scheduled to take effect in 2024 with a rise to $15 in 2025. Moreover, Governor Wes Moore is calling for further hikes to the minimum wage hikes and to index it to inflation. But his proposal exempts tipped workers.

State Senator Arthur Ellis has introduced SB-0803 to prohibit restaurants and bars from paying servers less than the minimum wage. This will end an injustice that falls heaviest on women and people of color who form a disproportionate share of the workforce at lower priced sit-down restaurants.

CLICK HERE to urge the members of the Senate Finance Committee to issue a favorable report on Senator Ellis’s bill. Continue reading

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All Marylanders Deserve Quality Affordable Healthcare

A basic tenet of Our Revolution Maryland is that healthcare is a human right. We have been fighting for universal single-payer coverage (Medicare for All) since Bernie founded us in 2016.

I support increasing Access to Care!

Despite popular support for Medicare for All, neither party will buck: 1) Big Pharma, 2) for-profit healthcare providers, or 3) the American Medical Association.

Still, we can make life better for those who now face daunting challenges accessing care. These include many immigrants and poor, struggling and working Marylanders.

State Senator Clarence Lam has introduced SB0365 – the Access to Care Act – which removes immigration status as a barrier to obtaining healthcare insurance and subsidizes qualified Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) insurance purchases. In the House of Delegates, more than 30 assembly members are co-sponsoring companion bill HB0588. Continue reading

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Maryland Needs Equitable Public Transit Expansion

With the climate crisis threatening our children’s future, we must reduce greatly our carbon footprint. The transportation sector is responsible for generating more fossil fuel emissions than any other. When we take buses or trains, instead of driving, we save money and the environment.

Some Maryland neighborhoods do have decent access to public transportation. But poor people, rural and inner-city residents, those with physical limitations, and predominantly black and brown communities are the least likely to have a range of options.

The Transit Equity Act, sponsored by Senator Jill Carter and Delegate Sheila Ruth addresses this injustice head-on and moreover will lead to annual reductions of Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

The Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on this legislation on February 1st and the House Environment and Transit Committee is hearing testimony on February 2nd. Join our letter campaign by clicking here to email the members of these Committees and to urge them to issue a favorable report on the Transit Equity Act.

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It’s Time to Restore the Tax on Multi-Million Dollar Maryland Estates

Austerity imposed by lawmakers from both parties has frayed our social safety net and left far too many Marylanders vulnerable to soulless market forces. When progressive legislators and activists respond that society has a moral obligation to the poor, the elderly, and children, we are often admonished that resources are unavailable.

The obvious solution is to increase revenues from those more than able to pay. Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins has introduced legislation to do just that. HB-0268 restores the tax on multi-million dollar estates that would generate an estimated $116 million per annum. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee on February 9th at 1pm.

If passed, Delegate Wilkins’ bill would reverse the 2014 law that raised from $1 to $5 million the minimum value of Maryland estates subject to taxation.

As the Maryland Fair Funding Coalition points out: The 2014 revision “provided a handout to a small number of ultra-wealthy heirs and made it harder for the state to invest in essential services. Estate taxes help support the public investments we all rely on, and they are a critical response to growing wealth inequality.”

You can make a difference by clicking here to email the members of the House Ways and Means Committee to urge them to restore the tax on estates of over $1 million.

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Publicly Financed Elections are Essential!

Delegate Jessica Feldmark has reintroduced legislation – HB0176​ – to authorize the expansion of public financing to candidates running for:

  • State’s Attorney
  • Sheriff
  • Register of Wills
  • Circuit Court Judge
  • Circuit Court Clerk
  • Judge of the Orphans’ Court
  • County Board of Education​.

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Let’s End Debtors Prisons in Maryland

Debtors prisons – a Dickensian vestige of the 19th century – live on in the Free State despite the Maryland Constitution’s explicit proscription: No person shall be imprisoned for debt. Sec. 38.

Fortunately, Delegate David Moon has re-introduced legislation to end this travesty. HB 127 is scheduled for hearing Wednesday January 25th in the House Judiciary Committee at 2:30pm.

Judges are empowered to imprison those found to owe monies if they fail to answer interrogatories or respond to subpoenas to appear at a deposition.

Demand an End to Debtors Prisons in Maryland here!

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