March 30, 2022
On Monday, Speaker Jones, Governor Hogan, and I announced that we reached a historic bipartisan agreement to provide $1.86 billion in tax relief over five years for Maryland retirees, small businesses, and low-income families. Combined with the recently-enacted gas tax suspension, the 2022 Legislative Session will deliver nearly $2 billion in tax relief.

The last two years of the pandemic have shown the cracks in our State’s civic infrastructure. As I’ve said since the beginning of the 2022 Legislative Session, everything we do must prioritize our State’s economy and the health of our residents. This historic agreement demonstrates that regardless of political party, leaders come together to deliver vital services and economic relief for families, seniors, and small businesses.

This bipartisan tax relief agreement includes the following provisions for FY23-FY27:

  • Tax Relief For Retirees 65 and older making up to $100,000 in retirement income, and married couples making up to $150,000 in retirement income. As a result, 80% of Maryland’s retirees will receive substantial relief or pay no state income taxes at all. ($1.55 billion)
  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit to incentivize employers and businesses to hire and retain workers from underserved communities that have faced significant barriers to employment. ($195 million)
  • Family Budget Boosters: sales tax exemptions for child care products such as diapers, car seats, and baby bottles, and critical health products such as dental hygiene products, diabetic care products, and medical devices. ($115.6 million)

The bipartisan agreement also makes a one-time record $800 million investment in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future while maintaining a record level in the Rainy Day Fund. Further, this agreement uses the surplus to make strategic and historic investments that:

  • Support public safety and victims of crime;
  • Ensure Maryland’s world-class health system by supporting hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities;
  • Expand Medicaid dental coverage for adults, in-home medical care, and autism services;
  • Help families by expanding access to child care, providing bonuses for public school staff, and increasing student aid at higher education institutions;
  • Spur local economies and job opportunities through capital funds for school construction, affordable rental housing, state facility maintenance, and local transportation infrastructure; and
  • Protect against the growing threat of cyber attacks.
Maryland's FY23 Capital Budget
Two weeks ago, the Senate of Maryland passed Senate Bill 290, the Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2023, that responsibly invests State funds in our shared values. Once again, the Maryland Senate came together last week in a bipartisan fashion to unanimously pass the Capital Budget (Senate Bill 291). 

The Capital Budget is an investment not only in our State’s physical infrastructure and structures, but it creates job opportunities for Marylanders and spurs our local economies. Senate Bill 291 includes $879 million dollars that will fund critical projects, like:

  • A comprehensive cancer center that will serve Calvert, St. Mary's, Charles and Prince George's County;
  • Another Kennedy Krieger branch in Southern Maryland to serve children with disabilities or neurodiverse abilities;
  • Greater resources for fire departments in Western Maryland;
  • The expansion of local parks in Baltimore and Silver Spring;
  • Ongoing renovations to Penn Station and further partnerships in West Baltimore;
  • Investments in anchor institutions like the Great Blacks in Wax Museum and Maryland Science Center;
  • Transit infrastructure to connect Howard and Montgomery County; and
  • Community centers throughout the State.
Congressional Redistricting Updates
Speaker Jones and I were disappointed by last Friday's decision striking down the Congressional map passed in the Maryland General Assembly’s (MGA) December Special Session. We firmly believe the decision is not representative of the historic and long-standing legal requirements and precedent which the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission took seriously when drawing Maryland’s new congressional map.
When the MGA approved our new congressional map in early December, we believed then, as we do now, that the new districts upheld the letter of the law by enacting fair boundaries that reflect demographic shifts and keep as many Marylanders as possible in their current district in a Congressional map that was approved by more than 64% of the voters.
We respect the diligence put into the trial judge’s determination and spent the weekend reviewing the court’s order that establishes brand new legal standards for the drawing of the Maryland Congressional map as a new map was developed.
A new congressional map was drawn in response to last Friday’s ruling for submission to the court ahead of today's deadline. That was presented to both chambers yesterday morning and has already passed the Senate, though enactment is contingent on further judicial action. We worked expeditiously to ensure that the redistricting process was not further delayed and that the map presented reflects the new requirements as set forth by Judge Battaglia. 
Access to Reproductive Healthcare
We are fortunate to live in Maryland, where the legal right to reproductive healthcare has been codified in law since 1992. As SCOTUS threatens Roe and states across the country move to restrict a woman’s right to make her own choices, the MGA is moving the Abortion Care Access Act forward.

Although the right to legal abortion care is fortunately not in jeopardy here, access has declined as providers have decreased statewide from 52 to 44 in the last several years. That is the fundamental challenge we must address, and will do so before the 2022 Legislative Session adjourns. 

The Abortion Care Access Act (Senate Bill 890) that passed the Senate on Monday night modernizes our approach to reproductive healthcare by:

  • Increasing training to qualified providers;
  • Ensuring equity through Medicaid coverage; and
  • Expanding qualified providers who can serve patients.
Early Presentment
This will be a particularly hectic week as the Senate and House of Delegates work in partnership to pass key priorities ahead of Friday’s presentment deadline. Because this is the final year of Governor Hogan’s term, we cannot take up veto overrides at the beginning of the 2023 Legislative Session, so are intensely focused on getting some of the most vital bills to the Governor’s desk by the end of the week.

Some of those initiatives include:

  • The Climate Solutions Act of 2022;
  • Paid medical and family leave;
  • Efforts to address the proliferation of ghost guns in our communities;
  • Investments in public transit throughout the Greater Baltimore and Washington regions;
  • A package of housing and eviction protection bills, including access to counsel funding;
  • Legislation to strengthen collective bargaining and prevailing wage requirements across the State; and
  • Increases to financial aid for individuals attending Maryland’s higher education institutions.
More News
This week is the last week of Women’s History Month. I want to emphasize my appreciation for all women after March. Each day, women make historic accomplishments and continue to shape our future. I want to recognize the women of the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates as they serve on behalf of our constituents.

The United States lost a prodigal statesperson last week with the death of Secretary Madeleine Albright. She was an admirable woman of our time, serving as the first female Secretary of State for the United States and a US Diplomat who navigated the post-Cold War era. We owe Secretary Albright a great debt for her life of public service.

On April 3, I encourage everyone to visit The Replica Gaslight, for Out of the Ashes: The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 city tour. The tour covers the history of resilience in Baltimore after the fire destroyed 1500 buildings. For more information please visit their website.
If there is anything we can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact my office via email,, or by phone, 410-841-3600.