The Arc Maryland's Weekly Legislative Update
Week of Session: January 22 to 28, 2023
Stay up to date on legislation through our Bill Tracker! View position statements, access bill text, and check hearing times and dates.
Maryland Governor Wes Moore took the oath of office to become our 63rd governor, and Maryland's first black Governor, on January 18, 2023. He was accompanied by his wife (and our new First Lady), Dawn, and their children, Mia and James.
HB0200/SB0181 - Budget Bill (Fiscal Year 2024)
Link to Bill Text: HB0200 SB0181

Position: Evaluating

Current Status:
HB0200 In House APP Health and Social Services Subcommittee Hearing 2/22
SB0181 In Senate B&T Health and Human Services Subcommittee Hearing 2/23

On Friday, Governor Moore released his Budget plan for Fiscal Year 2024. The plan highlights included a $63.1 billion operating budget for FY24 (starting July 1, 2023). According to the Governor, his plan includes funding to accelerate Maryland's minimum wage to $15 per hour and providing $218 million for adjustments to State service providers (We are unsure if this is intended to encapsulate Medicaid providers of disability services who are contractors of the state). He stated that there is also 1M budgeted to establish the Career Pathways for Healthcare Workers Program, and 8.8B budgeted for Maryland public schools for implementation of the "Blueprint for Maryland's Future." There is 15M budgeted for a new teacher recruitment incentive program through the Maryland Educator Shortage Act.

Under the Department of Health, the Governor reported that he has included "more than $616M to fund provider rate increases in the fields of behavioral health, developmental disabilities, Medicaid, and other services, including $413M to implement legislation that will advance the next two years of increases to providers to accelerate the glidepath to $15 minimum wage." He also reported budgeting for more than $154M to expand adult dental coverage to Medicaid clients.

A review of the budget bills showed the following proposed appropriation for DDA Community Services in FY24:

M00M01.02 Community Services
General Fund Appropriation ........................... 938,281,881
Special Fund Appropriation ............................. 6,450,203
Federal Fund Appropriation ............................ 898,578,505
Total: 1,843,310,589

For comparison, the FY23 budget (current fiscal year we are in) passed by the Maryland General Assembly in April 2022 for DDA Community Services was as follows:
General Fund Appropriation ........................... 839,297,324
Special Fund Appropriation ............................. 6,450,203
Federal Fund Appropriation ............................ 691,781,570
Total: 1,537,529,097

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Coalition will be reviewing the budget with DDA Leadership on January 23 to determine how close this proposed increase in funding gets the DD Community toward full funding of the Rate Study rates, and whether or not it is sufficiently adjusted for a possible acceleration in the Minimum Wage in Maryland.
HB0005 - Education – Playground Accessibility – Communication Boards
Link to Bill Text: HB0005

Position: Support with Amendment

Current Status: In House W&M 1/24 at 1 PM

Requiring county boards of education to construct communication boards in each public school playground on or before October 1, 2028; and defining "communication board" as a device that displays photos, symbols, or illustrations to enable individuals with limited language skills to express themselves and communicate.

The Arc Maryland co-signed testimony with the Maryland DD Council. We plan to testify favorably with amendment on Tuesday.
SB0003 - 9-8-8 Trust Fund- Funding
Link to Bill Text: SB0003

Position: Support

Current Status: In Senate B&T Hearing 1/19 at 1 PM

This bill would require the Governor to include in the annual budget bill for fiscal year 2025 an appropriation of $12,000,000 to the 9-8-8 Trust Fund. We have been working with other advocates over the summer on a strategy to get the 9-8-8 program funded. Without necessary funding, this important system will not have the capacity to support people with mental health needs in the way in which it was intended.

The Arc Maryland provided written testimony in support of this legislation.
HB0095 - Election Judges- Training and Signs- Accommodations for Voters in Need of Assistance
Link to Bill Text: HB0095

Position: Support

Current Status: In House W&M Hearing 1/24 at 1 PM

This bill would require that training materials used by the program of instruction for election judges include oral and written instruction in the various methods an election judge may use to assist or accommodate elderly and disabled voters in voting, and establishing requirements for the development and placement of signage that states the specific methods election judges may use to assist or accommodate elderly and disabled voters in voting at a specific polling place.

We appreciate the intention of this bill. We will be talking to the Delegate's staff to understand how they believe these changes would address issues people faced at the polls during the last election, and why they believe this is the best solution to address barriers to voting access.

The Arc Maryland provided written testimony in support of this legislation.
Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature
February 22nd, 8 AM to 11 AM
Are you ready for the largest gathering of disability rights advocates in Maryland? Save the date for Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature! This year, we will gather on February 22 at The Graduate Hotel in Annapolis!

We are holding DD Day in person this year, with streaming online for those who wish to attend virtually. Capacity for in-person attendance is limited. Please register now if you would like to attend.
Wednesday, January 24th at 1:00 PM in House W&M
  • HB0005 - Education – Playground Accessibility – Communication Boards
  • HB0095 - Election Judges - Training and Signs - Accommodations for Voters in Need of Assistance
  • HB0120 - Harford County - Due Process Proceedings for Children With Disabilities - Burden of Proof
Wednesday, January 24th at 2:00 PM in Senate EEE
  • SB0121 - More Opportunities for Career–Focused Students Act of 2023
Thursday, January 25th at 1:00 PM in Senate JPR
  • SB0011 - Motor Vehicles – Speed Limits – School Zones
Thursday, January 25th at 2:30 PM in House JUD
  • HB0137 - Civil Actions - Civil Immunity - Educator Intervention
Friday, January 26th at 1:00 PM in House JUD
  • HB0076 - Custodial Interrogation of Minors - Admissibility of Statements
Wednesday, February 1st at 1:00 PM in House W&M
  • HB0069 - Education - Student Behavior - Parent and Guardian Notice and Required Counseling (Parent and Guardian Accountability Act)
  • HB0085 - Education - Collective Bargaining - Certificated Employees - Class Size
  • HB0185 - Nonpublic Schools and Child Care Providers - Corporal Punishment - Prohibition
Wednesday, February 1st at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN
  • SB0108 - Health Insurance – Annual Behavioral Health Wellness Visits – Coverage and Reimbursement
Thursday, February 2nd at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN
  • SB0026 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program, Maryland Children's Health Program, and Social Services Programs - Eligibility and Enrollment
Please Note: the following abbreviations identify the Legislative Committees in the Assembly:
House of Delegates:
APP - Appropriations
EMC - Economic Matters
E&T - Environment and Transportation
HGO - Health and Government Operations
HRU - Rules and Executive Nominations
JUD - Judiciary
W&M - Ways and Means
B&T - Budget and Taxation
EEE - Education,Energy, and the Environment
EXN - Executive Nominations
FIN - Finance
JPR - Judicial Proceedings
SRU - Rules
Interested in joining one of the most dynamic and effective grassroots networks in Maryland? Contact your local chapter of The Arc and ask about joining their Governmental Affairs/Public Policy Committee. Visit our website here to locate your nearest chapter and learn more. Achieve with us!