The Arc Maryland's Weekly Legislative Update

March 26 to April 1, 2023

Stay up to date on legislation through our Bill Tracker! View position statements, access bill text, and check hearing times and dates.
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Action Alert: Contact Senate EEE Leadership Today and Tuesday and Ask them to Shift the Burden of Proof - HB0294

We need your grassroots advocacy once again on HB0294: Due Process Proceedings for Children With Disabilities - Burden of Proof. HB0294 passed unanimously in the House and is now in the Senate Education, Education, and the Environment (EEE) Committee but has not been put on the hearing calendar. Without action, the bill will die!

Please contact leadership of the EEE Committee and Senate tomorrow, March 28th, and ask them to put HB0294 on the hearing calendar this week! We need them to move this bill favorably out of the Committee and onto the floor of the Senate so it can pass this session. Help shift the burden of proof from families to schools!

EEE Leadership Contact Information:

Brian Feldman, Chair, EEE, District 15, Montgomery County


Cheryl Kagan, Vice Chair, EEE, District 17, Montgomery County


Senate President:

Bill Ferguson, District 46, Baltimore City


More information on the bill and its impact, along with contact information for other members of the EEE Committee, is available on our website through the button below!

Click Here for HB0294 Talking Points and Contact Info


HB0200 - Budget Bill (Fiscal Year 2024) and

HB0202 - The Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2023

Link to Bill Texts: HB0200, HB0202

Position: Support

Current Status: HB0200 In Conference Committee; Passed in House (131-5); Passed in Senate with Amendments (47-0).

HB0202 In Conference Committee; Passed in House (111-24); Passed in Senate with Amendments (47-0).

The draft budget is favorable for DDA Community Services with appropriations for emergency services, Transitioning Youth, LISS, a 4% increase mandated by the Minimum Wage Act of 2019, effective July 2023, and an additional increase of 8% funding to cover expedited escalation of minimum wage increases included in proposed legislation (HB0549/SB0555) that would be effective January 2024.

The budget bill now heads to a conference committee, containing three members of the House and three members of the Senate, who will have to work through some differences they had in the version of the bill that passed through their chamber. The main issues to reconcile are around education and transportation funding. The Senate set aside an additional $800 million for the educational Blueprint, and $200 million for transportation, which can be used for matching federal investments. The House, on the other hand, set aside $900 million for the Blueprint and $100 for transportation. See the Senate B&T Reports on HB0200 and HB0202 through the button below.

Senate B&T Report on HB0200 and HB202


SB0555 / HB0549 - Fair Wage Act of 2023

Link to Bill Text: SB0555 / HB0549

Position: Support with Amendment

Current Status: SB0555 In House EMC hearing 3/30 at 1 PM; Passed in Senate.

HB0549 has had no movement since its hearing last month in House EMC.

This legislation would increase the state minimum wage rate in effect for certain periods of time. The version of the bill that passed in the Senate included amendments to push the effective date for the $15 minimum wage to January 1, 2024. A stipulation for future minimum wage increases to be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was also removed. There is funding in the FY2024 budget bill for DDA Community Providers upon the escalation of the state minimum wage.

SB0622 / HB1149 - End the Wait Act

Link to Bill Text: SB0622 / HB1149

Position: Support with Amendment

Current Status: SB0622 in House HGO hearing 3/28 at 1 PM; Passed in Senate.

HB1149 in Senate B&T first reading; Passed in House.

This bill clarifies certain intentions of the 2022 End the Wait legislation. It would alter the uses of certain funding appropriated to the Dedicated Purpose Account in the fiscal year 2023 budget bill.

Amendments were made to clarify how funding in the dedicated purpose fund may be used, with the majority used to move people off waiting lists and into services, and that some funds may be used to ensure provider strength and capacity.

SB0551 / HB0546 - Serving Every Region Through Vocational Exploration Act of 2023

Link to Bill Text: SB0551 / HB0546

Position: Support with Amendment

Current Status: SB0551 In House APP hearing 3/30 at 1 PM; Passed in Senate.

HB0546 on Senate Floor for Second Reading later today! Passed in House.

This bill would establish the Service Year Option Program for students exiting high school. This program was a hallmark of Governor Moore's campaign and would create a first-of-its-kind program for any US state. The "SERVE" Act would allow recent graduates to work for a $15 hourly wage and a $3,000 stipend after completing the service year. Under both versions of the bill, the state would pay the stipend and the host organization would pay the wage. The Governor has said that grants will be available for a time to organizations to cover the cost of the wages employers would pay under this program.

Both chambers took different approaches to amendments, trying to blend the Governor's idea with Maryland Corps, a similar program that was previously established but has been underutilized. Under the Senate-amended version of the Act, there would be a “young adult pathway” and a “Maryland service year pathway,” allowing for both recent graduates and young adults to participate in compensated service experiences. Under the House-amended version of the Act, the law that created the Maryland Corps would be repealed and re-created to expand Maryland Corps to include recent graduates with stipends and wage payments to participants.

In both versions of the bill, the DD Coalition's amendments - to include students exiting High School with Certificates as eligible, and allowances for students to be reasonably accommodated under the work hours requirement - are included!

HB1176 - Public Safety - Voluntary 9-1-1 Registry

Link to Bill Text: HB1176

Position: Support with Amendment

Current Status: In Senate JPR hearing 3/30 at 1 PM; Passed in House.

Sign-up for testimony will be on 3/29 from 8 AM to 3 PM. We need your stories and support to get this through Senate JPR and across the Senate floor before Sine Die!

This legislation would establish a voluntary 9-1-1 registry for Marylanders who need additional assistance in first responder encounters. Amendments were added to the bill to establish data requirements and broaden the bill to include more than people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc Maryland plans to work with our champions in the JPR committee to make a push to pass this bill favorably out of committee but we also need your help! Please look for an action alert on 3/29 for your calls and emails!

SB0828 / HB0988 - Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program - Modifications

Link to Bill Text: SB0828 / HB0988

Position: Support with Amendment

Current Status: SB0828 in House EMC hearing 3/30 at 1 PM; Passed in Senate.

HB0988 has had no movement since its hearing earlier this month in House EMC.

This legislation attempts to clean up some of the outstanding issues with the Family Medical Leave Act legislation that passed last legislative session. Both versions of the bill change the definition of a person's condition which would render them eligible to use leave under the insurance program. Under this change, a person would be eligible for leave with a statement from their doctor that they had "a serious health condition that prevents the person from being able to perform one or more functions of their position."

The Senate version of the bill passed its original chamber with amendments to have a 50/50% employer/employee split with a cap on the employees' contributions. It also requires providers to pay insurance premiums upfront with reimbursement from the DDA on at least a quarterly basis.


Save the Date and Submit Award Nominations: The Arc Maryland Statewide Convention and Awards Banquet - May 23rd

If you know someone working to create a better world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we want to know about it! Submit your nominations for our statewide awards by April 14th.

Submit Awards Nominations

Mark your calendars for May 23rd! Our Convention & Awards Banquet is back once again at Turf Valley Resort in Howard County. This is your opportunity to showcase your business, organization, or product for an anticipated 300 self-advocate, family member, professional, legislative leader, and partner affiliate attendees! Registration will open soon, but in the meantime, check out our presenter, exhibitor, and sponsorship opportunities below.

Check Out Sponsor, Exhibitor & Advertiser Opportunities
Submit A Presentation Proposal

Tuesday, March 28th at 1:00 PM in House E&T

  • SB0535 - Human Relations - Housing Discrimination - Service Dogs and Guide Dogs

Tuesday, March 28th at 1:00 PM in House HGO

  • SB0154 - Public Health – Mental Health Advance Directives – Awareness and Statewide Database
  • SB0255 - Public Health - Home- and Community-Based Services for Children and Youth
  • SB0511 - Health and Human Services Transportation Improvement Act of 2023
  • SB0608 - Human Services - Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council
  • SB0622 - Medicaid Waiver Programs – Waitlist and Registry Reduction (End the Wait Act)
  • SB0732 - Department of Disabilities - Maryland Commission on Disabilities - Membership

Tuesday, March 28th at 1:15 PM in Senate B&T

  • HB0368 - State Personnel – Executive Branch Service Contracts – Policy, Certification, and Notification
  • HB0448 - Nonpublic Education - Special Education Placements - Renaming and Teacher Salaries (Teacher Pay Parity Act)

Wednesday, March 29th at 1:00 PM in House APP

  • SB0551 - Education - Service Year Option Program - Establishment (Serving Every Region Through Vocational Exploration Act of 2023)

Wednesday, March 29th at 1:00 PM in House HGO

  • SB0223 - State Government – State Facilities Changes and Closures – Procedures

Wednesday, March 29th at 1:00 PM in House JUD

  • SB0450 - Real Property - Limitations on Summoning Law Enforcement or Emergency Services - Prohibition

Wednesday, March 29th at 1:00 PM in House W&M

  • SB0280 - Child Care Providers - Registration and Licensing - Exemptions
  • SB0610 - Primary and Secondary Education - Virtual Education
  • SB0735 - Workgroup to Study the Wages of Education Support Professionals
  • SB0913 - Publicly Funded Full-Day Prekindergarten Program - Tier I Child - Alteration of Definition

Wednesday, March 29th at 1:00 PM in Senate FIN

  • HB0489 - Residential Service Agencies - Reimbursement - Personal Assistance Services

Wednesday, March 29th at 1:00 PM in Senate EEE

  • HB0437 - Prince George's County Public Schools - Office of Integrity and Compliance - Establishment PG 501-23
  • HB0982 - State Employees – Programs and Scholarships for Human Services Careers and Probation Agents and State Contributions to Supplemental Retirement Plans

Thursday, March 30th at 1:00 PM in House EMC

  • SB0555 - Fair Wage Act of 2023
  • SB0828 - Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program - Modifications

Thursday, March 30th at 1:00 PM in House HGO

  • SB0805 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program and Health Insurance – Required Coverage for Biomarker Testing

Thursday, March 30th at 1:00 PM in Senate EEE

  • HB1141 - State Information Technology – Social Media Applications – TikTok Prohibition

Thursday, March 30th at 1:00 PM in Senate JPR

  • HB1176 - Voluntary 9-1-1 Registry for Individuals Needing Special Assistance

Tuesday, April 4th at 1:00 PM in Senate EEE

  • HB0222 - Baltimore County and Frederick County - Career Activities in Public High Schools - Sale of Coffee by Students With Individualized Education Programs
  • HB1237 - Special Education - Judicial Actions - Attorney's Fees and Related Costs
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!
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