JOTF: Job Opportunities Task Force
Support Second Chances & Weekly Policy Alert
JOTF Weekly Public Policy Update / March 4, 2014
Support the Maryland Second Chance Act of 2014!
 
This Tuesday the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will consider the Maryland Second Chance Act of 2014.

This important legislation would permit the shielding of certain nonviolent misdemeanor convictions from the public. For many Marylanders this means their criminal record would no longer stand in the way of getting a job. 

Please take a minute to contact your lawmakers and share your support for SB 1056/ HB 1166. Phone calls are best, but please feel free to send an email using templates for the Senate Judicial Proceedings and House Judiciary Committees.

For questions or to get involved, contact Caryn York at 443-986-7632

JOTF LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

PRIORITY SUMMARY STATUS HOW TO HELP

Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act

SB 753
HB 968

 

Everyone gets sick and everyone deserves time to recover without risking their economic stability, yet 41 percent of American workers are unable to earn paid sick days.  In Maryland, more than 700,000 of our neighbors are forced to make impossible choices: Go to work sick, send an ill child to school or daycare, or stay home and sacrifice much-needed income or, worse, risk job loss.  

Working Matters, a coalition of which JOTF is a founding member, will support legislation to guarantee employees the chance to earn a limited number of annual paid sick and safe days from their employer. 

SB 753 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 20 in Senate Finance. Now awaiting committee vote. 

HB 968 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 in House Economic Matters. Now awaiting committee vote.

Fact Sheet & FAQ 

Working Matters Members

 

More than 100 organizations have already joined the Working Matters coalition.

Become an official supporter now.


Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act in the media:

The Daily Record

WBAL TV

Maryland Reporter

Capital News Service



 

Maryland Second Chance Act of 2014

SB 1056
HB 1166

 

Jobs are the key to our economic recovery, and the ability to secure a job is crucial to the successful reentry of those returning to society from prison. Research shows that recidivism risks are highest in the first 3-5 years following incarceration.

Given that recidivism declines steadily over time, the proposed legislation would make certain nonviolent misdemeanor convictions eligible for shielding after a waiting period. Law enforcement will continue to have access to the shielded records.

SB 1056 will be heard at 1 p.m. on March 4 in Senate Judicial Porceedings.

HB 1166 will be heard at 1 p.m. on March 11 in House Judiciary.

Fact Sheet

Do you know someone whose criminal record prevents them from securing employment? If so, please contact Caryn York at 410-692-9424. 


WYPR

Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014

SB 331
HB 295
Maryland's current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, or roughly $15,000 annually for a full-time worker. 

The proposed legislation would increase Maryland's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in three steps by 2016, and adjust it annually to rise with the cost of living there after.

The proposal would also increase the minimum wage for tipped workers.
  
SB 331 was heard at Noon on Feb. 17 in Senate Finance. Now awaiting committee vote.

HB 295 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 11 in House Economic Matters. Now awaiting committee vote

10 Reasons for $10.10

Bill Summary  
Contact Melissa Broome for additional information.
 

 

Task Force to Study Methods to Reduce the Rate of Uninsured Drivers

SB 153
HB 130
Mobility is a vital factor for working families, yet the insurance industry practice of "territorial rating" - setting premiums based on the statistical likelihood of accidents and claims by residents of a give area - means that urban drivers pay considerably more for car insurance than other Maryland residents.

The proposed legislation would establish a task force to study and make recommendations regarding the reduction of the number of insured drivers in Maryland. It would also require the study of methods to reduce the cost of insurance, including lowering the required amount of coverage for low-income individuals and pay-as-you-drive insurance plans.
SB 153 was passed by the full Senate with a 41-0 vote. Now awaiting a hearing in the House Economic Matters Committee.

HB 130 was passed by the full House with a 129 - 3 vote. Now awaiting a hearing in Senate Finance
Contact Caryn York for additional information.  

 
Maryland Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program and Trust

SB  921
HB 1251
Nearly half of all working Americans do not have access to a retirement savings plan at work, and more than half of the bottom 50 percent of wage earners have no retirement savings at all.

The proposed legislation seeks to enable low- and middle-income workers to save for their retirement in a low-cost safe investment vehicle.

The proposal would create a publicly administered retirement savings program for private-sector Maryland workers whose employers don't offer a retirement plan.
SB 921 was heard at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 20 in Senate Budget and Taxation. Now awaiting committee vote.

HB 1251 will be heard at 1 p.m. on March 4 in House Economic Matters.

 
Contact Melissa Broome for additional information.
 


JOTF WATCH LIST
 

 

BILL SUMMARY SPONSOR STATUS
Bills featured in the watch list are tracked by our policy experts, but their appearance here does not necessarily indicate JOTF support.

Task Force to Study the Establishment of Specialized & Accelerated Educational Programs for Adult Learners 

SB 355 

This legislation would create a task force to study whether Maryland is in need of a specialized adult education program. 
 

Senator Bill Ferguson 

 

SB 355 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs. Now awaiting committee vote.  
 

Earned Income Credit - Refundable Amount

SB 727
HB 198

The proposed legislation would expand the Maryland earned income credit from 25 to 30 percent of the federal EIC over five years.       
 

Senator Richard Madaleno 

Delegate Keiffer Mitchell

SB 727 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 26 in Senate Budget and Taxation. Now awaiting committee vote.

HB 198 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 4 in House Ways and Means. Now awaiting committee vote.

Community Colleges - Tuition Reduction for Unemployed Individuals

HB 484

The proposed legislation would allow community colleges to establish reduced tuition plans for students receiving unemployment benefits. 

Delegate David Rudolph

HB 484 was withdrawn by the sponsor. 

Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness

SB 795 

HB 813

This legislation would establish a committee to analyze homelessness and ensure that public resources, programs and policies effectively address homelessness in Maryland. 

The group would make appropriate recommendations based on an examination of housing, income, health care, education and government supports.  

Senator Richard Madaleno

Delegate Mary Washington




 

SB 795 will be heard at 1 p.m. on March 13 in Senate Finance. 

The hearing for HB 813 in House Health and Government Operations has been canceled. 




 

Interagency Council on Homelessness

SB 796
HB 1036

The proposed legislation would repeal the Governor's Advisory Board on Homelessness and establish an Interagency Council on Homelessness. 

The council would recommend changes to alleviate or prevent homelessness.

Senator Richard Madaleno

Delegate Mary Washington




 

SB 796 will be heard at 1 p.m. on March 13 in Senate Finance.

HB 1036 will be heard at 1 p.m. on March 4 in House Appropriations. 

 

Parental Leave - Birth or Adoption of a Child

SB 737
HB 1026

The proposed legislation seeks to enable certain employees to take up to six weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child.

Senator Catherine Pugh

Delegate Ariana Kelly


 

SB 737 will be heard at 1 p.m. on March 6 in Senate Finance.

HB 1026 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 28 in House Economic Matters. Now awaiting committee vote. 

Studies for Pay it Forward Pilot Program and Tuition Freeze

SB 626

HB 853

This legislation would require the University System of Maryland to study a "Pay it Forward" tuition pilot program as well as whether public universities and colleges could successfully implement tuition freeze programs.

Senator Richard Madaleno

Delegate Samuel Rosenberg

 

SB 626 will be heard at 2:30 p.m. on March 5 in Senate Budget and Taxation. 

HB 853 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 25 in House Appropriations. Now awaiting committee vote.

Teach it Forward Act of 2014 

SB 801

 

The legislation would require the Maryland Higher Education Commission to develop a pilot program that would allow students to enroll in public universities and colleges without paying tuition.

The legislation specifies that students in the pilot program would enter a binding contract to make payments for up to 20 years after graduation.

Senator Victor Ramirez

 

SB 801 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 26 in Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs. Now awaiting committee vote.

Task Force to Reduce Incarceration in Maryland

SB 722
HB 1330

This legislation would create a task force to study and make recommendations on the criminalization of nonviolent offenses and the incarceration of nonviolent offenders.

The group would specifically examine the potential decriminalization of drug possession, substance abuse control strategies and how certain statewide programs could reduce crime, incarceration and taxpayer costs.

Senator Joanne Benson

Delegate Darren Swain

 

SB 722 was heard heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Senate Judicial Proceedings. Now awaiting committee vote. 

HB 1330 will be heard at 1 p.m. on March 11 in House Judiciary.

Developmental Education Courses - Student Credit Hours  

SB 463

The proposed legislation would alter the way community colleges receive state aid for developmental educational courses.

Senator Bill Ferguson 

 

SB 463 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Senate Budget and Taxation. Now awaiting committee vote.

Housing Discrimination - Source of Income

HB 1098

 

The legislation would prohibit the verification of a potential buyer or renter's source of income by performing credit, criminal and other reference checks.

Delegate Doyle Niemann




 

HB 1098 has been withdrawn. 
 

HOME Act of 2014

HB 366

 

The Maryland HOME Act of 2014 would prohibit landlords from discriminating against people who seek rental assistance based on their source of income.       

Delegate Stephen Lafferty.


 

HB 366 has been withdrawn.

Maryland Wage and Hour Law

HB 187


 

Maryland's current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, or roughly $15,000 annually for a full-time worker. 

The proposed legislation would increase Maryland's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in three steps by 2016 and adjust it annually to rise with the cost of living thereafter.

The proposal would also increase the minimum wage for tipped workers.

Delegate Aisha Braveboy



 

HB 187 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 11 in House Economic Matters. Now awaiting committee vote.

Minimum Wage Rate - Increase

HB 72

The proposed legislation would increase the state minimum wage to $12.50 an hour.     

Delegate Keith Haynes
 

HB 72 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 11 in House Economic Matters. Now awaiting committee vote.

Minimum Wage Rate - Establishment by Counties

SB 166 

 

The proposed legislation would allow counties to establish their own minimum wage rates and allow businesses in counties for which a minimum wage is not established to pay employees at the federal minimum wage rate.   

Senator Richard Colburn 

 

SB 166 was heard at Noon on Feb. 17 in Senate Finance. Now awaiting committee vote.

Minimum Wage - Establishment by Counties

SB 273
HB 293

 

The proposed legislation would allow counties to establish their own minimum wage rates and allow businesses in counties for which a minimum wage is not established to pay employees at the federal minimum wage rate.         

Senator Barry Glassman

Delegate Neil Parrott 


 

SB 273 was heard at Noon on Feb. 17 in Senate Finance. Now awaiting committee vote.

HB 293 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 11 in House Economic Matters. Now awaiting committee vote.

Maryland Wage and Hour Law - Payment of Wages

SB 371

The proposed legislation would increase the state's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016 and specifies that full-time students who work fewer than 20 hours per week must be paid at least 85 percent of that wage.   

Senator Ulysses Currie 

 

SB 371 was heard at noon on Feb. 17 in Senate Finance. Now awaiting committee vote.

Shielding - Nonviolent Misdemeanor Convictions

SB 375
 

The bill would allow people to shield certain nonviolent misdemeanor crimes that were committed before they were 26-years-old.

The shielded crimes would be hidden from public access, but still available to law enforcement agencies.         

Senator Ulysses Currie 

 

SB 375 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Senate Judicial Proceedings. Now awaiting committee vote.

Expungement - Misdemeanor Convictions

SB 376
HB 410

 

The proposed bill would add a condition to the state's expungement policy that would allow a person to expunge a nonviolent misdemeanor conviction given they have no previous convictions other than non-incarcerable traffic violations.        

Senator Ulysses Currie

Delegate Curt Anderson 


 

SB 376 was heard on Feb. 12 in Senate Judicial Proceedings. Now awaiting committee vote.

HB 410 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 11 in House Judiciary. Now awaiting committee vote.

Expungement - Misdemeanor and Felony Convictions

SB 139

 

The proposed legislation would expand the crimes eligible for expungement to include certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Applicable crimes could be expunged after seven and 12 years, respectively.         

Senator Joan Carter Conway 

 

SB 139 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Senate Judicial Proceedings.Now awaiting committee vote.

Expungement - Misdemeanor Convictions

SB 211
HB 195

The proposed legislation would allow the expungement of certain misdemeanor crimes if a person was younger than 35 at the time of the conviction.         
 

Senator Lisa Gladden

Delegate Samuel Rosenberg 


 

SB 211 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Senate Judicial Proceedings. Now awaiting committee vote. 

HB 195 was heard at 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 in House Judiciary. Now awaiting committee vote.

 
 
       
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