Nonprofit Advocacy Results Wrap-Up
The 2015 Legislative Session is over, and nonprofits have accomplished quite a lot advocating for the passing of bills that will seek to improve our quality of life. Below is a brief wrap-up of the accomplishments from this session…
For a review of Maryland Nonprofits’ advocacy priorities and results from the 2015 Legislative Session click here. Learn more about our Policy and Advocacy.
Marylanders for Open Government (MDOG), a group made up of diverse nonprofits, successfully revamped the Public Information Act (SB695, Raskin/HB755, Cullison) to ensure that fees and exemptions are not used to deny public access to data, and create an oversight body with authority to mediate disputes around agency or local MPIA decisions.
Learn more about the changes to the Public Information Act.
In celebration of Earth Day…
A 2.5-year Fracking moratorium (SB409/HB449) passed both chambers of the house that will require regulations to be promulgated by October 2016 and prohibit issuance of permits until October 2017. The bill is currently waiting to be signed by Governor Hogan.
Learn more about fracking and access resources on Maryland Environmental Health Network’s website.
Restored Funding and Voting Rights
In addition to supporting changes to the Public Information Act, Common Cause Maryland restored funding to the Fair Campaign Finance Fund (HB485, Gov. Hogan), the small-donor matching program for gubernatorial candidates. The legislature strengthened the program by expanding the possible voluntary funding sources and adding strengthening language to keep the program clean. Common Cause also successfully advocated for voting rights to be restored to roughly 40,000 Marylanders by clarifying the laws that permit formerly incarcerated persons to vote (SB340, Conway/HB980, McCray).
Equality Maryland worked to support equal insurance coverage for same-sex married couples (SB416, Kagan/HB838, Hill) in the areas of in-vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, and to ensure transgender Marylanders can request a new birth certificate with an updated gender marker when their health care practitioner attests the appropriate treatment has occurred (HB862, Moon/SB743, Lee). Both bills are waiting to be signed by Governor Hogan.
Learn more about Equality Maryland’s legislative priorities.
Just Kids Maryland supported a bill to keep youth out of adult jails and held safely and securely in juvenile facilities pretrial (SB172, Gladden/ HB618, Carter). The bill passed both houses with amendments.
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