Take 5 With Delegate Robbyn Lewis: Session Update 2

  1. Last Week in Annapolis

My first bill hearings went well! The bus lane bill, HB130, was heard in the Environment & Transportation Committee with supportive testimony. Special thanks to car-free constituents Danielle Sweeney and Brian Seel, as well as Central Maryland Transportation Alliance President & CEO Brian O’Malley, for traveling all the way to Annapolis to testify on HB130 in person!


My food donation bill, HB 257,was heard in the Judiciary Committee. I’d never been before this committee, and the questions were challenging. I thought the bill was straightforward, but my colleagues’ questions revealed that I’ll have to do more research to make the bill operate as intended. More questions, more work, better outcomes. Many thanks to the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative and the Salvation Army for their support during the hearing!

The Fight For $15 (HB166) and the “Styrofoam Ban” (HB109) were heard last week. Both were introduced by strong women! Delegate Diana Fennell of Prince George’s county introduced the FF$15, which will increase Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 by 2023. My district-mate Delegate Brooke Lierman, who introduced HB109, has fought for years to get styrofoam out of our environment. Of course I co-sponsored both bills 😊.

After the committee hearing, bills are sent down to subcommittee for further deliberation, analysis and possible revisions. If the subcommittees ultimately vote “yes” then the bills will move to the next step: a full committee vote. A lot of bills die in subcommittee, so I’ll keep you posted if these bills move.

  1. Upcoming Hearings

On Valentine’s Day, I’ll go before the Economic Matters Committee to argue that human health should be considered when planning energy projects. Sounds sensible, right? Unfortunately, energy companies in Maryland are currently not required to consider the potential public health impacts of their power lines or generating stations. My bill HB308 says they have to.

If successful, this bill will be the first time that Health Impact Assessments (HIA) will be used to set policy in our energy economy. Public health folks, send me some ❤️❤️❤️ and let me know what you think of this bill!

Hearing Date: Thursday, February 14th – 1:00 pm – Economic Matters Committee

  1. Bills to Watch

Nearly 2000 bills were introduced this session – way too many to track! Each week, I’ll highlight a few that might interest you:

  • HB606 – Juvenile Justice Reform Council: It’s past time for us to reform our juvenile justice system. This bill will require the development of strategies that equitably, humanely and effectively help at-risk youth and improve safety for all.
  • HB771 – Regional Transportation Authority Study: Explore options to create more effective planning and oversight of our transit system.
  • HB1117 –  Extension of MARC Service: Require the Maryland Transit Administration to plan expanded and more frequent commuter rail service.
  1. Johns Hopkins University Police Survey

We received a whopping 655 responses so far from last week’s John’s Hopkins University Private Police Force survey – and the results are in.

We did the math: among the 252 District 46 respondents, 43% support, 52% do not support, and 5% are undecided.

Since we posted that survey, the Johns Hopkins bill was formally introduced entitled the “Community Safety & Strengthening Act” (HB1094). Folks, you sent me here to represent your will; please let me know what you think about this important issue: Click Here to Participate in the Survey.

  1. Legislative Black Caucus Youth Day 2019

Upcoming Events

Baltimore Police Commissioner Delegate, Michael S. Harrison – Community Meet & Greet
February 11 – February 22

Team 46 Town Hall
Saturday, February 23, 2019
10:00 AM -12:00 PM
National Federation for the Blind
200 E Wells St., Baltimore, MD 21230
Senator Bill Ferguson, and Delegates Luke Clippinger, Brooke Lierman and Robbyn Lewis will hold their annual legislative briefing. Free and open to the public.
Click here for more information

YouthWorks Registration
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Patterson Park House, 200 S Linwood Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224 (located next to the ice rink and the Utz turf field)
Click here to register for YouthWorks – Registration Deadline is March 1st!

Baltimore Energy Equity Forum
Hosted by: Energy Efficient Maryland
Saturday, March 2, 2019
10:00 AM – 1:30 PM EST
Orleans Branch Library, 1303 Orleans St., Baltimore, MD 21231
Are you paying too much for heating and cooling your home? Want to lower your gas and electric bill? Come to this workshop to learn how to save money and keep our air and water clean at the same time. Lunch is provided. Free and open to all! Click here to register.