2022 End-of-Session Report

The 2022 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly ended on Tuesday, April 11th. This End of Session Report summarizes all that we accomplished on your behalf.

The legislature’s primary constitutional duty is to pass a balanced state operating budget, however, it must also reflect our values. The FY23 state operating budget invests $58.5 billion in our families and communities, adding:

  • $7.9 billion for public schools
  • $100 million for child care
  • $350 million in tax relief for seniors and working families
  • An 8% increase for state health care workers
  • $100 million into crime prevention and victim services

I also brought home over $1.8 million dollars for construction projects all over District 46, including:

  • $245,000 for 4MyCity Community Composting – South Baltimore
  • $100,000 for Filbert Street Garden – Curtis Bay
  • $30,000 for Francis Scott Key school playground – Federal Hill
  • $75,000 for Clinton Street Community Center – Highlandtown

I continued my leadership in health care and transportation policy, passing bills to improve bus service, support small businesses, and guarantee access to job training for non-violent offenders and more.

It is an honor to serve as your Delegate. Please reach out if I can be of service.

Sincerely,

Delegate Robbyn Lewis

Download a PDF of this report here

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Pandemic Recovery

Childcare

The pandemic highlighted many gaps in our social safety net. Lack of child care undermines our economy, but worst of all, harms families. This year I helped pass several bills that improve access to childcare, including:

  • Child Care Providers and Employees – Bonuses – HB1100
    • $16 million additional state funds for cash bonuses for childcare providers and employees
  • Alterations to the Child Care Scholarship Program – HB995
    • Scholarships for individuals training to work in the field of child care.
  • Child Care Stabilization Grants – HB89
    • Provides $50 million in grants to child care providers to improve their financial stability.

Small Businesses

  • Small Business and Non Profit Health Insurance Subsidies Program – Workgroup – SB632/HB709
    • I introduced HB709 to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and nonprofits. The senate version of my bill passed, and will develop a plan that can be launched next year. I also helped fence off several million dollars to implement this program in 2023 or 2024 once we pass legislation next year.

Housing Protections for Families & Seniors

I helped pass bills to strengthen tenant protections and prevent eviction for vulnerable Marylanders. including delay of certain eviction proceedings and increased funding for access to counsel in eviction proceedings. Bills included:

  • Stay of Eviction Proceeding for Rental Assistance Determination – SB384
  • Access to Counsel in Evictions Special Fund- SB662
  • Repossession for Failure to Pay Rent – Registration and License Information – HB174
  • Repossession for Failure to Pay Rent – Shielding of Court Records – HB521
  • Actions to Repossess – Judgment for Tenants and Proof of Rental Licensure – SB563
  • Renters’ Property Tax Relief Program – HB449

Public Health & Healthcare

Reproductive & Sexual Health

  • Abortion Care Access Act – HB937
    • This bill expands the provider pool for reproductive health services, including abortion services. Providers will have greater access to clinical training and other support.  The Governor vetoed this bill, but I voted to override his veto. This is now law.
  • Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Doula Program – SB166
    • The bill will make doula reimbursement into a permanent program under Medicaid, providing greater access to doulas for patients who otherwise could not afford this healthcare service.
  • Healthy Babies Equity Act – HB1080
    • This groundbreaking bill expands access to Medicaid public health care insurance to all low-income pregnant women, regardless of their immigration status.

Mental & Behavioral Health

  • Consumer Health Access Program – HB517
    • I introduced this bill to improve access to mental and behavioral health for all Marylanders. The bill did not pass. Instead, I will help lead a work group to develop a stronger measure to introduce in 2023.

Dental Health

  • Dental Coverage for Adults – HB6
    • HB6 requires Maryland Medicaid to provide dental coverage to low income adults.  Maryland was one of only three states without full dental coverage under Medicaid. This bill rectifies this. This bill was passed in the House and Senate.

Health Care Costs

  • Hospitals – Financial Assistance – Medical Bill Reimbursement – HB694
    • Based on my 2021 Medical Debt bill. A recent report found that Maryland hospitals collected around $60 million in 2017 and 2018 from individuals who qualified for free care. This bill creates a process to inform these individuals who may have qualified for free care, and provide them a path for reimbursement. This bill was passed in the House and Senate.
  • Trans Health Equity Act – HB746
    • In Maryland, our Medicaid program categorically denies dozens of gender-affirming services to trans patients. This bill expands Maryland Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care. I was deeply disappointed that we failed to extend health care for Trans Marylanders this session. I am committed to working on this next year because healthcare is a human right.

Transit & Access to Opportunity

  • Baltimore East West Corridor Transit Study – HB632
    • This bill lays the groundwork for a future east west light rail investment in Baltimore City, and will require the Maryland Department of Transportation to prepare plans and funding for the revival and construction of the Red Line transit project.
  • Equity in Transportation – HB141
    • This bill requires equity be considered when State transportation plans, reports, and goals are developed. This bill also requires a transit equity analysis be conducted when there are transportation projects canceled.
  • Funding for Baltimore City Roads – HB1187
    • This bill will fully restore Highway User revenues (HUR) to local governments. Baltimore is the only jurisdiction where the State does not maintain any roads and relies heavily on HUR for  local road repair. In 2007 this funding was drastically cut as a budget balancing measure at the start of the recession. HB1187 rectifies this 14-year funding shortfall.
  • Transit Services for Public School Students and Youth Workers – SB862
    • This bill increases transportation access for young people in Baltimore City by providing transit passes for School and YouthWork programs.
  • Maryland Regional Rail Transformation Act  – HB778
    • This bill lays out plans for upgrading, improving and expanding MARC services to compete with other regional states. This bill will also put us in line for the nearly $100 billion grant projects from the federal government.
  • Dedicated Bus Lane Enforcement  – HB53
    • I introduced this bill to improve the quality bus service in Baltimore. This is essential for 30% of Baltimore households who depend on transit to get to work and school. After four years of hard work, the bill passed!
  • Baltimore City Complete Streets Funding  – HB73
    • I sponsored this bill, which will ensure a reliable funding stream for Pedestrian safety, walkability, and complete streets in Baltimore City. It would require all traffic violation income collected by the city’s automated camera monitoring system be spent on public safety or transportation infrastructure improvement projects.

Zero Waste Highlights

I established the Zero Waste Communities Legislative Task Force in 2019 to build support for health and sustainability. This was the most successful year for the Task Force so far. We passed bills that bring us closer to a sustainable future by strengthening composting and reducing plastic waste:

  • Public Schools Grant Program to Reduce and Compost School Waste  – SB124
  • School Construction – Waste Disposal Design – HB566

Not all of our bills passed this year, we’ll continue to work on zero waste priorities next year.

Climate

  • Climate Solutions Now – SB528
    • This landmark legislation strengthens Maryland’s commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change by setting achievable goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the goal of net-zero statewide emissions by 2045. This bill positions Maryland as a national leader when it comes to addressing climate change.
  • State Retirement and Pension System – Investment Climate Risk – HB740
    • This bill removes dirty fossil fuel investments out of our state pension investments and system.

Human Rights

  • Probation not Deportation – HB559
    • Protecting the most vulnerable is one of my core values. This bill would have protected Marylanders without immigration status from automatic deportations. I voted to pass this bill out of the House. Unfortunately, it did not pass the Senate. I will continue working to protect every person in Maryland from human rights abuses.

Solidarity with Ukraine

We passed a Joint Resolution to declare the State of Maryland stands in solidarity with the government and people of Ukraine. We also passed a bill to divest all Russian holdings from our State Retirement and Pension system.

  • Solidarity With the Government and People of Ukraine – HJ8
  • State Retirement and Pension System – Divestment From Russia – HB1482

Education

  • Blueprint for Maryland’s Future – Implementation Plans and Fund – Alterations – HB1450
    • The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is the monumental education legislation that passed in 2020. The implementation of the bill was delayed by Governor Hogan’s veto of the Blueprint in 2021. In response to this delay, HB1450 provides the Maryland State Department of Education an extra year to approve local school systems’ implementation plans.
  • Education – Public School Construction – Funding and Administration – HB1290
    • This bill will bring tens of millions more dollars of state and local funding annually into Baltimore City for school construction.

Higher Education Support

  • Maryland Student Investment Act – HB 734
    • This bill expands access to higher education by increasing funding to the State’s financial aid programs. It also improves the Guaranteed Access Grant so that grant recipients who become ineligible due to an income change will remain eligible for the full award under certain conditions.

Economy & Workforce

  • Time to Care Act of 2022 – SB275
    • This landmark legislation creates a statewide Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program. This will enable part-time and full-time employees to take 12 weeks of paid leave after childbirth, a serious health issue or to care for a family member with a serious health issue.

Sales Tax Cuts

We passed multiple bills that created sales tax exemption to lower costs  for essential items:

  • Sales Tax Exemption on Diapers – HB 282
  • Sales Tax Exemption on Baby Products – HB 288
  • Sales Tax Exemption on high blood pressure monitoring Medical Devices – HB364
  • Sales Tax Exemption on Oral Hygiene Products – HB 492
  • Sales Tax Exemption on Diabetic Care Products – HB 1151

Cannabis

  • Constitutional Amendment – Cannabis – Adult Use and Possession – HB1
    • This bill will add a referendum on the 2022 ballot to allow voters to decide on state-wide of cannabis legalization.
  • Cannabis Reform – HB837
    • This bill builds the necessary foundation to create social equity in the recreational cannabis industry. It allows Marylanders to possess up to 1.5 ounces of recreational cannabis and automatically expunges the conviction of anyone previously found guilty of possession of marijuana.

Public Safety & Criminal Justice

Juvenile Justice

  • Juvenile Justice Reform – HB459
    • This omnibus bill makes several reforms to Maryland’s juvenile justice system, including:
      • Establishing 10-years as the minimum age that a child can be charged with a crime
      • Establishing rules for when a child can be held in a detention facility
      • Limiting the amount of time a child can serve probation
  • Child Interrogation Protection Act – SB53
    • This bill requires police officers to contact a child’s legal guardian and allow them to consult with an attorney prior to being interrogated.

Public Safety

  • Ghost Gun – HB425
    • This landmark bill is the first in the United States to ban unregistered, untraceable ‘ghost guns’ and creates a plan for a system to register guns that can be sold in kits of loose parts and do not have a serial number.
  • Criminal Procedure and Public Safety – Courts and Criminal Justice in Baltimore City – HB441
    • This bill requires the Baltimore Police Department to receive notice when a defendant is released before trial within 24 hours, as well as establishes a Jobs Court Pilot Program in the District Court in Baltimore City with the goal of reducing recidivism.
  • Prevent Workplace Violence in Health Care Settings – HB1389
    • This bill will help protect health care workers from violence in the workplace.
  • Small Claims – Prohibition on Arrest or Incarceration for Failure to Appear – HB349
    • This bill bans the practice of arresting people over small claims debts under $5000.

Democracy & Elections

Elections

  • Voting Systems Costs and Polling Places – Requirements – SB 158
    • This bill requires the State and Local Boards of Elections to provide at least the same number of in-person precinct polling locations as the 2018 election. This bill protects against voter suppression attempts and is a direct response to many local boards intent to conduct a mass consolidation of election day polling places.

Local and State Cybersecurity

We passed bills to prepare for and handle future cybersecurity threats and require newly formed departments to report all cybersecurity incidents

  • Local Government Cybersecurity – HB1202
  • State Government Cybersecurity – HB1346

Capital Funding for District 46

  • C.A.R.E Community Association Resource Center – $50,000
  • Chesapeake Shakespeare Company – Touring Company – $200,000
  • The Clinton Street Community Center – $75,000
  • Conkling Street Garden – $300,000
  • The Digital Bay Center – $350,000
  • Filbert Street Garden – $100,000
  • Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School Playground – $30,000
  • Reveille Grounds at Lucky’s Warehouse – $75,000
  • SB 7 Coalition Headquarters – $100,000
  • The Ship Caulkers’ Houses – $200,000
  • 3rd Street Crosswalk and Garrett Park Entrance – $75,000
  • MyCiTy Community Onsite Composting – $245,000

TOTAL for District 46 – $1,800,000

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