Policy Testimony

A key role for Family League as the Local Management Board (LMB) for Baltimore City is influencing systems by advocating for sound public policy as a foundation for lasting change for children, families, and communities. We do this, in part, by providing perspective on pressing issues through research-based written testimony.  

Testimony in Support of House Bill 82/Senate Bill 116 Transportation – Complete Streets – Access to Health Food

HB 82 – Passed. Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 572

Family League supported House Bill 82 and Senate Bill 116 which would provide significant supports for access to healthy food for Marylanders living in areas identified as “food deserts.” These bills would also encourage jurisdictions to develop ranking systems for projects that prioritize designs that create access to healthy options in food deserts and define “food desert” within the Complete Streets Program.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 130 Maryland Transit Administration – Workgroup to Study Dedicated Bus Lanes in Baltimore City

Approved by the Governor – Chapter 340

Family League was in favor of House Bill 130 as a means to support our students who use MTA as a primary means of transportation to and from school. This bill was meant to establish a workgroup to study dedicated bus lanes in parts of Baltimore where all Middle and High School students who live more than 1.5 miles from their school receive a OneCard for use on the MTA.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 166 Labor and Employment – Payment of Wages – Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for Fifteen)

Gubernatorial Veto Override – Chapter 10

Family Leage supported HB 166 which would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour and tied future increase to growth rates in the Consumber Price Index. Doing so would have raised the prospects of low-wage earners; particularly workers of color.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 218 Human Services – Food Supplements (Summer SNAP for Children Act)

Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 635

Family League supported Senate Bill 218, the “Summer SNAP for Children Act,” as a significant measure aimed at reducing food insecurity for children and families during the summer months. SB 218 supports families of school-aged children by an additional $30 per month, per child, in direction financial food assistance via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
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Testimony in Support of Senate Bill 280 Labor and Employment – Payment of Wages – Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for Fifteen)

Family League supported Senate Bill 280 which would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour and tied future increases to growth rates in the Consumer Price Index. This would have been a step the direction toward economic equity by raising the prospects of low-wage earners; particularly workers of color.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 339/Senate Bill 456 Family Investment Program – Temporary Cash Assistance – Funding

Did not pass

Family League supported House Bill 339/Senate Bill 456 which would slowly raise Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) to 71% of the Maryland MInimum Living Level, when combined with SNAP benefits, over the course of five years.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 341 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – Establishment, “Time to Care Act of 2019”

Did not pass

Family League supported House Bill 341 establishing the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program and providing paid family leave allowing workers to take the time they need to care for children, parents, or loved ones. Under HB 31, paid leave would have been made available to Maryland workers for up to 12 weeks follow the birth or adoption of a child and, when needed, to provide care for a family member or oneself.
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Testimony in Suppport of House Bill 520/Senate Bill 406 – Prenatal and Infant Care Coordination – Grant Funding and Task Force

Passed. Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 572 Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 662

Family League supported House Bill 520/Senate Bill 406 to address the fact that multiple source of federal, state, local, and privtae funding support an array of maternal, infant, and early childhood programs and services, but it is the coordination of those services that is most challenging. Funding and developing a robust Thrive By Three Fund had the potential to transform existing public and private programs and resources into an integrated system of care.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 583/Senate Bill 356 – Maternal Mortality Review Program – Reporting Requirement

Approved by the Governor – Chapter 449

Family League supported House Bill 538/Senate Bill 356 as they strengthened the annual report regarding the Maternal Mortality Review Program by including a comprehensive section on racial disparities that included a comparison of  maternal mortality rates across race and ethnicity.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 725 Public Schools – Student Discipline – Restorative Approaches

Passed Enacted under Article II, Section 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution – Chapter 691

Family League supported House Bill 725, requiring a school principal to implement restorative approaches, rehabilitative, special education, or other supportive service interventions before suspending or expelling a student. Each count Board of Education would have also been required to develop a multiyear plan for the adoption, implementation, and continued monitoring of restorative approaches to student discipline.
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 796/Senate Bill 602 Maternal Mortality Review Program – Establishment of Local Teams

House Bill Approved by the Governor – Chapter 448 Senate Bill did not pass

Family League was in favor of these bills that would support the work of the statewide Maternal Mortality Review Program by creating mechanisms for local health offices to assemble a more focused, regionally responsive review team. Additionally, local teams would be allowed to include a more diverse set of stakeholders, including an obstetrician-gynecologist, a direct-entry midwife, a birthing doula, and “any other individual necessary to the work of the local team.”
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Testimony in Support of House Bill 911 Unaccompanied Minors in Need of Shelter – Consent to Shelter and Supportive Services

Approved by the Governor – Chapter 553

Family League strongly supported House Bill 911 which would have established that unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness have the right to consent to emergency shelter. The bill would have established that such minors had the same capacity as an adult to consent to shelter and supportive services, thereby incentivizing non-profit organizations to shelter this extremely vulnerable and underserved population.
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