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Advocacy

Legislative Priorities

When the Maryland General Assembly is in session, the WDC Board of Directors takes positions on various legislative proposals under consideration.

The Advocacy Committee is currently focused on the 2016 legislative session in Annapolis; once the session ends, the Committee will turn its attention to County Council issues. 

In collaboration with the Campaign for Fair Sentencing for Youth, the Woman’s Democratic Club testified in February in support of legislation that would abolish life-sentences without-parole for juvenile offenders. Advocacy Committee co-chair Fran Rothstein presented Senate hearing testimony; former WDC president Beth Tomasello testified in the House of Delegates hearing. To see WDC’s written testimony, click here.  Unfortunately, as in the 2015 session, the Senate failed to vote the legislation out of the committee.  WDC will continue watching this legislation, which may yet be introduced as an amendment to other criminal justice reform legislation. 

WDC is on record in support of the Women's Economic Security Agenda, a legislative package including four bills: the Women's Pay Equity Act, the Fair Scheduling Act, the Healthy Working Families Act (earned sick leave), and the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program.  Workforce Issues Captain Ginger Macomber will coordinate WDC's oral testimony in support of those bills in March.  To see WDC's written testimony on the four bills, click here.
 
Health issues captains Mary Lou Fox and Margaret Hadley are monitoring several bills that WDC will support at March hearings: protecting antibiotic effectiveness for human health by banning their non-therapeutic use in food-producing animals, ensuring that health benefit plans provide adequate provider networks and accurate and transparent consumer information, and ensuring adequate funding for mental health services.  Click here for WDC's testimony on the first two bills.

Issues captains Lynn Olson (criminal justice) and Debbie Stine (children’s issues) are monitoring evolving legislation in their areas, and may seek WDC support as the 2016 legislative session evolves. For more information, contact the WDC Legislative Co-Chairs Emily Shetty and Fran Rothstein.

To keep up-to-date, contact your Senator and Delegates to learn how to sign up to receive updates. To find your elected officials, click here. To contact your elected officials in Annapolis, click here, then select Legislators. On the General Assembly website, you will also be able to find bills by subject, by number and by sponsor – and to track specific bills.  

Click here for a list of advocacy organizations and go directly to their websites where you may also sign up to receive e-mail updates.