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LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

  • Monday, April 04, 2022 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Attached is the MFRW Weekly Legislative Update for April 3.  

    SB 1012 to revamp the Congressional Districts enacted by the Legislature in December passed through both chambers in the blink of an eye last week and are awaiting a decision by the Governor.  While the map under SB 1012 looks better with fewer contorted shapes, it is not as fair as the Citizens Redistricting Commission maps and splits numerous counties into multiple pieces.  The Dems also appealed the Judge's decision to overturn their original, very gerrymandered congressional districts. Yesterday on CNN, Governor Hogan said he would talk with the Legislative leaders to see if they would drop their appeal.  So, it should be an interesting week and we still have to hear from a separate judge on State Legislative Districts.   

    The Constitutional Amendment to fully legalize recreational marijuana (cannabis) achieved final passage and will be on the ballot in November. The Governor cannot veto a constitutional amendment.  

    The accompanying bill to implement full legalization of marijuana (HB 837) also passed enrolled.  All the proponents see is green -- dollars-revenue.  Legalization will make using marijuana more acceptable and therefore increase its use particularly among young people.  The marketing of marijuana brownies, etc. will be a magnet for children. Marijuana is much stronger today than it was in the 1970's and can cause escalation of anger and violence in some young people with frequent use.   

    HB 937 - Abortion Care Access and Training Program with its $3.5 million annual tax dollar funding passed and is awaiting the Governor's action.  You can urge the Governor to veto this legislation by going to the website:  

    http://governor.maryland.gov.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "contact us", and then click on "Contact the Governor" and submit your message.  Or you can call the Governor's office at 410-974-3901 or 1-800-811-8336.

    Bills will move very quickly this week, so it is important to keep your eye on bad bills we don't want to pass as well as cheer for the progress of good bills.

    Among the "good" bills that passed last week and was signed by the Governor is SB 405 to provide a credit of $1,000 against state income tax for individuals 65 and over, or who are totally disabled, whose incomes are $100,000 or less.  Couples filing jointly with incomes up to $150,000 will received a credit of $1750.  

    There are many more actions in the Weekly Update.

    Thank you to each of you for all of your efforts to make conservative views known.

    Sincerely,

    Ella

    Ella Ennis

    Legislative Chairman

    Maryland Federation of Republican Women



  • Monday, March 28, 2022 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are 2 weeks and a day from the end of the 2022 Legislative Session.

     

    On Wednesday, March 30th, at 1 p.m. the Senate Finance Committee will hold its hearing on HB 1171 - Constitutional Amendment to add to the Declaration of Rights a Right to Reproductive Liberty.  This Right to Reproductive Liberty not only removes any rights or personhood from pre-born babies from conception to birth but it also leaves newborn babies unprotected during the perinatal period.

    We must expose how extreme these bills are as well as how vague, misleading and deceitful is the wording of the ballot question of the Constitutional Amendment contained in HB 1171.  All the voter will see is: 

     

    "Question ___ Constitutional Amendment

    The proposed amendment confirms an individual's fundamental right to the individual's own reproductive liberty and provides the State may not, directly or indirectly, deny, burden, or abridge the right unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.".

     

    It is deceitful in that it leaves out the wording of the actual amendment contained in HB 1171 which states: "That every person...has the fundamental right to reproductive liberty which includes the right to make and effectuate decisions regarding the individual's own reproduction, including but not limited to the ability to prevent, continue, or end their pregnancy..." 

     

    HB 626 (SB 669) - Pregnant Person's Freedom Act gives us a window to what "including but not limited to" could mean.  It would prohibit any investigation or penalty for a person "experiencing" a "perinatal death related to a failure to act". While the dictionary defines perinatal as the period from 20 weeks into pregnancy through 28 days of newborn life, the bill does not define perinatal.  It could extend much further than 28 days after birth.  A perinatal death due to a failure to act could occur if a newborn baby were not fed, given water, or kept warm. etc.

     

    Please email or call members of the Senate Finance Committee and urge an Unfavorable Report for HB 1171.

     

    Maryland Senate – Finance Committee e-mails:


    delores.kelley@senate.state.md.usbrian.feldman@senate.state.md.usmalcolm.augustine@senate.state.md.uspamela.beidle@senate.state.md.usjoanne.benson@senate.state.md.usantonio.hayes@senate.state.md.ussteve.hershey@senate.state.md.usjb.jennings@senate.state.md.uskatherine.klausmeier@senate.state.md.usbenjamin.kramer@senate.state.md.usjustin.ready@senate.state.md.us

     

    Remember that Constitutional Amendments do not go to the Governor.  If approved by the Senate HB 1171 will appear on the General Election ballot. 

     

    HB 937 - that commits $3.5 million a year of taxpayers' dollars to train abortion providers has passed 2nd reader in the Senate and will likely be up for final passage this week.  Please let your Senator know you oppose this bill.  How many poor children could receive dental care for $3.5 million a year? (Roster by County attached.)

     

    In another important area, I call your attention to bills listed under the Education heading of the Weekly Update.  Many children are performing below grade level in reading and math and other classes due to the long period out of the classroom. They need all of the opportunities in-class instruction can provide.  However, several bills are near passage that prohibit penalizing disruptive behavior in the classroom.  HB 0084 and SB0119 will remove penalties for disrupting the learning environment or committing offenses in the school they attend.  HB 0146 changes the law to only apply to offenses that occur off of school premises.

     

    At the same time, HB 0495 to authorize student organized peaceful demonstrations at school, during school hours has passed the House 96-40 and is in the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.  Does this make sense with students falling farther behind in academic achievement? 

     

    Please continue to make your views known to Maryland's legislators. What you are doing is very important.

     

    Sincerely,

    Ella

    Ella Ennis

    Legislative Chairman

    Maryland Federation of Republican Women

    MFRW 2022 Legislative Update 3-27-22.docx

    current-roster-by-county.pdf


  • Monday, March 21, 2022 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Monday, March 21st is "Cross Over Day"--the last day for a bill to pass its original chamber and be guaranteed a hearing in the opposite chamber.  The clock is ticking away with 3 weeks to go in the 2022 legislative session.  Attached is the MFRW Weekly Legislative Update.  Check the Bill Status Column for action taken on bills during the last week. 

    This week the Senate Finance Committee will hear HB 0001, the Cannabis (marijuana) Legalization Constitutional Amendment and HB 837 - Cannabis Reform.  You can sign up to testify in person or submit written testimony beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 22nd until 10 a.m. on the hearing day - March 23.  I personally do not believe that Maryland will be well served by full legalization of marijuana.   

    The Abortion bills are also in the Senate Finance Committee but have not yet been scheduled for a hearing.  But it is likely that there will be some action this week. Please e-mail the members of the Senate Finance Committee to oppose HB 1171 and HB 937. 

    The 3rd Reader votes of the House of Delegates on HB 1171 Declaration of Rights - Right to Reproductive Liberty and HB 937 the Abortion Care Access Act with its $3.5 Million annual budget mandate are attached.  Delegate Attar is the only Democrat who voted against HB 1171.  Five Dems voted against HB 937. All Republicans voted against both bills (Del. Arikan was absent). Voters need to know how their Delegates voted.   If you can, please consider sending a note of appreciation for their votes against HB1171 and HB 937. 

    There is very little media coverage of these extreme abortion bills.  Pease ask your Club members to post on their social media, send letters to the Editor, make calls to radio talk shows and share information with our churches and community organizations. (Attached are 2 example letters I have sent to newspapers. I don't know if they will be published.  They are long, but local papers will print longer letters). The multiplier impact will be greater than the sum of the individual letters, calls or social media posts.  The MFRW has 1480 members.  If each of us makes 5 contacts and encourages others to share, we can raise the public's awareness of this issue. 

    We must expose how extreme these bills are as well as how vague, misleading and deceitful is the wording of the ballot question of the Constitutional Amendment contained in HB 1171.  All the voter will see is: 

    "Question ___ Constitutional Amendment 

    The proposed amendment confirms an individual's fundamental right to the individual's own reproductive liberty and provides the State may not, directly or indirectly, deny, burden, or abridge the right unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.". 

    It is deceitful in that it leaves out the wording of the actual amendment contained in HB 1171 which states: "That every person...has the fundamental right to reproductive liberty which includes the right to make and effectuate decisions regarding the individual's own reproduction, including but not limited to the ability to prevent, continue, or end their pregnancy..." 

    HB 626 (SB 669) - Pregnant Person's Freedom Act gives us a window to what "including but not limited to" could mean.  It would prohibit any investigation or penalty for a person "experiencing" a "perinatal death related to a failure to act". While the dictionary defines perinatal as the period from 20 weeks into pregnancy through 28 days of newborn life, the bill does not define perinatal.  It could extend much further than 28 days after birth.   

    Thank you to everyone who has actively sent testimony, made calls, sent e-mails on these issues.  Your efforts keep democracy alive. 

    Sincerely, 

    Ella 

    Ella Ennis 
    Legislative Chairman
    Maryland Federation of Republican Women


  • Monday, March 07, 2022 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Thank you to the many people who sent e-mails and made calls opposing HB 1171 and HB 937 this past two weeks.

    On Friday, Republican Delegates on the Health and Government Operations Committee spoke up for unborn babies and opposed HB 1171 that places the unlimited right to abortion in the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution. But the majority on the committee voted for a favorable report (vote attached).  Every Dem. voted for the bill; every Republican voted against the bill.  The Dems refused to use the word "Abortion" in the Constitutional Amendment to reduce the possibility that voters will actually know that this amendment will remove any rights of a preborn baby to life from conception to birth, and perhaps beyond.

    At the same voting session HB 937 - to establish a training program for abortion providers and a training fund paid for by Maryland taxpayers by imposing an annual budget mandate of $3,500,000.  It was mentioned that several states are restricting abortions and it is likely that more women will be seeking abortion services, so Maryland needs to increase the number of providers -- at TAXPAYERS EXPENSE. HB 937 was amended but I don't any information on the amendment as yet.  The Committee vote on HB 937 is attached - 16 Democrats voted in favor and 1 Democrat and all  7 Republicans voted No. 

    HB 1171 and HB 937 will be on the floor of the House of Delegates to vote on this week.  It is very important that we contact all Delegatesand urge them to vote against both HB 1171 and HB 937.  (List of all Delegates and Telephone Numbers are attached).Call or e-mail your own Delegate(s) first.  Then call or e-mail any additional delegates that you are able and have time to contact.

    In addition, on Friday, March 11, the House Health and Government Operations Committee will hold a hearing on HB 626, the Pregnant Persons Freedom Act of 2022. The Senate version, SB 669, is rescheduled for a hearing on March 15 in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.  It continues the assault on pre-born babies to remove any restrictions on abortion and adds a provision to prohibit any investigation or penalty for a person terminating their pregnancy or "experiencing a perinatal death related to a failure to act."  Perinatal is defined in the dictionary as the period from the 20th week of gestation to the 28th day of newborn life."  We truly must oppose this bill. 


    There are many other bill hearings this week.  They are highlighted in red in the 3rd column of the Weekly Update.  Please take a few minutes to check them out.

    Several bills dealing with education and race, history, culture and social justice are being heard.  We all want every student and every teacher to be respected and have the ability to take advantage of all educational opportunities.  At the same time we need to oppose radical curriculums and programs that pit one race, or gender or ethnic group against another. SB 0888 proposes an advisory board to recommend content and instructional methods to challenge racist, sexist, gender, or ability assumptions, attitudes and behaviors when they occur using principles and practices of restorative justice methods including their disciplinary actions. SB 0888 goes beyond race to also encompass attitudes about sexual groups in their social equity standards.  Another bill related to these issues is SB 0666 and would deal with public and private primary and secondary schools and pre-kindergardens.

    There are numerous bills dealing with election processes that are being heard in the House Ways and Means Committee that we will want to support. Please review them and send supporting testimony and e-mails as you deem appropriate.

    We are approaching "crunch time" at the General Assembly.  There are 5 weeks left in the Session.  We will see the action move from the committees to the full House and Senate.  We must remain watchful and be willing to voice our support or opposition to the legislation reaching the floor.  Our Republican legislators are working very hard for our values and they need and deserve our support.


    On Tuesday, March 8, I hope you will attend our MFRW Legislative Red Scarf Day in Annapolis -- in person.  President Sharon has put together a great day for us.  We will have a chance to talk with Republican Senators and Delegates, enjoy a delicious brunch and learn new things.  


    Sincerely,

    Ella

    Ella Ennis

    Legislative Chairman

    Maryland Federation of Republican Women

    hb1171_hgo favorable rpt.pdf

    MFRW 2022 Legislative Update 3-06-22.docx

  • Monday, February 28, 2022 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you so very much to all who made telephone calls and sent e-mails opposing HB 1171 - to add a Right to Reproductive Liberty to the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution.   It helped.  At the Voting Session of the House Health and Government Operations Committee HB 1171 was held until the end and then the Chairman postponed consideration of amendments or voting on the three bills dealing with abortion and abortion funding and training until this coming Friday, March 4th.  

    We will send out an Alert on Wednesday. We need your telephone calls and e-mails on Thursday, March 3 to members of the HGO Committee to oppose  

    HB 1171 - Constitutional Amendment - Right to Reproductive Liberty

    HB 0937 - Abortion Clinical Care Training Program & Training Fund

    HB 0952 - Abortion Care and Health Insurance Act.

    While we have been focused on the Maryland General Assembly's action, The U.S. Senate will vote today on HR 3755 - Womens Health Protection Act.

    Please call the following Senators and urge them to vote AGAINST HR 3755.

    This legislation has already passed the House of Representatives. This is our last chance to stop it.

    Senator Ben Cardin - 202-224-4524

    Senator Chris Van Hollen - 202-224-4654

    Senator Susan Collins - 202-224-2523

    Senator Lisa Markowski - 202-224-6665


    HR 3755

    • Imposes abortion on demand nationwide throughout every stage of pregnancy  
    • Bans pro-life laws nationally AND in every state and local government 
    • Forces Americans to financially support abortions in the U.S. & abroad
    • Likely force health care providers to participate in abortions against their beliefs
    • Likely to force employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortion.

    I want to encourage you to review the bills under the Environment, Energy and Housing heading.  There is a strong effort to increase the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030 and beyond.  We need to focus on the impact on the reliability of our energy sources during bad weather events and the cost to individuals and businesses.  In addition, SB 871 (HB 1259) will have a hearing in the Senate EHE on March 3.  SB 871 - will require every local government to amend their zoining laws to allow accessory dwelling units in single-family residential communities with little to no restrictions.   


    Finally, I want to bring to your attention HB 832 to establish the Maryland Homeschooling Advisory Council.  HB 832 will be heard in the Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, March 3.  One has to wonder if this bill will lead to requirements to teach subjects that homeschooling parents will oppose. 

    The Council membership is heavily oriented to large counties. 


    Thank you for all of your efforts. We are halfway through the Legislative Session. 

    I hope to see all of you at MFRW's Red Scarf Legislative Day on March 8. 

    Sincerely, 

    Ella 

    Ella Ennis 

    Legislative Chairman 

    Maryland Federation of Republican Women 





     

    <MFRW 2022 Legislative Update 2-27-22.docx>


  • Monday, February 21, 2022 10:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As reported in the Action Alert on 2/17, hearings will be held on two far-reaching bills dealing with abortion and the right to life for unborn babies.  

    HB 1171 - to add a Right to Reproductive Liberty to the Declaration of Rights of the Maryland Constitution.  It would eliminate any right of an unborn child to life from conception through birth.  This right would include, but not be limited to the ability to prevent, continue or end their pregnancy.  The Health and Government Operations Committee hearing is 2/22 at 1 p.m.   

    SB 669 - Pregnant Person's Freedom Act explicitly states that a person cannot be subject to prosecution or penalty for terminating their own pregnancy at any time or experiencing a perinatal death related to a failure to act.  Perinatal is the period of time between the 20th week of pregnancy and 28 days into newborn life. The hearing on SB 669 is in the Judicial Proceedings Committee on 2/23 at 1 p.m. Sign up for written or oral testimony is from 4 p.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Wednesday. 

    What might a failure to act include?  Not providing food, water, warmth, medicine or medical care to a newborn baby? 

    Your e-mails to the HGO Committee members to OPPOSE HB 1171 and to JPC on SB 669 are vitally important.  The committee e-mails are on the MFRW web site under the Action tab.  Scroll to the committee, click on "copy all e-mails" and highlight, copy and paste the addresses into your email. 

    However, there is more.  This is the time in the session when bad bills can be passed and not draw a lot of attention because there are so many bills under consideration.  An example is HB 0001 the Constitutional Amendment for legalizing Marijuana for adults.  It has received a favorable report and will be on the floor of the House for 2nd reading tomorrow.  The implementation bill HB 0837 will also be on the House floor this week.   

    Among all the negatives we have some bills to SUPPORT. 

    HB 757 - Interscholastic Intramural Sports (Save Women's Sports Act) would limit girls sports to biological females.  The hearing is in the House Ways and Means Committee on 2/24 at 1 p.m.  This is a virtual hearing.  Sign-ups for written or oral testimony are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 2/22.  For information on this issue see our MFRW brochure on Teen Girls and Women. 

    HB 758 - Requiring posting on a school's web site of lesson plans and information on textbooks & other reading materials, videos, websites, etc. for schools with 400 or more students.  HB 758 is also on the hearing schedule for 2/24 at 1 p.m. in the Ways and Means Committee. 

    Our thanks to Delegate Kathy Szeliga and the 16 Republican Delegates who are sponsors of these two important bills.  Please testify for a favorable report either as written or oral testimony, or send the committee members e-mails requesting a Favorable Report  

    Please take a few minutes and review the Weekly Update.  All the bills being heard this week are highlighted in red.   


    Sincerely, 

    Ella 

    Ella Ennis 

    MFRW Legislative Chairman

    MFRW 2022 Legislative Update 2-20-22.docx


  • Friday, February 18, 2022 9:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Re:  ALERT:  The Legislative Hearing on HB 1171 is scheduled for Tuesday, February 22nd at 1 p.m. in the House Health and Government Affairs Committee.  HB 1171 provides an amendment to the Maryland Constitution’s Declaration of Rights to add a Right to Reproduction Liberty.  It is sponsored by Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones.  It states:


    THAT EVERY PERSON, AS A CENTRAL COMPONENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS TO LIBERTY AND EQUALITY, HAS THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO REPRODUCTIVE LIBERTY WHICH INCLUDES THE RIGHT TO MAKE AND EFFECTUATE DECISIONS REGARDING THE INDIVIDUAL’S OWN REPRODUCTION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE ABILITY TO PREVENT, CONTINUE, OR END THEIR PREGNANCY. THE STATE MAY NOT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, DENY, BURDEN, OR ABRIDGE THE RIGHT UNLESS JUSTIFIED BY A COMPELLING STATE INTEREST ACHIEVED BY THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE MEANS.


    It appears that this amendment would prohibit any restrictions on abortion at any time during pregnancy through birth.  It denies any consideration of right of personhood to any unborn baby no matter how close to birth. 


    TOMORROW (Fri Feb 18) submit oral or written testimony on HB 1171 you must sign up through the MyMGA account at: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov  between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  This hearing is a virtual hearing.


    Wednesday, February 23rd at 1 p.m. the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee will hold an in-person hearing on SB 669 the Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act.  All oral testimony will be in-person in the hearing room.  Sign ups for written or oral testimony are on Tuesday, February 22 beginning at 4 p.m. through 10 a.m. the morning of the hearing.  You must sign up through the MyMGA account at: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov.


    SB 669 sponsored by Senator Will Smith explicitly clarifies that the law on murder or manslaughter of a viable fetus may not be construed to authorize a penalty for a person who terminates their own pregnancy or experiences a miscarriage or perinatal death related to a failure to act.  It also exempts anyone who assists a person in terminating a pregnancy.   The term “perinatal” is defined in the dictionary as “occurring during or pertaining to the phase surrounding the time of birth from the 20th week of gestation to the 28th day of newborn life.”   SB 669 also removes the word “woman” from the law and replaces it with “person”. 


    There are a number of other bills that either expand or restrict abortion that are also being heard in these two committees.  Check the Hearing Schedule for further details.



  • Friday, February 18, 2022 9:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The deadline for submission of bills is past.  All bills being introduced late must go to the Rules Committee for approval. Bills are being voted on during floor sessions. See the 2nd column from the right margin of the attached Weekly Update for action and status of bills.  Bills with hearings this week are highlighted in red and those for Monday and Tuesday of next week are highlighted in blue in 3rd column from right.

    Beginning today, ALL SENATE HEARINGS will be IN-PERSON. The window to sign up to testify on Senate bills has been changed as well.  Sign-ups will take place through the MyMGA account, from 4 p.m. the day prior to the hearing until 10 a.m. on the day of the hearing. 

    House hearings remain VIRTUAL at this time.  Sign-ups must still take place two business days prior to the hearing.

    This week there are hearings on several important bills dealing with Immigration. If you have not signed up to testify in support of HB 756 - Correctional Services - transfers to Federal Authority of Undocumented Immigrants convicted of crimes or who are active members of criminal gangs or who are suspected of espionage, please call or e-mail the members of the Ways and Means Committee today or tomorrow morning and request a FAVORABLE Report for HB 756.  See MFRW testimony attached.

    On February 22, HB 928 will be heard in the Environment & Transportation Committee. HB 928 will prohibit a person from disclosing information regarding a person's actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status WITHOUT a Federal Court order to any other person, including an immigration authority or a law enforcement agency.    From my ordinary citizen viewpoint, this appears to be a violation of every citizen's 1st Amendment right of free speech.

    SB 550 on transgender rights to allow biological males, who identify as female, to be housed in women's corrections facilities is being heard in the Judicial Proceedings Committee on February 17. Testimony must be submitted today.  It is the companion bill to HB 453 that was heard last week.  The safety of women inmates in correctional facilities need to be protected. Transgender inmates should be housed in separate facilities.  MFRW testimony on SB 550 is attached.

    Please review the full Weekly Update.  There are many bills of concern under consideration by the General Assembly.

    Sincerely,

    Ella

    Ella Ennis

    Legislative Chairman

    Maryland Federation of Republican Women


    SB 550 gender ID - correctional facilities - MFRW OPPOSED -final.pdf

    MFRW 2022 Legislative Update 2-13-22.docx

    HB 756 - Transfers to Fed. Auth. - MFRW - SUPPORT - final.pdf


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