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Legislative Weekly update 3.18.23

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 9:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Hello MFRW Officers, Regional Chairmen, Club Presidents & Legislative Committee, 

Both the Senate and House met Saturday.  The attached weekly Update includes Saturday's votes.  There is so much going on with 3 weeks to go in the session. 

Cross over day is Monday, March 20th.  Any bill that has not received a 3rd Reading Vote and "crossed-over" to the opposite chamber by Monday night must go through extra hoops with the Rules Committee and thus is less likely to receive final passage.   

HB 119 - Comprehensive Health Education Framework was completely rewritten and renamed when it emerged from the Ways and Means Committee and was passed by the House of Delegates 96-37.  It will now be heard in the Senate Education, Energy and Environment Committee. The Senate companion bill SB 199 remains in the EEE.  

As rewritten HB 119 is now the Curriculum Guides and Courses.  It appears to remove the authority of local Boards of Education to mold curriculums and courses and imposes State Board of Education policy and guidelines for every element of instruction and not allow any student to opt out of instruction in a manner not approved by the State Board. It will impose heavy financial penalties for any deviation not resolved within 30 days by withholding 10% of state education funding. If compliance is not met in 60 days an additional 10% would be withheld. 

One size does not fit all jurisdictions. There should be some flexibility for local Boards of Education (who are also elected officials) to alter State curriculum guidelines to meet the needs of their school districts.  I encourage you to read the revised HB 119 and contact the Senate EEE Committee and urge that both HB 119 and SB 199 be given an unfavorable report.  The highest priority for Maryland public education needs to be bringing every child up to grade level in reading and mathematics not punishing local school systems if they modify teaching about sex and sexual practices to be more in line with local values. 

The House has also passed HB 283 - Gender Affirming Treatment (Trans Health Equity Act) to be covered by the Maryland Medical Assistance Program.  This legislation imposes no minimum age limits and would allow children and teens to be treated with puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones or surgery to remove their reproductive organs and reshape their bodies to be more aligned with their gender choice.  The Senate version (SB 460) has received a favorable report and is on 2nd Reader.  At a minimum this legislation needs to be amended to require a person be at least 18 years old to undergo irreversible chemical and surgical treatment that renders them unable to procreate.

We all are aware of how easily children and teenagers are influenced by social media, groups of friends and teachers, coaches, etc.  A child of 12, 14 or 16 is not mature enough to make a life-long decision to forgo ever functioning sexually or ever being a parent. It is unconscionable to allow this to happen.  Urge both the House and Senate to amend this legislation or defeat it. 

Beyond these issues I want to call your attention to the very thoughtful statement of Delegate Todd Morgan in his weekly enews to the issue of Maryland adopting the California Clean Cars Act vehicle standards.  See Below. 



Ella Ennis 

Legislative Chairman 

Maryland Federation of Republican Women

Potomac, Maryland

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