Feb 10, 2016 / Uncategorized

Join us Tuesday, March 8 for Reentry Day in Annapolis

Mackenzie Rosman

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JOTF Policy Alert – February 10, 2016

Save the Date
Join us Tuesday, March 8 for Reentry Day in Annapolis!

Join JOTF and partners on March 8 as we march on the capitol and advocate for Maryland workers struggling to secure employment with a criminal record.

This daylong event will feature:
* A march on the capitol and rally at the Maryland State House
*Meetings with state lawmakers
* Bill hearings on expungement legislation

Buses will depart for Annapolis from various locations in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Montgomery, and Prince George’s County.

For more information, please contact Caryn Aslan at caryn@jotf.org or (443) 692-9416.

JOTF Legislative Priorities

Healthy Working Families Act

HB 580/SB 472
Everyone gets sick and everyone deserves time to recover without risking their economic stability, yet 40 percent of American workers are unable to earn paid sick days. In Maryland, more than 700,000 of our neighbors are forced to make impossible choices: go to work sick, send an ill child to school or daycare, or stay home and sacrifice much-needed income or, worse, risk job loss.

The Working Matters Coalition,
of which JOTF is a founding member, supports legislation that would enable workers to earn a limited number of annual paid sick and safe days from their employer.

HB 580 will be heard on March 1, at 1 pm in the House Economic Matters Committee.

SB 472 is awaiting a bill hearing date.

Fact Sheet

Working Matters Coalition

Recent Press Coverage

For more information or to provide support, contact Melissa Broome.

Criminal Procedure – Partial Expungement 

HB 220/SB 328
Under current Maryland law, criminal records with charges that did not result in a conviction are eligible for expungement. However, Maryland’s “unit rule” permanently prohibits expungement of eligible charges if all charges within a unit are are not eligible for expungement.

The proposed legislation will allow persons to request the ‘partial expungement’ of any charges within a unit that would otherwise be eligible for expungement, regardless of other ineligible charges. Repeal of the unit rule will mean that Marylanders who have interacted with the criminal justice system increase their likelihood of obtaining employment.

HB 220 will be heard on March 8 at 1 pm in the House Judiciary Committee.

SB 328 will be heard on Feb. 24 at 1 pm in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Recent Press Coverage

For more  information or to provide support, contact Caryn Aslan.

Criminal Procedure – Automatic Expungement – Non-Convictions

HB TBD/SB TBD
Maryland’s existing laws require a formal petition process and fee to expunge eligible criminal records. This process is cumbersome and presents significant barriers for job seekers.

This proposed legislation would authorize the automatic expungement of court and police records related to charges that result in a dismissal or acquittal- after a required three-year waiting period, or sooner under specified circumstances.

Awaiting bill introduction.
For more
information or
to provide support, contact
Caryn Aslan.

Motor Vehicle Insurance- Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating – Prohibitions 

HB TBD/SB TBD
Mobility is important for working families, yet the insurance industry practice of setting rates based on factors unrelated to driving performance mean certain Marylanders pay more for insurance than others.

As members of the state’s Task Force to Study Methods to Reduce the rate of Uninsured Drivers, JOTF will encourage policymakers to consider how low-income residents are impacted by insurance industry practices and will closely monitor any legislation that may arise in 2016 as a result of Task Force recommendations.
Awaiting bill introduction.
For more  information or to provide support, contact Melissa Broome.

Higher Education- Community Colleges – Workforce Development Sequence Grants and Scholarships 

SB 38/HB 355
Increasing access to post-secondary education can strengthen Maryland’s families and communities and improve outcomes for the low-income residents, especially as workers with college experience are more likely to move out of poverty and attain higher-paying jobs.

SB 38 would establish Workforce Development Sequence Scholarships as a form of financial aid for Marylanders pursuing community college courses that increase job readiness or contribute to licensure, certification or skill enhancement.

HB 355 will be heard on Feb 11 at 1 pm in the House Ways and Means Committee.

SB 38 was heard on
Jan. 20 in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. Awaiting committee vote.
Recent Press Coverage

For more information or to provide support, contact Melissa Broome.

*During the 2016 state legislative session, JOTF will also closely monitor the budget process and be prepared to act should harmful cuts arise in the areas of post-secondary access, adult education, or workforce development.

JOTF Legislative Watch List

Bills featured in the watch list are tracked by our policy experts, but their appearance here does not necessarily indicate JOTF support.

Earned Income Tax Credit- Expansion

SB 294
Maryland’s refundable EITC works with the federal EITC to help 400,000 working families throughout Maryland make ends meet and stay out of poverty.

This bill would expand access to the EITC for low-income workers, focusing on those without dependent children. The proposed legislation would allow these workers to qualify for an EITC of 100% of the federal credit, a maximum of $503 in 2016. This modification could benefit over 355,000 Marylanders, effectively doubling the current EITC impact.
SB 294 will be heard on Feb. 17 at 1 pm in the Senate Budget and Tax Committee.

Earned Income Tax Credit- Refundability

SB 295
The proposed legislation would increase the percentage of the federal earned income credit used to determine the amount that an individual may claim under the Maryland earned income credit.
SB 295 will be heard on Feb. 17 at 1 pm in the Senate Budget and Tax Committee.

Maryland Education Opportunity Act of 2016

HB 18
The proposed legislation exempts recent high school graduates from payment of tuition to attend a community college in the State. It also provides a 50% discount on tuition to individuals unemployed for at least 6 months but who have been seeking employment while attending a community college and seeking a vocational certificate.
HB 18 was heard on Jan. 26 in the House Appropriations Committee. Awaiting committee vote.

Unemployment Insurance -Recovery of Benefits and Penalties for Fraud

SB 90
This legislation would increase penalties for claimants who have been found to have fraudulently received unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.
SB 90 was heard on Jan.19 in the Senate Finance Committee. Awaiting committee vote.

Civil Penalties for Shoplifting and Employee Theft- Repeal

HB 190/SB 508
The proposed legislation will remove the ability for merchants to sue anyone suspected of theft (shoppers or employees) for payment of money unrelated to the actual damages.
HB 190 was heard on Feb. 3 in the House Judiciary Committee. Awaiting committee vote.

SB 508 will be heard on Feb. 16 at 1 pm in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Paystub Transparency Act of 2016

HB 197/SB 623
The proposed legislation would establish a standard of basic accounting and employment information to be included on paystubs distributed to employees.
HB 197 was heard on Feb. 2 in the House Economic Matters Committee. Awaiting committee vote.

SB 623 is awaiting a hearing date.

Labor and Employment – Apprenticeship Career Training in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Program – Establishment

HB 290/SB 545
The proposed legislation would create the Apprenticeship Career Training in our Neighborhood (ACTION) grant program to be administered by DLLR. The program would provide grants to employers that hire building and construction trade apprentices who reside in zip codes which the poverty rate is at least 20%.
HB 290 was heard on Feb. 2 in the House Economic Matters Committee. Awaiting committee vote.

SB 545 is awaiting a bill hearing date.

Criminal Procedure- Nonviolent Felonies – Stet, Shielding and Expungement

HB 770/SB 712
The proposed legislation would expand both shielding and expungement access to Marylanders by allowing nonviolent felonies to be eligible for shielding three (3) years after the successful completion of the sentence, including probation.  The shielded record would become eligible for expungement after an additional three (3) year waiting period.
HB 770 will be heard on March 8 at 1 pm in the House Judiciary Committee.

SB 712 will be heard on Feb. 24 at 1 pm in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Criminal Procedure -Expungement- Nolle Prosequi

SB 215
The proposed legislation would repeal the provision requiring individuals to waive their right to sue if they want to expunge a nolle pros’ charge immediately.
SB 215 will be heard on Feb. 24 at 1 pm in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

General Assembly- Fiscal Notes- Criminal Justice Policy Impact Statements

HB 168/SB 576
The proposed legislation would require a fiscal note for a bill to include a criminal justice policy impact statement if a bill would create, impact or alter criminal offenses, related penalties or populations affected.
HB 168 will be heard on Feb. 12 at 1 pm in the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee.

SB 576 is awaiting a bill hearing date.

Higher Education – Institutions of Postsecondary Education – Consumer Protection Provisions

HB 741/SB 427
The proposed legislation would create increased oversight of for-profit institutions of post-secondary education and private career schools. In addition, the legislation would require minimum standards of consumer protections and transparency.
HB 741 is awaiting a hearing date.

SB 427 will be heard on Feb. 24 at 1 pm in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

Mackenzie Rosman

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Quisque vel consectetur lorem. Curabitur non quam sit amet lorem posuere scelerisque.

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