Mar 13, 2015

3/13/2015 – JOTF Policy Update

Tell Legislative Leaders Marylanders Need Paid Sick Days!

Time is flying in the Maryland General Assembly, but lawmakers have yet to vote on legislation that would bring paid sick days to hundreds of thousands of hardworking Marylanders. Please take a minute to call Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and House Speaker Michael Busch and urge their leadership on the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act SB40/HB385.

Your lawmakers needs to hear from you!

Too often Maryland residents lose the opportunity to expunge a non-conviction from their record because they were subsequently convicted of a crime. Please ask your lawmaker to improve employment opportunities for these indiviudals by supporting HB 304/SB 652, which would repeal the subsequent conviction rule.

JOTF Legislative Priorities





Healthy Working Families Act

SB 40
HB 385

Everyone gets sick and everyone deserves time to recover without risking their economic stability, yet 41 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. SB 40 is
awaiting a
vote in the
Senate  Finance
Committee.HB 385 is
awaiting a
vote in the
Fact SheetWorking
CoalitionFor more
information or
to provide
support, contact
Melissa Broome.
Maryland Second
Chance Act of 
2015HB 244
SB 526
Jobs are the key to our economic recovery, and the ability to secure a job is crucial to the successful
reentry of those returning to society from prison.Research shows that recidivism risks are highest in the first 3-5 years following incarceration.Given that recidivism declines steadily over time, the proposed legislation would make certain nonviolent misdemeanor convictions eligible for shielding with the filing a petition after a waiting period.
Law enforcement will continue to have access to the shielded records.
HB 244
is awaiting
a vote in
the House
Judiciary Committee.SB 526 was
passed the
full Senate unanimously
and will now
move to the House of
Fact SheetFor more
information or
to provide support, contact
Caryn Aslan
Criminal Records Expungement –
Non-ConvictionsHB 304
SB 652
Employers often refuse to hire applicants with criminal records, even if the person was never convicted. Maryland law prohibits the expungement of non-convictions if a person is subsequently convicted of any crime, no matter how minor.JOTF believes that Marylanders
should not be penalized for offenses for which they were never convicted. JOTF supports legislation
that would repeal the subsequent conviction rule.
HB 304 is
awaiting a
vote from
the full
House of
Delegates.SB 652 is
awaiting a
vote in
the Senate
Judicial Proceedings
Fact SheetFor more
information or
to provide support, contact
Caryn Aslan.
Procedure — 
Expungement of Court and Police
Records — 
Acquittal or Dismissal HB 904
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 bill would authorize the automatic expungement of court and police records related to charges that result in a dismissal or acquittal.
As amended,
HB 904 passed the House of Delegates
unanimously and now awaits a
hearing in
the Senate
“Expungement should be
automatic” video
Criminal Procedure- 
Expungement –
Conviction of a Crime that is No Longer a CrimeSB 651
HB 124
This legislation would allow a person to petition for expungement of criminal records for crimes that are no longer considered illegal. SB 651 passed the full Senate with a vote
of 41 – 6. It now awaits a
hearing in the House
Committee.HB 124 is awaiting a vote in the
House Judiciary
Motor Vehicle
Insurance –
in Underwriting
and Rating – Prohibitions SB 749
Mobility is a important for working families, yet the insurance industry practices of setting rates based on factors unrelated to driving performance mean certain Marylanders pay more for insurance than others.SB 749 would prevent auto insurers from using factors including credit history, education, martial status and occupation to set insurance rates. SB 749 will
be heard at
1 p.m. on
March 17 in
the Senate
Finance Committee.

*During the 2015 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, and 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.





Baltimore City
Community College –
Tuition Waivers: 
Graduates of
Baltimore City
Public High Schools
SB 131
SB 131 would exempt eligible Baltimore City public high school graduates from tuition payments at Baltimore City Community College. Sen. Gladden SB 131 is
awaiting a vote in the Senate
Budget and
System of
Pay It Forward
Pilot Program
and Tuition
Freeze –
StudiesHB 57
SB 237
This legislation would require the University System of Maryland Board of Regents study the creation of Pay It Forward tuition programs which create payment plans based on a percentage of a graduate’s salary after graduation.JOTF believes this model may ultimately make college less affordable for low-income populations who currently rely on financial aid. Del. ReznikSen.
HB 57 has
been withdrawn.SB 237 is
awaiting a
vote in the
Senate Budget
and Taxation
Services –
No Wrong
Door Pilot ProgramHB 66
This legislation will establish a program to ensure low-income Marylanders have access to services to sustain themselves and their families.It aims to close gaps in services, increase access to state resources, provide more access for under-served populations and foster better coordination between public and private service providers. Del.
HB 66 is awaiting a vote in the House
Appropriations Committee
Maryland Wage
& Hour Law –
State Minimum
Wage – IncreaseHB 4
The legislation would increase the state minimum wage to $10.10 hour beginning July 1, 2015. Del. Glenn HB 4 received an unfavorable
report (18 – 2) from the House Economic Matters
State Minimum
Wage Rate –
Exceptions –
Social Service
Nonprofit OrganizationsSB 3
This bill would authorize nonprofit organizations that provide social services and have a budget less than $250,000 to pay 85 percent of the state minimum wage. Sen. Getty SB 3 is
awaiting a
hearing in
the Senate
Criminal Procedure – Shielding –
Misdemeanor ConvictionsSB 130 
This legislation would allow Marylanders to request that certain court and police records for certain misdemeanor convictions be shielded from the public record. Sen. Gladden SB 130 received an unfavorable
report (9-1) from the Senate
Judicial Proceedings
Criminal Procedure – Expungement – Misdemeanor
& Felony ConvictionsSB 16
The proposed legislation would expand the crimes eligible for expungement to include certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Applicable crimes could be expunged after seven and 12 years, respectively. Sen. Conway SB 16 received an unfavorable report (9 -2) from the Senate
Equal Pay for Equal Work

SB 424
HB 1051

This bill would prohibit employers from providing “less-favorable” working opportunities based on a worker’s sex or gender identity. The measure also would prevent an employer from taking action against a worker for disclosure or discussion of wages. Sen. Lee
Del. Valderrama
SB 424 is awaiting a
vote in the Senate Finance
Committee.HB 1051 is
awaiting a vote in the House
Matters Committee.
Fiscal Notes – 
Criminal Justice
Policy Impact 
StatementsSB 478
HB 678
The bill would require future legislation to include a criminal justice policy impact statement if it creates a criminal offense, significantly alters the elements of an existing offense, alters existing penalties or changes sentencing, parole or probation procedures. Sen. Ramirez
SB 478 is
awaiting a
vote in the Senate Rules Committee  HB 678 is
awaiting a
vote in the
House Rules and Executive
Prevailing Wage –
Payment for Apprenticeship Programs HB 370
SB 777
This legislation would require contractors and subcontractors with public work contracts to pay the full cost of apprenticeship programs for each apprentice that works on the contract. Del.
Sen. McFadden
HB 370 is
awaiting a
vote in the
House Economic
Committee.  SB 777 will
be heard at
1 p.m. on
March 19 in
the Senate
Justice Reinvestment Initiative JOTF is a member of the Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform, a bi-partisan, statewide coalition seeking legislative solutions to the collateral consequences that result from mass incarceration
policies in Maryland.One of MAJR’s legislative solutions is a statewide
Justice Reinvestment Initiative proposal that would reinvest savings from reduced incarceration to increase job training and educational opportunities
for those who are incarcerated, and identify and review policies that restrict license and certification
opportunities due to a criminal record.The proposal would also require court officials to advise defendants of the collateral consequences associated with a guilty plea.

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