Mar 16, 2018

JOTF Weekly Policy Update -March 16th, 2018

(See JOTF’s 2018 Policy Agenda here)

Today marks the end of the tenth week of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2018 Legislative Session. JOTF’s policy team is hard at work in Annapolis managing our legislative agenda and ensuring that our signature priorities are progressing through the legislative process. As we continue to aggressively advocate on behalf of low-wage workers and job seekers across our state, we want you to be aware of some key highlights from this past week.

If you would like to support our 2018 policy agenda, please contact our Policy Team for further information: Nikki Thompson, Senior Policy Advocate or Lee Domeika, Policy Advocate.
Call the House Judiciary Committee TODAY!

VOTE YES ON HB 1383 –  Maryland Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment (REDEEM) Act

HB 1383/SB1212 – The Maryland Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment (REDEEM) Act
One of JOTF’s priority bills needs your support. This piece of legislation works to expand expungement eligibility to ensure that individuals with certain criminal records have employment opportunities. This bill would automatically expunge non-convictions, provide clarification on the expungement eligibility of arrest warrants, and expand expungement for nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected the vote on this bill TODAY (3/16) and we are hearing that they are likely to kill it. Committee members need to hear OUR voices in support of this important bill.PLEASE CONTACT COMMITTEE MEMBERS as many times as possible to urge a favorable report of HOUSE BILL 1383. Please see committee member contact information below:

Example phone/email script:
Hi Delegate ________. My name is _______ and I am calling to urge your support for HB 1383, which would expand expungement eligibility for nonconvictions, nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies, and arrest warrants. This bill would ensure that individuals who have served time, or in some cases were never even convicted of a crime, have equal access to stable employment. Please support HB 1383 for the future success and stability of all Marylanders.

Phone #
Email Address

Joseph Vallario
(410) 841-3488

Kathleen Dumais
(410) 841-3052

Curt Anderson
(410) 841-3291

Vanessa Atterbeary
(410) 841-3471

John Cluster
(410) 841-3526

Frank Conaway Jr.
(410) 841-3189

Paul Corderman
(410) 841-3125

Angela Gibson
(410) 841-3283

Glen Glass
(410) 841-3280

Trent Kittleman
(410) 841-3556

Jazz Lewis
(410) 841-3691

Michael Malone
(410) 841-3510

Susan McComas
(410) 841-3272

David Moon
(410) 841-3474

Dan Morhaim
(410) 841-3054

Neil Parrott
(410) 841-3636

Susie Proctor
(410) 841-3083

Pam Queen
(410) 841-3380

Deborah Rey
(410) 841-3227

Carlo Sanchez
(410) 841-3239

Charles Sydnor
(410) 841-3802

For more information on this legislation, please contact Caryn York, JOTF’s Executive Director,


During the first week of February, JOTF released its new report, a 104-page document that details how Maryland policies perpetuate the criminalization of its most vulnerable residents. The Criminalization of Poverty: How to break the cycle through policy reform in Maryland, found that Maryland is criminalizing poverty in numerous ways:
Debtors’ Prisons
Law Enforcement Policies
The Cash Bail System
Limited Expungement
JOTF examines how these policies, and more, disparately impact the poor and people of color, creating a vicious cycle of poverty that has been criminalized through Maryland’s current laws. Save the date for a deep dive into the report followed by an informative discussion.

For more information on the report, please contact JOTF’s Executive Director, Caryn York .

Higher Education – Educational Excellence Award Eligibility – High School Diploma by Examination(SB 842/HB 781) 
SB 842/HB 781, one of JOTF’s priority bills this legislative season, would allow individuals who have secured their High School Diploma (HSD) via the GED test to become eligible for the Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant (GAG), a state tuition assistance grant geared specifically for low-income students.

Yesterday morning (3/15), SB 842/HB 781 PASSED on third reader the Senate (45-0) and the House (136-0). Many thanks to Senator Joan Carter Conway, Delegate Nick J. Mosby​, and Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins​ for your sponsorship and co-sponsorship on this legislation. And of course, a very special thank you to the advocates who joined us in support!


On Tuesday, March 27th, 2018, the Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF), Out for Justice, Inc. (OFJ) and partners will descend on Annapolis for our annual lobby day!  We will march to and rally in front of the Maryland State House to urge support for policies that seek to eliminate educational and employment barriers and increase access to JOBS and JUSTICE for all Marylanders. Attendees can expect to learn more about and meet with legislators around the following topics: Access to Higher Education, Juvenile Justice, Rights for Incarcerated and Formerly Women, Expungement, Pretrial Services, Child Support Reform, and the Hogan-Zirkin Crime Bill. Additionally, attendees will be encouraged to attend afternoon #JusticeDialogues and committee bill hearings on these issues. Specific information regarding the bill hearings will be released soon.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided!

Transportation is available to and from Annapolis. Buses will leave from various locations in Baltimore City, as well as Baltimore County, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. If you are interested in leading a bus or need a seat on a bus, please contact Lee Domeika(JOTF) or Nicole Hanson (OFJ) for more information.

The Maryland REDEEM (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act)
Act of 2018 (SB 1212/HB 1383) 
JOTF supported this legislation as seeks to allow for the automatic expungement of non-convictions and clarifies the definition and expungement eligibility for dated, invalidated arrest warrants after a certain period of time. Additionally, it seeks to provide expungement eligibility for all nonviolent misdemeanor convictions after three (3) years, and certain nonviolent felonies after five (5) years.
Awaiting vote from the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Judiciary Committee 
Click here for fact sheet

Child Support – Payment Incentive Program Expansion Act of 2018 (HB 1554) 
JOTF supported this bill, which seeks to seeks to restructure the Child Support Enforcement Administration’s Payment Incentive Program (PIP) to provide more external outreach in counties that under utilize the program, grants participants a “grace period” due to unemployment or seasonal work schedules, and allows for the “grandfathering in” of payments made immediately before acceptance into the program.
HB 1554 received a favorable report from the House Judiciary Committee and is awaiting a vote in the full House of Delegates
Click here for fact sheet

Labor and Employment – General Contractor Liability for Unpaid Wages (Contractors Payment Protection Act) (SB 853/HB 1539) 
JOTF supported this legislation which seeks to amend the current law to allow a general contractor in the construction industry to be jointly liable for any violations related to payroll fraud and wage theft committed by subcontractors. In doing so, low-wage workers will have an added layer of protection from wage theft which is an all too common occurrence in the construction industry.
SB 853 Passed on Second Reader in Senate 
HB 1539 awaiting vote from House Economc Matters Committee

Baltimore City – Landlord and Tenant – Water and Sewer Billing (HB 1470) 
JOTF supported this bill which seeks to increase transparency around water bills by requiring landlords to document billing data from the Department of Public Works (DPW) directly to the tenant.
Awaiting vote from House Environment and Transportation Committee

Family Investment Program – Temporary Cash Assistance – Funding (SB 1164/HB 1729) 
JOTF supported this legislation which seeks to increase Maryland resident’s access to Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) by gradually increasing the funding to 71% of the state’s Minimum Living Level by 2024.
Awaiting vote from Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Appropriations Committee

Correctional Services – Inmates – Labor (HB 628) 
JOTF supported this bill which would request that information related to inmate job classification and the total number of inmates employed be provided by the Commissioner of Correction Annual Report and the Division of Correction Financial and Operational Report. The provision of this information would ensure the employment of our individuals exiting the prison system and would include a full profile of skills being attained while behind the wall.
Awaiting vote in the full House of Delegates

Civil Actions – Body Attachment – Procedures (HB 1081/SB 1050) 
JOTF supported this legislation as it seeks to allow for an individual who has been arrested or incarcerated for a body attachment to show cause why the individual should not be found in contempt for failure to answer interrogatries or be given the opportunity, under penalty of perjury, a complete declaration of the individual’s income and assets on a form provided by the judicial officer.
SB 1050 Passed on Second Reader in Senate
HB 1539 awaiting vote from House Economc Matters Committee

Motor Vehicle Insurance – Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating – Use of Marital Status or Gender (HB 657) 
JOTF supported this bill as it would prohibit insurers from rating an applicant’s, or current insured individual’s, level of risk on the basis of nondriving factors such as educational level, employment, or occupation.
Awaiting vote from the House Economic Matters Committee

Motor Vehicle Insurance – Discrimination in Underwriting and Rating – Use of Occupation or Educational Level (HB 656) 
JOTF supported this bill as it would prohibit insurers from rating an applicant’s, or current insured individual’s, level of risk on the basis of nondriving factors such as marital status or gender.
Awaiting vote from the House Economic Matters Committee

Career Preparation Expansion Act (SB 978/HB 1216) 
JOTF supported this legislation as it would increase access to apprenticeship programming by requiring the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to develop a mobile application geared to promote participation in apprenticeship and workforce programming.
SB 978 awaiting vote from full Senate 
HB 12126 awaiting vote from the House Economic Matters Committee

*Legislation to watch next week in Annapolis*

Career and Technology Education and Workforce Investment Act (SB 515/HB 1098) 
Tuesday, March 20 at 1 p.m. in the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee
SUPPORT –  JOTF supports this legislation which seeks to establish the Career and Technology Education (CTE) Grant Program within the Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC) to provide grants to local school systems.

Career Apprenticeship Investment Act (SB 517/HB1226)
Tuesday, March 20 at 1 p.m. in the House Appropriations Committee
SUPPORT – JOTF supports this legislation which aims to increase the amount of funding that the Governor is required to provide in the annual budget for the Maryland Higher Education Commission for Workforce Development Sequence Scholarships.

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