The Arc Maryland's Weekly Legislative Update
 For the Week of February 11 - 15, 2019
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Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature Schedule Update

For those attending the sold out DD Day at the Legislature or watching the program online at the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Coalition Facebook page
, we have an important update:  The program is now starting at 8:45 AM (formerly 9:00 AM). Most attendees are present by this time so no material adjustments may be needed.  We are working to accommodate legislators who have morning meetings to also attend.
We are looking forward to a very informative morning with advocates from across Maryland!  See you soon!
 
Fight for $15

The committee room and hallway were packed with advocates on Friday for the Fight for $15 bill ( HB 166) hearing.  T he Fight for 15 bill aims to raise the state minimum wage to $15 by 2024 and contains language to provide a 7% rate increase to Community Providers supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in FY20, followed by 5.5% in FY21, 5.5% in FY22, 5.5% FY23, and a different percentage in FY24.  The bill also includes language for a continuing increase in the state minimum wage and DD funding on years beyond FY24.  HB 166 
includes provisions for DD Community Services funding; to ensure that Direct Support jobs do not become minimum wage jobs.

SB 280 (companion bill) will be heard next Thursday, 2/21 in the Senate Finance Committee at 1 PM. 
 
NotableTop 5 Bills of the Week
*For a key to the committee abbreviations, please click here or see  the end of this Newsletter* for full committee names and the hearing schedules.

Click on the bill numbers below to link to each bill!
HB 251 /  SB 279: Department of Aging- Grants for Aging-in-Place Program (NANA Act) 

Creates grants for non-profit organizations to expand and establish aging in place programs for seniors.  Included are funding for affordable transportation and home modifications to improve safety, mobility, and accessibility.

Status:   Hearing Thursday, 2/14 at 1 PM in Senate FIN

Position:  Support. 
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are living longer and need community-based options for housing and day-time/retirement activities.  This grant will be open to non-profit organizations who seek to modify homes, vehicles and programs to better meet the needs of our aging population.

HB 415: Medical Assistance Employment Initiative Pilot Program 

Establishes a Medical Assistance Employment Initiative Pilot Program with the goal of  "reducing the number of able-bodied individuals depending on social programs."

Status:  Hearing Tuesday, 2/12 at 1 PM in House EMC

Position:  Oppose. 
In states that have imposed "Medicaid Work Requirements," people with disabilities have lost their Medicaid benefits due to an inability to comply with additional administrative burdens to prove "inability to work".  Most people with I/DD want to work and already experience barriers to obtaining jobs including a lack of appropriate supports, and transportation.  People with disabilities are involuntarily unemployed or underemployed but this is not due to a lack of interest in working.  Therefore, it seems that a state campaign to encourage the employment of people with disabilities that is targeted toward employers would do more for the state than imposing additional "proof of inability" requirements on people with disabilities.

HB 381: Baltimore County Public Schools- Student Misconduct- Penalty for Parent or Guardian

Imposes a penalty for the parent or guardian of a child who is deemed to have harassed, bullied, or intimidated another student.

Status:  Hearing Thursday, 2/14 at 1 PM in House W & M

Position:  Oppose.  
Children with certain disabilities may find it challenging to understand the nature of social relationships with other children or adults.  For example, some children may stand too close to other children or follow other children around school in an effort to make friends.  These actions are sometimes perceived as harassment under the student code.  Additionally, some students have difficulty with tone or volume of voice, and this could be perceived by some as intimidating.  This bill would set up a situation by which not only would a student be punished for behaviors that may very well be a direct manifestation of a certain disability, but it would allow for their parents to be fined for the child's disability-related behavior.

HB 295 / SB 848: Non-Public Elementary and Secondary Schools - Discrimination Prohibition

Prohibits private schools from discriminating against children during the application process on the basis that they fall into a protected class that public schools acknowledge. 

Status:  Hearing Thursday, 2/14 at 1 PM in House W & M and 12 PM in Senate JUD

Position:  Support. 
Private schools who access state funding would loose state funding if they were found to have discriminated against a child during the administration process on the basis of the child's disability.

HB 341 / SB 500: Labor and Employment- Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program- Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2019)

Establishes the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program through which employees may take up to 12 weeks of paid leave from their jobs to care for new children, other family members with serious health conditions or disabilities, or themselves.

Status:  Hearing Tuesday, 2/12 at 1 PM in House EM

Position:  Support with Amendments. 
Employees who are the primary caregivers of children and adults with significant disabilities, chronic health conditions, or elderly family members much navigate and advocate within a complex system of health care, disability and other government benefits, and education services on behalf of their loved ones.  The time involved in caring for a loved one with complex needs makes it exceedingly difficult to hold down a job, and succeed in the workforce.  This leave insurance program would allow parents to take intermittent leave, on a paid basis, while ensuring their jobs were not threatened by the taking of that necessary leave.

While the idea of this benefit it one that The Arc supports, there are some concerns with the way in which the bill is currently written and implications for DD Community Providers who provide community based supports to over 17,000 individuals with I/DD in Maryland, and whose funding rates are set by the state.  Without an increase in state funding to support the employer contributions to this insurance initiative, the program would amount to another unfunded mandate to providers, placing additional strain on our systems.

Additional concerns relate to definitions of terms such as 
"covered employee" -employees who have worked 40 hours a week for 17 weeks out of the year would be eligible; timing which may not line up with other benefits enrollment periods, making it difficult for DD Community providers to track and manage without additional unfunded administrative support.
"employer"- means a person who employs at least one individual. This would have implications for people who Self-Direct their services who currently do not receive enough in their budgets to offer benefits such as this to their employees.
"family member"- the definition would extend consideration as family to individuals related by "affinity" whose close association with the employee is equivalent to a family relationship.  This seems to be too broad to manage.
"qualifying exigency"- extends allowable uses of leave to family members or service members to attend military events "and related activities".  This seems to broad to manage.

We are interested in working with the Bill Sponsors and our other partners to work through these concerns.

BillTracker Bill Tracker
(Click on the bill number in the chart to see the full bill)
ScheduleHearing Schedule
February 12
 
House of Delegates:
 
EMC - 1:00 PM, Room 231
HB 341Labor and Employment - Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program - Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2019)
HB 415Medical Assistance Employment Initiative Pilot Program

HGO - 1:00 PM, Room 241
  Task Force on Oral Health in Maryland

JUD
 - 1:00 PM, Room 101
HB 306Mental Health - Involuntary Admission - Inmates in Correctional Facilities

February 13

Senate:

JPR - 12:00 PM, Room 2 East, Miller
SB 804: Vehicle Laws - Injury or Death of Vulnerable Individual - Penalties

EHEA - 1:00 PM, Room 2 West, Miller
SB 529: State Board of Education - Membership - Teachers and Parent
SB 778: Education - Identification of Students With Traumatic Brain Injury - Study and Report

House of Delegates:

EMC - 1 :00 P M, Room 231
HB 134: Environment - Single-Use Plastic Straws - Use in Restaurants

HGO - 1:00 PM, Room 241
HB 332Maryland Department of Health - Community Dental Clinics Grant Program

February 14:

Senate:

JPR - 12:00 PM, Room 2 East, Miller
SB 330Public Buildings and Places of Public Accommodation - Diaper-Changing Facilities
SB 534Public Buildings and Places of Public Accommodation - Diaper-Changing Facilities in Restrooms
SB 848Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Schools - Discrimination - Prohibition

FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 3 East, Miller
SB 195Public Health - Prescription Drug Monitoring Program - Revisions
SB 279Department of Aging - Grants for Aging-in-Place Programs (Nonprofits for our Aging Neighbors Act - "NANA")

House of Delegates:

W&M - 1 :00 P M, Room 131
HB 256: State Department of Education- Guidelines on Trauma-Informed Approach
HB 295Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Schools - Discrimination - Prohibition
HB 356Primary and Secondary Education - Nonpublic Schools - Required Information
HB 381Baltimore County Public Schools - Student Misconduct - Penalty for Parent or Guardian
HB 439Public Schools - School Resource Officers - Prohibited Conduct

February 15

House of Delegates:

HGO - 1 :00 P M, Room 241
HB 399: End-of-Life Option Act (Richard E. Israel and Roger "Pip" Moyer Act)

February 19

Senate:

JPR - 12:00 PM, Room 2 East, Miller
SB 311End-of-Life Option Act (Richard E. Israel and Roger "Pip" Moyer Act)
SB 398Code Revision - Estates and Trusts
SB 475Office of the Attorney General - Senior and Vulnerable Adult Asset Recovery Unit
SB 812Fair Housing Opportunities Act of 2019

House of Delegates:

E&T - 1:00 PM, Room 251
HB 451: Fair Housing Opportunities Act of 2019

HGO - 1:00 PM, Room 241
HB 436: Estates and Trusts - Protection of Minors and Disabled Persons - Guardianship

February 20

Senate:

EHEA   - 1: 00 PM, Room 2 West, Miller
SB 182: Community Colleges - Supplemental Services and Supports for Students With Disabilities Grant Program
 
FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 3 East, Miller
SB 302Mental Health - Electroconvulsive Therapy for Minors - Prohibition
SB 402Mental Health - Involuntary Admission - Inmates in Correctional Facilities
SB 404State Department of Education and Maryland Department of Health - Maryland School-Based Health Center Standards - Revision

House of Delegates:

EMC  - 1:00 PM, Room 231
HB 485: Office of the Attorney General - Senior and Vulnerable Adult Asset Recovery Unit

February 21

Senate:

JPR - 12:00 PM, Room 2 East, Miller
SB 774Correctional Services - Restrictive Housing - Reporting by Correctional Units and Requirements Relating to Minors

FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 3 East, Miller
SB 280: Labor and Employment - Payment of Wages - Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for Fifteen)
SB 681: Labor and Employment - Maryland Healthy Working Families Act - Seasonal Temporary Workers

House of Delegates:

APP - 1:00 PM, Room 121
HB 491: State Contractual Employees - Paid Leave
HB 714: Community Colleges - Supplemental Services and Supports for Students With Disabilities Grant Program

Please note: the following abbreviations identify the legislative committees in the Maryland General Assembly.Abrv

House of Delegates
  • Appropriations Committee - APP
  • Economic Matters Committee - EMC
  • Environment and Transportation Committee - E&T
  • Health and Government Operations Committee - HGO
  • Judicial Committee - JUD
  • Ways and Means Committee - W&M
Senate 
  • Budget & Taxation Committee - B&T
  • Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee - EHEA
  • Finance Committee - FIN
  • Judicial Proceedings Committee - JPR
The Arc Maryland Public Policy Team 
Ande Kolp, Executive Director
Bea Rodgers, Governmental Affairs Committee Chair
Laura Carr, Board President and Governmental Affairs Liaison
Grace Williams, Assistant Director of Public Policy and Advocacy
Edward Willard, Policy Analyst
Lori Scott, Liaison to the Education Advocacy Coalition

Want to join our Governmental Affairs Committee?  Call Luc Chausse at 410-571-9320 for more information.
The Arc Maryland | (410) 571-9320  | info@thearcmd.org  | www.thearcmd.org