The Arc Maryland's Weekly Legislative Update
Week of Session: April 4 to 8, 2022
We are heading to the finish line! The end of Session, also known as Sine Die, is coming up on Monday, April 11th at midnight.
Stay up to date on legislation through our Bill Tracker! View position statements, access bill text, and check hearing times and dates.
SB0559 - Estates and Trusts - Supported Decision Making
Position: Support

Current Status:
In House, Waiting for Committee Vote; Hearing was on 3/23 in JUD

While this legislation advanced through the Senate Chamber on a unanimous vote, when it crossed over to the House JUD, it has stalled. Despite having no known opposition, and having tremendous advocate support, the bill has not advanced. If it is not voted out of JUD ASAP, we will run out of time, and the bill will not pass this session.

Action Alert:
Please call or email members of House JUD today to let them know what Supported Decision Making means to you! Ask them to bring the bill for a vote in the committee!

Contacting Members of the House Judiciary Committee
You can show your support for Supported Decision Making in Maryland by contacting members of the House JUD about SB0559. Their contact information is below. Thank you for your advocacy!
Delegate Luke Clippinger
Phone 410-841-3303 or

Delegate David Moon
Phone 410-841-3474 or

Delegate Curt Anderson
Phone 410-323-4324

Delegate Lauren Arikan
Phone 410-841-3334 or 301-858-3334

Delegate Sandy Bartlett
Phone 410-841-3370 or 301-858-3370

Delegate Jon S Cardin
Phone 410-841-3054 or 301-858-3054

Delegate Frank Conaway
Phone 410-841-3189

Delegate Daniel Cox
Phone 410-841-3288 or 301-858-3288

Delegate Charlotte Crutchfield
Phone 410-841-3485 or 301-858-3485

Delegate Debra Davis
Phone 410-841-3337 or 301-858-3337

Delegate Wanika Fisher
Phone 410-841-3340 or 301-858-3340

Delegate Robin Grammer Jr.
Phone 410-841-3298 or 301-858-3298

Delegate Faye Martin Howell
Phone 410-841-3692 or 301-858-3692

Delegate Rachel Jones
Phone 410-841-3103 or 301-858-3103

Delegate Lesley Lopez
Phone 410-841-3021 or 301-858-3021

Delegate Susan McComas
Phone 410-841-3272 or 301-858-3272

Delegate Rachel Munoz
Phone: 410-841-3510 or 301-858-3501

Delegate Emily Shetty
Phone 410-841-3181 or 301-858-3181

Delegate Haven Shoemaker
Phone 410-841-3359 or 410-841-3359

Delegate Brenda Thiam
Phone 410-841-3125 or 301-858-3125

Delegate Karen Toles
Phone 301-858-3524 or 410-841-3524

Delegate Nicole Williams
Phone 410-841-3058 or 301-858-3058
HB0660 - Commission to Study the Division of Rehabilitative Services (Student Job Training Reformation Act)
Position: Support with Friendly Amendments

Current Status:
In Senate, Waiting for Committee Vote; Hearing was on 3/23 in EHEA

This bill would establish the Commission to Study the Division of Rehabilitative Services (DORS) to evaluate and make recommendations on improving various aspects of DORS's programs and services. It would require the Commission to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 15, 2022. Proposed amendments include adding the Maryland Department of Disabilities, Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, and People On the Go, and include additional tasks for the Commission to evaluate the Workforce Training Center location, accessibility, and purpose.

The Hearing went well with strong support for creating a Commission to look at DORS.

Action Alert:
Please call or email Senate EHEA Committee Chair, Paul Pinsky and ask him to move HB0660 to a vote in his committee ASAP!
Senator Paul Pinsky
Phone 410-841-3155 or 301-858-3155
SB0299/HB0136 - Education - Public and Nonpublic Schools - Seizure Action Plans (Brynleigh's Act)
Position: Support

Current Status:
Both Bills Have Passed Both Chambers in Slightly Different Postures.

Brynleigh's Act requires school personnel to be trained in seizure recognition and response and consistency in Seizure Action Plan development for students with seizure conditions. Both bills are now under review in their original chambers and may go to a conference committee to work out the differences between the bills.

Action Alert:
Please contact Senate and House Leadership to ensure they know how important this legislation is to you. Communicate your hopes and wishes that the Senate and House Chambers work out the small differences in the bills expeditiously so the bill can finally be considered passed and sent to the Governor!
Senate President:
Senator Bill Ferguson
Phone 410-841-3600 | 301-858-3600
House Speaker:
Delegate Adrienne Jones
Phone 410-655-3090
The Governor's FY23 Budget
After so many years of your advocacy, we have seen incredible movement to improve conditions in the Developmental Disabilities Administration under the Department of Health.

The budget for Developmental Disabilities Community Services includes funding to provide an 8% increase for community services rates in FY23, thanks in major part to a growing partnership between the advocates, our legislative champions, and the administration!

The Governor submitted several Supplemental Budgets, two of which had a direct, positive impact for DD Community Services, Medicaid funded Dental Services, Childcare, and MSDE (Autism Waiver) funding. Some of the details are as follows:

Supplemental Budget #3 - Click to see the budget proposal (#3)
Two weeks ago, Governor Hogan released Supplemental Budget #3, which contained an additional $56,866,193 in funding for DDA Community Services. This amount includes $29 million from the State General Fund and an additional $27 million in federal funding.
Supplemental Budget #5 - Click to see the budget proposal (#5)
Included in Supplemental Budget #5 is funding for the following: 
  • HB0006/SB0150 - Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Dental Coverage for Adults
  • Providing $82 million in funding to further expand Medicaid dental coverage  (Item 6)
  • $32.9M from the State General Fund 
  • $49.4M from Federal Funds 
  • SB0636/HB1403 - Maryland Department of Health - Waiver Programs - Waitlist Reduction (End the Wait Act)
  • Labeled as Autism Waiver Funding, but may be expanded to other waivers (Item 14)
  • SB0506/HB0725 - Children - Therapeutic Child Care Program – Funding 
  • $3.7 million in funds (Item 8)
  • $3.2 million in funds for Child Care Assistance Grants (Item 9)
  • Funding for child care stabilization and expansion grants. 
  • $2 million in funds for the Child Care Scholarship program (Item 10) 
  • Funding for Special Education Teacher Salaries
  • $4 million in funding to support Non-Public Special Education School Teacher Salaries in Supplemental Budget #5. 

The Legislature has met to revise the state budget bill to include many of the items in the supplemental requests and we are pleased with what we believe will be the final product!
HB1255/SB0705 - Education - Physical Restraint and Seclusion - Limitations, Reporting, and Training
Position: Support

Current Status:
HB1255 - Passed Enrolled and sent to the Governor for signing!
SB0705 - Passed in Both Chambers

This legislation prohibits a public agency from using seclusion as a behavioral health intervention for a student, prohibits a public agency from using physical restraint, and a nonpublic school from using physical restraint or seclusion as a behavioral health intervention for a student, except under certain circumstances. It also requires the State Department of Education to develop an accountability system to measure compliance with regulations adopted on the use of physical restraint and seclusion.
SB0636/HB1403 - Maryland Department of Health - Waiver Programs - Waitlist and Registry Reduction (End the Wait Act)
Position: Support

Current Status:
SB0636 - Returned Passed
HB1403 - Crossed Over; In Senate First Reading SRU

This legislation will require the Maryland Department of Health to develop plans to reduce the waitlist for waiver programs by 50% beginning in FY24. The plans must include a review of current provider capacity and rates for sufficiency.

Please sign the thank you card here for our Senate and House Sponsors of this important legislation that will impact families and people with disabilities who have been waiting for years on waiting lists and registries. This is historic legislation!!
HB1020 - Developmental Disabilities Administration – Self–Directed Services (Self–Direction Act of 2022)
Position: Letter of Information

Current Status:
In Senate, Favorable Report FIN

This bill will restore many of the flexibilities to the Self Direction Option, increasing possible hours of support broker services to 30 per week (as needs demonstrate), ensuring people do not have to undergo competency testing to participate in the Self Direction Option, codifying that Personal Supports may include awake overnight supports as needed by the person and family may be hired as staff. Many of The Arc Maryland's concerns were addressed through bill amendments, however, there are a couple of components of the bill that we have continuing concerns over. These have been communicated and we hope they will be worked out through regulation or policy. We are grateful for our partnership with SDAN and their willingness to amend many of the problematic aspects of the original bill!

While the House version of the bill (HB1020) heads to the Senate floor for a final vote, the companion Senate bill (SB0868) did not cross over, so it is not clear if it will have time to proceed. The Senate bill was amended before passage to conform to the House Bill.
The Establishment of a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (Time to Care Act)
Position: Support with Amendments

Current Status:
Various versions of the bill from the House and Senate continue to be revised with language negotiated to create a family and medical leave insurance program in Maryland. See here for the House Committee Reprint of SB0275. House EMC made several changes to the version of the bill that passed the Senate including but not limited to the following:
  • Changing the definition of an employer from those businesses having 1 or more employees to those businesses employing 15 or more employees.
  • Putting responsibility on determining employer and employee contributions to the plan on a group of organizations represented by the Chambers, Department of Labor, and other major stakeholders. The contributions could range from employers contributing anywhere from 75-25% of the benefits and employees contributing anywhere from 75-25% of the benefits.
  • The amendments also put guardrails around when the leave program can be used, requiring exhaustion of other voluntarily provided leave from the employer before the employee can dip into the insurance program for paid leave.
The state covering Medicaid provider premiums (DD providers) and other components of import to our industry largely remained intact during negotiations.

Stay tuned, as this legislation is coming down the home stretch and is likely to have further changes before Sine Die. We are grateful to our legislative champions who have heard our concerns and addressed many of them through amendments in committee!
Tuesday, April 5th at 1:00 PM In Senate, EHEA
  • HB0023: School Discipline - Data Collection and School Resource Officers
  • HB0019: Education - School Construction - Pedestrian Safety Plans (Safe Walk to School Act)
  • HB0657: Public Schools - Standardized Behavioral Health Screenings for Students - Development and Implementation
Please note that the following abbreviations identify the Legislative Committees in the Assembly:
House of Delegates:
APP - Appropriations
EMC - Economic Matters
E&T - Environment and Transportation
HGO - Health and Government Operations
HRU - Rules and Executive Nominations
JUD - Judiciary
W&M - Ways and Means
B&T - Budget and Taxation
EHEA - Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
EXN - Executive Nominations
FIN - Finance
JPR - Judicial Proceedings
SRU - Rules
R&R - Reapportionment and Redistricting