The Arc Maryland's Weekly Legislative Update
 For the Week of February 25 - March 1, 2019
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Join Us in Annapolis on March 21 for
World Down Syndrome Day

Each year on March 21, people across the globe come together to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day! We are excited to announce The Arc Maryland will spend the special occasion in Annapolis, where the First Lady, Yumi Hogan will provide a proclamation issued by her husband, Governor Larry Hogan in honor of the day and  for  The Arc Maryland's role in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

We invite you to join us on the morning of Thursday, March 21 to recognize and celebrate the contributions made by citizens with Down Syndrome in our state and our world, and to raise awareness of Down Syndrome.

The celebration continues throughout the day and that night it is planned that the Governor's Mansion, 110 State Circle, will light up Blue and Gold.

More information on this day will come out shortly, so keep up to date with us on Social Media and on future issues of the Insider. If you are a person with Down Syndrome or the parent/family member of a person with Down Syndrome, we hope you will join us for the proclamation ceremony and other events in the Senate and House.  Please contact Luc Chausse to RSVP and get on our list for more information and details as the day draws closer!  We hope to see you in Annapolis!

Fight for $15 Hearing in the Senate

Developmental Disabilities advocates from across the state came to Annapolis last Thursday to testify on the importance of funding for DD Community Services. 

The Fight for $15 bill (HB 166 / SB 280) aims to raise the state minimum wage to $15 by FY2024 and contains language to provide a 7% rate increase in funding for DD Community Services in FY20, followed by 5.5% in FY21, 5.5% in FY22, 5.5% FY23, and a different percentage increase in FY24.  The bill also includes language for a continuing increase in the state minimum wage and DD funding on years beyond FY24 based on the Consumer Product Index.  At this time, the timeline for phasing in the minimum wage would begin on July 1, 2019 (FY20).  Even though the bill calls for a 7% increase to DD providers starting July 1, 2019, the governor's proposed FY20 budget only contains a 3.5% increase to providers.  This represents a discrepancy (what is IN the proposed budget vs. what DD Community Providers will need when the minimum wage increases) of an additional 3.5% increase in funding ($22.5 million in state general funds).

Without appropriate funding, DD Community Services will continue to be at risk.  We are talking to our representatives to determine possible remedies which may include fencing off funds.  Please see the fact sheet developed by our partners at MACS HERE, and contact your representatives to provide education on the possible impacts to you and your family.

Reminder:  DDA Waiver Amendment Comment Period
is Closing Soon!

DDA Waiver Amendments:  Comment period closes on March 3, 2019!

The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is amending the Community Pathways Waiver, Family Supports Waiver, and Community Supports Waiver programs 
According to DDA, the first amendment will include programmatic adjustments, such as:
  • Alignment of the services scope, requirements, limitations, qualifications, and effective date for the three home and community-based service waivers programs that support individuals with developmental disabilities which includes the Family Supports Waiver, Community Supports Waiver, and the Community Pathways Waiver.
  • Adjustment of some of the service implementation to provide additional time for rate setting and development of critical operational and billing functionality.

Click here to access the full waiver amendment application and click on the individual links on the page to see the changes proposed by waiver.

Public comments regarding the DDA Waiver Amendments can be submitted until March 3, 2019. 

Please submit any comments about the amendments to DDA by email to  or by mail to DDA Federal Programs at 201 West Preston Street, 4th Floor, Baltimore MD 21201.
NotableBudget Hearing Notice and Top 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!
HB100 / SB 125 Budget Bill (FY2020)
-Developmental Disabilities Administration Proposed Budget- 

Making the proposed appropriations contained in the State Budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, in accordance with Article III, Section 52 of the Maryland Constitution; etc.

Status:   Hearing today (Monday) at 3 PM in the House Health and Social Services Subcommittee (Rm 130)

Position:  Support  

Additional Notes: The proposed FY2020 Budget includes an increase of  $1,299,451,407 for the Developmental Disabilities Administration budget with the following breakdown to fund annualization of existing services or new services:

$12,320,521 for Transitioning Youth (young adults exiting high school) - Projected to support 590 people.

$816,833 for Emergency Placements - Projected to support 31 people in Residential, Day, Personal Services, and Individual Support Services (average placement of 6 months).

$5,103,521 for Waiting List (Crisis Resolution) - Projected to support 173 people in crisis to receive Residential, Day, Supported Employment, Self-Directed, Personal, and Individual Support Services (6 to 8 months average placement).

$1,494,170 for Waiting List Equity Fund - Projected to support 38 people (with the oldest caregivers on the list).

$1,184,723 for DSS age-outs - Projected to support 40 people aging out of DSS.

$5,138,169 for Low Intensity Support Services (LISS)

$10,000,000 for the Community Supports Waiver - to provide continued funding for non-residential services in the community for the original 400 slots at a cap of $25,000 per year per individual.

$4,800,000 for the Family Supports Waiver - to provide funding for children under 21 and their families to secure supplemental, wraparound services to those provided by the Maryland State Department of Education. This will fund the original 400 slots at a cap of $12,000 per year per individual.
$250,000 for Post-Secondary Education Program to develop post-secondary education programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

$42,531,483 for a DD Community Services rate increase of 3.5%

HB 397 / SB 339: Public Safety- 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System (Carl Henn's Law)

Requires the Emergency Number Systems Board to establish certain minimum standards and alters the purposes of the 9-1-1 Trust Fund beginning on a certain date for the use of technology and training to implement a more robust EMS.

  Hearings Tuesday, 2/26 at 1 PM in House HGO and Senate FIN

Position:  Support   

Additional Notes:  Based on recommendations from the Commission to advance Next Generation 9-1-1 across Maryland.  Changes to the law would seek to improve the state's 911 calling system (by county) to adopting Next Gen 911 technology to ultimately improve accessibility to EMS for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

  SB 301: Hospitals - Patient Bill of Rights

The bill creates a standardized Patient Bill of Rights and requirements for timely information about testing and treatment, risks and responsibilities, and that information be provided in alternative formats.  The bill also mandates initial and periodic training for hospital personnel so they are have knowledge of rights that shall be upheld for all patients regardless of disability status.

Status: Hearing on Thursday, 2/28 at 1 PM in Senate FIN

Position:  Support

People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities have the right to have full and timely access to information about their health and to informed consent for medical procedures and treatments.  This bill would improve access to information in appropriate formats and hold hospitals accountable for providing proper training to their personnel and accountability for the assurance of patient rights.

Additional Notes:   The Maryland Hospital Association has submitted requests for several amendments.  Requested amendments include removal of requirements for hospitals to inform patients of their rights to access hospital records with the argument that HIPAA already provides assurances.  Unfortunately, it is not well known to many that they may request their hospital records at any time, and requests must be honored.  Keeping this provision in the bill would provide clarification .  In addition, the  MHA has recommended the deletion of right #14  from the Bill of Rights;  the right to have pain managed.  They recommend substituted language to include a right to discuss appropriate treatment and plans for pain management.  Unfortunately, we know that discussing pain management is not the same as receiving proper pain management, therefore, we are recommending that  "management of pain" be kept in the Bill of Rights. 

Other amendment recommendations from MHA  include the addition of a Patient Responsibilities section.  While we recognize and support that patients also have responsibilities in their care and treatment, we believe this should be discussed and developed and remain separate from a Patient's Bill of Rights. 

SB 363: Election Law - Voting Systems - Accessibility for Voters With Disabilities

This bill would require voters to all use a ballot marking device that is accessible to voters with disabilities to vote at early voting centers and election day polling places to ensure that access is provided to voters with disabilities in accordance with a certain provision of law.  It would apply the Act to all elections beginning with the statewide primary election held under a certain provision of law in 2022.

Status: Hearing on Thursday, 2/28 at 1 PM in Senate EHEA

Position:  Support

Additional Notes:   The Arc Maryland, along with our partners at Disability Rights Maryland and the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, support this bill as it will standardize ballots to an accessible format for all voters, thus ensuring privacy so that ballots cast by people with disabilities cannot be identified from ballots cast by people without disabilities.
HB 725: Public Schools- Student Discipline- Restorative Practices
HB 950: State Dept of Education- School Discipline- Data Collection
HB1208: Board of Restorative Practices in Schools- Establishment
HB 1229: Restorative Schools Fund and Grants- Establishment

These bills all are in response to recommendations made by the Maryland Commission on the School-to-Prison Pipeline and Restorative Practices.  All aim to reform discipline practices in schools to ensure proportionality and appropriateness of practices, to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, and ensure students with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free and appropriate public education. 

Status:   Hearings on Thursday, 2/28 at 1 PM in House W&M

Position:  Support with Amendments. 

Additional Notes: For more information on the recommendations that support these bills, please check the bill links and read the full Commission report here.
HB 923 / SB 642: Task Force To Study Transportation Access

This bill establishes the Task Force to Study Transportation Access; states the purpose of the Task Force; provides for the composition, chair, and staffing of the Task Force; authorizes the Task Force to establish subcommittees and requires the Task Force to study and make recommendations regarding certain matters; etc.

Status:  Hearings Wednesday, 2/27 at 1 PM in Senate FIN and Thursday, 2/28 at 1 PM in the House E&T

Position:  Support. 

Additional Notes:  There is a lack of coordinated accessible transportation throughout the Washington Metropolitan Region.  This bill establishes a task force to examine our areas' coordinated transportation system.  It names a partner organization, Maryland Nonprofits, and The Arc Maryland to serve as members to provide input to the development of a report of the current system and the development of recommendations to increase access.  The Arc Maryland focus would be on increasing access for people with I/DD to work and access their communities.
BillTracker Bill Tracker
(Click on the bill number in the chart to see the full bill)
ScheduleHearing Schedule
February 25

House of Delegates:

JUD - 10 :00 A M, Room 101
HB 1247No Fear in Education Act - Student Protection in School (Meadow Pollack's Law)

Health and Social Services Subcommittee - 3:00 PM, Room 130
Developmental Disabilities Administration Budget Hearing

February 26
FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 2 East, Miller
SB 339
Public Safety- 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System (Carl Henn's Law)

EHEA- 1:00 PM, Room 2 West, Miller
SB 734Education - Students With Reading Difficulties - Screenings and Interventions

House of Delegates:

HGO - 1:00 PM, Room 241
HB 397
Public Safety- 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System (Carl Henn's Law)

W&M - 1:00 PM, Room 131
HB 992Election Law - Qualification of Voters - Proof of Identity

February 27
FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 3 East, Miller
SB 431Task Force on Oral Health in Maryland
SB 642Task Force to Study Transportation Access

February 28 :


FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 3 East, Miller
SB 301Hospitals - Patient's Bill of Rights

EHEA - 1:00 PM, Room 2 West, Miller
SB 363Election Law - Voting Systems - Accessibility for Voters With Disabilities

House of Delegates:

E&T - 1:00 PM, Room 251
HB 923Task Force to Study Transportation Access

JUD - 1:00 PM, Room 101
HB 1076Criminal Procedure - Out of Court Statements of Victims - Child Neglect and Abuse or Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult

HB 1283Child in Need of Assistance - Guardianship by Local Department - ABLE Accounts

W&M - 1 :00 P M, Room 131
HB 725: Public Schools- Student Discipline- Restorative Practices
HB 950State Dept of Education- School Discipline- Data Collection
HB 1208Board of Restorative Practices in Schools- Establishment
HB 1229Restorative Schools Fund and Grants- Establishment

March 1


FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 3 East, Miller
SB 425Home Energy Assistance - Critical Medical Needs Program

House of Delegates:

JUD - 1 :00 P M, Room 101
HB 1275: Office of Administrative Hearings- Administrative Law Judges- Special Education Law Training

March 4

House of Delegates:

Health and Social Services Subcommittee   - 3: 00 PM, Room 130
Developmental Disabilities Administration Budget Decision
HGO - 1:00 PM, Room 241
HB 856Health Care Facilities - Hospitals and Related Institutions - Discrimination Protections

March 5

House of Delegates:

EMC   - 1: 00 PM, Room 231
HB 976Labor and Employment- Minimum Wage- Establishment by Counties
HB 994Labor and Employment - Criminal Record Screening Practices (Ban the Box)
HGO - 1:00 PM, Room 241
HB 1244Public Buildings and Places of Public Accommodation - Diaper-Changing Facilities
HB 1262Human Relations - Employment Discrimination and Discriminatory Housing Practices - Revisions

JUD - 1:00 PM, Room 101
HB 743Criminal Procedure - Incompetency and Criminal Responsibility - Dismissal of Charges

March 6


JPR - 12:00 PM, Room 2 East, Miller
SB 675: Duties of a Guardian of the Person - Petition for Visitation
SB 732Child in Need of Assistance - Guardianship by Local Department - ABLE Accounts

B&T - 1:00 PM, Room 3 West, Miller
SB 492Investment in Job Skills Act of 2019

EHEA - 1:00 PM, Room 2 West, Miller
SB 576Student Victim of Violent Crime - Option to Transfer or Require Offender to Transfer Schools
SB 766Public Schools- Student Discipline- Restorative Practices

FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 3 East, Miller
SB 759 Health - Prescription Drug Affordability Board

House of Delegates:

HGO - 1:00 PM, Room 241
HB 768Health - Prescription Drug Affordability Board
HB 832 Maryland Medical Assistance Program - Home- and Community-Based Waiver Services - Prohibition on Denials

E&T - 1:00 PM, Room 251
HB 1233Environment - Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing - Elevated Blood Lead Levels and Environmental Investigations (Maryland Healthy Children Act)

March 7


FIN - 1:00 PM, Room 3 East, Miller
SB 500Labor and Employment - Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program - Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2019)

Health and Human Services Subcommittee - 1:00 PM, William Amos Room, 4th Floor
Developmental Disabilities Administration Budget Hearing

House of Delegates:

EMC - 1:00 PM, Room 231
HB 1189Home Energy Assistance - Critical Medical Needs Program

JUD - 1:00 PM, Room 101
HB 864Duties of a Guardian of the Person - Petition for Visitation

W&M - 1:00 PM, Room 131
HB 45Accountability in Education Act of 2019
HB 148Safe Schools Maryland Act of 2019
HB 356Primary and Secondary Education - Nonpublic Schools - Required Information
HB 1186Nonpublic Schools - Fire Drill Requirements - State Fire Prevention Code
HB 1242Public School Students - Vision Services and the Vision for Maryland 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
  • 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  |  |