The Arc Maryland's Weekly Legislative Update
Week of Session: March 21 to 25, 2022
Stay up to date on legislation through our Bill Tracker! View position statements, access bill text, and check hearing times and dates.
The Arc Maryland Celebrates World Down Syndrome Day in Annapolis
Today, March 21st, The Arc Maryland joins advocates with Down syndrome and their families in celebrating World Down Syndrome Day in Annapolis! This afternoon, we will hear from advocates with Down syndrome and legislative leaders before dancing the afternoon away. Check out our publication here, highlighting Marylanders with Down syndrome. Be sure to rock your colorful and/or mismatched socks today to celebrate!
Today is Cross-Over Day - March 21st
Today, March 21st is the "Opposite Chamber Bill Crossover" date. Each Chamber is to send bills it intends to pass favorably to the other Chamber by this date. Opposite Chamber bills received after this date will be subject to referral to Rules Committees (Senate Rule 32(c), House Courtesy Date). 

As our legislative session is only 90 days long, bills will have the best chance of making it through the process to becoming law if they cross over today. Bills that pass out of their originating Chamber and do not have a companion bill in the opposite Chamber will be scheduled for hearings. Bills passed in the originating Chamber that have matching "Companion" bills (Senate and House Bills that are presented with the same bill text and title) are typically heard in the Opposite Chamber after this date with "Sponsor Only" testimony.
SB0636 - Maryland Department of Health - Waiver Programs - Waitlist and Registry Reduction (End the Wait Act)
Position: Support

Current Status:
Passed the Senate on a Unanimous Vote! (46-0)

Pictured is the Senate Chamber Vote Board showing a vote of 46-0 In Favor

This legislation would 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. A clarifying amendment notes the Autism Waiver Registry would be "cleaned up," and for the eligible individuals on that list, a plan would be developed to serve 50%.
SB0275 - Labor and Employment - Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program - Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2022)
Position: Support with Amendments

Current Status:
Passed in Senate with Several Amendments. Companion House Bill is significantly different and has not yet moved.

Pictured is a mother carrying her young child.

This legislation would establish the Family and Medical Leave Insurance program to provide certain paid leave benefits and assurances for employees to take leave for certain purposes. Amendments impacting Maryland Developmental Disabilities Providers and people who Self Direct their services include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Definition of Employee does not include Sole-Proprietors, and owners of LLCs.
  2. Clarifies the notice required of an employee planning to take foreseeable leave.
  3. Moves timelines for the beginning of contributions and beginning of paid leave availability (availability of the fund) by 6 months.
  4. Changes contributions of an employer to 25% and employee to 75% (was previously 50-50).
  5. Clarifies that intermittent leave may be taken in intervals of not less than 4 hours.
  6. Clarifies that an individual may not take paid leave under the program in excess of 12 weeks a year unless they meet certain criteria (need for additional leave to care for a child after taking leave to care for themselves, for example).
  7. Requirements for monitoring the fund and reports of fund balances.
  8. Requirements for the return of an employee to an equivalent position do not apply to people who Self-Direct their services who are employers of record.
  9. Clarifies that it is the intent of the General Assembly that the State pays the required contribution under § 8.3–601 of the Labor and Employment Article, as enacted by Section 1 of this Act, to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund for employers that are community providers that are community–based agencies or programs funded by the Behavioral Health Administration, the Developmental Disabilities Administration, or the Medical Care Programs Administration to serve individuals with mental disorders, substance-related disorders, or a combination of those disorders or developmental disabilities. 
SB0705 - Education - Physical Restraint and Seclusion - Limitations, Reporting, and Training
Position: Support

Current Status:
Passed in Senate with Clarifying Amendments

Pictured is the Senate vote tally for this bill and Senator Hough, who has been a champion for the elimination of seclusion and limitation of restraint, along with Senators Zucker and Hester.

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.
SB0290 - Budget Bill (FY2023)
Position: Support

Current Status:
Passed in Senate as Amended by Unanimous Vote (47-0)

Pictured are Budget and Taxation Committee Chairperson Guy Guzzone, providing remarks prior to the vote, and the Senate Chamber vote count.

The Budget contains acceptance of the Governor's appropriation for Developmental Disabilities Administration funding without cuts or delays, and also includes a Fenced-off appropriation to provide an additional 4% increase for DDA providers, as well as a fenced appropriation to support an additional 1,800 Autism Waiver placements and other waiver service slots.
HB1020 - Developmental Disabilities Administration - Self Directed Services (Self-Direction Act of 2022)
Position: Letter of Information

Current Status:
In House Second Reading Passed with Amendments

Pictured is the Speaker of the House ordering the Bill to be printed for third reading.

This legislation would require the DDA to establish and provide training materials to coordinators of community services (CCS) on self-directed services and require CCSs to educate recipients on self-directed services. It would also require that home- and community-based services waiver recipients receive support broker services and awake overnight supports. There are elements of the bill that would prevent the Department from placing caps or limitations on certain services.
SB0559 - Estates and Trusts - Supported Decision Making
Position: Support

Current Status:
Crossing Over - In House, Hearing 3/23 at 1 PM, JUD
Testimony will be Sponsor only.

This bill would authorize the use of supported decision making (SDM) in Maryland. SDM is an alternative to guardianship that 20 jurisdictions across the country have recognized as a legal option.
SB0299 - Education - Public and Nonpublic Schools - Seizure Action Plans (Brynleigh's Act)
Position: Support

Current Status:
Crossing Over - In House, Hearing 3/24 at 1 PM, W&M
Testimony will be Sponsor only.

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.
HB0660 - Commission to Study the Division of Rehabilitative Services (Student Job Training Reformation Act)
Position: Support with Friendly Amendments

Current Status:
Crossing Over - In Senate, Hearing 3/23 at 1 PM, EHEA
Testimony is due between tomorrow, 3/22 at 4 PM and 3/23 at 10 AM

The bill would establish the Commission to Study the Division of Rehabilitative Services to evaluate and make recommendations on improving various aspects of the Division of Rehabilitative Services' 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.
Board Member Bea Rodgers Joins the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame
Join us in congratulating Board Member Bea Rodgers on her induction to the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, for years of dedication to supporting Marylanders with disabilities! Bea has been an integral leader in our advocacy and governmental affairs work for years, but her influence and work in the community stretched far beyond her time with The Arc. Thank you, Bea, for a lifetime of advocacy! Check out the article here on Bea's induction.
Submit Nominations for The Arc Maryland's Award Banquet on May 17th
Do you know a person or organization that deserves recognition for their efforts to advance inclusion in schools, workplaces, healthcare, and the community? Consider nominating them for one of The Arc Maryland's Annual Awards on our website here! Nominations are due by Friday, April 8, 2022.

Honorees will be recognized during our Annual Convention and Awards Banquet on May 17th at Turf Valley in Ellicott City Maryland. Check out our website for more information on Sponsor and Exhibitor opportunities. Tickets will be available soon!
Wednesday, March 23rd at 1:00 PM In House, W&M
  • SB0093: Tax Credits - Employment of Individuals With Disabilities
Wednesday, March 23rd at 1:00 PM In House, JUD
  • SB0559: Estates and Trusts - Supported Decision Making
  • SB0357: Adult Protective Services - Vulnerable Adults Registry - Investigations and Records of Abuse and Neglect and Workgroup Study
  • SB0053: Juvenile Law - Juvenile Interrogation Protection Act
Wednesday, March 23rd at 1:00 PM In Senate, EHEA
  • HB0660: Commission to Study the Division of Rehabilitative Services (Student Job Training Reformation Act)
Thursday, March 24th at 1:00 PM In House, W&M
  • SB0119: Education – Crimes on School Grounds – Application
  • SB0299: Education - Public and Nonpublic Schools - Seizure Action Plans (Brynleigh's Act)
  • SB0617: Local School Systems - Equivalent Access Standards - Digital Tools (Nonvisual Access Accountability Act for K-12 Education)
Thursday, March 24th at 1:30 PM In Senate, HGO
  • SB0440: Commission to Study the Health Care Workforce Crisis in Maryland - Establishment
  • SB0600: Health Facilities - Residential Service Agencies - Reporting Requirement
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