The Arc Maryland's Weekly Legislative Update
 For the Week of January 28-February 1, 2019
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HoganGovernor Hogan's Proposed FY2020 Budget
Developmental Disabilities Administration- Proposed Budget Allocations FY20

Community Services Proposed FY 2020 Budget = $1,299,451,407
* $12,320,521 for Transitioning Youth - 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 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 (oldest caregiver).
* $1,184,723 for DSS age outs - Projected to support 40 people aging out of DSS.
* $5,138,169 for Low Intensity Support Services
* $10,000,000 for the Community Support Waiver - to provide continued funding for non-residential services in the community for the original 400 slots at $25,000 a year per individual.
* $4,800,000 for the Family Support 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 $12,000 a 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 provider rate increase of 3.5%

Maryland State Department of Education Proposed Budget Allocations- FY20

No additional Autism Waiver slots.  There is an increase of less than $1 million in funding for the Autism Waiver to cover the increased cost of services. 1,200 children with autism receive services through the Autism Waiver and there are more than 5,500 children on the Autism Waiver Registry.

$20 million increase for public prekindergarten education.

Level funding for the  Maryland Infants & Toddlers Program.

$10 million for the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program. BOOST provides scholarships to students to attend private schools. Of concern, many private schools do not have to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), therefore students with disabilities may not receive the services and supports he or she needs to access a quality education.

$34 million increase in federal funding for the Child Care Subsidy Program that provides free or reduced-cost child care for eligible families. This increase in funds will allow more families to qualify for subsidies.

$35.8 million increase for new educational programming as recommended by the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (Kirwan Commission)
Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Go to The Arc Maryland Facebook page, click on the event link and register.  We already have more than 700 registrants and we expect to sell out in a couple of days. Please do not delay!  We hope to see you at the Maryland Legislature on February 13!

NotableNotable Bills and Updates this 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 166: Labor and Employment - Payment of Wages - Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for Fifteen)

Specifying the State minimum wage rate that is in effect for certain time periods; increasing, except under certain circumstances, the State minimum wage rate based on the annual growth in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metropolitan area; specifying the tip credit amount that is in effect for certain time periods; prohibiting an employer, beginning July 1, 2027, from including the tip credit amount as part of the wage of certain employees; etc.

The 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 developmental disabilities in FY20, followed by 5.5% in FY21, 5.5% in FY22, 5.5% FY23, and a percentage equivalent to the percentage of increase to the minimum wage of the state in years FY24 and beyond (approx. 6.6% in FY24). 

Status:  Hearing, Friday, 2/8 at 12:30 PM in House Economic Matters

Position:  The Arc is working with fellow DD Coalition members on a strategy and messaging around the bill; supporting the move to increase the statewide minimum wage while addressing the timing and funding of the increases for providers.  We appreciate that bill sponsors recognize that community provider rates must be linked to any increases in the state minimum wage as they were in the previous Minimum Wage Act of 2014.

As written, the increases to the state minimum wage would begin on July 1, 2020 with the first step to $11.00 per hour.  While the bill provides for a 7% increase for DD Community Provider funding rates in FY20, the Governor's proposed budget currently contains 3.5% increase for providers.  There would therefore be a gap in funding for providers between what is allocated and what would be needed to implement this Minimum Wage act.

HB 132: Education - Robotics Grant Program - Alterations

This bill expands the eligibility requirements for the Robotics Grant Program to include nonprofit organizations and community clubs that are proposing new or have existing robotics programs.  It also repeals the requirement for existing nonprofit robotics clubs to be associated with a public school to be eligible for the Program; and requires the Governor to increase the annual appropriation for the Program to at least $500,000.

Status:  First Reading W&M

Position:   Support.  This bill would result in expanded access to the program to eligible non-profits and would increase the funding allocation for the grant.  Robotics have been used to provide education access to students who are unable to attend school due to illness or other conditions.  Robots have been shown to help maintain connectedness and student participation in his/her education program, and promote self-esteem, ultimately improving health and education outcomes.

 SB 134: State Board of Nursing- Criminal History Records Checks- Certified Nursing Assistants and Certified Medication Technicians

Requires certain applicants for certification as a medication technician by the State Board of Nursing to submit to a certain criminal history records check; requiring the Criminal Justice Information System Central Repository of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to provide a revised criminal history record to the Board if the criminal history record information is reported to the Central Repository after the date of the initial criminal history records check; etc..

Status:  Hearing 1/30, 2:00 PM in EHEA

Position:  Providing a "Letter of Information" on the impact to Community Providers and potential creation of hiring barriers. Community Providers of DD Services currently conduct background checks on Direct Support Professionals prior to allowing them to work. This requirement has been in place for years as a necessary safety component.  The bill requires that the Central Repository (background information) provide the Board of Nursing updates on a Med Tech or CNA's criminal history as information is updated.  The concern with this provision is that Community DD Providers may not have timely access to these reports (as they may only go to the BON and not necessarily the provider), reports are not always complete, and there may be timing concerns for community providers for this additional background requirement that would present a barrier to recruitment and onboarding.  We at The Arc Maryland will continue to collect more information on potential positive and negative impacts of this proposed legislation.

HB 140: Special Education - Administrative Proceedings and Judicial Actions -Attorney's and Expert Witness Fees and Related Costs

Authorizing an administrative law judge to award certain attorney's fees and related costs to the parent of a child with a disability who is the prevailing party in a special education proceeding; prohibiting an administrative law judge from awarding attorney's fees and certain related costs to a certain parent in a certain proceeding under certain circumstances; etc.

Status:  Hearing 2/7, 1 PM in W & M

Position:  Support.  Many parents cannot afford to fight for the educational rights of their children due to the expense of attorneys and expert witnesses and are therefore at a power disadvantage when the school system has the resources to fend off FAPE and IDEA violation claims, for example, using state funds.  This bill allows an administrative court judge to award fees to parents of a student with disabilities who is the prevailing party in a special education proceeding under certain circumstances. 

HB 145: Hospitals - Patient's Bill of Rights

Requiring each administrator of a hospital to provide patients with a certain patient's bill of rights; requiring each administrator of a hospital to provide certain patients with a translator, an interpreter, or another accommodation to provide certain assistance to patients; requiring each administrator of a hospital to conspicuously post copies of the patient's bill of rights on the hospital's website and in areas of the hospital accessible to patients; etc.

Status:   Hearing 2/6, 2:00 PM at HGO
Position:  Support.  The bill creates a standardized Patient Bill of Rights for Maryland Hospitals and requirements for timely information about testing and treatment, risks and responsibilities, and that information be provided to patients in alternative formats to aid in access to appropriate care.  The Arc Maryland is a member of the Maryland for Patient Rights Coalition.

SB 158: Maryland Department of Health - Community Dental Clinics Grant Program

Establishing the Community Dental Clinics Grant Program; authorizing the Board of Public Works, on the recommendation of the Secretary of Health, to make grants under the Program to counties, municipal corporations, and nonprofit organizations for the purpose of supporting the provision of dental services by community dental clinics; requiring the Governor to include funding in the State capital budget for the Program beginning in fiscal year 2021 and each fiscal year thereafter; etc.

Status:  Fir st  Reading FIN and B&T
Position:  Support.  This bill creates a community dental clinic grant program to expand free and reduced dental services to people in need, including people with disabilities who have historically had difficulties accessing affordable dental care.

 HB 148  / SB 165
 Safe Schools Maryland Act of 2019

Establishing the Safe Schools Maryland Program in the Maryland Center for School Safety; requiring the School Safety Subcabinet to develop program guidance on or before September 1, 2019; requiring a local school system that elects to participate in the program to follow the program guidance; requiring the Center to perform certain tasks related to the program; providing that certain documents and information submitted to the Center are not subject to the Maryland Public Information Act; etc.

Status:  HB 148 First Reading W&M, SB 165 First Reading EHEA
Position:  Monitor and gather additional information to determine implications for students with IEPs and 504 Plans.

  SB 181  : Education - Child Care Subsidies - Mandatory Funding Level

Altering the Governor's required appropriation of certain funds in the State budget, beginning in fiscal year 2021, to increase the Child Care Subsidy Program reimbursement rate to the 60th percentile of the most recent market rate survey or a certain equivalent.

Status:  First Reading B&T
Position:  Support in concept, and researching for additional information. 

  SB 182   : Community Colleges - Supplemental Services and Supports for Students With Disabilities Grant Program

Requiring the Maryland Higher Education Commission to consult with the Maryland Association of Community Colleges when establishing a certain review process and adopting certain guidelines or regulations for a grant program for supplemental services and supports for students with disabilities in community colleges; and requiring, beginning in fiscal year 2021, that the Governor include in the annual budget bill a general fund appropriation of at least $2,500,000 to the Commission to be used to award grants under the program.

Status:   First Reading EHEA and B&T
Position: Support.  This bill creates a funding mandate for 2.5 million to be incuded in the annual budget (General Funds) to be used for grants to provide supplemental services and supports to students with disabilities.  We believe this will improve and increase access to Community College for students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

  SB 103 :
 Criminal Law- Electronic Harassment and Bullying (Grace's Law 2.0)

Altering prohibited actions relating to electronic harassment of minors; prohibiting a person from maliciously engaging in electronic communication under certain circumstances with the intent to induce a minor to commit suicide; prohibiting a person from using an electronic communication to maliciously engage in a certain act or in a certain course of conduct; prohibiting a person from using a computer or a computer network to engage in certain activity with the intent to intimidate, torment, or harass a minor; etc.

Status:  Hearing 1/29 at 1 PM JPR
Position:  Support.  The bill ammends existing anti-bullying law to extend electronic bullying definitions to include the dissemination of sexual information about a minor, posing as another with the intent to harass, and other activities that are intended to harass, imposes increased fines, and other penalties.  The Arc Maryland is aware of situations where students with disabilities have been bullied, harassed and exploited through electronic means, resulting in unimaginable pain for the student and the family and a severe disruption to the students' access of a free and appropriate public education in their neighborhood school. 

HB 110Elementary School Students- Daily Physical Activity (Students Health and Fitness Act) 
Note:  there is also a Prince George's County Delegation Bill -HB196 that is similar in that it calls for mandatory physical activity and physical education for elementary school students. 

This bill calls for mandatory physical activity and physical education time for elementary school students each week, taking a student's IEP into a consideration. 

Status:  Hearing, 1/31 at 1 PM in W & M

Position:  Support with friendly amendment to include 504 Plans.  Research shows that children learn better when their bodies are settled and that physical activity allows for proper proprioceptive feedback, improves mood and reduces stress and anxiety, and a boost to dopamine which improves one's attention span.  It is hoped that regular exercise will also help to address the childhood obesity epidemic that exists in our state and nationwide.

HB 256 / SB 223State Department of Education:  Trauma-Informed Approach

Establishing the Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative in the State Department of Education to expand the use of the trauma-informed approach used in schools and intensively train schools on becoming trauma-informed schools; requiring the Department, in consultation with other relevant departments, to develop certain guidelines; requiring, on or before July 1, 2019, the Department to select one school each from certain areas to receive intensive training on the trauma-informed approach; etc.

Status:  Hearing, 2/6 at 1 PM in EHEA

Position:  There is another bill on restorative justice requirements of schools and we are conferring with partners to see if this bill and the other bill compliment one another.  We support trauma-informed approaches as part of a comprehensive plan for restorative practices in schools.

BillTracker Bill Tracker
(Click on the bill number in the chart to see the full bill)
ScheduleHearing Schedule
January 29
  • Senate: JPR - 1:00 PM, Room 2 East, Miller
    • SB 103: Criminal Law - Electronic Harassment and Bullying (Grace's Law 2.0)
      Sponsor:  Senator Zirkin, District 11, Baltimore County.
      See Description Above.
January 30
  • Senate: B&T - 10:00 AM, Room 3 West, Miller
    • Senate budget briefing by Maryland State Department of Education(MSDE)
  • Senate: B&T - 2:00 PM, Room 3 West, Miller
    • SB 16: Workgroup on Categories for Funding Priorities in the Annual State Budget
      Sponsor:  Senator Serafini, District 2, Washington County
    • Description: Establishing a Workgroup on Categories for Funding Priorities in the Annual State Budget; specifying that the purpose of the Workgroup is to study, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning budgeting models used by state or local governments in the United States that utilize well-defined service categories to set budget funding priorities and allocate resources; requiring the Workgroup to report its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before December 31, 2019; terminating the Act after June 30, 2020; etc.
  • House: EHEA - 2:00 PM, Room 2 West, Miller
    • SB 134: State Board of Nursing - Criminal History Records Checks - Certified Nursing Assistants and Certified Medication Technicians
      Sponsor:  Senator Nathan-Pulliam, District 44, Baltimore City
January 31
  • Senate: Education, Business and Administration Subcommittee Budget Hearing - 1:00 PM, Room 3 West, Miller
    • Budget briefing- MSDE Early Childhood Development
  • House: W&M - 1:00 PM, Room 130
    • HB 110: Elementary School Students - Daily Physical Activity  (Student Health and Fitness Act)
      Sponsor:  Delegate Walker, District 26,  Prince George's County
February 5
  • House of Delegates: APP - 1:00 PM
    • HB 226: Food Stamp Program - Minimum Benefit for Disabled Individuals - State Supplement
  • Senate: B&T - 2:30 PM
    • SB 181: Education- Child Care Subsidies- Mandatory Funding Levels
February 6
  • Senate:  EHEA - 1:00 PM
    • SB 092: Accountability in Education Act of 2019
  • Senate: EHEA - 1:00 PM
    •  SB 223: State Department of Education - Guidelines on Trauma-Informed Approach


  • House of Delegates: EMC & E&T - 2:00 PM, Room 251
    • HB 134: Environment - Single-Use Plastic Straws - Use in Restaurants
  • House of Delegates: W&M - 2:00 PM, Room 131
    • HB 47: State Department of Education and Maryland Department of Health - Maryland School-Based Health Center Standards - Revision
  • House of Delegates: HGO - 2:00 PM, Room 241
    • HB 145
      Hospitals - Patient's Bill of Rights
February 7
  • House of Delegates: E&T - 1:00 PM, Room 251
    • HB 112: Vehicle Laws - Injury or Death of Vulnerable Individual - Penalties
  • House of Delegates: W & M - 1:00 PM
    •  HB 140: Special Education- Administrative Proceedings and Judicial Actions- Attorneys and Expert Witness Fees and Related Costs
  • House of Delegates: W & M - 1:00 PM
    • HB 87: State Board of Education- Membership- Teachers and Parents
February 8
  • House of Delegates: EMC - 12:30 PM
    •  HB 166: Labor and Employment- Payment of Wages- Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for 15)
Please note: the following abbreviations identify the legislative committees in the Maryland General Assembly.Abrv

House of Delegates
  • 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.