The District 20 delegation and two of TPM’s partner organizations are having events in Annapolis on Monday evening, February 17. This is a great way to get to speak to your representatives about issues of importance to TPM and to get a taste of Annapolis. All of these take place on February 17:
District 20 Night: All D20 residents are invited to join the D20 team (Senator Will Smith and Delegates David Moon, Lorig Charkoudian, and Jheanelle Wilkins) for legislative updates, light refreshments, and fellowship. The event will take place in House Office Building, Room 170, from 6-8 pm. Senator Will Smith is the new chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and Delegate David Moon is on the Judiciary Committee in the House. These committees will be hearing a number of bills of importance to TPM’s Equal Justice Committee, so this is a great opportunity to make your voice heard on the bills we summarize below. More information on D20 Night can be found here:
Jews United for Justice Annual Lobby Night: Non-members are welcome to join but must attend one of the pre-lobby night training sessions. You can find more information and sign up for a training session and lobby night on JUFJ’s events page: https://jufj.org/events/
ACLU Annual Lobby Night: More information and RSVP can be found here: https://www.aclu-md.org/en/
TAKE ACTION – Support Community Choice Energy!
Please use the link included below to contact your delegates and senator to get them to support Community Choice Energy. Please also share the link with friends and other organizations inside and outside of Takoma Park. Community Choice Energy is an important tool for both reducing electricity rates for communities that choose to implement it and for moving communities quickly to 100% renewable energy. It allows communities to negotiate directly with energy suppliers on behalf of residents and businesses within the community for reduced rates and green energy. Both Montgomery County and the City of Takoma Park have identified Community Choice Energy as an essential tool in reaching their goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. The bill is also supported by the Maryland Climate Coalition, the NAACP, and the Maryland Consumers Rights Organization. So, click on the link and make your voice heard in support of clean, renewable energy:
Legislation We Are Supporting
Below is a list of bills that TPM’s Equal Justice and Environment Committees are supporting this year. (There may be others you will hear about later in the session). We need your help to weigh in! If you can make it to Annapolis on the 17th, please mention the importance of these bills to our representatives. If you cannot make it to Annapolis, please email your reps about these bills. CLICK HERE to find the mail of all Montgomery County state senators and delegates.
HB 561 – Community Choice Energy [Senate version: SB 315]. Sponsored by Delegate Lorig Charkoudian. See above for description. This bill will have a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 13th before the Economic Matters committee in the Maryland General Assembly. The Senate version will have a hearing on Feb. 25.
HB 624 – Child Interrogation Protection Act [Senate Version: SB 593]. This bill requires a law enforcement officer who takes a child into custody to provide notice to the child’s parents, guardian, and prohibits the interrogation of a child by a law enforcement officer until the child has consulted with an attorney and a notice has been provided to the child’s parent.
SB 901 – State and Local Government – Participation in Federal Immigration Enforcement (the “Big Trust Act”). This bill prohibits law enforcement from detaining someone for ICE without a judicial warrant, providing information to ICE, notifying ICE of someone’s presence, etc. This bill also prohibits correctional facilities from detaining someone at ICE’s request beyond their state court release date without a judicial warrant; the Senate version of this bill currently allows correctional facilities to notify ICE of the release date of a detainee with a prior conviction for a crime of violence, as defined in the MD Judicial Proceedings Code, and to allow ICE to access non-public areas of the facility to accept the transfer of an inmate. Hearing in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Wed., Feb. 26.
HB 388 – Civil Immigration Enforcement – Restrictions (the “Little Trust Act). This bill is just the law enforcement officer part of the big trust act. It prohibits all law enforcement cooperation with ICE, outside of the correctional facility context. Hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Tues., Feb. 11.
HB 677 – Immigration Detention – Prohibition (Dignity Not Detention Act) [Senate version: SB 850]. This bill makes it functionally impossible for any Maryland jurisdiction to allow the construction and maintenance of a private ICE facility. The bill also requires Maryland jurisdictions that currently have contracts to rent beds in detention centers to ICE to end their contracts by October 2021. Hearings in the House Judiciary Committee on Tues., Feb. 25 and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Wed., Feb. 26.
HB 892 – Public Information Act – Motor Vehicle Administration – Warrant for Personal Information and Reporting (“MVA Privacy Act”)[Senate Version: SB 649; only the Senate bill is in a D20 members’ committee]. This bill prohibits the MVA from allowing ICE to access its records without a warrant or subpoena, and requires annual reporting of what records have been shared with ICE. Hearings in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Judiciary Committee on Thurs., Feb. 27.
Maryland Public Information Act: no bill numbers available yet.
Maryland legislators are considering a bill to make police disciplinary records accessible to the public by amending the Maryland Public Information Act. This bill is an important part of holding law enforcement officers accountable to the communities they serve, and making sure that officers who abuse the trust of the community face consequences for their actions. However, police authorities are trying to make sure that only records of “sustained” infractions are available to the public — and they rarely “sustain” any complaints made by the community about officers. We have learned that the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Luke Clippinger, is siding with law enforcement on this issue and is planning to submit a bill that only includes “sustained” complaints. In order to allow for true transparency and accountability, it is essential that both sustained and unsustained complaints be accessible to the public.