The 445th session of Maryland’s General Assembly meets from January 11 – April 10, 2023. AAUW is a non-partisan organization, although we take positions on policy priorities.
We are tracking the following bills, some of which do not yet have bill numbers, and they are on our priority list this session.
- SB0798, HB0705. Declaration of Rights – Right to Reproductive Freedom. This legislation will lead to a ballot measure to create a constitutional amendment to protect the rights of individuals to make their own reproductive health decisions in Maryland.
- SB129, HB0004. Sexual Crimes – Repeal of Spousal Defense. This bill proposes to repeal the law allowing marriage as a defense to sex crimes.
- SB0859, HB808. Reproductive Health Protection Act. This legislation will create protections in our laws for pregnant individuals seeking abortion care, as well as those providing support to pregnant individuals (including health care providers, support organizations, and volunteers), from civil, criminal, and administrative liability.
- SB341, HB477. Access to Reproductive Health Care at Public Institutions of Higher Learning. Requires public institutions of higher education to develop policies that guarantee students access to emergency contraception and medicated abortion.
- SB292, HB297. Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth. This bill will provide a safe harbor for child victims of sex trafficking and prevent their further victimization by connecting them to rehabilitative and supportive services through the already established Regional Navigator program, while providing a pathway to prevent any criminal or delinquent charges brought against them that are directly related to their trafficking.
- Child Care Sustainability Act. Sustain investments in the Child Care Scholarship Program ensuring access to affordable childcare for Maryland families.
- SB185, HB0003. The Maryland State Police Gun Center – Protective Orders. This bill will expand the role of the Maryland State Police Gun Center to include collecting and tracking data on guns surrendered pursuant to a final protective order.
- SB743, HB840. Climate, Labor, and Environmental Equity Act of 2023. The Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act (CCEJ) will help meet Maryland’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction plan to meet net-zero emissions by 2045, in a just and equitable way by enhancing resilience to climate impacts; demanding accountability from fossil fuel companies by charging them a fee for the damages they are causing; using the revenue from the fee to help protect low- and moderate-income (LMI) households from financial harm; and aiding county and municipal governments in developing local Climate Action Plans.
In addition to the above Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) agenda, AAUW Maryland will be supporting three other bills related to women and family health:
- SB387, HB274. Emergency Room Wait Times. Maryland has the longest ER wait time in the country. We want a Task Force impaneled to examine best practices in other states with shorter wait times to learn about process improvements.
- SB845, HB0933. End of Life Option Act. The bill would authorize medical aid in dying, which is a widely supported and time-tested medical practice that allows a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live, to request a prescription from their doctor for medication they can decide to self-ingest to die peacefully in their sleep.
- SB101, HB0048. Maryland Medical Assistance Program. This bill updates the state’s current services available to aid mentally ill and addicted citizens.