- 1 Ways to Resist
- 2 Updates
- 3 Actions Taken by the State Government
- 4 Key Upcoming Elections
- 5 Healthcare
- 6 Policing
- 7 Immigration
- 8 Voting Rights
- 9 Mass Incarceration
- 10 Benefits / Tax Cuts
- 11 Housing/Infrastructure
- 12 Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- 13 LGBTQ+ Issues
- 14 Educational Justice
- 15 Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- 16 Climate / Environment
- 17 Disability Rights
- 18 Organizations and Events
- 19 Local News Sources
- 20 Relevant City and County Information
Ways to Resist
- Contact your elected officials:
- Get involved with local organizations.
- Find organizations with state and local presences working in your area.
- Check out our Tools of Resistance.
- Look for upcoming events and opportunities and state and local events.
There are no recent updates
To see past updates for Maryland, click here.
Actions Taken by the State Government
Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by Maryland lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:
- SB 665 / HB 913 would:
- Give the Maryland attorney general the power to sue the Trump administration.
- Urge Governor Hogan and the state's congressional delegation to strongly oppose efforts to repeal provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act that provide health insurance to at least 400,000 Marylanders.
- Urge a commission to monitor federal actions on health insurance and position the state for any reduction in coverage of Marylanders.
- Establish a task force to study changes Trump might make to federal consumer protection laws and monitor steps the state should take.
- Withdraw Maryland's request for a new federal constitutional convention under Article V of the Constitution.
- SB 358 / HB 517 would require candidates to release their tax returns from the past five years to appear on the state's ballot.
- Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act (SB0835) would prohibit a specified government agent from taking specified actions for immigration enforcement purposes; prohibit a law enforcement official from stopping, arresting, searching, or detaining an individual for purposes of investigating a suspected immigration violation or inquiring about specified matters; and require the Attorney General, in consultation with stakeholders, to develop and adopt model policies for a specified purpose, among other provisions.
Harmful bills proposed by Maryland lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:
- SB 120 Hate Crimes - Prohibitions and Protected Classes - Expansion to Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders.
See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.
Key Upcoming Elections
Click here to find out if you're registered to vote. Register to vote here. The deadline is 21 days before Election Day. Same-day in-person registration is available during early voting. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. No document is required to vote.
- Senator Ben Cardin (D) is up for reelection in 2018.
- There is a gubernatorial race in 2018; the Republican incumbent is up for reelection.
- If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 339,000 people in Maryland (or 5.6% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 476,000 people (or 7.9% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/28/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.)
- The number of uninsured people in Maryland is predicted to be 403,000 by 2021 under the ACA. Without the ACA, that number is expected to rise to 779,000, a 93.6% increase.
- Maryland is among the states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.
- Prior to the ACA's ban on gender-rating, women in Maryland could pay up to 39% more for the same coverage as men; an ACA repeal could bring back that coverage gap.
- The cost to Maryland in case of repeal is estimated to be $1.27 billion in 2018, and $1.5 billion per year by 2021.
- Maryland State Senator Rich Madaleno, a Democrat, has warned that 52,000 jobs could be at stake in a repeal, along with more than $2 billion in health care costs.
- Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay strategy, young adults in Maryland could pay $608 more in 2018.
- 93 people were killed by police in the state of Maryland from the years 2013 through 2016..
- 65% of the people killed by police were black.
- In 2015, 100% of the people killed by police in Baltimore, Maryland, were black.
- Black people are 2.2 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
- Baltimore is the state's largest city with the highest police department killing rates per capita.
- Department of Justice Consent Decree 2017 - Baltimore
Incidents: Death of Freddie Gray while in police transport custody. Routine unconstitutional stops and arrests for minor infractions of African-Americans.
Findings: Violations of 4th Amendment rights of African-Americans by disproportionate and unlawful practice of stops, searches, arrests, and use excessive force. Violations of 1st Amendment rights by interfering with the right to free expression.
Consent Decree 2017: Create a Community Oversight Task Force, community policing community policing, guidance and re-training on use of force and de-escalation, engagement with youth and with those in mental health crisis; Safe transport of arrested individuals; Protection of 4th Amendment rights with stops, searches, citations and arrests; Mandatory investigation and correction of police misconduct; Thorough investigation of sexual assault without gender bias.
- HB 739/SB 941 would require police departments in Maryland to adhere to standards for training and deployment of SWAT teams, and would mandate reporting of SWAT engagements, which was allowed to lapse in 2014.
- HB 698/SB 362 would create greater transparency around police brutality records.
- Despite police transparency reforms that were passed in 2016 and went into effect in October of that year, several local police departments in Maryland are still failing to comply with multiple provisions of the law.
- There is a population of 842,250 immigrants in the state of Maryland.
- Immigrants pay $293.8 million in Maryland state and local taxes.
Rights of Non-Citizens
- Maryland allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license with a passport, birth certificate, or other proof of current status in the country.
- Maryland allows undocumented immigrants to attend a public college at the same in-state tution rate available to legal residents and citizens. Under the bill SB 167, students must attend a community college before qualifying for in-state tuition at a 4-year college.
- In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an executive order (DACA) that defers deportation for children who were brought to the country as children. The action allows them to work lawfully but does not create a pathway to citizenship or give them legal status in the United States. In Maryland, 15,325 people have benefited from the order.
- In 2012, undocumented immigrants made up 4.3% of the state’s population in Maryland, or 250,000 people.
- In 2013, immigrants made up 18.2% of the state’s workforce, or 593,317 workers.
- If all undocumented immigrants in Maryland were deported, Maryland would lose $15.3 billion in economic activity, $6.8 billion in GSP and 73,627 jobs.
- Local officers in Frederick County are authorized to act as federal immigration enforcers as part of the 287(g) ICE Security Partnership.
- Takoma Park and Baltimore, Maryland, have been described as "sanctuary cities." While Montgomery County, Maryland, is frequently called a sanctuary jurisdiction, its approach to dealing with federal immigration authorities is only a matter of internal policy, not codified into law, and the county does cooperate with immigration authorities in many cases. Howard County passed a sanctuary bill on February 6, 2017, but County Executive Allan Kittleman, a Republican, vetoed the bill. The city of Rockville, Maryland, is expected to consider a sanctuary policy on March 6, 2017.
- The term "sanctuary city" is used to describe places that limit how much they help federal law enforcement (usually ICE) with removals (also known as deportations).
- In 2016, 533 refugees arrived in Maryland.
- The Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees provides refugee resettlements with career training, cultural orientation, limited cash, english language training, and referral to primary care.
- Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, opposes allowing Syrian refugees to be resettled in Maryland.
- In 2016, the Maryland legislature passed a law requiring implementation of electronic voter registration systems on or before July 1, 2017. The new law expands electronic registration to a number of agencies that are already required to register voters—such as the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, local departments of social services, and mobility certification offices. It also expands voter registration to the state’s One-Stop Career Centers, which help match Maryland job seekers with businesses looking to hire.
- A bill under consideration in the 2017 legislative session (HB 345/SB 423) would allow citizens residing in Maryland to register to vote and then immediately exercise their right to vote, on Election Day.
- In 2014, Maryland had 32,253 incarcerated people, plus a probation population of 81,304 and parole population of 12,464.
- 30 people are incarcerated in private prisons in Maryland.
- 771 juveniles are in custody in Maryland.
- Of the prison population, 2,470 people were serving life sentences, and 380 were serving life sentences without parole.
- In Maryland, a black person is 4.7 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person.
- Corrections expenditures in 2014 were $1,497 million.
Policy/Legislation February 8, 2017: Bail procedures in Maryland have been changed, as a landmark ruling that aims to curtail the use of bail was adopted. The "Court of Appeals unanimously agreed on a compromise that does not abolish money bail, as some advocates have urged, but instructs judges and court commissioners to look first to other ways to ensure a defendant appears for trial." The new rule will take effect on June 1.
Benefits / Tax Cuts
- Maryland residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:
- Households: 170,000
- Adults and children: 485,000
- Children: 286,000
- In 2015, an average of 404,708 households and 781,035 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in Maryland. In 2011, approximately 11% of the population of Maryland was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps). The average monthly benefit per Maryland household was $233 per household and $119 per person in 2016.
- In 2016, an average of 52,738 households, including 21,240 families and 38,744 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in a given month. The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in Maryland was $636 in 2014. Average benefits in Maryland have increased in value by 11.8% since 1996.
- In 2016, an average of 33,193 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.
- In December 2015, there were 15,152 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category who received an average of $429.25 per person, for a total of $6,504,000.
- 167,000 low-income families were spending more than half of their income on housing as of 2015.
- In 2014, Maryland had 34 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income.)
- In Maryland, there were 7,689 homeless people in 2016.
- Of the homeless population, there were 866 families, 555 veterans, 264 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 1,364 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- Maryland received $969 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In Maryland, more than 97,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all Maryland households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- Maryland's infrastructure received a score of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2015.
- This study gave the state a “good” score for bridges, but rated urban runoff as being in “poor” condition.
- In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 26.8% of Maryland's bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 55% of Maryland's roads were in poor or mediocre condition.
- Driving on these roads leads to an additional $422 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.
- According to Governor Larry Hogan (R), improving public transit lines, roads, and structurally deficient bridges are major infrastructure goals for Maryland.
Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
- Maryland has 10 Planned Parenthood centers.
- In 2015, two centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 120,700 women of reproductive age.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There were 41 abortion providers in Maryland in 2015.
- In 2014, 9.5 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Maryland had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- Parental notice is required for minors.
- Medical abortion is limited.
- TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws exist.
Contraception and ACA
Women and Wages
- In Maryland, 10.1% of women live in poverty. The national average stands at 13.4%. Single mothers make up 27.1%, while women aged 65 and older make up 8.6%. The national averages are 36.5% and 10.3%, respectively.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.84. The national average is $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.69 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.47 for every dollar made by white men. The national averages are $0.63 and $0.54, respectively.
Domestic Violence in Maryland
- Between July 2012 and June 2013, 50 people lost their lives because of domestic violence in Maryland.
- There were a total of 16,817 domestic violence crimes reported in Maryland in 2013.
- On one day in 2014, Maryland domestic violence programs served 1085 victims/survivors; another 160 were turned away due to lack of resources.
- In 2010, 18,203 temporary protective orders and 9577 final protective orders were issued in Circuit and District courts.
Religious freedom law
Maryland does not have a state religious freedom law. Religious freedom laws protect the right of people to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, after same-sex marriage was legalized, conservative states have attempted to enact similar laws with provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.
Maryland has passed nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, adoption, foster care and credit, and does have nondiscrimination policies for state employees. It lacks nondiscrimination laws in education, insurance and jury selection.
Maryland has de-facto parental recognition and has passed laws against discrimination in foster care. It lacks nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in parenting laws, including second-parent adoption, surrogacy, parental presumption for same-sex couples and consent to inseminate (meaning that in the case of the insemination of one member of a female same-sex couple, the partner not carrying the child is not automatically recognized as a parent).
Hate crime laws
Maryland does include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group, and requires specific reporting of such crimes.
Maryland does have laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals against bullying, including cyberbullying, but does not require school suicide prevention policies and does not promote transgender inclusion in sports. The state lacks laws on protection from conversion therapy, laws to address homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education laws, and LGBTQ+ inclusive juvenile justice policies.
Health and safety laws
Maryland does not have nondiscrimination protections in the |ACA exchanges, but does ban insurance exclusions for trans health care. It does not have trans-inclusive health benefits for state employees and does not include trans health care in State Medicaid. The State does allow gender marker changes on identification documents and collects health data on LGBTQ+ individuals, but still has sodomy laws and laws that criminalize HIV/AIDS.
- HIV criminalization laws are those that make it illegal for an HIV-positive person to “knowingly expose” another person to HIV—in some states, this means that it is illegal not to disclose HIV-positive status to a sex partner, but many laws criminalize behaviors that are unlikely to lead to transmission. Because the laws focus on disclosure, not actual transmission, they serve no real purpose. All states have other, non-HIV-specific laws that can be used to prosecute transmission of HIV, so these laws just needlessly single out and stigmatize HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” It also allows the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.” HIV criminalization laws also disproportionately target people of color, mainly African Americans, and gay men.
- Maryland is ranked 12th in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $8,499 per student.
- As of 2013, Maryland ranked 7th in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $65,265 per year.
- 85% of students in Maryland attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 64% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 2.3% of total public school enrollment.
- Maryland's overall graduation rate is 87%, which is above the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates are as follows:
- White: 87%
- Latino: 72%
- Black: 79%
- Asian/Pacific Islander: 95%
- American Indian: 80%
- Economically Disadvantaged: 78%
- Limited English Proficient: 72%
- Students with Disabilities: 71%
Consumer Protections/Workers' Rights
- Maryland has a minimum wage of $8.75.
- Maryland has no state law for paid sick leave. However in Montgomery County, there is paid sick leave: Employees whose place of business has five or more employees accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, and can accrue up to 56 hours and use up to 80 hours. All others receive 32 paid and 24 unpaid hours. This covers sick time for employee or family members’ care, absences associated with employee or family member’s domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, closures due to a public health emergency, care for a family member exposed to a communicable disease, and the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child.
- Maryland has no state law for paid family leave.
- Maryland is a state with an at-will exemption. "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.
- Maryland does not have a public policy exemption. A public policy exemption means that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).
- Maryland does allow for implied contract exemptions.. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements. As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.
- Maryland does support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Courts have interpreted the covenant in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.
Climate / Environment
- Just over 50% of Maryland’s electricity generation comes from [[Climate / Environment|fossil fuels]. Nuclear accounts for 43%.
- Maryland has 20 sites on the National Priorities List.
- In 2014, Latino, Black, and Asian or Pacific Islander populations had the highest air pollution exposure indices—76 (Latino) and 73 (Black and Asian or Pacific Islander)—compared to an overall index of 63 and a White index of 54.
- In 2012, Mixed/other and Native American adults in Maryland were most likely to have asthma (Mixed/other 12%, Native American 11.7%), compared to 8.9% overall and 8.8% of the White population.
- The relevant environmental agency in Maryland is the Department of the Environment.
- A bill that would ban hydraulic fracking for natural gas in Maryland has been introduced in the 2017 legislative session (HB 1325/SB 740).
- Maryland is tied for the 7th-lowest percentage of disabled people in the US: 10.9% of Maryland's residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- The employment rate among disabled adults in Maryland is 40.0%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. People without disabilities in Maryland have a 79.2 employment rate. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811]
- Approximately 13.2% of eligible voters in Maryland have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.
- Of adults with disabilities in Maryland, 20.6% live in poverty, as opposed to 8.0% of non-disabled adults. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 35.1%, as opposed to 14.8% for non-disabled children. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130)
- In Maryland, 4.3% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]
Organizations and Events
Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.
Environmental justice groups
- Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN)
- Environment Maryland
- Interfaith Power & Light
- Maryland Environmental Health Network
- Moms Clean Air Force
LGBTQIA advocacy groups
Immigrant rights advocacy groups
Civil rights and resistance organizations
- ACLU of Maryland
- Maryland Organizing for Action
- Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition; more info here
- Progressive Maryland
- Takoma Park Mobilization
Disability Rights Organizations
- Brain Injury Association of Maryland
- Disability Rights Maryland, Maryland's P&A (Protection & Advocacy) organization
- Maryland Access Point, Maryland's Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC)
- Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council
- Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)
- Mental Health Association of Maryland
- NAMI Maryland (National Alliance on Mental Illness)