Top Stories March 8, 2012
MoveOn, Occupy Set 99% Spring Actions, Trainings Nationwide
As part of a week-long, nationwide effort to encourage and equip 100,000 people to take direct action this spring to challenge corporate power, end tax giveaways to the 1%, fight the influence of money in politics, and more. Learn more and sign up to join or host an event near you.
Maryland Becomes 8th State to Enact Marriage Equality
Governor O'Malley (above center) marked a historic victory for civil and human rights for all March 1 when he signed Maryland's new law making it the 8th state (plus DC) to enact marriage equality. Progressive Maryland was proud to help lead Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign that brought it about. See more signing photos and text.
Maryland News Roundup
As a leader in the Maryland SaveOurState coalition, Progressive Maryland seeks a "fair and balanced" approach that includes reasonable revenue options to preserve public investments in education, health, public safety, and other essentials. Please visit our Action Center for updates and actions on key bills in the 2012 General Assembly, and join us March 12 for the Progressive Summit/Lobby Night in Annapolis.
Federal News Roundup
In the wake of Super Tuesday, as voters brace for eight more months of candidate pandering and super-PAC mudslinging, our divided Congress and Supreme Court face many key decisions. Among them are jobs, health care reform, tax cuts, military spending, campaign funding, and regulatory enforcement. And a growing movement, Move To Amend, is seeking to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the Court's disastrous 5-4 decision in Citizens United and thwart the notion that corporations are people.
Labor News Roundup
Increasingly young workers and students are embracing the struggle for labor rights, locally and globally. Four student leaders of a planned walkout to involve 300 at Prince George's Northwestern High School in support of teachers denied a promised raise, were suspended March 1, a National Student Day of Action. In the photo at right, former PM intern Hallie Clark speaks during the UVA Living Wage Campaign student hunger strike to raise wages for campus employees. Clark's commitment is testimony to PM's commitment to nurture the development of young activists through our canvass, intern and volunteer opportunities.
Labor Tools and Resources
In Focus: Progress Summit/Lobby Night,
Monday March 12, 3:30-7 p.m. in Annapolis
Please meet us in the Ways and Means Committee Meeting Room, #131, House Office Building, Annapolis. First lobbying appointments begin at 3:30 pm with key legislators, including committee chairs. Our summit forum will feature reports from legislators and progressive groups and will go from about 5:45 until 7 p.m. Organizations and individuals advocating together on a range of critical issues strengthens our collective voice.
Participants are encouraged to:
KEY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES FOR 2012 PROGRESSIVE SUMMIT
(Not shown in order of priority. Bills may vary depending on status as of March 12.)
- Fair Taxation, including combined reporting and a more progressive personal income tax to promote fairness and equity in the revenue process and to fund needed programs and services.
- Off Shore Wind Power to help move Maryland toward a pollution-free energy future.
- Opposition to Pension Transfer to counties unless the means are provided to counties to fund them.
- Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination to ensure full civil rights are enforced for all residents.
- End to the Death Penalty, an extremely costly, ineffective, and discriminatory method of criminal justice.
- Civil Marriage Equality (Already passed!)
- Healthy Water including restricting fracking and controlling chemicals (such as atrazine) in the water supply, as Maryland continues to have higher than average cancer incidence.
- Support for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and to restore fair elections and democratic sovereignty to the people.
- Single Payer Health Care (Health Security Act) to provide expanded coverage for all Marylanders.
- Healthy Maryland Initiative to raise taxes on non-cigarette tobacco products to the same level as currently for cigarettes, to reduce teen use and provide funds to benefit health needs.
- Transparent Government in Annapolis to maximize citizen access and voting machines with a verifiable paper trail to ensure the integrity of our elections.
Key upcoming dates for the 2012 General Assembly:
March 5: Final date for introduction of bills without suspension of Rules
March 20: Committee Reporting Courtesy Date (Each Chamber report its own bills)
March 26: Opposite Chamber Bill Crossover Date
(Each to send to other those bills it intends to pass favorably)
April 2: Budget bill to be passed by both Chambers
April 9: ADJOURNMENT "SINE DIE" (Monday)
Find this and previous issues in our newsletter archive