Report on 2022 Maryland Legislative Session
Cutting taxes for seniors
and working families
To help our constituents faced with rising prices, our top priority this year has been:
— Income tax relief for retirees, reducing state taxes on retirement income for the overwhelming majority of Marylanders.
— Ending sales tax on childcare products important to working families, including diapers, car seats, baby bottles, and toothbrushes.
— Gas tax relief for drivers burdened by the skyrocketing gas prices.
Stopping health insurance price hikes
For years, we’ve worked to expand access to health insurance and to hold down rates. For the past two years, rates have been the lowest in America. To keep them down, we passed Senate Bill 395 which will continue to block rate increases.
Fighting climate change
We passed the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, SB 528, to cut greenhouse gas emissions 60 percent by 2031 and achieve net zero emissions by 2045. The law requires buildings 35,000 square feet and larger to reduce direct emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2040. Separate bills will convert the state’s car and light truck fleets from gasoline to electric by 2033 (HB 94) and establish a three-year pilot program to transition Maryland’s 7,300 school buses from electric to diesel (HB 696).
Cracking down on drag racing: Too many of our neighborhoods are plagued with
dangerous drag racing. We passed Senate Bill 612 to increase fines, make speed contests on Maryland roads a “must appear” violation mandating that drivers face a judge. It also allows police to impound vehicles on the spot that are caught racing.
Investing state budget surplus in local schools: President Biden’s economic
recovery plan created hundreds of thousands of jobs — and thus boosted state
revenues — creating the first budget surplus in a decade. We put $800 million
in a special fund for teacher salaries and other school needs. We also boosted state funds for schools in Prince George’s by $36 million and Anne Arundel by $54 million.
Boosting funds for community policing and victims of crime: To protect our
neighborhoods from crime, we increased state aid by $100 million to fill police
vacancies and expand victim’s services, violence intervention programs, neighborhood
public safety grants, and body cameras and de-escalation training.
Supporting our community:
— $9.7 million for rebuilding Route One in College Park and $13.7million for
modernizing Route 175 in Odenton.
— To fix potholes and improve local roads, we increased state funding by $25.4 million
for Prince George's and $22.2 million for Anne Arundel.
— State grant to preserve affordable single family houses in College Park.
— More than $200,000 to improve the Waugh Chapel Swim Center in western Anne Arundel County.
— $400,000 for the Student Activities Center at St. Vincent Pallotti High School.
— $1 million to help restore the Dam ruins on the Patuxent River in Laurel.
— $5 million to build more affordable graduate student housing.
— $750,000 for the Hope House addiction treatment center In Laurel.
— $200,000 to construct a new playground for the Al Huda school in College Park.
We worked together on all these initiatives:
Delegate Peña-Melnyk, Vice Chair of the House Health Committee, worked on legislation to provide pregnant women and babies with healthcare, reduce insulin costs for patients with diabetes, and other measures to improve the health and education of our residents and most marginalized communities.
— Delegate Lehman passed many of her initiatives, including protecting renters from unlicensed landlords, curbing car speeding contests, safeguarding the Patuxent River Watershed, and protecting animals.
— Delegate Barnes, Chair of the House Education Subcommittee, delivered historic funding for local schools in the classrooms helping all kids.
— To help small businesses train skilled workers and young people get good careers, Senator Rosapepe won $25 million to expand apprenticeship in healthcare, IT, public safety, and other occupations.
If reelected, Delegate Peña-Melnyk will be the new chair of the House Health Committee and Delegate Barnes will be the new Chair of House Appropriations Committee. Senator Rosapepe is Vice Chair of the Senate Budget and Tax Committee and Delegate Lehman is member of the House Environment and Transportation Committee.