2014 UULM-MD Priority Issues
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VETOED by the GOVERNOR: Electricity--Certificate--Wind Turbines--Limitation (HB 1168) would have placed a moratorium until July, 2015 on further development of wind energy projects within a 56 mile radius of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, including the Great Bay Wind Project that has been under development for years. In fact, the developer has already invested millions of dollars in plans for this project, has worked closely with the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense and construction is about ready to begin.
Not only would the provisions of HB1168 likely have stopped the PAX River development: the General Assembly's Fiscal and Policy Note on the bill states that "It covers the entirety of the southern Maryland counties, most of the counties east of the Chesapeake Bay, and most of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties."
Please contact Governor O'Malley and thank him for vetoing HB 1168 and for continuing to support increasing the supply of clean, renewable energy for Maryland consumers.
For more detailed information on this bill, see the letter on our Climate Change page. There is also an informative editorial in the Baltimore Sun, which you may access by clicking here.
To see how your legislators voted on this bill, click here. Scroll down until you see "Vote-Senate Floor" and "Vote-House Floor." Clicking there will bring up a list of the recorded votes. Please thank your legislators who voted in favor of this bill! It is important to let them know that they have your support!
PASSED AND SIGNED by the Governor: The Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014 (SB331/HB295) Amendments stripped the original bill of a provision that would link future wages to inflation and they froze tipped workers pay at $3.63 per hour. If workers don't receive enough in tips to make their total compensation equal the minimum wage, employers are supposed to see that their total compensation comes to the level of the minimum wage.
To see how your legislators voted on this bill, click here. Scroll down until you see "Vote-Senate Floor" and "Vote-House Floor." Clicking there will bring up a list of the recorded votes on amendments and on the House and Senate floors. Please thank your legislators who voted in favor of this bill! It is important to let them know that they have your support!
The 2014 Maryland General Assembly was not a friendly place for environmental legislation. UULM-MD, a member of the Maryland Climate Coalition, supported several bills that would have brought more clean, renewable energy sources to Maryland.
Public Utilities-Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (SB733/HB1149)would have required electricity suppliers to buy a growing share of their electricity from clean, renewable sources such as solar and wind. The goal is to increase the percentage of clean, renewable sources available to Maryland consumers to 40% by 2025. Under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, Maryland has set some of the strongest standards in the nation for clean energy, but we still get the majority of our electricity from burning fossil fuels. Read more......
Status: Remained in committee/withdrawn
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard-Qualifying Biomass (SB734/HB747) would have limited the eligibility of "black liquor" producers to be eligible for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from Maryland. "Black liquor" is a by-product of the pulpwood industry and it, along with wood waste, can be used to produce electricity. There is a flaw in our renewable energy law that supports out-of-state high emissions black liquor and wood waste facilities. For the past five years, over 50% of Maryland's renewable energy dollars have been spent subsidizing these facilities, reducing the amount of RECs available for clean energy sources. Read more......
Status: Unfavorable report by House Economic Matters Committee
The Shale Gas Drilling Safety Review (SB745/HB1122) would have continued to place restrictions on the natural gas drilling process known as "fracking" until the safety of this process and its effects on people and the environment can be determined. Read more.....
Status: Unfavorable report by House Economic Matters Committee. To see how your delegates voted, click here. Please thank those who voted for this bill. The Governor's Commission studying how the "fracking" process affects human health and the environment is expected to submit its report sometime this fall.
Tobacco Taxes-Healthy Maryland Initiative (SB589/HB443) would have increased the tax on cigarettes and non-cigarette tobacco products in an effort to reduce teen tobacco use and raise $100 million for critical health care and public health needs. The money raised by the tax would restore funding cuts made to the tobacco control program and the state Medicaid program.
Status: Remained in committee.
Get Money Out - Maryland
Status: SJ6 was given a favorable report by the Senate Health, Education and Environmental Affairs Committee, but did not reach a final floor vote. It remained in committee in the House. To see how your legislators voted on this bill, click here. Please thank those who voted for this legislation.
UUs gather in support of the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014,
which extends anti-discrimination laws in order to protect transgender civil rights.
Upcoming Events of Interest
EPA Hearing on Proposed Limits on Carbon Pollution, Tuesday, July 29th, 10:30am
The Sierra Club is holding a rally and has other activities planned to demonstrate public support for the EPA's taking action to curb carbon pollution. The rally begins at 10:30am at William Jefferson Clinton East Building, 1201 Constitution Ave., Washington, DC. More details and information about other planned activities can be found on the Sierra Club events page.
Maryland Women's Coalition for Health Care Reform--Get Engaged!
September 19, 2014, 9am-3pm.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis
333 Dubois Road, Annapolis, MD
Plan now to come and hear:
>Updates from Maryland's health policy leaders on the exciting opportunities to transform our health care landscape;
>The latest information on preparations for our second open enrollment period; and
>A dialogue about designing and implementing a consumer education and engagement campaign.
People's Climate March, September 21, 2014
New York City
Join Bill McKibben and other climate activists for a rally in New York City as world leaders meet for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution. For more details, see The People's Climate March.
GET MONEY OUT MARYLAND (GMOM)--September 22, 2014, 7-9pm.
Town Hall with Senator Jamie Raskin.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, 333 Dubois Road, Annapolis, MD.
Senator Jamie Raskin is a noted author, activist, and Professor of Constitutional Law. He is one of three experts invited to testify before the U. S.Senate Judiciary Committee in June, 2014, on a proposed amendment to enable the people to regulate money in politics. You can find more details at Get Money Out Maryland.
2015 Legislative Issues
2014 UULM-MD Officers and Board of Directors
At its February meeting, the UULM-MD Board of Directors elected the following officers for 2014:
- Co-Chairs: Rev. Lisa Ward (UU Fellowship of Harford County) and Steve Buckingham (Goodloe)
- Vice-Chair: Andrea Hall (UU Church of Rockville)
- Treasurer: Jan Bird (UU Church of Annapolis)
- Secretary: Michael Benefiel (Cedar Lane UU Church)
The other members of the Board are Don Chery (River Road UU Congregation), Betty McGarvie Crowley (UU Church of Annapolis), Rev. David Carl Olson (First Unitarian Church of Baltimore), Rev. Fredric J. Muir (UU Church of Annapolis) Ex-officio. Margery Knight is Coordinator.
Do you know what a "UUSAN" is?
The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland is one of the UU State Advocacy Networks (UUSANs). Over half the states in the US now have UU State Advocacy Networks. We are making a difference at the state level from gaining marriage equality for same gender loving couples, to repealing the death penalty, to enacting important environmental legislation, to getting immigrant family friendly Trust Acts passed, to raising state minimum wages. In our work, we acknowledge the importance and value of a religious voice in the public debate. Read more...
News from UUA Congregational Advocacy and Witness
Social Justice Advocacy
"The prophetic liberal church is the church in which all members share the common responsibility to foresee the consequences of human behavior (both individual and institutional), with the intention of making history in place of being merely pushed around by it".
—James Luther Adams, "Taking Time Seriously," in The Prophethood of All Believers.
If your congregation or cluster’s social justice ministry is focused on partnerships for economic, environmental, racial, reproductive justice and/or LGBTQ equality we have resources for you. Videos, powerpoint presentations, webinars, study guides and more. Read more.....
Are you interested in immigration reform? UUA is! For information on UUA-sponsored programs and events, follow this link to UUA Witness Ministries.
The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility.