2019 Agenda

Click here to download the Agenda as a PDF: MLAW 2019 Document

HB 341/SB 500 Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program-Establishment (Time to Care Act of 2019)  
Building on 2018’s successful state employees parental leave legislation and the 2016-2017 Maryland Task Force to Study Family and Medical Leave Insurance, this bill establishes a private sector family and medical leave insurance fund to provide partial wage replacement for employees who take unpaid leave to care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition, their own serious medical condition, a family member’s military deployment.

HB 937 Family Law – Child Support – Eligibility of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 18 Years

SB 264 General Provisions – Age of Majority – Right to Parental Support and Maintenance [formerly: Family LawChild Support for Post-Secondary EducationJurisdiction of Court]
The bill would allow the court to retain jurisdiction for child support until age 21 for those enrolled in post-secondary college education or a vocational training program.

HB 634/SB 738 Labor and Employment – Wage History and Wage Range [Salary Information Disclosures]
This bill will ensure women are not forced to carry lower earnings and pay discrimination with them from job to job by prohibiting employers from seeking and relying on job applicants’ salary history and by requiring employers to provide the salary range for a position upon a job applicant’s request.

HB 1249/SB 657 Pilot Program – Alleged Rape, Sexual Offense, or Child Sexual Abuse-HIV Postexposure Prophylaxis   [HIV Prevention for Rape Victims]    
A bill to establish a pilot program to prevent HIV infection for victims of an alleged rape or sexual offense or victims of alleged child sexual abuse.

HB 768/SB 759 Health – Prescription Drug Affordability Board
This bill creates a Prescription Drug Affordability Board in Maryland, an independent body with the authority to evaluate high cost drugs and set fair rates for Marylanders to pay.

HB 814/SB 802 Maryland Health Insurance Option (Protect Maryland Health Care Act of 2019)
To respond to federal sabotage of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, this bill would create a Health Insurance Down Payment Plan which would give Marylanders at tax time without health coverage the option to either pay a fee or instead purchase health coverage, bringing more Marylanders into the individual market and stabilizing premiums to help with affordability.

HB 122/SB 209 Protective Orders – Relief Eligibility – Rape and Sexual Offenses  
This bill amends the definition of persons eligible for relief in a protective order to include a victim of rape or sexual offense or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree and removing it from the peace order.

HB 1107/SB 518 Discrimination in Employment – Pregnancy and Childbirth
This bill expands existing pregnancy discrimination laws to include not just women with pregnancy-related disabilities, but also women with healthy pregnancies who also need reasonable accommodations. 

HB 782/SB 691 Criminal Procedure – Motion to Vacate Judgment – Human Trafficking (True Freedom Act of 2019) [Expansion of Maryland’s Vacatur Law for Survivors of Human Trafficking]      
Expands Maryland’s current “vacating convictions” law to allow criminalized survivors of human trafficking to remove crimes other than prostitution from their criminal records, which would significantly increase the ability of these survivors to access employment and stable housing, as well as heal from the trauma of their trafficking experience.


2019 Proposals

Last week, we hosted an extremely successful Fall Agenda Conference.  Over 200 advocates, legislators and activists gathered in Baltimore to learn about the bills that will presented in the 2019 General Assembly.  Fifteen initiatives were presented.  The initiatives are:

  • Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
  • Child Support for Post-Secondary Education-Jurisdiction of Court
  • Salary History Information Disclosures
  • HIV Prevention for Rape Victims
  • Prescription Drug Affordability Bill
  • Protect Maryland Health Care Act of 2019
  • Protective Orders-Relief Eligible – Rape and Sexual Offense
  • State Government Discrimination in Employment-Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Expansion of Maryland’s Vacatur Law for Survivors of Human Trafficking
  • Education-Child Sexual Abuse Prevention-Employment Process
  • Pregnant Women in Custody Protection Act of 2019
  • Pre-Release Facility for Women
  • Summer SNAP for Children
  • Increase Maryland’s Minimum Wage to $15 by July 2023
  • Adoption and Parentage Equality Act

Read more about each proposed bill in detail by clicking  MLAW 2019 Proposals

Thank you, Sponsors!

Many thanks to the following organizations who have signed on to sponsor our Fall Agenda Conference.  To view our Conference Program booklet, click here: MLAW_Program_Proof.

AAUW Maryland
Erek Barron, Delegate
Maryland Commission for Women
Maryland National Organization for Women (NOW)
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland
National Women’s Law Center
Planned Parenthood of Maryland
Prince George’s County Commission for Women

Elizabeth Fran Johnson
Emerge Maryland
The Hatcher Group
Out for Justice
Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Inc.

AAUW Rockville Kensington Branch
Anne Arundel County Democratic Women
Business and Professional Women of Maryland
Christol Spa
Consumer Health First
Elizabeth Joyce
Joan Stine
Lee Bachu
Lynette Whitfield/Whitfield Legal
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA)
Maryland Women’s Heritage Center
MHC Coaching & Consulting
Michaele Cohen
Montgomery County Commission for Women
Pamela Queen, Delegate
WISE (Women Indivisible Strong Effective)
Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County
Zonta Club of Annanpolis
Zonta Club of Mid-Maryland

Fall Conference Registration is Open!

Thinking Globally, Acting Locally… What Rights are at Stake at the Federal Level and What Maryland Can Do to Protect Them

The MLAW fall conference will be held on Saturday, November 17th from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore.

The conference will include a panel discussion featuring advocates and legislators who will address the conference theme “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally — What Rights are at Stake at the Federal Level and What Maryland Can Do to Protect Them”. Speakers TBA.

The conference will also include the presentation of legislative proposals for the upcoming 2019 legislative session. Join us to learn about the bills that will make up the 2019 Agenda.

An Advocacy 101 workshop will be offered in the afternoon for those interested in learning more about how to be an effective grassroots lobbyist. The training will also cover how to navigate the legislative process in Annapolis. This is a full day conference and lunch will be provided to all participants.

Register on our website at https://mlawconference2018.eventbrite.com or click here to download a registration form to pay by check. MLAW Fall Conference 2018 Registration Form

Sponsorship opportunities are available and encouraged. Click here to download a Sponsorship Form. 2018 Fall Conference Sponsorship Form

We are accepting legislative proposals for presentation at the conference.  Click here to download proposal submission information: 2018 Fall Conference Proposal Form

Notre Dame of Maryland University, located at 4701 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210, provides a convenient setting for our conference with ample free parking and handicapped accessibility.

Click here to download a conference flyer. MLAW 2018 Fall Conference Flyer

For more information, call 443-519-1005 or email us at mdlegagenda4women@yahoo.com.



Join MLAW or Renew Your Membership!

MLAW is the only statewide coalition of women’s groups and individuals that provides a non-partisan, independent voice for Maryland women and families.  We mobilize networks, groups, and individuals from all over the state to ensure the passage of key legislation. In 2018, four of the seven bills on the MLAW Legislative Agenda PASSED the General Assembly. MLAW support makes a difference! 

This year, we are celebrating 24 years as your voice in Annapolis.  

Every year, the Maryland legislature considers hundreds of bills, and every year a high percentage of MLAW-supported bills become law. These laws make a difference for women and families throughout Maryland.  MLAW is an effective, volunteer-run organization that depends entirely on dues and private contributions to do its work. We need your help to continue our work on behalf of Maryland women and families.

If you are already an MLAW member, please renew your membership today. If you are not a current member, please sign up right away. And please consider an additional donation to support our vital work.

We hold an annual fall conference to develop our MLAW Legislative Agenda and a legislative reception in Annapolis during the legislative session to introduce the Agenda. These events focus legislators’ attention on our issues and raise our visibility throughout the state.  We distribute the annual Legislative Agenda to every Maryland legislator.  In collaboration with our advocacy partners, we submit testimony, advocate for bills, and promote our Agenda through our website, Facebook page, and e-newsletter.

Your membership entitles you to VOTE for the legislative issues that will be included on the MLAW Legislative Agenda.  

Your membership and additional contributions fund MLAW’s efforts to maintain a strong voice for women and families in the Maryland legislature. We appreciate your commitment to women’s rights, and we ask for your generous support. Please consider an additional donation to support our advocacy efforts. Please print and complete the  attached form and mail in your membership and/or donation.  MLAW MEMBERSHIP FORM 2018-19. 

Click HERE to pay online using our secure Paypal page.

Thank you!

Michaele Cohen
President, MLAW Board of Directorshttps://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=634FHF6AZJJ3G

2018 MLAW Legislative Agenda – Final Report

Click here to download a PDF copy of the report: 2018 MLAW Agenda Final Report

HB 1/SB 2 • Family Law – Child Conceived Without Consent – Termination of Parental Rights (Rape Survivor Family Protection Act)
Primary Sponsors: Delegate Kathleen Dumais, Senator Brian Feldman
This legislation creates a legal process for rape victims to terminate the parental rights of rapists when a child is conceived as result of rape. Victims will be required to meet a clear and convincing standard of evidence. This is the same standard used for other termination of parental rights cases.
PASSED AND SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR ON FEBRUARY 13, 2018 (2018 Md. Laws, Chap. 3 and 4)

HB 301/SB 270 • Courts – Evidence of Sexually Assaultive Behavior – Admissibility (Repeat Sexual Predator Prevention Act of 2018)
Primary Sponsors: Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, Senator Jim Brochin
This legislation enables prosecutors to introduce evidence of a defendant’s sex crimes and allegations of sex crimes against different victims, in addition to introducing this type of evidence in cases with the same victim (as established by the MD Judiciary). This legislation requires a thorough judicial review before the evidence can be used.

HB 1303/SB 491 • Family Law – Domestic Violence – Permanent Protective Orders
Primary Sponsors: Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, Senator Delores Kelley
This legislation expands the circumstances under which a court is required to issue a permanent protective order by deleting the list of crimes for which the respondent must be convicted, sentenced and serve at least one year of the sentence and replacing the list of crimes with the words “any crime.” With this modification, a victim will not be limited to the specific crimes listed in the current law but will be able to petition for a final permanent protective order if the respondent has been convicted of any crime where the person eligible for relief has been the victim of a crime committed by the respondent.

HB 787/SB 629 • Correctional Facilities – Pregnant Inmates – Medical Care (Healthcare Services for Pregnant Inmates)
Primary Sponsors: Delegate Kathleen Dumais, Senator Delores Kelley
This legislation requires all state, local, and private detention and corrections facilities to have written policies regarding reproductive healthcare services for adult and juvenile pregnant inmates (including pregnancy testing, pregnancy options counseling, prenatal care, prenatal testing and counseling, access to abortion care, miscarriage management, labor and delivery, postpartum care, and adoption). These written policies will be provided to all adult and juvenile inmates and detainees with positive pregnancy test results.

HB 1267/SB 869 • Criminal Procedure – Motion to Vacate Judgment – Human Trafficking (Expansion of Maryland’s Vacating Laws for Survivors of Human Trafficking)
Primary Sponsors: Delegate Kathleen Dumais, Senator Susan Lee
The proposed change in the law would have expanded legal relief for survivors who experience criminalization tied to their trafficking victimization by applying Maryland’s current vacatur law explicitly to survivors of labor trafficking – not just sex trafficking – as well as expanding the number of crimes eligible for vacatur – not just convictions for prostitution.
No vote in House Judiciary or Senate Judicial Proceedings Committees.

HB 1109 • State Government – Discrimination in Employment – Pregnancy and Childbirth (Discrimination in Employment – Conditions)
Primary Sponsor: Delegate Maricé Morales
The legislation clarified that employers would be required to give reasonable accommodations to all pregnant employees with a medical need for an accommodation, not just employees who need accommodations as a result of pregnancy complications, and it would have ensured that a pregnant employee would not be forced to take paid or unpaid leave when a reasonable accommodation would have allowed her to continue to work and support her family.
No vote in House Judiciary Committee.

HB 512/SB 377 • Labor and Employment-Pay Scales and Wage History Information (Salary History and Information Disclosure)
Primary Sponsors: Delegate Karen Young, Senator Susan Lee
This legislation would have prevented employers from requiring past salary information as a condition of employment. Basing salary offers on past employment continues a discriminatory cycle and has no relevancy to the current position. Salary offers should be based in current position requirements as well as the skills and experience of the candidate.
Passed House with amendments; no vote in Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.


Job-Protected Leave
This legislation would have required firms with 15-49 employees to provide six weeks of job protected unpaid leave for qualifying employees. For employees needing leave for their serious illness or a family member’s serious illness, or a military deployment, they would receive 6 weeks of unpaid leave and maintain existing health benefits. Upon returning from their leave, their employer would have been required to restore them to the same position or an equivalent position.