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Maryland PIRG 2018 Legislative Scorecard

Last updated: 8/6/2018

The Maryland Public Interest Research Group (Maryland PIRG), a non-profit, non-partisan advocate for the public interest, monitors the voting records of Maryland’s state legislators. Do your legislators support the public interest? Our 2018 State Legislative Scorecard reviews their votes on key public interest issues, including those listed on our 2018 Legislative Agenda.

The bills selected for the Maryland PIRG legislative scorecard include some of the top issues we worked on this session including: public health, transportation, consumer protection, and democracy reforms.

Not sure who your State Senator and Delegates are? It's easy to find out here.

You can find details for any bill by entering its number on the state website

Scorecard Methodology

A 100 is the best possible score a lawmaker can receive on the scorecard; a 0 is the worst possible score. Scores are calculated by dividing number of votes with the public interest by total eligible votes.

In 2018 we scored 7 votes in the Senate and in the House of Delegates. In 2018 all 7 bills we scored were bills we wanted to pass. A plus (+) indicates a vote for the public interest on the bill.

  • A negative (–) indicates a vote against the public interest on the bill. 
  • (A) indicates an unexcused absence and is scored as a (–).
  • Excused absences (E), are not counted towards score.

2018 Bills Scored

The Maryland Legislative session wrapped up in April, and Maryland PIRG was proud to be a part of important public interest victories. 

  1. Secure and Accessible Registration Act (SB1048): Registering eligible voters and updating voter registrations through an opt-out process when Marylanders interact with certain agencies. Will make our voter rolls more accurate and secure, increase efficiency, and expand voter participation. Sponsors: Sen. Smith and Del. Luedtke This bill is now law. Bill Details.Maryland PIRG testimony.
    Senate Vote: Passed 31-13
    House Vote: Passed 93-46
  2. Election Day Registration (HB532): An amendment to the Maryland Constitution to enable legislation for eligible voters to register to vote, update their registration, and vote on Election Day. Sponsors: Sen. Pinsky and Del. Reznik. The Constitutional Amendment will be on November’s ballot for voter approval. If approved by voters, the General Assembly will have to pass legislation to implement Election Day Registration. Bill Details.Maryland PIRG testimony.
    Senate Vote: Passed 33-14
    House Vote: Passed 91-47
  3. Free Credit Freeze and Thaws (HB710): Helps prevent identity theft by prohibiting credit reporting agencies from charging fees for the placement, temporary thaw, or lift of a credit freeze. Sponsors: Sen. Lee and Del. Carey. This bill is now law. Bill Details. Maryland PIRG testimony.
    Senate Vote: Passed 45-0
    House Vote: Passed 108-28
  4. Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (HB1634):  Expands protections from fraud and abuse and strengthen the ability of the Attorney General to enforce consumer protection laws. Sponsors: Sen. Rosapepe and Del. Frick.  This bill is now law. Bill Details.Maryland PIRG testimony.
    Senate Vote: Passed 32-12
    House Vote: Passed 87-46
  5. Prohibiting Pharmacist Gag Rule (HB736): Enables pharmacists to provide information to consumers about lower cost drug options. Sponsors: Sen. Klausmeier and Del. Bromwell . This bill is now law. Bill Details.
    Senate Vote: Passed 46-0
    House Vote: Passed 134-0
  6. Maryland Metro Funding Act (HB372): Provides increased funding for the Maryland Transit Administration and the DC metropolitan-area Metro transit system to support upgrades and improvements for transit system. Requires long term planning for regional Baltimore transit system. Sponsors: Sen. Feldman and Del. Korman. This bill is now law. Bill Details.
    Senate Vote: Passed 46-0
    House Vote: Passed 96-41
  7. Online Electioneering Transparency and Accountability Act (HB981): Adds digital advertising to state reporting and transparency laws for electoral campaigns and independent expenditures. Sponsors: Sen. Zucker and Del. A. Washington. This bill is now law. Bill Details.
    Senate Vote: Passed 44-1
    House Vote: Passed 94-38

 

The fight isn't over

In 2018 Bills, there were also a number of bills we supported that did not become law or necessarily receive a vote. 

Reclaiming our Democracy

The influence of wealthy special interests in the funding of elections has eroded public trust in our political system and helped to depress civic participation. Maryland PIRG supports legislative policies that strengthen our democracy.

Small Donor Campaign Finance Reform: These bills create campaign finance programs for statewide legislative offices that enable candidates to run for office without large or corporate campaign contributions by providing limited matching funds for small donations. Sponsors: Delegate Mosby (HB785) and Senator Pinsky (SB374). Testimony.

Prohibiting Corporate Contributions (HB1287): Prohibits business entities from making contributions to campaign finance entities. Sponsored by Delegate Moon. Testimony.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Maryland

Companies are allowed to put nearly any chemical they want into the products we use every day, despite the fact that the government doesn’t test those chemicals for safety or require any pre-market approval. Maryland PIRG supports policies to reduce our exposure to chemicals linked to harmful health and environmental impacts.

Restrict Toxic Flame Retardants (HB84): Expands existing law by restricting three toxic flame retardant chemicals from children’s products to protect families and fire fighters. Commonly used chemical flame retardants are linked to cancer, lower IQ and poor attention in children, hormone disruption, thyroid effects, and obesity. There are safer, more effective alternatives to these chemicals. Sponsored by Delegate Angela Angel. Testimony. 

Ban Deadly Chemicals in Painstrippers (HB1138) Would ban the use of the  chemicals methylene chloride (DCM) and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in paint and coating removal. These chemicals are not only linked to negative health impacts, they have also caused immediate death, including 3 known deaths in Maryland. DCM and NMP are already banned in Europe and safer alternatives are readily available. Sponsored by Delegate Lam. Testimony

Ban Chlorpyrifos (SB500/HB116): Bans the use of the toxic insecticide chlorpyrifos, and other insecticides containing chlorpyrifos. Sponsored by Senator Nathan-Pulliam and Delegate Stein. 

Ban Foam (SB651/HB538): Bans foam food packaging like cups, plates and clamshell containers from food service businesses and selling these produces in retail. Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years. Sponsored by Senator Kagan and Delegate Lierman. Bill details.

Sound Budget & Tax Policy

Marylanders have the right to know how our money is spent, and no company should be able to game the tax system to avoid paying what it legitimately owes. Maryland PIRG supports tax policies that encourages actions that are good for society while discouraging bad behavior.

Disclosure of Settlement Payments (HB449): Requires that corporations that are filing income tax returns in Maryland disclose any deductions they are taking for out of court settlements to ensure they are correctly filing their state taxes and to increase tax transparency.  Sponsored by Delegate Lafferty. 

High-Quality, Affordable Health Care 

Health care costs continue to rise, and more insurance plans are requiring significant deductibles and cost-sharing plans that burden consumers with high costs. Maryland PIRG is working to reduce health care costs and increase the quality and efficiency of care.

Prescription Drugs Cost Commission (SB1023/HB1194) Creating the Drug Cost Review Commission to establish payment rates for expensive drugs that create significant affordability problems. Sponsored by Senator Conway and Delegate Pena-Melnyk. 

Clean, Efficient Energy Use

Maryland’s reliance on polluting fossil fuels puts our health and safety at risk. The growth of cleaner technologies in Maryland benefits both our environment and our economy. Maryland PIRG is working to increase clean, efficient energy use.

100% Clean Renewable Energy Equity Act (HB878): Requires Maryland to generate 100% of electricity from clean, renewable energy sources by 2035. Sponsored by Delegate Shane Robinson Bill details.

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