2023 Maryland Legislative Session Victories

April 21, 2023

We made it to the end of Maryland’s legislative session! Many of the bills that 1199 supported passed the state legislature and will soon be signed by Governor Wes Moore:

Fair Wage Act: (HB549/SB555) raises the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour by Jan. 1, 2024

Income Tax: Union Dues (HB 2) allows union dues to be tax deductible

Bridging Ownership and Quality in Nursing Homes: (HB 702/SB 509) protects quality of care and regulates the actions of entities acquiring nursing homes 

Prescription Drug Affordability Board - Upper Payment Limits: (HB 279/SB 202) allows the Board to put price caps on certain drugs

Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program Modifications: (HB988/SB 828) will ensure that paid leave implemented equitably

Family Prosperity Act: expands the eligibility criteria for the child and dependent care tax credit

Hospital Reimbursement for Patient Medical Bills: (HB 333/SB 404) will reimburse hospital patients who qualified for free healthcare but were wrongly billed

Trans Health Equity Act: (HB 283/SB 460) will allow Medicaid to cover gender-affirming care

A package of Cannabis Reform bills passed:

1. (HB556/SB516) will democratize the licensing approval process

2. (HB980) provides that solely testing positive for cannabis use will not impact parole, probation, or pre-trial release 

3. (HB232/SB653) provides that cannabis use by a parent does not qualify as neglect

4. (HB1071/SB51) provides that the odor of cannabis alone is not grounds for a search and reduces the fine for public smoking from $250 to $50 for a first offense

A Reproductive Freedom package also passed: 

1. (HB 477/SB 341) will ensure that emergency contraception is available at public universities 

2. (HB 812/SB 786) will protect the personal data of individuals seeking reproductive health services in Maryland 

3. (HB 808/SB 859) will protect patients, providers, and individuals associated with support networks from legal prosecution out of state 

4. (HB 705/SB 789) will create a ballot question allowing us to vote on protecting the right to use contraception and to continue or terminate pregnancy

Legislation to provide emergency rental assistance, prevent eviction, allow immigrant health care workers to obtain licenses, expand Maryland Medicaid, and allow young adults to access healthcare coverage also passed. 

The Governor will sign health bills by May 3rd.