Maryland State

The work of liberation is always ongoing. When JUFJ and our partners can’t get a bill over the finish line, we come back to try again. And when we win a legislative campaign, we celebrate. But we know that passing a law is only one piece of our work. There are people and organizations who work to undermine the change we have made, because they value money more than people and they think we will stop paying attention after the bill is signed. But we don’t quit just because a law has passed.

Many of JUFJ and our partners’ successful legislative campaigns lead to implementation campaigns, where we try to make sure that the funding, the regulations, and the timeline all support the vision of the bill we fought so hard to pass. And some victories are followed by direct attacks on the bills to try to undo change before it happens. But when we stick together with our partners and keep paying attention, we can win campaigns we thought were out of reach, defend our hard-won victories for all Marylanders, and make sure that we are building a state where all of us have the resources we need to live and flourish.

Implementation and Defense:

  • Court and Prison Reform:
    • Prerelease Services for Incarcerated Women: We will continue to hold the administration accountable for implementing these vital services.
    • Child Interrogation Protection Act: No child should be interrogated without being able to consult a lawyer. In 2022, we and our partners helped pass the Child Interrogation Protection Act over the Governor’s veto. But prosecutors have been trying to make us fear children so they can overturn this critical protection for young people in our state. We can’t let that happen. During session, we are opposing The Juvenile Justice Restoration Act (HB319 / SB52) and Juvenile Law – Custodial Interrogation – Parental Consultation (SB0120). 
  • Labor Justice:
    • Paid Family and Medical Leave  (HB0571 / SB0485): We continue to advocate for a fair and equitable program and to prevent any attempts to weaken this labor justice win for Maryland and ensure successful program launch.
  • Renters’ Rights:
    • Eviction Prevention Funding (HB0428 / SB0370): The lack of eviction prevention funding is a gaping hole in Maryland’s affordable housing strategy that disparately impacts Black children. In 2023, we and our partners won $2 million for this, but that is far, far less than is needed.
    • The Water Taxpayer Protection Act: This 2019 win for renters (and for folks who struggle to get titles to inherited homes) is now under attack. Nobody should lose their homes due to tax sales because of unaffordable water bills.
  • Transforming Public Safety:
    • Anton’s Law: As part of sweeping police reforms passed in 2021, Anton’s Law increased transparency into police misconduct.
    • Restore Local Control of the Baltimore City Police Department (HB0732/SB0894): We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that local governance of the BPD is fully enacted.
    • Police Accountability Boards: While a step in the right direction, PABs lack independent investigatory and subpoena powers. We will continue to fight for transparency and strong civilian oversight of the police.

In addition to the legislative and funding campaigns where JUFJ engages in a full scope of work each session, we also take additional positions in consultation with our partners and the Maryland Core Team (JUFJ’s Maryland volunteer leadership team). Staff has to limit the number of campaigns JUFJ works to match our organizational capacity, but also wants to be responsive to the needs of our partners and the rapid pace of Annapolis. To maximize our effectiveness, we impact additional campaigns in a more limited way by submitting official JUFJ testimony and/or signing JUFJ’s name to a list of supporters.

Testimony Only:

  • Renters’ Rights:
    • Tenant Safety Act
    • Tenant Personal Property Rights Act
  • Trans Rights:
    • Trans rights, health, and equity

Sign On:

  • Court and Prison Reform
    • Second Look Act
    • Ending solitary confinement

For more information about our agenda setting process for the Maryland 2024 state legislative session, click here.

Maryland Staff