Record of Results

BUDGET

  • Balanced the budget each year and fully funded the Rainy Day Fund. Maryland is one of only 8 states to maintain a triple-A bond rating through the recession
  • Reformed the State Employee Pension system to ensure long-term viability of the overall system and protect retirement security for public servants..

INVESTING IN EDUCATION

  • Funding K-12 and higher ed:
    • Record investment in education, resulting in the #1 K-12 system for 5 years in a row
    • Increased access to higher education by freezing education for 3 years and then capping tuition at 3% for the past three years
  • Maintenance of Effort– Closed loopholes in the existing law requiring counties to increase their funding effort in future years to match record State education investment and encourages counties and local school systems to find shared efficiencies to reduce ongoing expenses.
  • Compulsory Age Education– Over the past ten years, an average of 9500 students per year drop out of Maryland public high schools.  The law now phases in an increase in the age of compulsory school attendance from 15 to 17, by the 201718 school year.
  • Dream Act– Maryland joined 10 other states in allowing the children of undocumented immigrants who have attended a Maryland high school for 3 years to qualify for in-state tuition rates. Maryland passed one of the most stringent laws in the country, requiring proof of tax payment, in order to qualify for the benefit.
  • Baltimore City Schools Construction Program– Leveraged lottery proceeds to provide a 30% match to Baltimore City and Baltimore City Schools dollars for an expedited investment of $1 billion to build new and renovate schools in Baltimore City.

BUILDING MARYLAND’S ECONOMY

  • Public Private Partnership legislation – Expanded the use of public-private partnerships in Maryland, an innovative financing tool that allows State budget dollars to leverage private sector investment, thereby jumpstarting infrastructure development and creating significant numbers of jobs. P3s could create as many as 4,000 jobs, and generate an estimated $160 million to $240 million annually that could be invested in Maryland transportation projects.
  • Expanded the use of Tax Increment Financing– Tax increment financing is a financing tool that allows the future anticipated property tax proceeds from new development to be dedicated to debt service on current infrastructure improvements. The law now permits local governments to use TIF funds in new ways, including historic preservation, environmental remediation and affordable/mixed-income housing, and allows local governments to use MEDCO to issue bonds.
  • Maryland Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Program –  Established an industry-led partnerships to advance the skills of the State’s workforce and increase sustainable employment for working families that incorporates a regional, industry-led workforce development initiative. The EARN Program will connect Marylanders to jobs by closing critical skills gaps that prevent their employment and will ultimately grow sectors of the State’s economy that are vital to our future economic competitiveness.
  • Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013 – Expedited the issuance of occupational and professional licenses, registrations, and certificates for active military personnel, veterans, and their spouses who relocate to Maryland from another state and credits veterans for military training and other education and experience when they apply for occupational and professional licenses in Maryland and provided academic credit to veterans at state colleges for relevant military training and education.
  • New and Expanded Tax Credits
    • Created: Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit, Security Clearance, Wine Production Tax Credit
    • Expanded: Biotechnology, Film Production Activity and Research and Development Tax Credits
    • Family Farm Preservation Act of 2012 – Eased the estate tax burden on family farms, making it easier to pass on and preserve agricultural land, by exempting from the estate tax up to $5M of agricultural property.
  • Budget Support for the Private Sector
    • Rural Business Initiative – Expanded to support technology entrepreneurs with mentoring and business technical experience in technology commercialization for incubator-stage companies in Western Maryland, Southern Maryland, Northeastern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
    • Innovation Portal – Created an online one-stop marketplace to connect emerging businesses and entrepreneurs with potential investors.
  • Transportation Funding – Increased transportation funding by over $3B to invest in the State’s transportation network that leverages over $4.4B. To reassure State residents that Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) revenues will be used solely for their intended purpose, the General Assembly approved legislation that asks voters to approve a transportation “lockbox” during the next general election.
  • Turning Research into Jobs
  • Maryland Innovation Initiative Fund– promotes technology transfers from Maryland’s public and private nonprofit research institutions to the private sector, by providing grants to university researchers intended to commercialize university based research.
  • InvestMaryland – Creates a premium tax credit program to fuel venture capital investment in Maryland businesses, by using future tax credits to obtain up-front capital for investment in Maryland startups and growth stage enterprises.

ABOLISHED DEATH PENALTYRepealed the use of capital punishment in Maryland. Maryland became the 18th state in the nation to eliminate the use of capital punishment, along with 141 other countries across the globe

TOUGH ON CRIME

  • Gun Control – Banned on military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips; created a new licensing system for handguns, which account for the majority of gun deaths in our state; required gun safety training courses for first time handgun purchasers; and established important new restrictions on access to firearms for those suffering from serious mental illness.  In addition, the law targets straw purchasers (those who buy weapons for individuals prohibited from owning them or unwilling to be the owner of record) by requiring mandatory reporting of lost and stolen firearms.    The law created an additional penalty for the use of “cop killer” ammunition in the commission of a crime. The General Assembly also created a new felony for possession of a rifle or shotgun by people previously convicted of violent crimes and drug-related crimes, punishable by incarceration for a maximum of 15 years; closed the loop hole for criminals using shotguns or rifles to commit violent crimes.
  • Human Trafficking– Created an asset forfeiture law to seize real property, vehicles and cash from defendants convicted of human trafficking; and eliminated a defendant’s ability to claim “mistake of age” in cases that involve sex trafficking of a minor.
  • Continuing DNA Collection– Continued the ability of law enforcement to collect DNA from suspects arrested for crimes of violence. 149 cases have been closed as a result of DNA collection from arrestees, including 43 convictions for crimes including rape, robbery and burglary. The constitutionality of the law was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2013.
  • Drunk Driving – Expanded the use of ignition interlock in Maryland to drunk drivers with a high blood alcohol content (.15) and all repeat offenders and anyone who refuses a breathalyzer test. Anyone under the age of 21 who has any blood alcohol content is automatically enrolled in the ignition interlock program. About 1.4 million drivers are arrested nationwide for alcohol impairment annually. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia authorize or mandate the use of an ignition interlock system to deter alcohol-impaired driving.
  • Criminal Vehicular Manslaughter –   Created a new crime if a person acts in a criminally negligent way while driving which results in death, with a penalty of up to three years in prison and/or a $5,000 penalty.
  • Criminalizing Child Neglect –  Created a new crime for child neglect, to protect Maryland’s most vulnerable residents. If a parent or guardian intentionally fails to provide support and resources for the physical or mental health of a child, they could face up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 penalty.

SUPPORTING CLEAN Energy and A CLEAN Environment

  • Poaching – Tightened penalties for illegally poaching rockfish from Maryland waters.
  • Banned phosphorous from detergents and lawn fertilizers. Maryland joins Virginia to curb the pollution flowing into the Bay from lawn fertilizers.
  • Maryland Agricultural Certainty Program –  Certifies farms that meet State agricultural nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment reduction goals are granted a 10 year period of certainty for new laws and regulations.
  • Flush Tax –  Increased the flush tax from $2.50 a month to $5.00 a month to complete installation of enhanced nitrogen removal technology at Maryland’s 67 major wastewater treatment plants, fund cover crop programs and replace failing septic systems across the State. The fee increase will sunset in 2030, once Maryland has complied with the federal requirements for Chesapeake Bay cleanup.
  • Cleaning up Polluted Runoff –  Required the State’s largest counties to charge a stormwater fee and allowed local governments to install low impact stormwater systems to comply with the federal mandate at the local level.
  • Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act –Promoted smarter local planning and zoning policies to curb pollution into the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waterways. Instead of an outright ban on septic systems, the legislature created four planning tiers for counties to adopt as a part of their comprehensive planning program and grandfathered existing development projects already in the pipeline.
  • Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 –  Incentivized the construction of a major wind energy project off of Maryland’s coast and ultimately create over 1,000 jobs in construction and ongoing operations.
  • Electricity Reliability –  Directed the Public Service Commission to set a goal that each electric company establish reliability standards for each of the major utility companies in the State, and take appropriate corrective action against companies that fail to meet these standards, including civil penalties of up to $25K.

IMPROVING MARYLAND’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

  • Implemented the Affordable Care Act –Maryland is prepared to fully implement the ACA by ensuring the State is a leader in providing access to health care by expanding Medicaid, fully funding the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, moving enrollees out of the Maryland Health Insurance Plan and into the exchange while protecting against “rate-shock,” and other necessary changes to be fully compliant with the ACA.
  • Medical marijuana pilot program Helped provide palliative support for ailing Marylanders, by creating a Medical Marijuana Commission to identify five academic centers across Maryland that may distribute and prescribe medical marijuana for investigational purposes.
  • Increasing funding for developmental disabilities Increased the State’s alcohol tax by 3% to provide additional funding to eliminate the highest need people from the developmental disabilities waiting list.

GOOD GOVERNMENT

  • Improving Access to Voting Act –  Reauthorized early voting, expanded early voting dates, times and locations, and increased penalties for voter fraud.  Additionally, the law authorized same day voter registration, with proof of residency, during early voting.  The legislature also aligned the State absentee voter laws to ensure military and overseas U.S. voters can exercise their right to vote.
  • Campaign Finance Reform – Closed the loophole that treated limited liability companies owned by the same person as entirely separate entities. Maryland now has among the strongest reporting requirements in the nation for money spent during an election by entities operating independently from campaigns.
  • Ethics– Required legislators’ conflict of interest forms to be filled out electronically and posted online.  Legislators will also be asked to submit their occupation/employer or primary business interest as well as that of their spouse to the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee.
  • Accountability– Amended the State Constitution to immediately remove from office a state or local elected official who pleads guilty to a felony or to certain misdemeanors related to the elected official’s public duties, without pay or benefits.