Speaker Busch, House Leaders Announce “Our Middle Class Matters” Package

SPEAKER BUSCH, HOUSE LEADERS ANNOUNCE “OUR MIDDLE CLASS MATTERS” LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE

ANNAPOLIS, MD – House Speaker Michael E. Busch and fellow House leaders today announced the “Our Middle Class Matters” legislative package that provides greater economic security and workplace protections for over 1 million, hard-working Marylanders.  

“Too many working class families are still falling behind each month,” said Speaker Busch. “This package should find broad, bipartisan support during the 2017 session.”

A centerpiece of the “Our Middle Class Matters” legislative package is Delegate Sheila E. Hixson’s expansion of Maryland’s Earned Income Tax Credit, which passed the House in 2016 with overwhelming, bipartisan support.  House Bill 2 benefits over 355,000 working Marylanders and helps them provide for their families and ultimately build a stronger financial future.

“Earned Income tax credits are a fancy way of saying that working Marylanders take home more of the pay that they have earned,” said Delegate Hixson. “That money will go right back into our economy as they buy family groceries and other household essentials.”

Strengthening Maryland’s middle class and our families’ economic security also requires common-sense protections like earned sick leave. House Bill 1, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, sponsored by Delegate Luke Clippinger, will allow over 700,000 Marylanders to no longer make an impossible choice: go to work sick or send an ill child to school, or stay home and sacrifice much needed income – or worse, possibly lose his or her job.

“Working Marylanders cannot afford to lose much-needed income or risk being fired simply because they have the flu or a child needs routine medical care,” said Delegate Dereck E. Davis.

House Bill 100, the Hometown Heroes Act, passed the House unanimously last year with bipartisan support from every corner of the State.  This bill would provide a $15,000 income tax deduction to our “Hometown Heroes” as they approach retirement.  

“This is a small gesture of our appreciation for their years of dedicated service,” said Delegate Hixson, the lead sponsor of the Hometown Heroes Act.

“Once passed, this bill would show the nation that Maryland takes a long-term commitment to its public safety professionals,” said Vince Canales, President of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police.  “We ask the public to stand with us and the members of the House of Delegates in support of Hometown Heroes!”

Last year, the General Assembly passed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which prohibits employers from paying Maryland workers different wages simply based on their gender.  House Bill 398, introduced by Delegate Karen Lewis Young, builds on these protections to ensure that Maryland women no longer earn just 85 cents for every dollar earned by men in comparable jobs.

“Equal pay for equal work means your wages should be based on the work you are doing, not simply what you got paid at your last job,” said Delegate Lewis Young.  “I hope this transparency bill will level help level the playing field for all Maryland workers.”

 

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