Welcome to the Legislative Corner!
Guess what?!? Eight weeks into session, WE are already winning for the environment. Thanks to your help, lobbying, and advocacy, some of our priority bills are advancing through the House and Senate as you read this email. We have also received a number of really great media stories and letters to the editor published on our various priority bills.
The Legislative Team wanted to give you an update on our priority bills, areas of need, and ways in which you can get involved. Also, don't forget to check out the featured upcoming events in Annapolis.
See you out there!
Maryland Sierra Club 2013 Legislative Session Environmental Priorities
Featured: Upcoming Legislative Events!
Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013
SB 275/ HB 226
The Maryland House of Delegates passed the Offshore Wind Energy Bill on February 22 with a vote of 86 to 48. The The Senate Finance Committee passed the bill out with a 7-4 vote. Next and last stop, the full Senate. With 24 sponsors in the Senate, a number sufficient to pass the bill, success is expected in coming weeks. Prior to the house passage of the bill, the Offshore Wind Coalition had a great 'Show your LOVE for Wind' rally on February 13. See pictures here.
Recent Media Clips:
Md. House advances offshore wind bill
Let Maryland set the pace in wind power
Take Action: Send an email to your Senator urging their vote in the coming days! Click here
For more information, please contact Chris atChris.firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryland Pesticide Reporting and Information Act SB 675/ HB 775
Pesticides pose a serious risk to our health, our waterways, and to homeland security. However, Maryland lacks the information we need about some pesticide use and the sales of restricted use pesticides. This legislation would provide us with that information. Our co-leads on this bill, Donna Mcdowell and Kim Birnbaum are working hard along side the the Maryland Pesticides Network to get this bill passed. First hearing, Wed, February 27 in the House Environmental Matters Committee.
Recent Media Clip:
Protecting the Chesapeake Bay from pesticide runoff, LTE from our very own Co-lead, Kim Birnbaum
Take Action: Send an email to your legislators urging their YES vote on this legislation -- looking particularly for District 43 members to contact their legislators or have a visit.
For more information, please email@example.com
Statewide Container Recycling Incentive Program SB 641/ HB 1085
This bill provides an incentive to consumers toincrease the number of plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans returned and recycled by establishing a self-funded returnable deposit program for beverage containers. The consumer receives 100% of their deposit on return and the State, Counties, and Baltimore City benefit economically while unredeemed dollars go to program costs and environmental programs. First hearing, March 8, in the House Environmental Matters Committee.
More Details can be found at http://www.recycleforreal.com
For more information, please contact Chris atChris.firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryland Progressive Summit
WHEN: Monday, March 4, 4:30 - 8:00 p.m (okay to come any time during the evening)
WHERE: The House of Delegates Ways and Means Hearing Room, Room 131 House Office Building, 6 Bladen St. Annapolis, Maryland
Come learn about important legislation from Delegates and Senators across Maryland. In addition to the environmental priority bills described elsewhere in this message, a wide range of other bills dealing with Economic Justice, Fair Elections And Democracy, Civil Rights, Clean Energy And Environmental Protection, and Public Health And Safety will be discussed.
For more information, please contact David O'Leary at email@example.com, or call the Sierra Club office at 301-277-7111.
Click here for a flyer with more information!
Fracking moratorium rally in Annapolis
WHEN: Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Lawyer's Mall in front of the Maryland State House (100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD)
On Wednesday, March 13, Marylanders from across the state will converge in Annapolis for the biggest rally yet to demand protections against the dangers of fracking here. Marylanders deserve legal protections against drilling now, while the state investigates the risks of drilling to our air, water and climate.
For more information, please contact Richelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Sierra Club office at 301-277-7111.
Stroller Parade for the Maryland Pestocicde Reporting and Information Act
WHEN: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, time:TBA
WHERE:Lawyer's Mall in front of the Maryland State House (100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD)
Pesticides pose a serious risk to our health, to the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways, and to homeland security — but Maryland lacks the information we need about some pesticide use and the sales of restricted use pesticides. Parade with children and advocates as they demand passage of the pesticides reporting and Information Act this session
For more information, please call the Sierra Club office at 301-277-7111.
Community Renewables Pilot Project SB0699/ HB1128
With the work of our co-lead Lore Rosenthal and others, progress is being made with SB0699/ HB1128: Electricity - Community Energy Generating Facilities – Pilot (Stein/Pinsky)! This bill would set up a 3 year pilot project that would allow construction of small solar farms or other "generating facilities". Maryland residents would be able to purchase one or more panels in an array and then instruct their utility company to subtract the cost of the solar electricity generated against their monthly electric bill. First hearing, Tuesday, March 5, 1 p.m. in the Senate Finance Committee and then Thursday, March 7, in the House Economic Matters Committee.
- Join the list serv: Follow our progress, read articles, keep up-to-date, please join the MD-SUN Google Group, Click here
- Join the Sun Team! We have assembled a small group of 10-12 people who have a weekly Strategy Team Call on Sunday Evenings.
- Looking for Volunteers to (a) make phone calls to Sierra Club members in key districts, (b) visit Annapolis and lobby their committee representatives, and (c) attend the hearings on March 5/7 as observers/supporters.
For more information or to join the Sun Team, please contact Lore Rosenthal, Solar co-lead at email@example.com
The Community Cleanup and Greening Act of 2012 (Bag Bill) SB 576/ HB 1086
This bill establishes a five-cent fee for single use plastic and paper carryout bags with the proceeds to be split among retailers, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and counties.
This bill will reduce litter in Maryland's neighborhoods and waterways by decreasing plastic bag use 60% or more; save retailers money; save consumers money when they avoid the hidden cost of "free" bags in higher prices; and create green jobs by giving counties valuable funds for community investments such as neighborhood greening, stormwater improvements, watershed implementation plans, and more. First hearing, in the Senate on February 26, 2013.
More details can be found at www.TrashFreeMaryland.org
Are you excited about the Session? Does a particular bill interest you?
Have a few hours to spare?
Join the Legislative Team!
We are already working within an exciting session, working on all of our priority bills, plus a few others.
We are looking for a few more members to join the team!
We talk every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.
For more information, please contact Jenae Ramos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all you do for the Environment!
SUPPORT THE WORK OF THE MARYLAND CHAPTER
Our citizen volunteers and staff work day-by-day to protect the natural places we love and our clean air and water. We advocate for and work to elect public officials who will vote to protect our natural resources for our families and our future.Thank you for all your support!
In order to be effective our dedicated environmental activists in Maryland depend on all members for your support and appreciate all donations big and small.
Legislative Priorities in the News
Week of April 10th
CBS Baltimore: Md. Session Mixed For Environmentalists; session ends with wind victory and growing issues; includes a quote from SC MD Director Josh Tulkin
Washington Post: Maryland Gov. O’Malley signs offshore wind bill, 151 others, into law; O'Malley signs the wind bill
Capital Gazette: Environmentalists still uncertain about 'ag certainty' More press on the Ag Certainty bill; includes a quote from SC MD Director Josh Tulkin
Frederick's News Radio: Local Business People Call On Del. Clagett To Reconsider 'Black Liquor' Bill Vote; Frederick residents urged Delegate Clagett to reconsider his vote in order to move bill forward last week
Week of April 1st
Baltimore Sun: House panel kills 'black liquor' bill; HB 1102 was short 1 vote from Economic Matters committee
Capital Gazette: Farming bill advances at General Assembly; Ag certainty bill moves forward, includes quote from SC Director Josh Tulkin
Washington Post: Maryland farmers should report their use of hazardous pesticides; Washington Post Editorial Board gives its opinion on the pesticides bill
Baltimore Sun: Bottle, bag bills headed to summer study?; Delegate McIntosh hopes to further examine the proposed measures this summer
Week of March 25th
Earth Techling: Offshore Wind Power Set for Big Moment in Maryland - Article by the Sierra Club with quote from our Chapter Conservation Representative Chris Hill
Take Part: Is Maryland Really Gonna Give Its Farmers a Pollution Pass? - SC, CCAN, MLCV, and others together oppose the agricultural certainty bill; includesquote from Director Josh Tulkin
Clean Technica: Offshore Wind Energy In Maryland Is Nearly Here, Historic Bill Headed to Governor's Desk After Passing Senate - 200 MW project can acquire $17 million in annual public health benefits
The Washington Post: Bay's intersex fish mystery remains unsolved - Pesticide reporting not just for farms, but for the bay
The Baltimore Sun: Deposit opponents miss the message in the bottle - Potential recycling rate can increase to 75%
Week of March 18th
Capital Gazette: Stormwater fee, taxes impact Maryland business climate - Fee has potential to create more jobs
The Dispatch: Offshore Wind Passes Senate, Awaits Governor’s Signature - Wind bill will soon have governor's signature
Baltimore Sun: Md. needs a database on pesticides - Pesticide database needed to protect MD families
The Washington Post: Groups split on Md. bill to exempt farms from new bay regs in exchange for inspections - "Plans could be completely upended if we start treating one single sector, agriculture, with such favoritism"
Baltimore Magazine: Maryland Could Be First With 5-Cent Disposable Bag Fee - MD may be first state to have disposable bag fee
Week of March 11th
Capital Gazette: Senate OKs O'Malley wind bill - Senate APPROVED wind bill 30-15; includes a quote from SC Conservation Representative Chris Hill
Earth Techling: Offshore Wind Advances In Maryland; Will Feds Help? - Possible federal funding for wind project?
Maryland Reporter: Bottle bill seeks to boost recycling rates - Bottle bill could triple recycling rates; includes a quote from SC Member Veronica Cassilly
Knox News: Md. hosts stormwater runoff meeting for officials - MD may face greater EPA regulation if it fails to uphold bay restoration plans
Frederick News Post: Bringing back the bottle deposit program - Deposit programs lead to 80% recovery rate for containers