Fri, Jan 13, 2017
The political season in our region in officially underway with new and returning members of Congress and the DC Council getting to work last week, and the Maryland General Assembly kicking off its 90-day session Wednesday. The Association's Advocacy team has been meeting with legislators on the Hill, and in the District and Annapolis to continue to build relationships and influence the discussion on issues impacting credit unions.
Wednesday, January 11 marked the opening day of the 2017 legislative session in Maryland. The 90-day session is expected to be a busy one with paid sick leave legislation at the top of the agenda for Democrats and Governor Hogan.
What to Expect During the MD General Assembly Session
Bills are already being filed and are expected to exceed 2,000. The Association's Advocacy team will begin the process of reviewing the bills on a rolling basis to determine if and how they may potentially impact credit unions. Last legislative session, we closely monitored, submitted comments, testified and engaged with legislators on approximately 125 bills of interest. We expect a number of bills to focus on the state's home/foreclosure process. Foreclosure legislation introduced in prior sessions sought to extend the process, and we expect similar bills this year. We will continue to actively oppose these bills, while continuing to engage with legislators on the issue.
Opening Day Receptions
Opening day ceremonies and receptions in Annapolis provided the Association and members with the opportunity to meet with and informally discuss issues of concern with a number of elected officials. We talked with several lawmaker who have direct jurisdiction over many of our issues, including House Environment and Transportation Committee Chair Kumar Barve and House Economic Matters Committee Chair Dereck Davis. In addition, we engaged with House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Kelly Schulz, Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) and a number of other delegates and senators.
Prior to opening day, we attended numerous fundraisers for many of these officials including House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate Finance Committee Chairman 'Mac' Middleton. Fundraisers cease during the session but will pick up again in April once the General Assembly session adjourns.
Annapolis Legislative Reception
Don't forget to register for the Legislative Reception in Annapolis on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. It's your chance to talk directly to legislators about your credit union's unique story and share the positive impact credit unions have on communities. REGISTER HERE.
Last week also marked the opening session for the 115th Congress. Capitol Hill was busy with activity as all members were sworn in and began to set out an agenda, the most controversial is a move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature legislation. The Advocacy team lead by MD|DC CUA President/CEO John Bratsakis participated in events and engaged with Maryland's three new delegation members: Sen. Chis Van Hollen, Rep. Jamie Raskin and Rep. Anthony Brown. We are scheduling visits with our delegation for Hike the Hill during GAC on March 1, 2017. Please contact Glen Cooney if you would like to participate: firstname.lastname@example.org or 443.325.0775.
The District Council began its new session having passed the Universal paid Leave Act legislation at the end of December. The legislation, while not yet law, will offer employees who work in the District among the most generous paid leave benefits (up to 8 weeks) in the nation. The Advocacy team continues to engage with all members of the Council including outreach to new Council Member (and former DC Mayor) Vincent Gray.