2022 Legislative Session

You can make real change simply by telling your stories...and encouraging clients, staff, supporters, partners to do the same.

The 2022 Legislative Session is over!

Here's where our priority issues landed...


Big wins this session: These bills are now law!

HB 1080: Healthy Babies Equity Act 


    • This bill funds legal counsel in eviction cases and specifically requires the Comptroller to distribute $11.8 million of certain abandoned property funds to the Access to Counsel in Evictions Special Fund for fiscal year 2023. Read this one-pager!

    • Watch Therapist Case Manager Amanda Wisniewski's testimony (starting at 4:00:43)



This bill passed and we hope will become law: 


SB 384/HB674: Stay of Eviction Proceeding for Rental Assistance Determination

    • This bill puts a hold on certain evictions while a tenant is waiting for a response to their rental assistance application. Read this one-pager!

These bills didn't pass this year...More advocacy ahead!

While we were disappointed that bills involving such critical issues as gender-affirming care and harm reduction did not pass, we will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to ensure the passage of these lifesaving bills in future sessions.

SB 682/ HB 746: Trans Health Equity Act

    • In Maryland, our Medicaid program categorically denies dozens of gender-affirming services to trans patients. This bill expands Maryland Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care.
      • Read the one-pager
      • UPDATE: Both SB 682 and HB 746 passed the Health & Government Operations Committee. But despite how far the bill has gotten, Speaker Jones refused to bring the bill to a vote. 

SB 637 / HB 935Behavioral Health System Modernization Act

      • Requires Maryland Medicaid to provide reimbursement for certain behavioral health services, including Certified Peer Recovery Specialists. This is a comprehensive bill. Read the overview.

HB 190: Good Samaritan Law Expansion

        • This bill expands the list of crimes for which "Good Samaritans" aiding a person experiencing an overdose cannot be charged to include all misdemeanors. 

HB 481/ SB 509: Drug Paraphernalia Decriminalization

    • This bill decriminalizes possession of items that could be used to consume drugs. This bill will save lives, reduce barriers to housing and employement and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
    • Along with our partners at Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition (BHRC), we successfully advocated to pass this bill in 2021. When the Governor vetoed it, the General Assembly tragically refused to take up overriding the veto.
      • Watch Senior Medical Director Laura Garcia's testimony (starting at 3:08:51)
      • Watch Medical Provider Katharine Billipp's testimony (starting at 6:52:10)

HB881: Local "Just Cause" Termination Provisions

    • This bill allows local jurisdictions to prohobit evictions without a "just cause." During COVID, when failure to pay rent evictions were largely prohibited or curtailed, we saw a sharp uptick in landlords trying to get around this policy by simply evicting tenants when their lease ended (known as tenant holdovers). This bill is designed to stop evictions based on tenant holdover.
    • Read this one-pager!

What does it mean to share a story?

  • Stories can be in the form of an email, a phone call that’s transcribed, a pre-recorded video or a recorded Zoom meeting.

  • You can make a difference by sharing your own experience from a staff and/or personal perspective, as a client or supporter.
  • You can encourage others to share their experiences by referring them to advocacy@hchmd.org or directly helping to record their story.  
  • Reach out to Director of Public Policy Joanna Diamond with any questions!

How will these personal examples help?

  • Joanna can include them in written testimony that will influence the hearings.

  • You might have an opportunity to share your story directly with legislators as part of hearings.
  • Joanna can compile written and recorded stories and share with legislators after the hearings to advocate for their votes in favor of the bill.

"No-one wants to hear from me - they want to hear from you! People sharing real experiences with legislators is the most impactful way to influence legislation. They need to know there is a problem to be solved.” - Joanna Diamond, Director of Public Policy

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