The 2014 Campaign Has Begun
The primary election day is June 24, 2014. Early voting will begin on June 12 and end on June 19. Locations are still being determined.
In Montgomery County’s District 19 three incumbents are running for re-election, Senator Roger Manno, Delegate Bonnie Cullison and Delegate Ben Kramer. There is an open seat for the third delegate position since Delegate Sam Arora has announced he will not seek re-election.
Maryland’s Minimum Wage
During the 2014 session, the Maryland General Assembly passed and the Governor has signed a long overdue increase in the minimum wage bill. The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Increase swill begin in January 2015 and are incremental beginning at $8.00 per hour and raises to $10.10 ending in July 2018. This wage increase will lift hundreds of thousands of hard-working Marylanders out of poverty and give them a fair shot at financial independence. If you work full time you should not live below or at the poverty line. There may be an initial negative impact with respect to the number of jobs, but this is likely to be short-lived as workers have more expendable income to inject back into our economy ad create opportunities for more jobs.
Fairness for All Marylanders
In the term that began in 2010 and ended with the 2014 session, there have been many victories for members of our communities who have historically been disenfranchised, These include the passage of the Maryland Dream Act in 2011 and the Civil Marriage Act in 2012. This session ended with another win–the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014. This legislation will ensure that no one may be denied employment, housing, or access to other public accommodations based on their gender identity. This state has a long history of intolerance for discrimination and the transgender community has long been the victim of prejudice, abuse and discrimination at higher rates than any other diverse group. This bill will go along way in affirming our commitment to equal treatment under the law for all residents in Maryland.
In the 2013 Legislative Session, the Maryland General Assembly laid the groundwork for distribution of medical marijuana for those who could not be treated successfully with pharmaceuticals. A recent article in the Baltimore Sun provides some additional information about maximizing the medical impact of marijuana.