Throughout my time in Annapolis, I have been proud to work on a great number of issues that matter to our community. We have been able to achieve so much in a short period of time, and I look forward to continuing the work that is still left to be accomplished.
Some of the Legislation We Have Passed:
The Maryland New Start Act
This past session of the General Assembly we passed the Maryland New Start Act which will provide small business loans and trainings for the formerly incarcerated so that they can become entrepreneurs and small business owners after they have returned to society. This will open up new opportunities and invest in a new wave of small businesses that can build up our local economy.
Step Down Program
I was proud to sponsor and pass legislation that will ensure everyone who is being released from solitary confinement and restrictive housing is able to access a reentry specialist that will ensure they have the resources that they need to be able to successfully return to regular society and move on to successful lives upon reentry.
Health Equity Resource Communities
In 2021, we passed legislation that will subsidize healthcare providers to locate in the communities that are most in need of their services. Too many Marylanders are unable to access healthcare, this legislation that I led on and that General Assembly passed will ensure that we are able to expand healthcare to those areas that need it most.
Racial Impact Statements
In coordination with House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson, I was able to introduce the use of Racial Impact Analysis to help Maryland study how legislation might impact equity-related issues across our state. This analysis is currently in its pilot program and it will lead to a more thorough understanding of how legislation might impact different groups throughout Maryland.
Juvenile Restoration Act
In 2021, I sponsored, and the General Assembly passed over Governor Hogan's veto, the Juvenile Restoration Act which will give juveniles sentenced to life without parole a chance for a resentencing hearing after serving 20 years in jail. It will also ban sentencing juveniles to life without the possibility of parole. It's time that we move towards a judicial system that prioritizes rehabilitation and I am proud we were able to make a big leap towards that goal with this legislation.
2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins, III's Law
This legislation makes it easier to convict someone of a hate crime if a crime is motivated in substantial part to someone's race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or national origin. This legislation will ensure that we are able to hold those who commit hate crimes in our state fully accountable for their egregious crimes.
Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force
This legislation we passed created a Task Force, that I chaired to study the implementation of a statewide program for police body-worn cameras. These cameras are critical tools to promote transparency and trust within our police. This Task Force has helped us take a comprehensive look at expanding the use of these cameras across Maryland police agencies.
Minority Business Reciprocity
This bill that we passed in 2019 enables contractors who meet our state’s qualifications, who also are already federally certified as a disadvantaged business enterprise, to quickly gain certification in the state of Maryland as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) without additional paperwork. This will save small and minority businesses a lot of time from having to go through the duplicative process we currently have which can take 6 months to a year to get registered in the state.
Solitary Confinement Ban For Juveniles
In 2019, we passed legislation to prohibit a correctional unit from placing a minor in solitary confinement unless there is clear and convincing evidence that there is an immediate and substantial risk of physical harm to the juvenile, other inmates or staff. I also worked with Delegate Wanika Fisher to ban the placement of pregnant women in solitary confinement.
Money We Have Brought Back to the 24th
$400 million for investment and economic development for Prince George's Blue Line Corridor to promote small business and community development where it can do the most good
$8.7 million for infrastructure improvements along Central Avenue
$1 million for Park and Planning to purchase Lake Arbor Golf Course for community projects and public use
$950K for United Communities Against Poverty to help with services for children and families struggling with poverty.
$760k for Mission for Love Charities to work on employment services for those unemployed due to the COVID Pandemic
$750k for the National Center for the Victims of Crime to launch a new program to serve victims of crime in Prince George's County
$600K to establish a new Indoor Sports Facility in the greater Landover area
$500k for public art along Central Avenue
$250k for the non-profit grocery store Good Food Markets to locate in Seat Pleasant, a local food desert.
$250k for Scenic Prince George's County for county environmental improvements
$250k for site improvement and renovations for the Arc of Prince George's County building
$50k for the Lake Arbor Foundation to renovate their community hall