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2018 Legislative Session Report

The 2018 Legislative session is right around the corner, and we are preparing for a tough fight ahead. This year, we will be pushing recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, the elimination of the BOOST/Voucher program, opposing Gov. Hogan’s changes to the charter school law and fighting any cuts to education due to declining enrollment.

Lobby Night in Annapolis
Monday, January 29th, we will be traveling to Annapolis to lobby legislators for Lobby Night in Annapolis. We will be taking charter buses to Annapolis, as well as providing food and refreshments on the ride to Annapolis. Contact Todd Reynolds either via email at treynolds@aftmd.org or by phone at 443.320.4719 to RSVP.

Lobby Night Training Session
AFT-MD will host a training session on Tuesday, December 12th, from 5:30-7:30pm, to train members on the education topics we will be pushing this year. Contact Todd Reynolds either via email at treynolds@aftmd.org or by phone at 443.320.4719 to RSVP for the training session.

The Kirwan Commission
The Chair of the Kirwan Commission announced that he does not expect final recommendations from the Commission until after the 2018 session. However, there are still at least three commission meetings before the session begins, and the commission will issue at least a preliminary report to the 2018 state legislature. We are still hoping to push for our priorities on equitable and effective funding *this coming session*. Additionally, the commission is considering some state-wide policy recommendations, from more CTE offerings, to expanding Pre-K to 3 and 4-year-olds in poverty. The situation is still very fluid, and we won’t know what to support or oppose until the Commission issues that preliminary report at the end of December.

Opposition to the GOP Tax Plan
If the GOP’s tax plan passes, not only will it be bad for Maryland (taxes on a large portion of people in our state will go up to offset/pay for tax breaks for corporations), it will be bad for education professionals specifically because it removes the tax deductions we get for purchasing supplies for our schools.

All but one Maryland representative in the US Congress oppose the GOP Tax Plan. Please call, and encourage members at your schools to call, Congressman Andy Harris at 202-225-5311. (Harris represents Northern Maryland, so if you live in Northern Baltimore County or Harford/Cecil County, he is most likely your Congressman.)