Friends & Neighbors:
Maryland’s 2021 legislative session just ended, and it was one of the most intense and important rounds of policymaking I’ve been involved in.
Ever since the pandemic abruptly closed the House of Delegates last year, I’ve been carrying the worries of countless Marylanders in my head.  
Below you can read about a few ways we tried to help & updates on key policy victories.
Thanks for being engaged!
Delegate David Moon

Notable Bills That Passed
Maryland Approves Pandemic Stimulus Funding: Our first priority was passing the Maryland RELIEF Act (SB 496) to provide billions in aid (on top of Biden's plan), including:
  • Exempting current unemployment benefits from income tax 
  • Increasing the refundable EITC for low-income tax filers & including ITIN filers
  • Hiring more staff to assist with unemployment insurance 
  • Allowing small businesses to keep some short-term sales taxes 
  • Converting loans to grants & targeting funding to hard-hit sectors
Sweeping Police Reform Passes in Maryland: I had the honor of serving as one of the floor leaders on police accountability this year & am proud to report we passed a package of reforms that the New York Times believes, “placed Maryland at the forefront of a national debate over police brutality and the use of excessive force.” Though it’s by no means perfect, here are a few major reforms within this year’s policing bills (HB 670, SB 71, SB 178, SB 600):
  • Strict new limits on use of force & no-knock warrants
  • Statewide bodycam requirements & right to tape police
  • Public disclosure of police complaints & discipline
  • Repeal of the Maryland police “bill of rights” (LEOBR)
  • Requirement that police state why they pulled you over
BALTIMORE SUN: "Del. David Moon noted that people keep dying at the hands of police, noting a case in Takoma Park where an off-duty federal officer is charged with killing two people Wednesday whom he suspected of breaking into a car. 'You cannot tell me that we don’t need this legislation. Literally, as we were debating this, this happened,' said Moon, a Montgomery County Democrat. 'It’s unacceptable, this culture of violence, this taking life for granted.'" 
"Moon said going forward, police will need to be trained to use force only when 'necessary and proportional' as the law dictates. 'It’s a reboot, it’s a refresh, it’s a re-imagining of policing,' Moon said."
ASSOCIATED PRESS: "Supporters of expanding public access to records about police disciplinary cases said greater transparency is needed to assure the public that complaints against police are taken seriously." 
"'This was precisely the issue in the Anton Black case, where you had a problem officer being transferred between departments and the full picture of that officer’s issues was not being presented to the hiring department,' said Del. David Moon, a Montgomery County Democrat."
Shutting Down Maryland’s ICE Immigrant Detention Camps: I was proud to lead floor defense on a bill (HB 16) to close Maryland's for-profit immigrant jails. Frederick, Howard & Worcester counties have been renting spare jail cells to ICE but the most common offense for these immigrants was simply entering the country. Nevertheless, in floor debate GOP members tried to link immigrants to disease & terrorism, but we passed the bill veto-proof.
MARYLAND MATTERS: "Del. Daniel L. Cox read off a list of offenses that local law enforcement agencies would not be able to use to pass undocumented people over to ICE after they completed sentences for their crimes. Cox, who has been a lightning rod for controversy this session following his participation in the rally that ended in a raid on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, emphasized 'terrorist acts' as he read."

"Del. David Moon, the bill’s floor leader in the House, called Cox’s list a 'distraction....' 'This is the nonsense we’ve been listening to for years,' he continued. 'A green vote says that Maryland does not balance budgets on family separations.' Del. Jason C. Buckel defended Cox, imploring colleagues to exercise comity, even if they disagreed on the policy...."
"Moon was relentless. 'No. The people that have been impugned are my constituents, your neighbors and the immigrants that are being called terrorists and criminals,' he said passionately, his voice getting louder...."
Expanding Education & Pre-K Funding: After overriding the Governor's veto of pre-K and education funding, we passed legislation (HB 1372) to steer resources to address learning loss, student mental health and the digital divide. We also approved millions in HBCU funding to resolve a long-running lawsuit (HB 1).
Protecting & Promoting Housing: Though some of our more ambitious housing proposals sadly stalled this year, we were able to approve legal services for some low-income residents facing eviction (HB 18) and tax-free savings accounts for first-time homebuyers (HB 1178).
Breakthroughs on Criminal Justice: This year we passed justice reform bills that were decades in the making, including legislation to remove the Governor from parole decisions (SB 202), compensate innocent people who were wrongfully convicted (HB 742), and end life without parole for children (SB 494).
Ending Subsidies for Dirty Energy: Some of our major climate & sustainability bills for the year did not get approved, but we were finally able to pass legislation (HB 875) to end subsidies for burning paper waste (aka “black liquor”). We also fought through objections and were able to preserve fees used for Bay restoration funds (HB 507).

Re-Election is Right Around The Corner
Any Help Greatly Appreciated *
* I voluntarily reject corporate donations, so I'm counting on the grassroots :)

A Few of My Bills Passed the House
I serve as chair of the Criminal Law Subcommittee, so I spent time this year on police reform, decriminalizing poverty & replacing the “drug war” with public health. But I have broad policy interests and also worked on small business assistance, election reform, pedestrian safety and more. Here are some of my wins this year:
  • Substantially Fairer Compensation for Those Harmed by Police (HB 721 & SB 602) - I was able to amend the Speaker's police reform bill to correct inequities & double the amount of compensation for those harmed by police. I teamed up on this with Sen. Will Smith.
  • Shielding Restaurant & Small Biz Owners From Personal Ruin (HB 719 & SB 582) - We passed my bill to protect small business owners from personal ruin during the pandemic. For those shut down by the Governor's Emergency Order, this bill creates a moratorium on enforcing lease provisions letting landlords seize the personal homes/assets of small business owners. I teamed up on this with Sen. Shelly Hettleman.
  • More Speed Limit Control for Montgomery County & Cities (HB 562) - We passed legislation I introduced with Sen. Will Smith to give Montgomery County and its cities a wider range of speed limits to use on their own roads, after performing a traffic investigation. This was requested as a tool for the Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths.
  • Warn Homebuyers About Montgomery County School Boundaries (HB 541) - With a MoCo school boundary study underway, we passed HB 541 to require home sales contracts in Montgomery County to warn buyers that the school boundaries are subject to change.
  • Syringe & Paraphernalia Harm Reduction (HB 372 & SB 420) - We passed this bill to eliminate the four-year penalty for syringes in Maryland. This harsh sentence leads users to dump them in public places, share needles & expose police to pricks. (The drugs are still illegal). I teamed up on this with Sen. Jill Carter.
  • Require Bodycams to Save More Footage Leading Up to Incidents (HB 727 & SB 583) - The Speaker's police reform bill was amended to include this reform requiring bodycams to double the amount of footage they capture before an incident. I teamed up on this with Sen. Shelly Hettleman.
  • Decriminalize Display of a Suspended Drivers License (HB 115 & SB 20) - We passed a bill I introduced to eliminate jail as a penalty for displaying a suspended license. This is a common way to criminalize poverty, so  I worked to end this practice with Sen. Jill Carter.
  • Push Counties to Stop Charging Fees While Defendants Await Trial (HB 126 & SB 229)  - We passed legislation I introduced to prohibit counties who receive state pretrial grants from charging fees to those hoping to use alternatives to cash bail. I teamed up on this with Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher.

Re-Election is Right Around The Corner
Any Help Greatly Appreciated *
* I voluntarily reject corporate donations, so I'm counting on the grassroots :)
By Authority: Friends of David Moon. Chair: Marlana Valdez. Treasurer: Usman Ahmed.
Note that a person can contribute no more than $6,000 to each Maryland state campaign account during the four year cycle, including in-kind contributions. The current cycle began on January 1, 2019 and will end December 31, 2022. Contributions to political campaigns are not tax deductible.