Friends & Neighbors:
I have updates for you on Maryland policy debates & a few issues I've weighed in on.
Thanks for being engaged!
Delegate David Moon
Defending Abortion Access: While conservative judges try to erode reproductive choice, I'm joining with state lawmakers around the nation to file a brief defending the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in an upcoming Supreme Court case (Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health). As a part of The Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council (a network of pro-choice state legislators), the brief will likewise address the passage of dangerous new restrictions in Texas. Naturally, I'll also join colleagues in the coming legislative session to plug any holes in Maryland law. Stay tuned!
Reining in Untraceable Guns: While use of firearms without serial numbers grows in Maryland, I submitted public comment this summer to support President Biden's proposal to restrict these "ghost guns" through federal regulation. This is part of an effort by Everytown for Gun Safety and other groups to reverse a previous decision by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms that created a gap in regulation. And when Maryland's legislative session resumes, I'll once again support a requirement for serial numbers in our state. Montgomery County faced a ghost gun killing last month, and Maryland police departments are seeing a spike in untraceable firearms used in crimes.
Demanding Inclusion for Immigrants: This week I joined over 700 state lawmakers in calling on Biden & Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, essential workers, and their families in economic recovery legislation. After colleagues successfully pushed to include immigrants in Maryland's relief program this year, we'll also be back soon to override Governor Hogan's veto of legislation to close Maryland's ICE immigrant detention camps.
Promoting Overdose Prevention & Harm Reduction: When Maryland's legislature meets, I'll need your help pushing for a veto override of a paraphernalia decriminalization bill I worked on with Sen. Jill Carter (SB 420). The current penalty for possession of a syringe is up to 4 years in prison, leading residents to dump them in public places & fear calling for help. The Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition explains in an op-ed: "Hogan vetoed a bill decriminalizing drug paraphernalia – lawmakers should override him.... Over the years, we all have had to fight tooth and nail to get the Hogan Administration to expand overdose education, naloxone distribution and syringe services."
Fighting an Early End to Unemployment Assistance: While Governor Hogan sought to kick everyone off unemployment early in Maryland, I joined with 83 House Democrats to object & demand the resignation of our Labor Secretary. Indeed, it's been months and both residents and businesses are still reporting an inability to get phone calls and questions answered. We've also now discovered the state squandered hundreds of thousands of tax dollars losing in court while trying to end benefits two weeks early.
County Rental Assistance Available: While we fight Governor Hogan's decision not to extend Maryland's COVID-19 eviction moratorium, counties have direct rental assistance payments for renters and landlords available now. If you need COVID rental relief, apply to a local program:
YOUR SUPPORT APPRECIATED - Friends, time is flying & we're nine months out from my next election! I'd be grateful for any help, as I voluntarily reject corporate donations & have new voters to reach after redistricting.
A Few of My Bills Passed the House This Year
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. THIS BILL WAS VETOED BY HOGAN.
- 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. THIS BILL WAS VETOED BY HOGAN.
- 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.