LSPC Testimonies




    Bill Sponsor: Delegate Charkoudian

    Committee: Economic Matters

    Organization Submitting:   Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

    Person Submitting:   

    Position: FAVORABLE


    I am submitting this testimony in favor of HB0561 on behalf of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus. The Caucus is a political and activist organization on the Eastern Shore, unaffiliated with any political party, committed to empowering working people by building a Progressive Movement. 

    Caucus members consistently support legislation designed to protect, and improve, air and water quality, and legislation that recognizes the status quo for energy production no longer meets our needs – climate change is upon us. Inasmuch as HB 0561 promotes renewable energy, it satisfies these environmental priorities. The bill also shows potential for lowering energy costs for many customers, by giving county and local governments the ability to aggregate larger pools, and concomitantly negotiate for the same savings high demand (bulk) customers enjoy. 

    Evidence shows low-income households pursuing lower energy costs have taken a huge hit from bad actors in the third-party supply industry. HB 0561 can reverse that damage, and in doing so not only encourage but enable those same households to participate in supporting renewable energy sources. It may be there is an as yet unrecognized, deep, reservoir of interest in renewable energy whose light the practicalities of life have hitherto kept hidden under a bushel. 

    HB 0561 requires no subsidy, although it is certainly arguable that aggregation would be worthy of subsidy for its economic justice benefits alone, not to mention its potential environmental benefits. However, the bill leaves these judgments entirely up to customers, with an opt-out provision. The caucus anticipates that a majority of customers will find county and local aggregation plans a good fit, both economically and with an eye toward stewardship of the Earth. 

    The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus supports this bill and recommends a FAVORABLE report in committee.

  • Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 2019 Legislative Agenda

    Legislative Agenda 2019


    Priority Legislation Issues

    1. Medicare for All/Single Payer Health Care
    2. A Minimum Wage increase to $15 an HR  
    3. Debt Free Higher Education for 4-year institutions.
    4. Trust Act
    5. Community Healthy Air Act

    Other Supported Legislation

    Economic Issues

    • Worker Rights
    1. Collective bargaining for community college workers
    2. Statewide collective bargaining for local government workers
    3. Overtime for low-income salaried employees
    • College Debt forgiveness
    • Oppose the construction of the new Redskins stadium at Oxon Cove Park.
    • Create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board.

    Racial Issues

    •  Criminal Justice Reform
      1. Ending the Bail system in Maryland
      2. Elimination of mandatory minimum sentencing
      3. Revamp of State k-12 school funding formula, including new school reforms
      4. Juvenile Justice Reform  
      5. Legalization of Marijuana
    • Ban the use of Nooses and Swastika to threaten or intimidate (HB-04)  
    • “U-Visa” bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for victims of crime who cooperate with local law enforcement.
    • Removing Winder Sign from Wicomico County House (local issue Wicomico County)


    • Support the construction of the Wind Projects off the coast of Ocean City
    • Oppose the Eastern Shore Natural Gas Pipeline plan.
    • Increase Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 50% by 2030
    • Green Amendment that will set forth the inalienable right to a clean environment
    • Community Solar Legislation to expand the process of having citizens invest in solar farms
    • Ban single-use plastics

    Democracy Initiatives

    • Support Rank Choice Voting initiatives on the Lower Shore
    • Small donor public financed election on the Lower Shore
    • Constitutional Amendment Repealing Citizens United
    • Non-Partisan district reform


    • Ban untraceable 3D guns
  • Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 2018 Legislative Agenda

    Legislative Agenda 2018


    Priority Legislation Issues

    1. Overturning Governor Hogan’s veto of Paid Sick Leave (2017, HB1/SB230) (PASSED AND BECAME LAW) 
    2. Medicare for All/Single-Payer Health Care (DIED IN COMMITTEE WITH 8 CO-SPONSORS IN THE SENATE) 
    3. Minimum Wage increase to $15 (2017, HB416/SB962) (DIED IN COMMITTEE)
    4. Rape Survivor Family Act (2018 HB1/SB2) (PASSED AND BECAME LAW) 
    5. Trust Act (2017, HB1362/SB835) (Withdrawn: Unfavorable Report by Judicial Proceedings) 
    6. Funding For the Farms and Families Act 
    7. Community Healthy Air Act (Senate Bill 133) (DIED IN COMMITTEE)


    Other Supported Legislation

    1. Economic Issues
    1. Debt Free Community College for both AA Degrees and Job Certification; funded through loophole closing – SB 1173 (PASSED AS HB-16 FOR STUDENTS WHOSE FAMILY MAKES LESS THAT 150,000 A YEAR) 
    2. Worker Rights
    1. Collective bargaining for community college workers (Died in Committee)
    2. Statewide collective bargaining for local government workers (Died in Committee)
    3. Overtime for low income salaried employees (Died in committee)


    1. Racial Issues 
    1. Codify Bail Bond Initiative (2017) to Further Criminal Justice Reform HB 1157/SB 879 
    2. Criminal Justice Reform
    1. Elimination of mandatory minimum sentencing (Died in commitee)
    2. Revamp of State k-12 school funding formula, including new school reforms (Died in Committee) 
    1. Removing Winder Sign (local issue Wicomico County) (FAILED COUNCIL WON’T MOVE IT)


    1. Environmental 
    1. Increase Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 50% by 2030 (DIED IN COMMITTEE)
    2. Prohibit construction of Trans Canada Potomac gas pipeline (Failed Pipeline was approved)


    1. Democracy Initiatives
    1. Automatic Voter Registration (PASSED AND BECAME LAW)
    2. Change of party registration during early voting (PASSED AND ON THE BALLOT) 
    3. Small donor public financing (died in Commitee) 
    4. Constitutional Amendment Repealing Citizens United (Passed the house. Died in Senate Committee) 


    1. Tax Reform
    2. Freezing the estate tax (PASSED AND BECAME LAW) 
    3. Reinstating the millionaire tax


    1. Education
    2. Kirwan commission proposal - funded through progressive taxation (Pushed for next session)
    3. Universal pre-K education (likely to be included in #1 (Kirwan Commission)  (Pushed for next session)


    1. Death with Dignity legislation (Bill Withdrawn With Lack of Support)