We have a lot to celebrate

This week marks the end of Maryland’s legislative session – and we have a lot to celebrate!

This week marks the end of Maryland’s legislative session – and we have a lot to celebrate!

  • Public Health: We lead a statewide coalition to pass the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act to ban the routine use of human antibiotics on farms. This is is a huge win for public health in Maryland and will set an example for the rest of the country. Thanks to Senator Pinksy, Senator Nathan-Pulliam, and Delegate Shane Robinson for championing this important measure.
  • Healthy Kids, Healthy Maryland: We worked with Delegate Lafferty to require Maryland schools to test for lead in school drinking water and take immediate steps to address elevated levels.
  • Stopping predatory lending: Maryland has some of the strongest laws in the country to prevent predatory payday lenders. Unfortunately, some out-of-state online banks have been exploiting a loophole in the law. We closed this loophole to stop online predatory loans and protect Maryland consumers. (Sponsored by Senator Middleton and Delegate Waldstreicher).
  • Making Higher Education more Affordable: Along with our student chapter at the University of Maryland, we helped pass the Textbook Cost Savings Act to expand the use of open-source textbooks which are free to students. (Sponsored by Senator Rosapepe and Delegate Frick).

We also played a part in victories on energy efficiency, transportation, identity theft protection, and preventing prescription drug price gouging.

We were disappointed that the legislature failed to pass some important measures to ensure out of state companies pay their share of taxes, ban corporate campaign contributions, move the state towards Election Day voter registration, reinstate online privacy protections striped by Congress, and ban toxic flame retardants.

The legislative session is 90 days, but we’re working year round to stand up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.

I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year. Whether we’re taking on pharmaceutical companies, big banks, the chemical industry, or other powerful interests, it’s our members who give us the political backing we need to win.
Thanks for standing with us.


Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG; Director, Stop Toxic PFAS Campaign, PIRG

Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Emily has helped win small donor public financing in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. She has played a key role in establishing new state laws to to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms, require testing for lead in school drinking water and restrict the use of toxic flame retardant and PFAS chemicals. Emily also serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition and the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working. Emily lives in Baltimore City with her husband, kids, and dog.