2020 Legislative Priorities

Our 2020 Legislative Priorities

Maryland PIRG

I Healthy Living 

All families and communities should have access to clean air, safe drinking water, and healthy and sustainably produced food, and we should protect vulnerable populations from dangerous products. 

Family and Fire Fighter Protection Act (SB447/HB424)

Senator Guzzone and Delegate Cullison
Restricts the use of flame retardant chemicals in furniture, mattresses and children’s products. These chemicals are not effective for fire safety. Commonly used chemical flame retardants are linked to cancer and other health impacts.

Lead in School Drinking Water 

Sen. McCray and Del. Solomon (SB992/HB1475)
Sen. Carter and Del. Rosenberg (SB371/HB457)
Lead is a potent neurotoxin that affects how our children develop, learn, and behave. Across Maryland, testing is revealing lead in the drinking water in our schools. This policy strengthens protections for lead in school drinking water.

Protect our Kids from Nicotine Addiction (SB233/HB3)

Office of the Attorney General and Delegate Davis
We need to protect kids from nicotine addiction and all the harm that comes with it. This bill stops the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and cigars.

Increase and Expand the Tobacco Tax (SB3/HB732)

Senator McCray and Delegate Luedtke
Increases the tobacco tax and creates tax parity for all tobacco products including electronic cigarettes. 

Ban Chlorpyrifos (SB300/HB229)

Senator Lam and Delegate Stein
Bans the use of the toxic insecticide chlorpyrifos.

I Democracy for the People

The influence of wealthy special interests in elections has eroded public trust in our political system and helped to depress civic participation. We should do everything we can to ensure all eligible voters are able to have their voice heard on Election Day. 

Maryland Fair Elections Act (SB613/HB1125)

Senator Pinsky and Delegate Feldmark
This bill creates a campaign finance program for statewide offices that enables candidates to run for office without large or corporate campaign contributions by providing limited matching funds for small donations.

Voting By Mail – Study (SB408/HB426)

Senator Kramer and Delegate Mosby
This bill creates a group to create recommendations for implementation of a Vote By Mail program in Maryland. In communities that have vote by mail, all registered voters receive a ballot in the mail. The voter fills it out and returns the ballot via mail or by dropping it off.

Student Voter Empowerment Act (SB647/HB245)

Senator Lam and Delegate Luedtke
Gives Universities and Colleges the necessary tools to increase civic engagement and participation in democracy among young voters. Requires large Universities to have a polling location on campus.

I Don’t Trash Maryland

Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our environment for hundreds of years. The waste we produce means more leaky landfills, dirty air from incinerators, and more litter and litter cleanup costs. We support policies dedicated to the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and put us on a path to zero waste.

Plastic Free Maryland (SB313/HB209)

Senator Augustine and Delegate Lierman
Bans single-use plastic bags and creates a task force to create a plan to deal with plastic waste.

Right to Repair (SB723/HB1124)

Senator Hester and Delegate Feldmark
We generate way too much waste, and companies intentionally make things harder to repair. This bill gives consumers and small businesses access to the parts, tools and service information they need to repair products so we can keep things in use and reduce waste.

Reducing Organic Waste (HB589)

Delegate Charkoudian
Requires large generators of organic waste to divert waste from landfill or incinerators if a compost or anaerobic digestion facility is located within thirty miles.

No Cash for Trash (SB560/HB438)

Senator Hough and Delegate Mosby
This bill removes trash incineration as a Tier 1 Renewable Energy Source in Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

I Clean, Efficient Energy Use

Maryland’s reliance on polluting fuels puts our health and safety at risk. The growth of cleaner technologies in Maryland benefits both our environment and our economy. We support policies to increase clean, efficient energy use.

Community Choice Energy (SB315/HB561)

Senator Beidle and Delegate Charkoudian
This bill enables municipalities to set up alternatives to the investor-owned energy supply system. Community choice energy (CCE) allows residents in a community to control the type of electricity purchased by their local utility. CCE’s can enable communities to negotiate lower rates and use more renewable energy.

OPPOSE: Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES) (SB265/HB363)

Hogan Administration
This bill continues Maryland’s reliance on dirty and dangerous energy sources, including nuclear power and gas. Economically risky, at best, investing in and relying on nuclear and gas undermines our efforts to address climate change and provide safe, affordable energy for Marylanders.


Maryland PIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that encourages a fair, sustainable economy, and fosters responsive, democratic government.  For forty-five years we’ve stood up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.  

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