Advocacy Day Briefing Room - Maryland Catholic Conference

Advocacy Day Briefing Room

More than 2,300 bills have been introduced this legislative session. The Maryland Catholic Conference, the public policy entity for the Catholic Church in Maryland, is testifying and working working behind the scenes on many bills to advcate on numerous bills impacting life, families, and the vulnerable.

On Catholic Advocacy Day, we are highlighting five bills that address diverse issues. These represent our three primary areas: respect for life; education, children and families; and social and economic justice and are highlighted below. We will continue advocating and will send Catholic Advocacy Network members action alerts about key legislation as the General Assembly session unfolds.

Thank you for being a voice of hope and justice!

RESPECT FOR LIFE

Oppose HB 1171 - Enshrining Abortion in Maryland’s Constitution

Quick Facts  

  • There is no need for a Constitutional amendment.
  • Abortion sadly already is protected by Maryland law. 
  • Maryland currently has one of the highest rates of abortion in the country.
  • A majority of Marylanders believe there should be at least some reasonable restrictions on abortion.
  • Pushing a constitutional amendment will further divide our state.
  • Our state needs to support women and their children, starting at conception. This includes life-affirming healthcare and practical resources to address basic needs such as food, housing, work, and childcare, that help them and us embrace the gift of life.

Support HB 454/SB 776 – Prevention of Forced Infant Separation Act

Quick Facts  

  • Support healthy development for babies and bonding with moms by allowing certain pregnant women and mothers who recently have given birth and are incarcerated to move from a traditional prison setting to a prerelease setting to care for their babies.
  • Allowing parents to bond during the first year of life can improve the health outcomes for children not only in year 1, but for the rest of their lives. A positive, healthy relationship with a parent or caregiver is the most important factor for successful development in early life.
  • These relationships not only provide a safe and healthy environment for growth, but also positive interactions that support healthy emotional and social development and learning.

EDUCATION

Support Funding for BOOST Scholarships for low-income kids

Quick Facts

  • As Catholics, we believe that parents have a right to ensure the best education for their children and BOOST enables those who might not otherwise be able to afford it with the means to do so.
  • Last year, the increase to $10 million for BOOST funding helped promote greater access to Catholic high schools statewide.
  • BOOST is an important racial and economic justice program that closes the achievement gap for low-income Maryland children.

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE

Support HB 425/SB 387 – A Ban on Untraceable Firearms (Ghost Guns)

Quick Facts 

This bill would help reduce violence and save lives:

  • Prohibit a person from purchasing, receiving, selling, offering to sell, or transferring an “unfinished frame or receiver” unless it is required by federal law to be, and has been, imprinted with a serial number, as specified.
  • Prohibit a person from possessing a firearm unless the firearm is imprinted with specified information
  • Require the Secretary of State Police to suspend or revoke a dealer’s license under specified conditions relating to untraceable firearms
  • Establish penalties for violations of the bill’s provisions relating to untraceable firearms; and expands the definition of a “firearm” to include an unfinished frame or receiver.

Support HB 708 - Comprehensive Climate Solutions

Quick Facts 

This bill would help protect our environment and build equity for communities in Maryland disproportionately affected by climate change:

  • Develop recommendations to address environmental justice concerns, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and co–pollutants, and build climate equity and resilience within communities disproportionately affected by climate change.
  • Establish a plan to achieve net–zero statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
  • Establish the Maryland Climate Justice Corps Program and the Just Transition Employment and Retraining Working Group