Jewish Community’s 2017 Legislative Priorities

Last month, in advance of the 2017 legislative session, Governor Larry Hogan stopped by The Associated to meet with Marc Terrill, Linda A. Hurwitz and other leadership to learn more about the Jewish community and its diverse needs.

Arranged by the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), the conversation centered around the growing aging population, the recent MIDC (Maryland/Israel Development Center) trade mission to Israel and the positive impact of non-profit/government partnership.

Following the informal “get-to-know-you” meeting, the Governor took off for Bais Yaakov School to announce plans to put more money into the BOOST initiative to provide scholarships to deserving families of children attending private day schools. The Governor will seek to double the $5 million in last year budget to $10 million over the next three years.

In addition to supporting the BOOST initiative during this year’s Maryland General Assembly, BJC will seek capital funds and testify on behalf of the following legislation that impact our Jewish community:

Policy Priorities

Anti-BDS Legislation introduced by Maryland Senator Bobby Zirkin (D-11) and Montgomery County Delegate, Ben Kramer (D-19). The bill would stop Maryland’s retirement and pension system from investing in companies that are participating in the Boycot, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) efforts against the State of Israel. It would also prohibit those companies from securing procurement contracts with the State of Maryland.

Support of Earned Sick Leave
According to the proposed legislation, Marylanders working in businesses with 15 or more employees would be given paid time off for cases of illness or family emergencies and for those working in business with less than 15 employees, they would be given non-paid leave for the same circumstances.

Support of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Bills
BJC plans to support bills that affect our community, including a bill that provide uniform police standards on rape kits and one that would update the state’s rape statutes.

Budget Priorities

Over 3.5 Million to Support Associated Programs
BJC will advocate for funds to support CHAI’s aging-in-place programs, CHANA’s Elder Abuse Center, JCS’s Holocaust Survivor Funds, the Maryland/Israel Development Center, Sinai Hospital’s Medical Home Extender Program and more.

Sinai Hospital / Capital Project, Year Two
The State of Maryland has entered into a five-year health system transformation pilot program that brings hospitals and their communities closer together to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. Quality-based financial incentives reward providers for effectively managing chronic diseases to prevent the need for hospitalization, or to provide early intervention. This complex will reduce preventable emergency room visits by combining collaborative, multidisciplinary outpatient care at the primary, specialty and subspecialty levels. In turn, this will lower costs for the state and increase the health of the local community.

Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor

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