2017 POLICY PRIORITIES
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PROTECTING IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT SERVICES AND INVESTMENTS
Many health and human service areas have been struggling for more than a decade while state budgets have failed to provide the true costs of needed services. The State’s less-than-expected revenue growth last year, and lowered projections for this and the coming budget year, threaten even the current levels of support. The national election results have added more uncertainty for the future of the federal workforce and critical programs - raising additional concerns for Maryland’s economy and finances. Our highest policy priority must be to “Keep Maryland Whole” by protecting the programs and services most critical to people and communities in need, notwithstanding federal program and budget cutbacks, and to support the public investments required for all Marylanders to share future health and prosperity.
MAKING GOVERNMENT MORE TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE
Tax and other policy decisions have real impacts and results. Budget decisions can affect the lives of individuals, families and communities across the state. Representative government doesn’t work if the public lacks the information needed to judge decision-makers. We will continue to support efforts to assure that the policy decision-making process is more transparent, policy decisions can be better understood, and policy-makers are more accountable.
INCREASING THE STATE’S COMMITMENT TO SAFE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Safe, affordable housing is a challenge for a significant proportion of Maryland households and for many of those served by nonprofit organizations. The average ‘starter’ home is not affordable for many first-time buyers, and half of all renting households face housing costs that are over 30% of their income. We support efforts prohibiting discrimination against those using government assistance. But the State must do more to resolve the underlying problem – the inadequate supply of affordable housing. Recent budget cuts have delayed or deferred housing funds originally budgeted for this fiscal year. We will support efforts to reverse this trend and assure a stronger state commitment to address these needs.
IMPROVING THE STATE’S COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC TRANSIT
The adequacy of transportation infrastructure, particularly public transit, has a substantial impact on nonprofits and the people they serve across the state. This is not only a Baltimore City or Purple Line issue. From the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland, providers and advocates are telling us of clients who have great difficulty accessing their services, reaching jobs, education opportunitie,s or such basics as health appointments and services. We will support efforts to strengthen the state’s commitment to making public transit more accessible for all Marylanders.
PROMOTING EQUITY AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Maryland’s ‘quality of life’ is a major asset to the state’s attractiveness and economic growth and competitiveness. But there are serious inequities in how Marylanders of different racial or ethnic backgrounds, ages, economic conditions, or physical or mental well-being share in these advantages and are affected by public policies or practices. We will continue to work with advocates to promote greater fairness and equity in using the power of the state and the state’s resources to address needs in our communities.
To join us in these efforts or to learn more about the issues, contact Henry Bogdan, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 POLICY PRIORITIES
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2015 POLICY PRIORITIES
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