MD Women's Legislative Caucus

Caucus Passes Priority Bills

The 2018-19 Maryland Legislative Session was a year of new legislators and new initiatives for the Women’s Caucus. On November 6, 2018, 72 women were elected to the Maryland General Assembly, making up 38 percent of the Legislature - an all-time high for the state. Maryland ranks 8th in the nation in terms of women’s representation in the state legislature.

In 2018-19 Session, the Women’s Caucus supported twelve (12) bills of which seven (7) passed the Maryland General Assembly including:

Continuing Course of Conduct – Child Sexual Abuse (SB129/HB712) making an important technical correction to the existing legislation enabling the state to file more than one charge against a perpetrator who had committed three or more sexual offenses against a child over multiple 90 day periods.  Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Charlotte Crutchfield were the lead sponsors for the bill.

HB0583/SB0356 Maternal Mortality Review Program - Reporting Requirement requiring the Secretary of Health to add information on racial disparity to the reporting requirements the Maternal Mortality Review Program. The legislation also requires that recommendations for reducing the number of maternal deaths, including looking at social determinants of health are included in reporting requirements. Del. Jheanelle Wilkins was the lead sponsor for this bill.

HB0796/SB0602 Public Health – Maternal Mortality Review Program – Establishment of Local Teams allowing and helping counties establish local teams to study maternal mortality rates. Del. Jheanelle Wilkins was the lead sponsor for this bill.

HB0745/SB0809 Correctional Facilities – Restrictive Housing – Pregnant Inmates limiting when correctional facilities can place pregnant women in medical isolation or solitary confinement. This legislation also requires that state and local correctional and detention facilities have a written policy banning the use of involuntary medical isolation and restrictive housing of pregnant inmates and those in the post-pregnancy recovery period. The lead sponsor in the Senate was Senator Susan Lee (D16), and the House version was sponsored by Delegate Wanika Fisher (D47B). 

HB0710/SB0821 Correctional Services –Prerelease Study and Report requiring the Commissioner of Correction to conduct a study on gender-based equity in prerelease programming and facilities and to report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the results of the study by January 1 2020.

Child Advocacy Centers – Statewide Organization, Duties, and Funding (HB1007/SB739) requiring that all children in Maryland have access to a Child Advocacy Centers which serve as “one-stop shops” for help responding to and investigating child sexual abuse. However, the legislation was amended to remove the mandate for a specific level of state funding and it struck down the current law requiring funding in the state budget. Delegate Emily Shetty and Senator Susan Lee were lead sponsors of the bill.

HB1116   Gender Diversity on the Boardroom Annual Report of Nonprofit Sales and Use of Tax Exemption Application  requiring qualifying Maryland companies to provide information regarding the number of women members of their Boards of Directors. Companies filing personal property reports to the Department of Assessments and Taxation will now include the number of female board members and the total number of Board of Directors. Delegate Shelly Hettleman and Sen. Pam Beidle were the lead sponsors.

PRESS RELEASE, Annapolis, MD, Monday, April 29, 2019

Contact: Catherine Hill, Executive Director