Values & Issues

Values

We respect the dignity of every person – no matter who you are, what you look like or where you come from. Each of us has something valuable to contribute and when Americans work together, we can accomplishment anything.

~ ~ ~

 

Issues

Healthcare

Today, we finally are able to make real the principle that every American should have access to quality health care, and no one should go bankrupt just because they get sick.

Marylanders no longer have to worry about losing access to quality care if they become sick and lose their job thanks to year-round enrollment for Medicaid and MCHP and people with certain life changes.

Maryland Health Connection, Maryland’s official health insurance marketplace, was established to meet the requirements of the federal Health Care Reform law, also known as the Affordable Care Act.

In March 2010, President Obama fulfilled a promise that Democrats have pursued for nearly a century: making quality, affordable health care available to all Americans.

Gun Safety

Democrats support Americans’ Second Amendment guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

We also believe the government should pass sensible laws that stem gun crimes, violence that too often destroys families and communities. A staggering 89 percent of unintentional, fatal shootings of children occur in the home.

Guns and domestic abusers are a deadly combination.

Of women killed by men, more than 90 percent are killed by a man they knew personally.

At least 62 percent are killed by an intimate partner. Over the past 25 years, more intimate partner homicides have been carried out with guns than with all other weapons combined.

No law will prevent all gun crimes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t implement sensible gun regulations that strike a balance between liberty and safety.

Currently the law prohibits a convicted domestic abuser from purchasing or possessing a gun, but the law does not provide a timeline for forfeiture or a requirement of proof of forfeiture.

General Assembly Democrats are leading the fight to require abusers to forfeit guns within 48 hours and to give notice of forfeiture within 5 days.

Education

Democrats believe investments in education are investments in our future. That’s why they restored $68 million in school funding cut by Governor Hogan.

Even though the state has a budget surplus, Hogan is still sitting on tens of millions of dollars. His failure to release the funds caused teacher layoffs, larger classes, and reduced programming in schools.

College Affordability

Democrats fought to make college more affordable over the past eight years by freezing tuition and limiting tuition increases at Maryland’s public universities. As a result, tuition at Maryland’s public colleges went from being 7th most expensive in the nation to 26th least expensive.

To help reduce student debt, we’re:

  • Developing a program to help students with more than $20,000 in debt repay their loans.​
  • Introducing a state grant to encourage working families to invest in 529 college savings plans.​
  • Proposing a plan that will offer incentives for students to take 30 credits each year, so they can graduate on time and save money.

We’ve fought to make public universities more affordable– but students still take on too much debt to pay for school. The average debt of a college graduate in Maryland was over $27,000 last year. ​

Civil Rights

Democrats believe everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law – no matter who you are, where you’re from, what you look like, or who you love. That’s why we’re dedicated to protecting and advancing your rights.

Voting Rights

Every voice in our society should be heard – and every vote should be counted. That’s why Maryland Democrats led the fight to create and expand early voting, making it easier than ever to cast a ballot.

This year, we fought to restore voting rights to ex-felons, because the ability to vote is a key factor in helping people reintegrate back into society.

Immigrants’ Rights

Our nation’s immigration laws are irreparably broken. While Republicans blocked meaningful reform at the federal level, Maryland Democrats took action to help students and families.

We championed the Maryland Dream Act, which ensures students who were brought to the United States as children and graduated from Maryland high schools have the opportunity to receive in-state tuition.

LGBT Rights

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is wrong. That’s why Maryland Democrats led the fight for marriage equality and equal protection under the law. Governor Martin O’Malley signed marriage equality into law in 2012, and opponents petitioned the law to referendum.

We mobilized to make Maryland the first state in the nation to extend marriage equality via a popular vote. We also helped pass tough non-discrimination and hate crime laws.

Jobs & Economy

Maryland Democrats fight every day for families working hard to make ends meet. From equal pay for equal work to social security for all workers and increasing wages for Maryland families, our policies reflect the belief that everyone deserves a fair shot in America.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Women make an average of 79 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men. The wage gap is even greater for women of color.

Among women who hold full-time, year-round jobs in the United States, African-American women are paid, on average, 60 cents while Latina are paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to a man. While Asian women earn 84 cents for every dollar paid to men, the rate is even lower for Native Indian and Alaskan Native women, earning just 65 percent of what a man earns.

At the current pace, it will take 45 years for women to achieve pay equity. In Maryland in 2014, a woman holding a full time job was paid an average of $49,000, while a man holding a full time job was paid an average of $57,000.

Democrats are pushing to:

  • Strengthen Maryland’s equal pay laws by expanding them to all employers.
  • Ensure businesses cannot penalize employees for discussing salaries.
  • Broaden standards to determine whether unlawful compensation discrimination exists, and allowing the Attorney General to enforce pay discrimination claims.

Retirement Security

Employer‐sponsored retirement plans are on the decline, leaving many aging Americans with Social Security as their sole means of support. An estimated 1 million Marylanders lack adequate retirement savings. More than one‐third of Marylanders within ten years of retirement age have saved less than $10,000.
The retirement savings crunch is affecting young people, too. Just 43% of millennials without an employer-sponsored retirement plan say they’re saving money consistently.

When Republicans proposed a 2% cut to state employees’ salaries, Democratic leaders fought back and beat the proposal. In 2015, General Assembly Democrats fully funded the state’s pension contribution and required yearly overpayments of $75 million. This year, General Assembly Democrats championed a proposal to create incentives for employers to expand access to retirement savings plans to all employees.

Transportation

Maryland spends billions of dollars annually on transportation. Democrats believe we need better transparency and accountability to ensure every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely to boost our economy, expand access to employment state-wide, and rebuild our infrastructure.

That’s why Maryland Democrats introduced a series of bills during the 2016 legislative session designed to improve spending accountability for transportation projects, increase commuter tax breaks, and ease roadway congestion. ​

Healthcare

Healthcare

Today, we finally are able to make real the principle that every American should have access to quality health care, and no one should go bankrupt just because they get sick.

Marylanders no longer have to worry about losing access to quality care if they become sick and lose their job thanks to year-round enrollment for Medicaid and MCHP and people with certain life changes.

Maryland Health Connection, Maryland’s official health insurance marketplace, was established to meet the requirements of the federal Health Care Reform law, also known as the Affordable Care Act.

In March 2010, President Obama fulfilled a promise that Democrats have pursued for nearly a century: making quality, affordable health care available to all Americans.

Gun Safety

Gun Safety

Democrats support Americans’ Second Amendment guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

We also believe the government should pass sensible laws that stem gun crimes, violence that too often destroys families and communities. A staggering 89 percent of unintentional, fatal shootings of children occur in the home.

Guns and domestic abusers are a deadly combination.

Of women killed by men, more than 90 percent are killed by a man they knew personally.

At least 62 percent are killed by an intimate partner. Over the past 25 years, more intimate partner homicides have been carried out with guns than with all other weapons combined.

No law will prevent all gun crimes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t implement sensible gun regulations that strike a balance between liberty and safety.

Currently the law prohibits a convicted domestic abuser from purchasing or possessing a gun, but the law does not provide a timeline for forfeiture or a requirement of proof of forfeiture.

General Assembly Democrats are leading the fight to require abusers to forfeit guns within 48 hours and to give notice of forfeiture within 5 days.

Education

Education

Democrats believe investments in education are investments in our future. That’s why they restored $68 million in school funding cut by Governor Hogan.

Even though the state has a budget surplus, Hogan is still sitting on tens of millions of dollars. His failure to release the funds caused teacher layoffs, larger classes, and reduced programming in schools.

College Affordability

Democrats fought to make college more affordable over the past eight years by freezing tuition and limiting tuition increases at Maryland’s public universities. As a result, tuition at Maryland’s public colleges went from being 7th most expensive in the nation to 26th least expensive.

To help reduce student debt, we’re:

  • Developing a program to help students with more than $20,000 in debt repay their loans.​
  • Introducing a state grant to encourage working families to invest in 529 college savings plans.​
  • Proposing a plan that will offer incentives for students to take 30 credits each year, so they can graduate on time and save money.

We’ve fought to make public universities more affordable– but students still take on too much debt to pay for school. The average debt of a college graduate in Maryland was over $27,000 last year. ​

Civil Rights

Civil Rights

Democrats believe everyone should be equal in the eyes of the law – no matter who you are, where you’re from, what you look like, or who you love. That’s why we’re dedicated to protecting and advancing your rights.

Voting Rights

Every voice in our society should be heard – and every vote should be counted. That’s why Maryland Democrats led the fight to create and expand early voting, making it easier than ever to cast a ballot.

This year, we fought to restore voting rights to ex-felons, because the ability to vote is a key factor in helping people reintegrate back into society.

Immigrants’ Rights

Our nation’s immigration laws are irreparably broken. While Republicans blocked meaningful reform at the federal level, Maryland Democrats took action to help students and families.

We championed the Maryland Dream Act, which ensures students who were brought to the United States as children and graduated from Maryland high schools have the opportunity to receive in-state tuition.

LGBT Rights

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is wrong. That’s why Maryland Democrats led the fight for marriage equality and equal protection under the law. Governor Martin O’Malley signed marriage equality into law in 2012, and opponents petitioned the law to referendum.

We mobilized to make Maryland the first state in the nation to extend marriage equality via a popular vote. We also helped pass tough non-discrimination and hate crime laws.

Jobs & Economy

Jobs & Economy

Maryland Democrats fight every day for families working hard to make ends meet. From equal pay for equal work to social security for all workers and increasing wages for Maryland families, our policies reflect the belief that everyone deserves a fair shot in America.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Women make an average of 79 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men. The wage gap is even greater for women of color.

Among women who hold full-time, year-round jobs in the United States, African-American women are paid, on average, 60 cents while Latina are paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to a man. While Asian women earn 84 cents for every dollar paid to men, the rate is even lower for Native Indian and Alaskan Native women, earning just 65 percent of what a man earns.

At the current pace, it will take 45 years for women to achieve pay equity. In Maryland in 2014, a woman holding a full time job was paid an average of $49,000, while a man holding a full time job was paid an average of $57,000.

Democrats are pushing to:

  • Strengthen Maryland’s equal pay laws by expanding them to all employers.
  • Ensure businesses cannot penalize employees for discussing salaries.
  • Broaden standards to determine whether unlawful compensation discrimination exists, and allowing the Attorney General to enforce pay discrimination claims.

Retirement Security

Employer‐sponsored retirement plans are on the decline, leaving many aging Americans with Social Security as their sole means of support. An estimated 1 million Marylanders lack adequate retirement savings. More than one‐third of Marylanders within ten years of retirement age have saved less than $10,000.
The retirement savings crunch is affecting young people, too. Just 43% of millennials without an employer-sponsored retirement plan say they’re saving money consistently.

When Republicans proposed a 2% cut to state employees’ salaries, Democratic leaders fought back and beat the proposal. In 2015, General Assembly Democrats fully funded the state’s pension contribution and required yearly overpayments of $75 million. This year, General Assembly Democrats championed a proposal to create incentives for employers to expand access to retirement savings plans to all employees.

Transportation

Transportation

Maryland spends billions of dollars annually on transportation. Democrats believe we need better transparency and accountability to ensure every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely to boost our economy, expand access to employment state-wide, and rebuild our infrastructure.

That’s why Maryland Democrats introduced a series of bills during the 2016 legislative session designed to improve spending accountability for transportation projects, increase commuter tax breaks, and ease roadway congestion. ​

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