Newsletter | March 2022
"If you are fortunate enough to have an opportunity its your responsibility to make sure that others have those same opportunities"- Andrea Fletcher Harrison
Celebrating Women's History Month
When Women’s History Month comes around, my mind fills with countless names of resilient women who fought for equality. Many of those women are now household names like Susan B. Anthony and Ida B. Wells. However, I’d like to focus on a Maryland woman who is largely forgotten. That woman is Leslie Wolfe.
Leslie Wolfe spent her life advocating with a strong conviction for poor women, women of color, and disabled women. Being a Maryland resident her entire life, Leslie made it her mission to give underrepresented women in our state opportunities and voices in a time when they were silenced. She saw the importance of multicultural feminism, which made her center her entire life around women’s advocacy. Leslie’s activism took many forms, but her primary focus was on being the director at the Center of Women’s Policy Studies. Here she uncovered the gender and racial biases within the SAT, educated people on how HIV/AIDS affects women of color, created women HIV/AIDS counseling programs that span country-wide, and prompted state legislators to add more equity into their policies. After years of advocacy and education, the Center of Women’s Policy Studies closed down in 2015, pushing Leslie into retirement. Leslie sadly died in 2017 after losing her battle with Alzheimer’s.
After accomplishing great things for women in our state, Leslie wasn't widely discussed until 2020 after she was inducted into the Maryland Women Hall of Fame. While the site isn’t functional today, we should remember the strives Leslie took to include women from all walks of life. Her beliefs that we are all equals who deserve a voice, a chance, and a place in society are commendable and memorable.
Governor Hogan signs Emergency Order to pause Gasoline tax for 30 days.
On Thursday, March 17th, emergency bills HB 1486 and SB 1010 passed and arrived on Gov. Larry Hogan's desk Friday. The bills signed will relieve Maryland residents of the 36 cents gas tax to combat the rising gas prices at the pump. Currently, the average price across the state ranges between $4.16 and $4.30. The suspension will last for 30 days with an extension if needed. While state legislators know they can’t force gas stations to lower their prices, Gov. Hogan stated that his goal with the tax holiday is to stop price gougers from taking advantage of the current import situation. There’s no estimation on when prices will drop, but with gas station competitors along with the tax suspension, it's guaranteed residents will see lower prices soon.
Here at the House of Delegates, we care and listen to our constituents, which is why this bill is so important. I sincerely hope this tax holiday takes stress off of my fellow Prince George’s County residents.
House Passes HB937 and HB1171 Abortion Bills
On March 11th, the House passed HB 937 and HB 1171 abortion bills. The first bill, HB 937, establishes a training program ensuring that more health professionals can assist with abortion care. An outline of the annual budget for the Governor is also in this bill of three million for training and coverage. It was crossed filed with the Senate, where it’s currently on the first reading portion. The second bill, HB 1171, proposes an amendment being added to the Maryland constitution protecting reproductive liberty. Citizens will get the chance to vote on the amendment at the next election held in November 2022. Both bills will have their chance to pass through the Senate with the possibility of landing on the Governor’s desk. Before the bills passed, the delegates had a healthy discussion where both sides respectfully listened. While voicing off their unfiltered opinions, the health, and wellbeing of Marylanders was at the center of the conversation and at the center of each Delegate’s voting decision.
To apply for the Delegate's scholarship for the 2022-2023 school year, you must be a resident of Maryland's 24th Legislative District. This year applications will be accepted online only. The application deadline of Thursday, April 1, 2022 is approaching fast. If you encounter any problems with the link below, please email the office and the link will be sent to you. The Delegate Scholarship is for a single academic year, therefore, you must reapply for the scholarship each year. Please do not hesitate to contact my office should you have any additional questions. Contact: Vernita Hughes Johnson Legislative Director Office: (410) 841-3919/(301) 858-3919
Lowe House Office Building 6 Bladen Street, Room 204 Annapolis, MD 21401 301-858-3919 Please forward any questions, comments or concerns via e-mail to: AndreaFletcher.Harrison@house.state.md.us