This week, I announced the nation’s first-ever comprehensive legislative package dedicated to closing race-based economic and health gaps for minority communities. The 2021 Racial and Economic Justice Agenda package was developed this fall with over three dozen local, state and national leaders on ideas to address systemic racism across sectors. The agenda makes 30 policy recommendations, including nine pieces of legislation, in five key areas: housing, corporate management, banking, health, business and government.
As part of The Agenda, I will be introducing legislation to expand economic opportunities for more wealth inclusion. The bill will require any company receiving State capital funding over $1 million to demonstrate racial diversity on its board and in its mission; mandate any company doing business with the State to demonstrate racial diversity on their board beginning in FY23; and create a State equity scorecard that shows a corporation’s diversity and spending that go to minority businesses.
The Agenda will also include bills to:
· Prevent loan and credit applicants from being denied if they can provide alternate forms of credit worthiness (Queen);
· Create tax-free savings accounts to help first-time homebuyers afford the high cost of a down payment, closing costs etc. (Brooks);
· Add a Certified Business Enterprise component to help Maryland minority companies compete for State bids (Washington);
· Improve the State’s procurement process and provide more technical resources to minority businesses (Wilson);
· Redirect $10 million to TEDCO’s Builder’s Fund so minority business have access to more meaningful venture opportunities (D. Barnes);
· Establish Health Equity Resource Communities dedicated to closing gaps in our healthcare system (Barron/J. Lewis);
· Declare racism a public health crisis and require all healthcare providers to complete bias training as part of their licensing process (Pena-Melnyk).
Justice and equity reaches further than police reform. We have to create better access and more pathways to economic opportunities for more Black Marylanders. We must get it right.
Speaker Adrienne A. Jones
SENATOR THOMAS V. MIKE MILLER REMEMBERED
This week, Maryland lost one of its greatest public servants. I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of my friend, colleague and trusted advisor Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. Mike Miller was a giant and a legend who served the people of Maryland for nearly a half century. Anyone, anywhere with a sense of politics or history will know the name Mike Miller. I was fortunate to have received his counsel and advice when I became Speaker. He was as kind and generous as he was powerful – a combination that leads to a once-in-a-generation leader and statesman we can all emulate. My thoughts and prayers are with Patti and his entire family. He will be sorely missed.
COMMITTEE HEARING SCHEDULE
See the committee hearing schedule for the week of January 24 HERE.
Follow @mdgahearings on Twitter account to stay up to date on the MGA committee hearing schedule.