2016 Legislative Session Begins – Chance to ‘Fix Our Politics’ Here in Maryland
- Jennifer Bevan Dangel
Legislation Expected on Election, Campaign Finance, Gerrymandering Reform
Annapolis – With the General Assembly open for action, Common Cause Maryland sees an opportunity to answer President Obama’s State of the Union call here in Maryland. Common Cause Maryland is pushing a broad set of reforms aimed at empowering citizens, protecting the constitution, and ensuring that the government is both open and fair – so that the politics of division and inflexibility can be overcome.
- Ensuring and expanding the right to vote: Common Cause calls for the General Assembly to restore voting rights to former felons in the state by overturning Governor Hogan’s veto of SB340/HB980 of 2015. Additionally, Common Cause seeks to institute automatic voter registration to ensure every Marylander’s voice is heard.
- Stopping Political Gerrymandering: Common Cause supports Governor Hogan’s plan to take politics out of our redistricting process and calls on the General Assembly to support his and President Obama’s goals of ending political gerrymandering.
- Getting Big Money out of Maryland Politics: The outsized influence of big money interests play a huge role in creating an atmosphere of rancor and intractability in our politics. Common Cause has a package of reforms that would make political donations as transparent as possible, including closing loopholes and defining coordination.
- Expanding government transparency: Common Cause seeks to protect and expand our Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act laws in order to ensure new police practices, such as body cameras, stay within the existing parameters for public access and ensure public officials understand the laws.
- Protecting the Constitution: Across the country, reckless calls are being made for a Constitutional Convention which would open our most sacred rights to revision. Common Cause supports rescinding Maryland’s call, made forty years ago, which would potentially open the Constitution to unrestricted redrafting.
Our full legislative agenda is available at: http://www.commoncause.org/states/maryland/research-and-reports/2016-legislative-agenda.pdf.