More Jobs – Economic Security for Maryland Families
their rent or put food on the table.
Economic Security for Maryland Families
Too many Maryland families are struggling to make ends meet. Wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living in our state. Too many hard-working Marylanders are at the mercy of companies that fail to provide a basic benefits package. The cost of childcare forces parents to make a choice between a spouse working or staying home. People facing illness, a need to care for a family member or welcoming a new child, simply cannot afford to take the time off work. I will fight for Maryland workers until everyone can share in the American dream.
It Starts with a Living Wage
Nobody should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. Too many full-time workers can’t afford to pay their rent or put food on the table. Maryland minimum wage will reach $10.10 in 2018 and that is still too low. A family of four living on a single full-time minimum wage income lives below poverty level. I support a living wage of $15 per hour tied to inflation as a first step to building an economy that works for all of us. If hardworking Marylanders have more money in their pockets, they will spend it, creating more jobs and boosting our local economy. Giving women a raise will help close the gap between what men and women get paid. A living wage will help all Marylanders, including people of color, care for their families and build strong communities.
Healthcare is a Right, Not a Privilege
Our right to healthcare is under attack by the Trump Administration. They are determined to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away health insurance from over 20 million Americans. Premiums for 2018 increased by about 30% for Marylanders because Donald Trump stopped paying critical subsidies designed to keep out of pocket costs affordable. Maryland has filed a lawsuit to restore these critical payments and I support these efforts. What also needs to be done is to take the profiteering out of health insurance by offering Marylander’s a public option on Maryland Health Connect. This can be done now by allowing people to buy into the state Medicaid program. This provides a choice for Marylanders to increase competition in the healthcare marketplace to lower premiums.
Helping Parents with the High Cost of Child Care
Most families need both parents in the workforce to make ends meet. Unfortunately, too many parents find themselves forced to have one parent not work because they can’t afford childcare. Quality child care and early education in a safe and nurturing environment can cost more per year than in-state college tuition. The federal child and dependent care tax credit has not kept up with the increasing costs of childcare. Maryland should increase its own child care tax credit and make it available to more middle-class families. Finally, I support Maryland’s Child Care Subsidy program for eligible low-income families and will fight efforts to reduce funding to this critical program.
Paid Time Off when You Need it Most
At some point, everyone needs to take time away from the job to deal with a personal or family illness or to welcome a new child. Too many hard-working Maryland families can’t afford to take unpaid leave. The General Assembly must override Governor Hogan’s veto the Healthy Working Families Act. It is not too much to ask employers to give each of their employees 40 paid hours per year to recover from illness for themselves or care for a child.
Seize the Emerging Sustainability Industry
The General Assembly successfully overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill to put Maryland a path to a sustainable energy future. This bill pushes the renewable energy standard from 20% by 2022 to 25% by 2020. It means that Maryland must move faster to build wind generators and install solar panels. Innovative entrepreneurs will set up shop in Maryland to seize opportunities to develop technology like offshore wind energy, tidal energy, and advanced battery technology. When we push the industry to do the right thing, the result is good paying jobs to rise above the challenges that lie between where we are and the goal. I stand with the League of Conservation Voters in calling for an energy standard of 50% renewable energy by 2030. In the wake of a President who denies the global threat of climate change, Maryland must push forward and do our part to make sure America keeps its commitments to a more sustainable energy future. I believe that our hard work will be rewarded as we create jobs in emerging sustainability industries that will bring future prosperity to our state.