Preview: 2009 Manno Legislation

Roger Manno sent a promotional Email from 1/17 describing his legislative agenda about mostly fringe issues.

New Manno Legislation Protects Patients, Workers, Small Businesses, Consumers and the Environment

Since last April Delegate Manno has been developing a package of bills that advances the public interest in the areas of health care non-discrimination, worker protections, small business stimulus, consumer savings, and environmental stewardship. In addition to several measures to be introduced in the coming weeks, the following measures have been pre-filed for the 2009 session of the General Assembly:

Addressing Health Care Discrimination (HB 1, HB 2, HB 11, and HB 12)
Delegate Manno and Senator Forehand passed landmark legislation in 2008 (HB 29 / SB ), closing a major loophole in the Maryland health insurance code which allowed insurance companies unfettered ability to discriminate against long-term care policy applicants based on their genetic information. This year Manno and Forehand have introduced a package of bills to close the remaining loopholes in the “genetic non-discrimination” area: HB1/SB2 addresses the Disability Insurance loophole; HB2/SB1 addresses the Life Insurance loophole; HB11/SB57 creates a Private Cause of Action for consumers who are victims of genetic discrimination violations; and HB12/SB54 creates a Personal Property Right in a person’s genetic information. Taken together, this package would firmly establish Maryland as the preeminent leader in protections against healthcare discrimination.

Small Business Health Insurance Stimulus (HB 4)
The rising cost of health insurance is making it harder for Small businesses to provide the coverage that their workers need. In a recession, economic assistance that is targeted to health coverage serves the dual purpose of strengthening coverage for workers, and creating an important economic simulative effect. The “Small Business Health Insurance Stimulus Act” (HB 4) achieves this through a state match to offset health insurance costs to businesses, saving dollars for both workers and employers.

“Oil Sands” Prohibition (HB 10)
Largely viewed as the most environmentally devastating process in oil production, “Oil Sand” or “unconventional source” oil extraction required massive amounts of fresh water diverted from streams and rivers to “flush” oil that is trapped in sand. The residual water is highly toxic when it leaches back into the water table, and the remaining oil fields are left barren and decimated for generations. While the vast majority of oil sand fields are located outside of the United States and beyond the regulatory authority of the State, HB 10 would ensure that no oil produced by this method is purchased for use in Maryland state fleet vehicles.

Workplace Religious Freedom (HB 13)
Workers sometimes have difficulty obtaining reasonable religious accommodations in the workplace. Legislation to address this challenge has failed on the federal level because it was believed to be overbroad and frustrated civil liberties. That’s why Delegate Manno has introduced the narrowly-tailored “Workplace Religious Freedom Act” (HB 13) for Maryland, to ensure that reasonable workplace accommodations are made for employees, while related hardships are mitigated for employers.

Natural Gas Purchasing Co-Op (HB 38)
The rising cost of natural gas has led some communities to turn to innovative bulk purchasing co-op and aggregation arrangements with distributors. Some of these arrangements, such as one recently secured by the AGWG Civic Association in Montgomery County, can yield savings of 20-30% or more. Clearly, if a civic association can do it, Maryland can do it. That’s why Delegate Manno introduced HB 38 to create the Maryland Bottled Gas Buying Group, a nonprofit public corporation, to negotiate the lowest-cost supply of bottled gas on behalf of its consumers.

Shift Breaks (HB 16)
For the third year in a row, Manno has introduced the “Shift Breaks Bill” (HB 16), perhaps the most sweeping public health measure before the Maryland General Assembly. This legislation became a top labor priority in 2008, and would ensure that Maryland workers receive adequate breaks during the course of their work shifts.

How may we assist you?

For more information about Delegate Manno’s 2009 legislation, the work of the General Assembly, or if we may be of any assistance to you, your family or community, please contact our Annapolis office at:

Maryland State Delegate Roger Manno
226 House Office Building
6 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
Tel. (301) 841-3883
Fax: (301) 841-3882
Email: Roger.Manno@House.State.MD.US
Scheduling: Roger.Manno.District@House.State.MD.US