Attorney General Gansler: Protecting Marylanders from Waste, Fraud and Abuse, Promoting Economic Vitality Top AG's 2014 Legislative Priorities
Young victims of domestic violence, minimum wage hike, the environment, consumer protections and recidivism deserve serious attention in 2014 Legislative Session
Baltimore, MD (December 4, 2013) - Outlining his priorities for the 2014 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has once again put forward a legislative agenda focused on protecting our families, our communities, our quality of life and our most precious resources. Attorney General Gansler's legislative priorities include a commitment to ensuring a decent wage for Maryland families, additional resources needed to protect Maryland consumers from fraud, innovative and realistic policies to advance public safety and expanding a program aimed at cleaning up our environment.
"Let's do more to protect our children, provide greater economic opportunity and build a foundation that makes it possible to have safe and clean neighborhoods for all to enjoy," said Attorney General Gansler. "Why accept the status quo when we can make Maryland a better place by providing a fair wage, honestly addressing the current failures of our criminal justice system and promoting sustainable, clean energy."
Attorney General Gansler's 2014 legislative priorities in greater detail:
Protecting Our Children
Enhanced Penalties for Domestic Violence Committed in the Presence of a Child - Children who witness domestic violence are at significantly greater risk than their peers for aggressive, disruptive behaviors, school failure, anxiety and depressive disorders and repeated victimization. Enhanced penalties for those who commit domestic violence in the presence of a child protect us all.
A Living Minimum Wage for Maryland Families
Decent Pay for a Day's Work - Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to at least $10.00 is one step we can take to strengthen Maryland's middle class. This is fundamental to growing our economy here in Maryland while lifting a full-time minimum wage worker above the poverty line, providing economic stability, increasing performance and improving employee retention.
Protecting Our Environment and the Chesapeake Bay
Increasing Maryland's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 40% by 2025 - Maryland's electricity suppliers are required to provide a portion of their electricity from renewable sources. Increasing that portion to 40% by 2025 will help cut Maryland's greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change's damaging impacts to the Chesapeake Bay, our agriculture industry, property flooding risks and Marylanders' health.
Protecting Consumers Statewide
OAG Consumer Protection Office in Prince George's County - The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General has satellite offices in key areas around the state, but none in the suburban Maryland region. Enforcing the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, investigating consumer complaints and multiple unfair and deceptive trade practices through a satellite office in Prince George's County will better serve the 32% of Maryland residents who live in that region.
Promoting Public Safety and Reducing Recidivism
Providing a Second Chance for Employment - A job reduces the likelihood an ex-offender will return to crime once released from incarceration. Under this provision, ex-offenders may petition the court to shield the records of certain nonviolent misdemeanors after a specified period of time upon completing their sentence and parole or probation. This improves the chances of ex-offenders becoming productive members of the community while enhancing public safety for all. That is why 28 other states have policies in place to limit public access to certain prior criminal convictions.