2022 Maryland General Assembly Session Summary
Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold new public policies that promote cancer prevention, early detection of cancer, and expand access to quality, affordable health care. Lawmakers make many decisions that impact the lives of Maryland residents touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease. In 2022, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) worked with the Maryland General Assembly in support of the following priorities:
Reducing the Toll of Tobacco
- Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding: ACS CAN successfully spearheaded the protection of newly mandated $18.25 million from tobacco tax revenue allocated to sustain evidence-based, statewide tobacco use prevention and cessation programs in the FY ’23 budget. In Session 2020, ACS CAN led the effort to increase the tobacco tax and in 2021, led the successful veto override campaign in the Maryland General Assembly.
- Multifamily Dwellings – Smoking Policies: ACS CAN supported HB 1295 Multifamily Dwellings - Smoking Policies with amendments, which required the governing body of a condominium or cooperative housing corporation to develop a smoking policy if the property is a multifamily dwelling. Unfortunately, this legislation was introduced late in Session and time ran out for passage.
- Repealing the “Implied Preemption” Court Doctrine: ACS CAN advocated for HB 1522/SB 756 to clarify local authority, so that local governments can pass policies to protect their residents. Maryland courts adopted an inconsistent but growing theory of State preemption over local actions finding that counties may be preempted even without any State law explicitly stating so. This principle has been used to invalidate multiple local tobacco regulations like (Altadis Inc et. al vs. Prince George’s County), and more recently on local pesticide oversight, and energy facility siting. Ultimately, the legislation was withdrawn in the House and stalled in the Senate.
- Tobacco Preemption—Baltimore City: ACS CAN advocated for HB 442/SB 249 Baltimore City - Cigarettes, Other Tobacco Products, and Electronic Smoking Devices - Local Laws Authorization, in which, would clarify that Baltimore City is not preempted from enacting local laws regulating the sale and distribution of cigarettes, other tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices. Unfortunately, this legislation received an unfavorable report in the House and was withdrawn in the Senate.
Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
- Breast and Cervical Cancer: ACS CAN advocated to maintain funding for the state Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) at $13,230,000 for FY ‘23. The BCCP program provides breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, and patient navigation services to women across the state.
- Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund Establishment: ACS CAN advocated for the passage of SB 51, in which, created the Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund within the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). Funds may only be used to provide grants to eligible physicians, hospitals, laboratories, educational institutions, and other organizations and persons to conduct pediatric cancer research, prevention, and treatment. Funding in budget was put in to establish fund and additional funds were added via Governor’s supplemental budget for this fund. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2022.
- Maryland Cancer Moonshot: ACS CAN successfully advocated for $216 million to boost funding for cancer treatment, prevention, and research in Maryland. This investment was made through Gov. Hogan’s fifth supplemental budget. This additional funding was dubbed the “Maryland Cancer Moonshot.” The Maryland Cancer Moonshot investments include:
Greenebaum Cancer Center: $100 million for the expansion of the University of Maryland Medical System’s Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) in downtown Baltimore to provide state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient cancer services. UMGCCC, which is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, treats approximately 3,000 new patients annually. This investment completes the state’s commitment to the project.
Prince George’s Comprehensive Cancer Center: $67 million to fully fund the construction of a new comprehensive cancer center on the campus of the new University of Maryland Capitol Region Medical Center in Largo. This best-in-class cancer will be a premiere clinical and research center to serve the residents of Prince George’s County and the region. The state funding includes a $27 million commitment by the governor, a $13.5 million commitment by the Maryland Senate and a $26.5 million commitment by the Maryland House of Delegates.
Cancer Research: $25 million for the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University to accelerate cancer research projects.
Pediatric Cancer Research: $1 million to support expanding pediatric cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Stem Cell Research Fund: $20.5 million for the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) to catalyze investment in regenerative medicine projects to develop novel cures and groundbreaking treatments for prevalent cancers.
Maryland Tech Council: $2.5 million for the BioHub Maryland Initiative to expand the state’s life sciences and biotechnology research workforce, with a focus on talent development, upskilling opportunities, and outreach to students in underserved communities. Maryland is proud to be home to one of the top biotech clusters in the United States.
Healthy Eating and Active Living Environments (HEALE)
- Workgroup on Food Environments: ACS CAN supported HB 179 which would have established the Workgroup on Food Environments to determine the most cost-effective way to produce a food environment report for each county and legislative district in the State. Workgroup members may not receive compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for expenses, as specified. While this legislation passed the House, the time ran out on the clock to pass in the Senate.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
- Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program -- Establishment: ACS CAN supported legislation, SB 275 Time to Care Act of 2022, and the subsequent veto override of legislation to establish the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program and FAMLI Fund to provide up to 12 weeks of benefits to a covered individual taking leave from employment due to specified personal and family circumstances. The FAMLI Fund consists of contributions from employees and employers of at least 15 employees and pays for benefits, a public education program, and implementation and administrative costs. The bill generally takes effect June 1, 2022, with the establishment of the FAMLI Program, among other provisions, taking effect January 1, 2023.
Additionally, ACS CAN supported a companion bill, HB 496 Commission on the Establishment of a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program – in which, establishes a Commission on the Establishment of a Family Medical Leave and Insurance (FMLI) Program, jointly staffed by the Maryland Department of Labor (MDL) and the Department of Legislative Services (DLS), to study and make recommendations for establishing a FMLI program in the State. The bill expresses legislative intent that $25.0 million be set aside in the fiscal 2023 budget to support the work of the commission and for MDL to prepare to implement a FMLI program. The bill further expresses legislative intent that the statutory framework establishing a FMLI program in the State be effective no later than June 1, 2023, with individuals eligible to receive FMLI benefits by June 1, 2024. The bill would take effect on June 1, 2022 and is awaiting signature from the Governor.
Ensuring Access to Quality Care
- Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Dental Coverage for Adults: ACS CAN successfully advocated for HB 6/SB 150, which requires Medicaid, beginning January 1, 2023, subject to the limitations of the State budget, to provide dental services, including diagnostic, preventive, restorative, and periodontal services, for adults with household incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL). The bill also makes related changes, including repealing a pilot program for limited dental coverage for adults under the Medicaid program established under Chapter 621 of 2018. The bill was signed into law by Governor Hogan will take effect on January 1, 2023.
- Access to Biomarker Testing: ACS CAN prioritized the education of policymakers about the role of biomarker testing in precision medicine. Progress in improving cancer outcomes increasingly involves the use of precision medicine, which uses information about a person’s own genes or proteins to prevent, diagnose or treat diseases like cancer. Biomarker testing is an important step to accessing precision medicine which includes targeted therapies that can lead to improved survivorship and better quality of life for cancer patients, but insurance coverage for biomarker testing is failing to keep pace with innovations and advancements in treatment.
For more information, contact: Jocelyn Collins, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, DC Government Relations Director, ACS CAN
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 301-254-0072 (cell)
ACS CAN is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information please visit www.fightcancer.org.