2017 Annapolis Update

Through the hard work of the Baltimore Jewish Council, and with the help of testimony from Jewish Community Services, CHAI and CHANA, the General Assembly approved everything from funds to help our seniors to legislation that provides additional security to some of our local institutions.

Here is an update on what we achieved:

Funding for Core Priorities

The BJC secured $3.175 million in funding for Associated agencies, programs and Sinai Hospital, which include: Holocaust Survivor Fund: These funds will supplement the monies provided by the Holocaust Claims Conference which ensures that the most fragile Holocaust survivors receive in-home care, five hours a day, five days a week. The state funding extends in-home care to seven hours a day, seven days a week, so Holocaust survivors can age in place.

Aging in Place: Money was allocated to CHAI for its supportive care network to enable older adults to age in place in our community.

Elder Abuse: CHANA received funding for its SAFE: Stop Abuse for Elders to go toward the education and services for victims, including shelter and some legal services. (On another note, BJC helped CHANA receive federal funding to hire the state’s first full-time attorney and paralegal for financially - abused older adults receive the legal support they need.)

MIDC: Following the successful trade mission with Governor Hogan this past fall, MIDC received funding to help in its efforts to bring Israeli businesses to Maryland.

BOOST Funding: BOOST funding increased by 10%, with $5.5 million in this year’s budget. Further, all students who received scholarships last year, will continue to receive them this year if they still qualify. This means that over 700 low-income children in Jewish day schools will continue to receive this scholarship.

Sinai Hospital: Sinai received $2 million to expand its capacity for primary and specialty care visits to help individuals receive the care they need at the local hospital. This is the second year of a three-year funding project.

Policy Priorities

Security Grants: The General Assembly passed a bill that authorizes Maryland to provide grants for security-related projects and personnel at schools and day care centers at risk for hate crimes. The JCC and area synagogues with in-house preschools and daycare would be eligible.

Earned Sick and Safe Leave: This bill, which passed with a veto-proof majority, will ensure that all employees can earn up to five days sick leave per year (five days paid for companies with more than 15 employees, five days unpaid for companies under 15 employees).

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Bill: We know there is a majority support in both chambers, once again proving that this is truly a bipartisan issue. Unfortunately, other matters demanded the attention of the legislators, resulting in the bills being sidelined this current session.

Health Care Decisions Act: CHANA’s priority bill, which passed, prohibited an individual from serving as the health care agent for a patient if he or she is the subject of a protective order for that patient, thereby preventing an abuser from making health care decisions for someone they may have harmed or for whom they are a potential threat.

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