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2019 Legislative Session: Foundation Laid for Future Progress, But Critical Decisions – and Funding – Put on Hold

The 2019 legislative session started with new faces, new energy, and new promise. But when the clock struck midnight on Sine Die, most of the real advances such as funding critical programs such as education as well as the enactment of common sense juvenile justice reform – was left until next year to resolve.

Advocates for Children and Youth is proud of the progress we made to improve outcomes for youth this session. In this first year of a four year term, a solid foundation was put in place for future work. But for many critical reforms the session ended on a disappointing note, with funding cuts and further delays.

The overall delay sets up huge expectations for the 2020 session, where legislators must follow through on their promises – especially around education funding.  Every student in Maryland deserves access to a high-quality education. When we underfund education we not only shortchange our kids, we shortchange our economic future.

Despite our disappointments, we heard loud and clear from the debate this session that the legislators understand the need to close disparity gaps and improve outcomes for our youth. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves over the next nine months to continue the progress we made this year.