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Maryland Allies Celebrate Passage of Landmark “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future”

Maryland Family Network (MFN), the lead Alliance ally in Maryland, has been working relentlessly in support of the early childhood agenda contained in the massive “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” bill (HB 1300) and was elated when the legislation passed – with an override of the governor’s veto – in the 2021 session. Based on the recommendations of the blue-ribbon Kirwan Commission, the bill institutes sweeping reforms in the K-12 education system and will lead to dramatic strides in early care and education. Its key early childhood provisions include:  

    • a vast expansion of public pre-k in schools and child care programs
    • enhanced professional development for providers
    • new funding for the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program
    • the creation of 135 new Judy Centers and 30 new Family Support Centers over the next 10 years

Although the governor vetoed the bill, it passed the Maryland General Assembly with overwhelming majorities and became law in February, when the assembly overrode the veto. 

MFN is also celebrating several significant additional wins this session. In a year when advocates feared the erosion of recent gains through emergency cost containment measures and retrenchment, the governor’s proposed FY 2022 budget instead increased allocations for early childhood by $111 million, extending investments in child care subsidy as well as in pre-K expansion and other programs prioritized by the “Blueprint” legislation. In addition, SB 218 extends Maryland’s Earned Income Tax Credit—particularly beneficial for filers with children—to many taxpayers who are excluded by federal requirements (including immigrants who use cannot get a Social Security number) and creates a modest Child Tax Credit for very low-income families raising children with disabilities.

“The Blueprint represents a triumph of MFN’s efforts in these areas and is arguably the state’s most important piece of legislation in decades. This win – along with other big gains this year – are the result of years of effective nonpartisan advocacy and mountains of evidence demonstrating the profound benefits of high-quality early education for children, their families, and society as a whole.” 

Clinton Macsherry,
Director of Public Policy, Maryland Family Network