The Maryland General Assembly has started for this year and is off to a fast start! The Maryland Chapter ASLA Legislative Committee, along with our legislative consultant Jack Neil, is looking at over 40 bills that have some relevance to us as landscape architects. These range in scope, and include the following examples:
Bills involving grant funding for urban agriculture projects
Environmental regulatory and design bills considering precipitation rates to be used for SWM, tree replacements for the Purple Line, a soil conservation district for the City of Baltimore, the restriction of state funds for purchase of invasive or exotic plant species, and the creation an Office on Climate Change
Transportation bills looking at the interface of pedestrian crossings where local roads meet SHA roads, sources for Baltimore City Complete Streets funding, and commuter bus route studies
Climate change bills concerning electricity production, funding for green buildings, and ultimate conversion to a net-zero increase in CO2 emissions
Bills affecting our businesses such as minority and woman owned business funding and the small business reserve loan program
Community planning and social/environmental justice bills including zoning as it relates to the location of landfills, and food desert business loans
The Maryland Session is only three months long and therefore fast moving! We will be providing support to some of these bills as MDASLA, and alongside our colleagues with the Maryland Design Council, comprised of the other Maryland associations representing licensed design professionals.
If any of these issues are something that you have interest in as a landscape architect, please be sure to let us know so your voice can be included in the dialogue. Reach out to MDASLA Legislative Committee Chair, Heidi Thomas, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We would love to hear your thoughts!