For Immediate Release: April 11, 2023

Media Contact: Gabriela Hernandez, [email protected]

Annapolis, MD — As the 2023 Maryland legislative session comes to a close, CASA highlights this year’s legislative accomplishments which would not have been possible without the support of CASA members who traveled to Annapolis throughout the session. 

With over 20 members who testified and hundreds who lobbied throughout the session, CASA was a powerhouse in Annapolis, yet again. 

CASA’s priority bills this session focused on expanding healthcare access, protecting tenants’ rights, environmental justice, and economic equality. 

The Access to Care Act, which would grant access to the state’s insurance marketplace, passed with resounding support from the House of Delegates only to stall and fail to make it out of the Senate Finance Committee. Despite CASA’s tireless attempts to urge Senate leadership to vote on the bill, they did not. 

This bill would have brought Maryland closer to its goal of ensuring health equity by allowing ALL Marylanders the ability to purchase insurance on the state marketplace. 

On tenants’ rights, CASA as a member of Renters United Maryland (RUM) supported the Tenant Safety Act, Just Cause, and Rental Assistance Funding. After unwavering advocacy tenants received $2million in funds in emergency rental assistance. The coalition looks forward to partnering with the administration to ensure that tenants are protected and that the state has a program in place to assist tenants. The Tenant Safety Act and Just Cause bills would have shored up tenant’s rights, however, the fight for Housing Justice continues after both bills failed to make it out of committee.

The Family Prosperity Act permanently expands the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit for all Maryland taxpayers regardless of immigration status. Immigrants have long contributed to the state’s economic welfare and deserve to receive this working family tax credit. 

“This Tax credit benefitted my family and thousands of hardworking, tax-paying Maryland families facing economic hardship. I can’t tell you how much joy this brought to my kids,” said Hilda Castillo during her testimony in favor of the Family Prosperity Act. 

From rallies on Lawyers Mall throughout the three months of session to highlight the support for the priority legislation, to lobbying daily, and even organizing a civil disobedience resulting in seven people arrested for Access to Care, CASA’s presence in Annapolis has grown each year and continues to be a force of change for Maryland. 

Cameroonian Jeanette Kenne was among the community leaders to advocate all session for healthcare access. “I can’t begin to describe the pain, trauma, and emotional stress I go through every single day. My health is so bad that I don’t know what awaits me,” she testified

“Immigrants deserve to have access to health insurance, since there are many families like mine, suffering from diseases and unable to see a doctor,” commented CASA member Maria Peralta, who testified her personal story about living as a Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor without healthcare in front of the General Assembly. 

CASA members advocate in Annapolis for the community through legislation that would aid immigrant Marylanders. CASA is hopeful that with the new Moore administration, there will be even more legislative victories next year.   

Climate, Labor, and Environmental Equity Act (HB840) was another priority bill for CASA members. Sponsored by Del. Regina Boyce, this bill would require an environmental justice analysis for all businesses seeking pollution and environmental permits. Pollution is not distributed equally in Maryland with many industrial parks, incinerators, waste facilities, and other polluting facilities being adjacent to low-income communities of color, like Bladensburg, East Riverdale, Brooklyn Park, etc. The bill was jointly assigned to the Environment and Transportation (ENT) committee and the Economic Matters (ECM) committee. After passing its primary committee, ENT, the bill was stalled in ECM. As the session closes, this piece of legislation that actually embodied environmental justice did not pass, and Maryland’s most polluted communities will continue to be hubs for polluting businesses that willfully set up next to the state’s most vulnerable populations in terms of health outcomes.


With over 122,000 lifetime Latino, immigrant, and working-class members across 46 US states, CASA is the foremost immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region and a national leader in supporting immigrant families and ensuring that all individuals have the core support necessary for full participation in society. Now a national immigrant powerhouse, CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.