March 27, 2019

Senate Moves to Establish Caribbean Heritage Month

In a Wednesday Senate vote, the body unanimously passed legislation (Senate Bill 472) that would establish August as Caribbean Heritage Month in the State of Maryland. The legislation sponsored by Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee Vice Chairwoman Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (District 44 – Baltimore City and Baltimore County) would create a month-long celebration of the contributions that Caribbean Americans have made to Maryland and to its culture.

In a March 7th hearing for the legislation, Vice Chairwoman Nathan-Pulliam noted: “There is no doubt that Caribbean Americans have greatly enriched American cultural diversity. This diversity has been a great resource for the State as well as the surrounding areas.”  She followed: “Caribbean culture is vital and thriving and is a rich part of American life.”

Nathan-Pulliam is the lead Senate sponsor of the legislation and is joined in co-sponsorship by thirteen bipartisan Senate colleagues including Senators Augustine (D- District 47), Benson (D- District 24), Eckardt (R- District 37), Ellis (D- District 28), Feldman (D- District 15), Ferguson (D- District 46), Kelley (D- District 10), Lam (D- District 12), Lee (D- District 16), Patterson (D- District 26), Smith (D- District 20), Young (D- District 3), and Zucker (D- District 14). The bill is cross-filed in the House of Delegates as House Bill 893. House Bill 893 is sponsored by Delegate Regina Boyce (D- District 43).

Senate Bill 472 now moves to the House of Delegates for consideration. House Bill 893 has passed the House of Delegates and now similarly moves to the Senate for consideration. No new hearing information for either bill is available at this time. All legislation must successfully pass both the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates by Sine Die on Monday, April 8th to be sent to Governor Hogan to be approved or vetoed.