On February 1, 2019, an updated and improved version of Maryland’s Green Amendment was formally proposed by MD Delegate Stephen Lafferty. HB 472 will add a Green Amendment to the bill of rights section of Maryland’s constitution. Delegate Lafferty was joined by Delegates Boyce, Cardin, Charkoudian, Kettleman, Korman, R. Lewis, Lierman, Moon, Mosby, Smith, Stein and Wells.

Originally, on March 6, 2018, Maryland’s Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs held a hearing regarding a proposed environmental constitutional amendment. While the bill has not advanced since the hearing, its proposal is a significant first step and demonstrated an interested by those in the state to advance a Maryland Green Amendment. Since that time, a new coalition has been advancing to take on the task of advancing a Maryland Green Amendment.  That is the power behind this new 2019 proposal.

Green Amendments For The Generations has worked with the Maryland Environmental Health Network to craft the current strong language found in HB472.  In addition, we are supporting efforts to build a strong campaign that will lead to ultimate success this time around.  The amendment is featured as a priority for the Maryland Environmental Health Network and for two of the coalitions they support- the Environmental Justice Legislative Team and the Community of Communities.

The proposed Maryland Green Amendment explicitly protects your right to a healthy environment now and in the future by enshrining it in the state declaration of rights and proposes lasting protections for breathable air, drinkable water, and makes the state a fiduciary for equal access to a healthy environment. It establishes nature as a trust held in common, with the State as trustee and includes the right to a balanced and stable climate.

In the face of an uncertain federal landscape, Maryland needs to take proactive steps to defend our right to a healthy environment. Adopting a Green Amendment would affirmatively protect our future including:

  • Rural and urban communities
  • Chemically sensitive children and seniors
  • Our economic future, wealth generation and home values
  • Coastal wetlands and old growth forests