Friday, April 2, 2010

Urge Senate to Oppose Increased Auto Premiums for Low-Income Marylanders

MCRC partner Job Opportunities Task Force has an important message about a proposal to increase car-insurance premiums. We urge you to join us in contacting legislators to oppose this bill.

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Urge Senate to Oppose Increased Auto Premiums for Low-Income Marylanders

HB 825 seeks to increase the amount of insurance that vehicle owners must carry to protect others in case of an accident. The result will be higher premiums for 200,000 Marylanders - many of whom are low-income individuals - who currently carry the minimum liability insurance required by law.

Policyholders could see increases ranging from $60 for vehicles on the lower Eastern Shore to $300 in Baltimore. Low-income Baltimore City residents already pay some of the highest rates in the state, and a rate hike of such magnitude would be unmanageable.

HB 825 will put auto insurance out of reach for vulnerable residents who are already struggling to make ends meet in this economy. For Maryland's low-wage workforce, the ability to drive is critical. Outcomes are better for workers who are able to drive, and therefore access the full labor market.

HB 825 passed the House with a 97-36 vote and was jointly assigned to the Senate Finance and Judicial Proceedings Committees. It has passed Finance with a 6-5 vote. A vote is expected Monday from Judicial Proceedings. Please contact members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee and urge them to OPPOSE HB 825.

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