By Cecilia Cress, Olivia Montes
Maegan White, Washington College Student Government Association Parlamentarian, announced that the Resolution for Support for the Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights had been referred to the Maryland State General Assembly House Transportation Committee.
White claims that she edited and submitted a statement in support of resolutions passing to the General Assembly with Kevin Denice, junior Chair of the SGA Environmental Committee. The statement will be read at the next hearing of their committee this spring. This testimony will be accompanied by a similar resolution, which was adopted by the SGA Senate on November 16, 2021.
White stated that the resolution is currently stuck in the committee.
White stated that the Chair of the Committee is not super supportive of it, which is really disappointing. [But]Denice and me have made our pleas for him to at least present his bill to that committee, so that it can be voted upon by the Senate.
According to previous Elmcoverage. The Environmental Rights Resolution was first designed to include amendments to Maryland’s Constitution to ensure that Maryland has a healthy environment.
This motion, if it is included in the state constitution of the state, will provide all residents of the state with dignity and respect. [with]According to the resolution, there is an inalienable and fundamental right to a healthy environment. This proposal would also guide future legislation and regulations, improve public and environmental health, and allow residents of Maryland to address environmental injustices and degradation.
Although there have been laws and legislation in the past that recognized environmental rights for human rights, it was only a statement. [and]White stated that there is nothing in the legal system to support that statement. White stated that by adding it to the constitution, it would give it legal standing. If someone lived in Maryland and had an environmental injustice committed against them, they would now be able to sue. [would]You have the legal backing to take legal action and attempt to resolve the issue.
White said that since the General Assembly meets only for 90 days, the goal was to have the resolution moved out of committee by mid-April. White stated that she believes the resolution can be passed with enough votes.
White stated that it must be voted out of the committee. We also reached out and encouraged the Speaker of the House to ensure that the bill and legislation is heard when they do arrive on her desk. The Speaker has the ability to control which bills and legislation are heard.
White stated that if the Maryland general assembly has ended, the bill will be voted in committee in the House and the Senate. It will then go on to the referendum for the November elections, and would then take effect immediately.
White is optimistic that this resolution will be passed despite all of this.
Our involvement was much more about finding ways to show our support[but] from what I’ve heard from the directors of the campaign that we that we have met with, theyve tried getting things like this in the past, and theyve never had this much support that they currently have, so that makes me incredibly optimistic, White said. We are showing more unity, especially for our generation. I believe that if we are motivated enough, we can continue fighting this battle and address the environmental issues facing our world.