Federal Government Relations: Lobby Days

“All politics is local”
– Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill
At any level of government, from local to federal, curating relationships with your legislators is essential to the successful pursuit of your legislative priorities.

Lobby days provide advocates with the opportunity to directly engage with legislators and decision makers. Direct engagement with policymakers and their staff allow the unique opportunity to express concerns, share personal stories, and make persuasive arguments in support of the cause. This allows you, the advocate, to influence policy decisions directly.
Engaging with your federal lawmakers may seem like an insurmountable task if you don’t know where to start. But Compass Advocacy manages several federal client portfolios — we can help! We’ve had immense success engaging federal lawmakers across the country with constituents in their own district.
From fly-ins to DC for a lobby day with State delegations, to site visits across the country, Compass is ready to get you in front of the decision makers that matter most for your cause!

Maryland Session 2024 – Legislative Aide Internship

Compass Legislative Internship Job DescriptionCompass Government Relations Partners are looking for a reliable and motivated intern with an interest in government, policy, and Maryland politics. Interest and experience in social media content creation is a plus. Excellent candidates for this position are personable, and willing to follow directions working individually or as part of a team. Candidates should excel in a fast-paced, high-pressure work environment, and possess excellent writing and time management skills.

Candidates will be required to work a minimum of 15 hours/week required during Session (January-April), &
should have availability Tuesdays-Fridays from 9:00am – 4:00pm.


To apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, and 2 professional references to compass@compassadvocacy.com with subject line: “Compass Intern Application”.
Application Deadline: October 30, 2023.

Delaware General Assembly 2023 Highlight

“In just the last few years, we have set new renewable energy standards for our utilities to follow, passed legislation to enable and expand community solar development, adopted a statewide climate action plan, reactivated and empowered a new energy advisory council, promoted the adoption of electric vehicles, and created new avenues for historically disadvantaged communities to reap the benefits of solar power. Now, we are working to create greenhouse gas reduction targets,  transition our state school bus fleet to electric and consolidate the oversight and planning of Delaware’s energy policy into a single office with new resources and direction.” she said.

“Thankfully, my legislative colleagues and Governor John Carney recognize that, as the lowest lying state in the nation, Delaware simply can’t afford to view renewable energy and environmental issues as a niche interest any longer.”

– Senator Stephanie Hansen,
Chair of the Delaware Senate’s Environment, Energy & Transportation Committee


Read More About Delaware Here!

Local Budgets 2023

In recent weeks, counties in Maryland have unveiled local budget proposals for FY24. The $63 billion Maryland State Budget passed during Session on April 3, 2023 – allowing local jurisdictions to tackle their own operating and capital budgets before the start of the fiscal year. Here are a few highlights & important dates from some notable jurisdictions in Maryland.

Anne Arundel County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 15, 2023

Baltimore City

Preliminary Budget
Approved no later than June 26, 2023

Baltimore County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Frederick County

Proposed Budget
Approved no later than May 31, 2023

Harford County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 15, 2023

Howard County

Proposed Operating Budget
Proposed Capital Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Montgomery County

Recommended Budget
Adopted by May 31, 2023

Prince George’s County

Proposed Budget
Approved by June 1, 2023

Need help securing local government funding in the future?
Our team has the experience and the relationships to help!

Read More Here!

Maryland 2023 Legislative Session: Wrapped


Maryland had many big-ticket-items in the queue this 2023 Session and proved to be a long (or short depending on who you talk to) 90-day Session. Read more to see what bills and policies are in the headlines following adjournment. As bill signing dates are released, your Compass Government Relations team will keep you apprised of what is being signed into law and when!


  • Approved constitutional amendment to go on ballot in November 2024 to enshrine the right to abortion in the Maryland Constitution
  • Passed legislation to protect patients/providers from criminal, civil, and administrative penalties relating to abortion bans or restrictions in other states
  • Passed a data-privacy bill to protect medical and insurance records on reproductive health
  • Universities in Maryland required to have a plan for student access to birth control methods near campuses


  • Medical dispensaries can acquire dual licenses to sell recreational cannabis
  • Tax will be 9%
  • Adults 21 and over allowed to possess up to 1.5 oz and two marijuana plants


  • Private property owners can control whether firearms can be brought onto their property, including commercial establishments
    • Defines sensitive places where firearms cannot be carried
  • Lawmakers removed the “good and substantial reason” from state law
  • Tightened gun storage laws


  • $62.5 billion budget for next fiscal year
  • $900 million to help pay costs in future years of Blueprint for Maryland’s Future

$15 Minimum Wage

  • Rate of increasing minimum wage quickened from January 1, 2025 to January 1, 2024

Paid Family Leave

  • Implement law passed last year
  • Require cost split evenly between worker and employer

Gender Affirming Treatment

  • State expanded procedures, revisions, and reversals covered under Medicaid

Clergy-Abuse Lawsuits

  • Lawmakers passed a measure to end the state’s statute of limitations for when civil lawsuits can be filed against public and private institutions related to child sexual abuse.

Offshore Wind

  • Maryland to generate 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2031
  • Upgrade energy grid for energy transmission from sea to land

April 2023 GR Navigator

2023 Delaware Session Updates

On March 7th, both the Delaware House and Senate resumed their 2023 session after their February break.

Here’s what Delaware is tracking, and what’s coming up:


  • Across the entire country, states including Delaware and Maryland, are enacting legislation to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Although unsuccessful last legislative session due to a veto by Governor Carney, the Delaware House is attempting once again to legalize the possession, sharing, use, and purchasing of up to one ounce of cannabis for those who are 21 or older. Emphasis is being placed on regulating the market and helping businesses adapt to this new measure.
    • Bills to Watch:
      • HB1: Removes all penalties for use or possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana. Those 21 or older may possess, use, display, purchase, or transport accessories and personal use quantities of marijuana without penalty
  • Voting is the core principal of America’s democracy but, historically, many barriers have been put in place to keep specific groups from voting. To this day, there is legislation in many states to restrict voting rights and make it more difficult. During this session, Delaware has a few bills that are focused on voting rights.
    • Bills to Watch:
      • HB43: Allows Delaware voters who are not affiliated with a political party to vote in a political party’s primary election. This bill will allow 170,000+ unaffiliated Delaware voters to have their voice represented in the primaries
      • SB57: This Act provides Delawareans with confidence that the votes they have cast will be honored when the Electoral College meets to decide the outcome of presidential elections
  • This session, Delaware has a couple of bills prioritizing actions to decrease the adverse effects of unsustainable and harmful practices. Earlier this year, the EPA awarded Delaware with a couple million dollars to upgrade infrastructure for the sake of public health and to protect essential waterways. Both Governor Carney and the Delaware legislature highly prioritize environmental policies.
    • Bills to Watch:
      • SB51: Prohibits single-use  plastics such as straws and coffee stirrers, and polystyrene foam containers in food establishments


March 2023 GR Navigator

Team Spotlight: Hannah Garagiola

Lobbyist Hannah Garagiola is the president of Compass Advocacy, a lobbying group she founded in 2018 that has offices in Annapolis, Rockville and Dover, Delaware. Her clients include the Maryland General Assembly, local governments throughout Maryland, Fortune 500 businesses, trade associations and more.

She is the former deputy chief of staff to the late Thomas V. Mike Miller, the former Maryland Senate president.

What is the most valuable habit you have developed?

The most valuable habit I’ve developed is definitely taking time for myself. It prevents burnout and allows you to better enjoy what you do. Early in my career, I hardly ever did that and now that I have more responsibility and two small children, I really have to take time to unwind. Whether it is to spend time with friends, date nights, working out, cook leisurely or get away, I am better and fresher when I can gain perspective from a mental break.

What is the biggest challenge facing government leaders in Maryland?

Government officials have to balance the various important priorities for the state. Whether it is great schools, a clean environment, less traffic, public safety or literally hundreds of other crucial issues, leaders in the state need to figure out how to manage those competing interests.


View the full list here.

2023 Maryland Session Updates

We are almost halfway through Maryland’s 90-Day Session. Here’s what Maryland is tracking, and what’s coming up:


  • Cannabis is a blazing topic this session after voters legalized recreational marijuana via referendum on November’s ballot. Starting July 1st, anyone over the age of 21 will be able to possess marijuana for personal use. The question before the legislature in this session is how to implement this throughout the state. Co-sponsors of the Cannabis Reform bill held a workgroup last Friday to discuss how much of the implementation would work. Highlights of the hearing included the prioritization of social equity throughout each implementation step.
Gun Control
  • After the Supreme Court ruling on New York v Bruen, key legislators in Maryland have decided to revisit gun control laws. The SCOTUS ruling changed the way courts evaluate the constitutionality of state gun control laws. The bills before the Maryland Legislature attempt to continue to restrict gun access and concealed carry permits while attempting to follow the new standard by the Supreme Court. A number of bills came before the Senate Committee for a contentious 11-hour hearing on February 7th. The next step is for the Senate committee to vote on bills.
Budget Process
  • The budget process is underway in Maryland with new excitement as the Legislature has more say in Budget negotiations. Previously under Republican Governor Larry Hogan, the party divide between the Governor’s office and state legislature meant that legislators had to fight for what they wanted in Hogan’s budget. Now, with new Democratic Governor Wes Moore, the legislator has an easier path to prioritizing their agendas in this year’s budget. Subcommittees that unpack the budget have already started meeting, but we are anticipating more discussions in the coming weeks.
Mental Health Funding
  • While all of these issues will continue to be debated throughout the coming months, we wanted to highlight the stand the Senate took regarding the first bill they passed. Senate Bill 003 also known as the 9-8-8 Trust Fund – Funding was passed on January 30th. The 988 Trust Fund was created by legislation passed last session with stipulations that it would receive around $5 million in funding. This bill, if passed by the House, will more than double the required funding to $12 million by 2025. This is an important message from the Senate about prioritizing mental health and could be an indicator of the success of other mental health bills coming before the body.

Team Spotlight: Addison Pruitt, GR Partner

This past weekend, Addison was awarded by the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus at the Chairman’s Farewell Reception for his service to the caucus. Addison previously served three years as Chief of Staff for Legislative Black Caucus Chairman, Delegate Daryl Barnes.
The reception was a part of the 27th Annual Legislative Weekend hosted by the Maryland Black Caucus Foundation at Live Casino & Hotel.

We are so proud to have Addison on our team!

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