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The Maryland General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, earlier than the scheduled date of April 6, 2020.  Maryland legislators returned to their districts following the direction of the Governor to avoid large gatherings. While we don’t know how long the crisis will last, we can all do are part by staying informed and following the directions we receive from State and Federal authorities.

Please note: My office staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future. However, for constituent concerns or questions, the email Justin.Ready@senate.state.md.us or calling 410-841-3683 are still the best way to reach us.  Both email and voicemail will be checked regularly. My team and I will do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

The Hogan Administration’s COVID-19 Response

Today, Governor Hogan held a press conference amending and Restating the Executive Order of March 19, 2020, prohibiting large gatherings and events, closing senior centers, and adding the closing of all non-essential businesses. The Governor emphasized this is not a shelter-in-place order.

Marylanders are urged to remain home, and employers are urged to promote work-from-home arrangements to the greatest extent possible. The following is a nonexhaustive list of businesses, organizations, and facilities that are included in the federal critical infrastructure sectors. The Order does not require the following businesses, organizations, and facilities to close:

-The Chemical Sector

-The Commercial Facilities Sector

-Companies that sell supplies and materials for maintenance of commercial and residential buildings, including “big box” home improvement supply stores, plumbing distributors, electrical distributors, and HVAC distributors.

-The Communications Sector

-The Critical Manufacturing

-The Defense Industrial Base Sector

-The Emergency Services Sector

-The Energy Sector

-The Financial Services Sector

-The Food and Agriculture Sector

For a more detailed breakdown from the State of Maryland, click here.

For Federal Guidance on Essential Workforce, click here.

For the most accurate and up to date information on Maryland’s COVID-19 response, please visit, https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/\. Governor Hogan will continue to update the public throughout this rapidly evolving public health event. Live updates are streamed to the governor’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages- all linked on the page above.

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Programs for Businesses

Maryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.

If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below to see if you qualify for assistance.

  • Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund - This $75 million loan fund (for for-profit businesses only) offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum.
  • Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - This $50 million grant program for businesses and non-profits offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020.
  • Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund - This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More details are expected to be announced by Friday, March 27, 2020.Page Image

Small Businesses Can Apply Directly to SBA For Financial Assistance

Governor Larry Hogan has announced that Maryland has received official designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the SBA, the loans will help alleviate financial strain and allow businesses to pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable, with long-term payments stretching up to 30 years. Small businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply directly to the SBA for financial assistance here.

Child Care For Essential Personnel: MSDE and Maryland Family Network Team Up 

Child care providers have a vital role to play in Maryland's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maryland Family Network (MFN) is partnering with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to make it fast and easy for essential personnel to find quality child care during the State of Emergency. 

MFN’s free LOCATE: Child Care service has extended hours to respond to increased call volume during the pandemic. Parents should call 877.261.0060 between Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. A real time chat feature is available Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM or use the self-guided web version of LOCATE: Child Care 24/7 both at marylandfamilynetwork.org. Specialized services for parents of children with special needs as well as Spanish language LOCATE: Child Care are also available. Child Care only refers parents to licensed child care providers. Most child care providers are private businesses and can make the decision to close or remain open independently.

More Resources For COVID-19

Maryland Department of Commerce,

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Maryland Department of Health, https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx

Carroll County Public Schools, https://www.carrollk12.org/about/news/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=2765

Carroll County Delegation Secures Funding for Key Local Priorities in the State’s Capital Budget

Prior to adjournment on Wednesday, the Maryland General Assembly voted to enact Governor Hogan’s FY2021 Capital Budget. The Carroll County Delegation worked closely with Governor Hogan and in a bi-partisan fashion in the General Assembly to secure key funding for a series of projects. Below are some highlights of what projects will receive Capital funds:

-$1,000,000 – Carroll County Public Safety Training Center

-$500,000 – Hampstead Wastewater Treatment Plant

-$500,000 – Mount Airy Center Street Project

-$250,000 – Carroll County Agriculture Center and Shipley Area Facility Upgrades

-$100,00 – Westminster Rescue Mission

-$250,000 – Charles Carroll Community Center                                                                       

-$40,00 – Historical Society of Carroll County

-$30,000 – Penn-Mar Human Services and Change

The resources we have secured for all of these important local projects is a product of outstanding teamwork and communication between our members, the Budget Committees and the Hogan administration. We appreciate that Governor Hogan has worked closely with us to ensure that Carroll County is not overlooked.

Scholarships Available:

If you are or know a high school senior or college student, please consider applying for a Senatorial Scholarship.  For more information or to request an application, email Emily Van Horn at devanhorn@verzion.net and include your full address.  Extended: Scholarships will accepted up to April 30, 2020.

As always, I want you to know it is my honor to represent you in the State Senate.  Again, your feedback and ideas are always welcome at SenatorReady@gmail.com or by contacting my office.

Sincerely,