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I hope you and your family are doing well – as well as possible considering the difficult circumstances we are operating in. This weekend is Mother’s Day and – before getting into all the news in this email I want to take a moment to thank and honor all the moms out there who love and sacrifice each day – and this period of being at home has made that even more clear.

We have some good news about some bad bills being vetoed and there were announcements made by Governor Hogan that included some initial steps in re-opening Maryland. As you know, I’ve been calling for us to move faster –  for Phase 1 re-opening to begin now and for businesses to be given the plans they need to be able to open in coming days. It’s time. I covered both of these issues and some other items in my video update which you can view by clicking here.

As always, if I can be of any assistance please contact my office.  My staff continues to work remotely and can be reached at Justin.Ready@senate.state.md.us  or by calling 410-841-3683. 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.

Governor Hogan Vetoes Spending, Tax, and Crime Bills
I first want to say thank you to Governor Hogan for vetoing HB 4/SB 208, the “long gun” bill that would’ve interjected the government into the private sale and trading of shotguns and hunting rifles. These guns are rarely used in any kind of crime and for years in hearings on this bill supporters couldn’t point to one murder or suicide where the gun used was obtained in a private sale. Meanwhile this year the House of Delegates refused to act on legislation aimed at stopping and punishing repeat, violent offenders who use illegal guns or my bill to make theft of a handgun a felony. I’m glad the Governor agreed and did veto this anti-2nd Amendment bill.

He also vetoed the Kirwan legislation that would commit our state to nearly $40 Billion in new spending over ten years and the tax increases passed in the closing days of Session (in the middle of a pandemic). Very good news!

Governor Hogan’s vetoes can be grouped into 3 areas, Spending Bills, Tax Bills, and Crime Bills.  In addition to the firearm, spending and tax bills I discussed above, the Governor put together a comprehensive legislative package that the Democratic leadership in the General Assembly ignored, and that would have had a real impact on violent crime in Baltimore, he vetoed crime bills that would be little more than a band aid and/or would have criminalized the wrong people.
 
A press release from the Governor detailing all his vetoes can be found here: https://governor.maryland.gov/2020/05/07/governor-hogan-announces-legislative-actions-2/.

 
Summary of New Actions on Re-Opening Maryland Announced by Governor on May 6:
As a result of the curve of new cases of COVID 19, this week Governor Hogan took the first steps to re-open Maryland.  If the curve of new cases continues to flatten, we expect more re-opening measures next week. The following was announced on Wednesday:
 
1.     The Maryland Department of Health will issue guidelines effective immediately to allow for elective procedures at the discretion of local hospitals and health care providers.
2.     Effective May 7, safe outdoor activities will include golf, tennis, recreational boating, fishing, and camping.  Marylanders should continue to practice physical distancing during these activities.
3.     Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.  Online and distance learning will continue.  MSDE is releasing a comprehensive “Maryland Together: Recovery Plan for Education.”
For more information or to stay up to date on re-opening Maryland visit https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/.
 
CARES ACT
Have you received your Federal CARES Act payment yet?
A onetime direct economic recovery payment was included in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The IRS began distribution of these payments to eligible American taxpayers last week.
If you are expecting a federal recovery rebate, but have not received it yet, visit the IRS website for more information. Make sure you have your Social Security Number (or Individual Tax ID Number), your date of birth and your address on hand when you search your payment status on the IRS website.
To receive your CARES Act payment you must:
•        Be a U.S. resident or citizen
•        Not be the dependent of another taxpayer
•        Have a work eligible Social Security Number
The IRS will use the direct deposit information you supplied on your most recent tax return. If you received your last tax return via a check in the mail, your CARES Act payment will be mailed to the place of residence you provided the IRS on your most recent tax return. Click here for more information on how to update either of those items.
If you did not file a tax return in the last two years (2018 and/or 2019), the IRS will need your information. Click here for guidance on how to submit the information required, review the information for non-filers.
   
Presidential Primary Update
Please note that Maryland’s primary election has been moved to June 2, 2020. This date change was effective with Governor Hogan’s Proclamation of April 10, 2020, which approved the State Board of Elections’ Comprehensive Plan for administering this election. Besides the date change, the decision was made for this election (JUST this primary election) to be primarily a vote-by-mail election. All eligible, active voters will automatically be mailed a Presidential Primary ballot by the Maryland State Board of Elections in early to mid-May. The deadline to register to vote in the Primary Election is Wednesday, May 27, 2020. If you register to vote after the initial mailing of ballots in early to mid-May, you can still receive a ballot. If you have recently moved, it’s important to update your address with your County’s Board of Elections to ensure you receive your ballot. You can also choose to change your party affiliation until May 27, 2020. For the first time, voters will be able to track their ballot status at https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch or by calling the State Board of Elections at 1-800-222-8683.

Food Banks in Carroll County
Maryland Food Bank - Find Food Bank Near Me: https://mdfoodbank.org/find-food/
211 MD - Food Pantry Listings: https://211md.org/211provider-md-search-results?q=Food%20Pantries
 
Catholic Charities - Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens in each county: http://www.catholiccharities-md.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/food-pantries-in-mdpdf-1.pdf

As always, I want you to know it is my honor to represent you in the State Senate.  Your feedback and ideas are always welcome at SenatorReady@gmail.com or by contacting my office at 410-841-3683.
 
Sincerely,
 
Sen. Justin Ready
www.JustinReady.com