Certainly the tone and tenor of the 2020 Legislative Session has changed dramatically with the events of the last 48 hours regarding COVID19. It's possible we will be adjourning here early, or that we will go for a little while longer. It now seems very unlikely that we'll be in Session through the April 6th normal end date. The focus over the next few days for the State Senate is finishing the balanced budget for the next year, the capital budget and other essential legislation needed for the functioning of government. However, there is still a lot of active, major pieces of legislation - some of which I support but many of which I do not. At this time, it's possible things will move forward, we just don't know.
So this is an unusal "Ready Report". I wanted to be sure you have the latest announcements and informational links for the state's response to COVID-19. I will do my best to keep you posted as we move forward. 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.
Governor Hogan Announces Major Actions to Protect Public Health, Limit Spread of
National Guard Activated; MEMA Activation Level Raised; Mass Gatherings Prohibited; Cruise Terminal at Port of Baltimore Closed.
Yesterday, Governor Hogan announced that Maryland had confirmed its first case of community transmitted Coronavirus (COVID-19). According to our health officials, we should expect the number of cases to increase significantly over the coming days. Governor Hogan, along with legislative leaders, announced immediate steps intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 including:
- Closing all public schools from March 16-27, during which they will be cleaned and sanitized;
- Advising hospitals to adopt procedures that limit visitors;
- Prohibiting gatherings of more than 250 people;
- Mandating non-essential State employees to telework;
- Limiting cruise ship operations at the Port of Baltimore;
- Activating the National Guard to carry out any necessary emergency functions;
- Suspending all visits to correctional facilities; and
- Continuing to operate under a State of Emergency.
Although some of these provisions may seem extreme, they are essential to the efforts to contain this virus. For now legislators remain in Annapolis. The General Assembly’s Constitutional obligation includes debating and approving our annual State budget but we will also consider legislation that is essential to our public health and safety.
Resources For COVID-19
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
Updates from Governor Larry Hogan, https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and include your full address. Scholarships will accepted up to April 10, 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.
Sen. Justin Ready