I hope you are staying safe and healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the ongoing public health crisis, the legislative session was adjourned early for the first time since the Civil War. Despite the early adjournment, my office is working full-time to serve you during this pandemic. We have been responding to constituent questions regarding the various shutdown orders; helping individuals navigate the unemployment system; ensuring that school resources are delivered equitably for distance learning; and assisting with many of the usual constituent service questions regarding Motor Vehicle Administration and property tax issues.
You can always see what I am working on by following me on Twitter at @mkorman and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Marc.Korman.Campaign.
And please join the entire District 16 Team on Thursday, April 30th at 6pm for a virtual town hall hosted by the Montgomery County Democratic Party. Click here to sign up.
Resources for Marylanders
Maryland maintains a comprehensive website on its COVID-19 response at https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/. The page includes links to detailed guidance on the emergency response and much more.
To apply for unemployment benefits visit the Department of Labor's website (http://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/unemployment.shtml). The
Division of Unemployment Insurance has call center hours from 7:30am - 3:30pm at 410-949-0022. They may also be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of increased demand and extended call-waiting times, the Department recommends you apply online. There is currently an exemption from the weekly work search requirement for unemployment insurance. This exemption is in effect for 10 weeks. Maryland does NOT have a waiting period to apply for unemployment insurance. You are eligible for benefits if you are temporarily out of work or quarantined due to COVID-19.
The Department of Labor is currently working to update their online application so that self-employed and “gig” workers will be able to receive benefits. To receive an e-mail once the new application is ready, please sign up here. All unemployment benefits will be backdated to your first day of eligibility, meaning that you will retroactively receive benefits since the start of your unemployment, even if you did not submit a claim until a later date.
For businesses that are struggling during this crisis, there is the 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. Click here to learn more.
The federal government is also providing support that Maryland businesses can take advantage of. The Small Business Administration is a US Government agency that provides support for small businesses. They have loans available to help businesses impacted by COVID-19. to Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at:
● To be connected to a financial mentor to assist you in applying for SBA assistance visit: SCORE
● To be connected to a local small business development center for additional resources visit: Maryland Small Business Development Center
In addition to connecting constituents to the resources they require, I have been working with my colleagues to make sure our residents stay safe during the pandemic. As you may be aware, the Governor has deemed gun shops as an “essential business.” As a result, individuals have begun to stockpile guns during this pandemic. I signed on to Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary’s letter requesting the Governor to reconsider his decision and to deem gun stores "non-essential." I believe this would make Marylanders safer during this uncertain time. You can read the letter here.
I also joined my colleague Delegate Mosby and numerous other colleagues in asking the Governor to begin releasing COVID-19 public health data disaggregated by race. I was pleased that the Governor agreed to do so.
And although COVID-19 is certainly dominating our time, the District 16 Democratic Team also took this time to send a letter to the State Highway Administration (SHA) regarding the many crosswalks along MD-355/Wisconsin Avenue in District 16 that require repainting or zebra stripes, consistent with SHA’s own guidelines. You can read the letter here and view the compilation of intersections here.
If you have any questions about the state’s COVID-19 response or require any assistance with a state agency, please contact me any time. I can be reached by phone at 301-858-3649, or 1-800-492-7122, extension 3649, or by email at email@example.com. Or you can just click reply.