Those of you who follow me on Facebook know that I am an avid reader. I recently read Six Crises by Richard Nixon, a book he wrote between his unsuccessful 1960 presidential campaign and unsuccessful campaign for California Governor in 1962. Nixon is certainly not my favorite president--although like many disappointing presidents he has risen in estimation in the past few years--but his book title overlaps with our state and country's current condition. In my view, we are concurrently facing six acute crises:
None of this is to say there are not other challenges or issues we need to deal with, just that at the present moment these six crises are quite severe. I do not have all of the answers to each of these crises myself, but I know they will govern our work in the Maryland General Assembly in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. I will offer my own policy ideas for each, but one of the benefits to the state legislature is specialization, and I have the benefit of looking to many other leaders to help guide the way on each of these issues as well.
As always, you can keep up with what I am doing by following me at @mkorman on Twitter or by clicking "Like" on Delegate Marc Korman on Facebook.
Montgomery County plans to enter phase 2 of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions within the week. You can learn what that means here. The County's COVID-19 data dashboard can be viewed online as well.
Many of you are trying to navigate the state's unemployment system, which was simply not equipped for the volume or complexity of the current caseload. The Department of Labor website is your entryway for unemployment benefits. If you are having trouble with unemployment and live in District 16, you can fill out our District 16 constituent service Google form for assistance here. The District 16 Team has been in regular contact with the Department of Labor to try and resolve individual cases.
The Department of Legislative Services has published the 71 Day Report--instead of its usual 90 Day Report--summarizing the work of the 2020 legislative session. You can read the report here.
The Transportation & Environment Appropriations Subcommittee I chair held a briefing on the Maryland Department of Transportation and the impact of COVID-19. You can watch the full hearing here and read an article about the briefing here. The Department is also publishing statistics regarding transportation services impacted by COVID-19 such as weekly traffic; port container traffic; and BWI Airport passengers.
During the last two legislative sessions, I have sponsored legislation regarding the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), a proposed regional cap and trade program for the transportation sector similar to an existing one for power plants. Greater Greater Washington recently published an explainer article on the program.
The Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE) is comprised of the Comptroller, Treasurer, and State Budget Secretary and sets consensus revenue estimates for the state of Maryland that govern our budget process. The BRE met in May to discuss consensus revenue estimates and you can see the projections here.
The Board of Public Works--made up of the Governor, Comptroller, and Treasurer--is empowered to make certain budget cuts when the legislature is not in session to maintain the constitutionally required balanced budget. On May 20th such cuts were made. Because of the BPW Transparency Act I sponsored in 2016, the proposed cuts have to be posted ahead of time. You can review the budget cuts that were made on page 35 of the BPW's May 20th agenda.
If you know of a District 16 resident who merits recognition or condolences or an upcoming event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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