Vaccinations and the Budget
I continue to recommend that constituents sign up for the Montgomery County vaccine email distribution list here. Moreover, for those who are 65 years old or older (Phases 1B and 1C), you can pre-register with Montgomery County for a vaccination appointment here. The pre-registration process has improved, as email confirmations are now immediately sent so you will know your pre-registration has been received. For those interested in the data or other information, the state Department of Health maintains this site.
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.
The one bill the Maryland General Assembly is constitutionally required to pass each year is the state budget. The Governor proposed his budget last week and it largely consists of three components: (1) The Operating Budget, the dollars allocated for specific programs; (2) The Capital Budget, the dollars allocated for construction; and (3) The Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA), a bill that revises legislative spending requirements to ensure a balanced budget. The Governor's budget can be found here. All in all, given expectations a few months ago and the ongoing public health and economic crisis, the budget is in relatively positive shape. That is a good sign when there are so many people that do need additional help right now. Some highlights of the budget include:
The non-partisan Department of Legislative Services provided more highlights in its annual Fiscal Briefing, available here.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will spend the next few months digging into the details of the various department and agency budgets as we work towards a final budget and I will have more to say about it in the future.
Bill hearings are now in full swing. My first bill hearing, on the Board of Public Works Budget Reduction Clarification Act, was held last week and reforms the mid-year budget cutting process. You can watch the hearing and learn more about the bill here.
My second bill hearing, on the Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment for Multifamily Units Act, was yesterday and you can learn more here. The bill follows the lead of other states in setting a process for those in Homeowners Association or Condo Board communities to install charging equipment. If it sounds familiar, it is because it has passed the House each of the past two years but not proceeded in the Senate.
I am co-chair and co-founder of the Maryland Transit Caucus, a group of bipartisan and bicameral legislators who support transit. This year we are prioritizing five bills:
Montgomery County is decoupled from the statewide changes to what is open and what is not to deal with the public health crisis. You can track the current rules in Montgomery County here. The County's COVID-19 data dashboard can be viewed online as well. There is also a state dashboard online.
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 (https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uibenefits.shtml) 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.
If you know of an upcoming District 16 event or a District 16 resident who merits recognition or condolences, please email email@example.com.
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