The 2020 Session has adjourned but we are still working! Our office will continue to monitor the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your emails, letters and calls-to-action provide meaningful insight and help us shape policy to enhance the quality of life for the state of Maryland.
Through the final days of Session, the General Assembly worked extremely hard to pass over 600 pieces of legislation as well as balance the state budget.
Our office was able to get two bills passed:
1. SB 442 (http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/sb0442?ys=2020RS) : Restores the Minority Business Enterprise Program (MBE) provision to public-private partnerships and video lottery terminal procurement contracts
2. Temple Hills Swim Club – appropriates $50,000 in state aid to renovate the 54 year old swimming pool facility in District 25
Here’s a snapshot of a few important pieces of legislation:
View Other Important Legislation Here (https://www.marylandmatters.org/2020/03/20/what-the-heck-just-happened/)
Small Business Resources
The State of Maryland has several websites with information pertaining to COVID-19, its effects on businesses, and available financial resources:
* Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__commerce.maryland.gov_fund_maryland-2Dsmall-2Dbusiness-2Dcovid-2D19-2Demergency-2Drelief-2Dloan-2Dfund&d=DwMFAg&c=Gp5PoQfTj9yjDt8XV2x6aql0UnCZXhNkdBYbfDClWas&r=4YwkFuoOVX4Ge54mVX0bXVYt__L1j25SCrPl1V4g8Gk&m=JkHCyO3UYpcUEWWM0eNNNujXyy_fCaPcUBCR2htRu5g&s=_F_FDgUea6mWCC5TlF26ToZkjZb1TKhrTfb-3cUb2Ic&e=) – This $75 million loan fund 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.
* Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__commerce.maryland.gov_fund_maryland-2Dsmall-2Dbusiness-2Dcovid-2D19-2Demergency-2Drelief-2Dgrant-2Dfund&d=DwMFAg&c=Gp5PoQfTj9yjDt8XV2x6aql0UnCZXhNkdBYbfDClWas&r=4YwkFuoOVX4Ge54mVX0bXVYt__L1j25SCrPl1V4g8Gk&m=JkHCyO3UYpcUEWWM0eNNNujXyy_fCaPcUBCR2htRu5g&s=QOOsqSAoVNYwHowRQ5jQG0WQOx44HRkGA6VK2Iunfig&e=) – This $50 million grant program offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020.
* Governor Hogan announced that the entire state of Maryland has received designation for SBA assistance. Small businesses can apply here. (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.sba.gov_funding-2Dprograms_disaster-2Dassistance&d=DwMFAg&c=Gp5PoQfTj9yjDt8XV2x6aql0UnCZXhNkdBYbfDClWas&r=4YwkFuoOVX4Ge54mVX0bXVYt__L1j25SCrPl1V4g8Gk&m=JkHCyO3UYpcUEWWM0eNNNujXyy_fCaPcUBCR2htRu5g&s=3JIPDDM2IrNt139StHcrF3KPFRfGCjbr–GR3Npi8qI&e=)
* Maryland Department of Labor Layoff Aversion Fund (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.labor.maryland.gov_employment_covidlafund.shtml&d=DwMFAg&c=Gp5PoQfTj9yjDt8XV2x6aql0UnCZXhNkdBYbfDClWas&r=4YwkFuoOVX4Ge54mVX0bXVYt__L1j25SCrPl1V4g8Gk&m=JkHCyO3UYpcUEWWM0eNNNujXyy_fCaPcUBCR2htRu5g&s=X9a1FIK_VwjCq8Ndq6BU4-jHvA84Viwld8E1Db2_We0&e=) – Designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.
* Maryland Office of Legal Counsel Interpretive Guidance COVID19-04 (https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__governor.maryland.gov_wp-2Dcontent_uploads_2020_03_OLC-2DInterpretive-2DGuidance-2DCOVID19-2D04.pdf&d=DwMFAg&c=Gp5PoQfTj9yjDt8XV2x6aql0UnCZXhNkdBYbfDClWas&r=4YwkFuoOVX4Ge54mVX0bXVYt__L1j25SCrPl1V4g8Gk&m=JkHCyO3UYpcUEWWM0eNNNujXyy_fCaPcUBCR2htRu5g&s=a_E7EaUUDerVSpNcFVG8Jar_NwqOLEcmIVvCV8TZbtQ&e=) – This document identifies an interpretation of the Governor’s order closing all non-essential businesses.
Access COVID-19 Information for Businesses (https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business)
County Testing Sites
As of date, the state of Maryland has confirmed 774 cases with 148 occuring in Prince George’s County.
Here’s a list of Drive-thru testing sites in the county:
* Beltsville: 11760 Baltimore Avenue
* Upper Marlboro: 10251 Central Avenue
* Hyattsville: 7401 Jefferson Avenue
* Clinton: 7213 Old Alexandria Ferry Road
Fedex Field Screening Clinic – By Appointment Only
The screening location will be open for limited hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM starting on Monday, March 30. For more info on the screening clinic, click here (https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/29421/PRESS-RELEASE—FedExField-Screening-Clinic-PDF)
Those with prescriptions from primary care physicians or other health care providers will still need to make an appointment through the Prince George’s Health Department’s COVID-19 Hotline and telehealth services by calling 301-883-6627.
FAQs Regarding Testing (https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/)
Congressman Anthony Brown compiled a listing of federal government benefits and available services to alleviate financial hardship during this difficult time.
Here’s what you need to know:
The $2 trillion economic rescue package Congress has passed includes direct payments to individuals and families. Most adults would get a one-time payment of $1,200. Every child under the age of 16 would receive an additional $500.
Single adults with Social Security numbers who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less would get the full amount. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of $2,400.
The U.S. Department of Education has granted a payment waiver of at least 60 days to many borrowers but you have to call your loan service and request a waiver. You will not be charged interest during this time, and your credit score will not be negatively impacted.
The federal government also announced an automatic student loan interest waiver, which doesn’t lower your monthly payment but instead has the full amount go towards the principal.
Congress passed legislation to automatically suspend student loan payments without interest for six months.
Help for Homeowners and Renters
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is allowing borrowers whose mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to delay payments for up to 12 months.
Maryland courts are blocked from ordering the eviction of tenants who cannot pay due to the coronavirus.
Updates with the Black Caucus
Under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senator Charles Syndor, and Speaker Pro Tem, Sheree Sample-Hughes, the 58-member Caucus united to resolve the 13-year ongoing litigation by passing the historic HBCU Funding Bill.
* Allocates $577 million over 10 years to the state’s four HBCUs
* Creates new academic programs and invest more dollars to boost existing, under-enrolled and under-utilized programs
2020 Executive Board Elections
Before Session adjourned, the Caucus held its Executive Board Elections for 2020-2022. I am pleased to announce that I was able retain my position as Chair for a second term! Let’s welcome the new members of the Executive Board:
Delegate Darryl Barnes, District 25
1st Vice Chair
Delegate Melissa Wells, District 40
2nd Vice Chair
Delegate Gabe Acevero, District 39
Delegate Charlotte Crutchfield, District 19
Delegate Ron Watson, District 23B
Delegate Mike Rogers, District 32
I would like to thank the outgoing executive board members for their time, leadership and dedication to the caucus!
View of List of Black Caucus Accomplishments (https://mcusercontent.com/a94c1d7ef23ca9ba2bba4aa44/files/ada329b3-c371-4538-85d5-a7dc90ce7f61/Legislative_Black_Caucus_2019_20_Accomplishments.pdf)
Farewell to Chief of Staff – Addison Pruitt
A special thank you to my Chief of Staff, Addison Pruitt. For the past three Sessions, Addison has played an integral role in developing strategic initiatives, overseeing office operations, and communicating resources to our district.
Addison will be headed to Capitol Hill to work at the Architect of the Capitol. Congratulations on your position and thank you for your service!
If you are interested in serving as Chief of Staff for my office, please send your resume, cover letter and a writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) .
View a Full Job Description Here (https://mcusercontent.com/a94c1d7ef23ca9ba2bba4aa44/files/de008ac6-a5c9-4833-ac5e-734e0077599c/Chief_of_Staff_Job_Description_Delegate_Barnes.pdf)
View this email in your browser (https://mailchi.mp/darrylbarnes.net/rsvp-for-the-delegate-barnes-business-roundtable-998117?e=adebc98f22)
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