Legislative Alert from Montgomery County Delegate Chair Marc Korman
Since the beginning of the crisis, the Maryland House of Delegates and the State Senate have been united in their support of the Governor and his efforts to respond to the outbreak. Prior to our early adjournment, the legislature took immediate action and passed bills related to the present emergency. SB 1079 (State Budget – Revenue Stabilization Account Transfers – Coronavirus) provides the Governor with up to $50 million from the State’s Rainy Day Fund to help respond to the public health threat. COVID–19 Public Health Emergency Protection Act of 2020 (HB 1663) allows the Governor to take specific actions to expand healthcare benefits and protect workers in response to the public health threat. These actions include requirements that the Maryland Department of Health cover the cost of COVID–19 testing, a vaccine (should one become available) and any associated costs not paid for by insurance or another third party. The legislation also includes protections against price gouging, expands telehealth services and expands unemployment insurance benefits to workers who are temporarily out of work or quarantined due to the virus. For more information on unemployment insurance, please visit https://www.dllr.state.md.us/. No doubt, further action will be required later to support our working families, small businesses, and others significantly impacted by the pandemic and the public health response. The General Assembly has also created a Joint COVID-19 Response Legislative Workgroup to provide oversight and support to the Administration in the coming weeks and months. Please also visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/, which is regularly updated with information regarding COVID-19 and the current rules in Maryland to try to limit its spread.