News from Annapolis 3/11/2021
It is hard to believe the General Assembly Session is two thirds complete. This session has been very different from every other session I have participated in – zooming every day for sometimes 8 to 10 hours a day – Committee hearings, constitute/lobby groups and workgroup sessions, 2-hour floor sessions sometimes twice a day and voting committee meetings in phone booth sized cubicles. How things change in one year.
March 22nd is what the General Assembly calls “Opposite Chamber Bill Crossover Date”. What is “Crossover”? It is the date that each Chamber needs to send to the other Chamber those bills it intends to pass favorably. Any bill that is passed by a chamber after that date must go to the Rules Committee of the opposite Chamber and may not have sufficient time for consideration.
COVID Restrictions Lifted
The Governor’s latest COVID-19 Executive Order will take effect Friday March 12th at 5pm. The restrictions on indoor capacity at restaurants and businesses will be lifted along with COVID travel restrictions in Maryland. Large venues, like stadiums, will still have a capacity limit of 50% and the state’s mask mandate will remain in place.
The Governor’s executive order from March 9 can be viewed here: https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Gatherings-20th-AMENDED-3.9.21.pdf
County Executive Pittman is expected to sign a new executive order that will retain the county’s social gathering limits at a maximum of 10 persons indoors and 25 persons outdoors. The executive order will also keep the county’s restrictions on third-party food delivery services, preventing their charges from exceeding 15 percent of the purchase price of an online restaurant order. All other COVID restrictions will align with the most recent state executive order. Executive Order #45 will be available on the county’s Road to Recovery website once signed by the County Executive.
Senate Passes Historic Police Reform
Last week, the Senate passed a package of nine bills that are a comprehensive and transformative set of police reform measures, built on the three core values of trust, transparency, and accountability. The bills included establishing fair and uniform disciplinary procedures for officers, establishing a statewide use of force policy, restoring local control of the Baltimore Police Department, and expanding access to police disciplinary records. The bills will now go to the House of Delegates.
COVID Vaccine Update
With the approval of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, we now have three effective vaccines against the coronavirus. This means Maryland’s vaccine supply will increase in the coming days and weeks providing more Marylanders with the vaccination they desperately want.
The Department of Health reports that as of Thursday March 11th:
640,214 Marylanders are fully vaccinated
17.3% of Anne Arundel County residents have received their first dose.
10.2% of Anne Arundel County residents are fully vaccinated
On Monday, March 15th, Anne Arundel County will begin entering Phase 1C providing vaccinations for County residents ages 65 to 74; vaccinations for Phase 1A and Phase 1B groups will continue. Other groups within Phase 1C will be vaccinated once more vaccine supplies become available. County Public Schools staff will receive appointment invites directly from AACPS and should not preregister through the Health Department.
To get a vaccination appointment with the Department of Health, first preregister at https://aacounty.org/covidvax. After you register and your priority group rolls out, you will receive an email inviting you to schedule an appointment. Follow the link and select a preferred day and location for a vaccination. The link can only be used by one person and for one clinic.
Individuals without internet access can call 410-222-7256 to preregister and to make an appointment. TTY users can call via Maryland Relay 711.
Currently the Department offers weekly COVID-19 vaccine clinics by appointment only in Arnold, Glen Burnie, Hanover, Odenton and Shady Side. The clinics are free. No one will ask for personal financial information or a Social Security Number.
Depending on vaccine availability Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson and Johnson may be administered. All three vaccines are 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 deaths, and residents are advised to get the vaccine that is available to them at the time.
Anne Arundel County residents and workers in any phase are encouraged to preregister now, and they will be notified when their phase rolls out for vaccination appointments. More than 93,500 Anne Arundel County residents have been vaccinated to date.
You can still register with the following public and private vaccine distribution sites.
A year after the start of the pandemic, many Marylanders remain unemployed, frustrated by the State’s unemployment system, and their problems remain unresolved. The Department of Labor claims roughly 40,000 cases are still unresolved. My office receives calls and emails every day from constituents stuck in “adjudication purgatory”.
If you are continuing to have difficulties with the Unemployment system. Please fill out this form HERE. Please provide updated information and we will pass it along to the Division of Unemployment Insurance.
The deadline for Senator Beidle’s Scholarship - March 31, 2021
The application for my 2021 Senatorial Scholarships and complete instructions can be found on my website: PamBeidle.com. To qualify you must file your FAFSA by March 1st, attend school in Maryland, and file your completed scholarship application by March 31, 2021. Scholarship may only be used at a Maryland College or University. All scholarship applications will be reviewed by my Scholarship Committee and awards will be made by June 1st. If you currently receive a Senatorial Scholarship you do not have to reapply, they are four year awards.
Virtual District Night
In prior years, the District 32 Delegates and I would invite constituents to Annapolis for District Night, there would be great food brought in from Italia's Corner in Glen Burnie and we would discuss the legislation and community issues we are working on. Unfortunately this year due to the Covid pandemic this is impossible, so we invite you to attend our first Virtual District Night!
Our Virtual District Night will be held on March 25th at 7:00pm on Zoom. If you would like to attend please email my office and we will send you the link. The event will also be streamed live on Facebook.
Virtual Tours of the State House
While in person tours of the Maryland General Assembly and State House are unavailable, the Visitors Program is offering groups “live” guided Virtual Visits of the Maryland General Assembly legislative complex on weekdays by advance reservation.
You can find more information, including an easy, online Virtual Visit Request Form that Teachers and other Group Leaders can submit to start the reservation process here- http://dls.maryland.gov/library/educational-tours/
My office remains in Room 202 of the James Senate Office Building. Unfortunately, this Legislative Session, we cannot have constituents stop by and meet in person but my Chief of Staff Nancy Lipin Crawford, my Legislative Aide Joe Cadman and our Session Aide Molly Cannon will be happy to assist you and help with any issues or questions you have. You can email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-841-3593. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news and session updates.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your State Senator from District 32,
Senator, District 32
Vice-Chair Executive Nominations