Dear Friends and Neighbors:
As we all know all too well, we are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us all of how interconnected we are as a society. For many of us, it has also led to increased anxieties about the wellbeing of ourselves and families and new concerns about our financial security. As state leaders, we understand those fears and have taken swift action to ensure that our state is as prepared as it can be.
The State of Maryland is home to some of the world’s leading medical and research institutions, each of which are staffed with professionals who are responding to this crisis with vigor, compassion, and professionalism. And, as this pandemic has gone on, our state’s restaurant and grocery store workers have adapted quickly to changing circumstances to ensure that Marylanders have access to food and other life necessities. It has been encouraging to see the strength and resilience of our neighbors at a time like this.
With everyone doing their part, our state and nation will rebound from this difficult situation.
The Maryland General Assembly was not immune from the impact of COVID-19. Though state legislators only meet in Annapolis for 90 days out of the year, it became clear that this year’s session would need to be cut short. This was not a decision that was made lightly but it was the right decision. All of us need to reduce the amount of contact we are having with each other, including limiting non-essential trips for the immediate future.
Nonetheless, before the session ended early, we made meaningful progress on a number of #TeamMcCray’s legislative priorities. The following pieces of legislation have been forwarded to Governor Hogan to sign into law.
Senate Bill 72 – Members of the Command Staff of the Police Department – Residency Requirements.
SB 72 will empower the City Council to require all Baltimore Police Department officers at the rank of Colonel or higher to be residents of Baltimore. It’s a simple bill that sends a clear message: our City’s leaders should live in our City.
Senate Bill 140 – Office of Legislative Audits – Audits of the Baltimore Police Department.
Under SB 140, the Office of Legislative Audits is empowered to conduct a full audit of the Baltimore Police Department and to define the scope of the audit.
Senate Bill 122 / House Bill 45 – Economic Development – Opportunity Zone Incentives – Alteration of the More Jobs for Marylanders and Opportunity Zone Enhancement Programs.
This legislation will close loopholes for designated Opportunity Zones. This includes requirements for the minimum wage, the legislation’s sunset provision, and additional reporting requirements.
Senate Bill 452 – Family Investment Program – Temporary Cash Assistance – Funding.
Under SB 452, the Temporary Cash Assistance fund will be infused with additional funds starting in fiscal year 2022. As a result, the value of Temporary Cash Assistance, combined with federal food stamps, will be equal to at least 61.25% of the state minimum living level.
House Bill 1 – Built to Learn Act of 2020.
As part of the “Built to Learn Act of 2020,” we were able to secure the funding necessary to build a new Furley Elementary School and to conduct major renovations on Northeast Middle School.
Senate Bill 328 – Baltimore City – 45th District – Alcoholic Beverages – Exchange of Class B Beer, Wine, and Liquor License.
SB 328 provides a liquor license to Silver Queen, a 45th District restaurant located on the Harford Road corridor.
Capital Budget Initiatives for the 45th District
In addition to specific pieces of legislation, this session also brought victories for capital budget initiatives in our district.
- Belair Edison Neighborhood Inc. $200,000 for the restoration of the Belair Road Commercial Corridor
- Bliss Meadows. $50,000 towards a farmhouse that teaches nature and urban farming to the community. The site is located in the Frankford Community
- Greenmount West Community Center. $30,000 for renovations
- Habitat for Humanity of Chesapeake. $250,000 allocated toward the purchase and renovation of homes in the four by four neighborhood
- Hamilton Elementary Middle School. $75,000 for playground and community space
- Hoen Lithograph Building. $200,000 for security enhancements
- Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric. $500,000 for renovations
- Southern Bridge. $500,000 allocated toward the construction of a restaurant
- Ulman House. $100,000 renovation of Ulman House
- Gompers Building. $1.5 million for planning and design
One Last Thing . . .
My office is accepting applications for the Senatorial Scholarship. All current high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate students who have submitted a FAFSA are eligible to apply. For additional information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 841-3165.
Listening. Learning. Leading.
Senator, 45th Legislative District