Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the closure of all bars, restaurants, and gyms, effective at 5 p.m. Monday. The governor also announced measures to ease the financial burden that strict measures may create. Utilities will not be allowed to cut off services, including phones, cable TV, gas or water, and evictions will not be allowed until the emergency is over. Hogan said state and federal legislation is pending to assist anyone who faces real financial trouble. Although the Maryland General Assembly will shut down this Wednesday (about three weeks early), they’ll focus on their highest priorities: passing a state budget and coronavirus legislation that would give job protections to people who are quarantined, as well as temporary unemployment benefits to people who lose pay because of the pandemic.
District of Columbia
Three pieces of legislation dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to come up for a vote Tuesday at the DC City Council. Highlights include: wage replacement (adding to the definition of unemployment those temporarily unemployed because they quarantine or self-quarantine, or if they cannot work because their employer stopped or reduced operations), Small Business Grant Program funding, banning price gouging (prohibiting overcharging), and prohibitions on utility disconnections and evictions.
The House-passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act, expected to come before the Senate this week, is now being held up by a single Republican congressman. The bill includes critical paid sick days, emergency paid family and medical leave provisions. Supporters are urging folks to put pressure on the Senate to pass Families First immediately. Click here to contact your senators right now to be patched through to their offices!
- David Stephen; [email protected]