Happy Lunar New Year and (almost) Valentine’s Day! It’s hard to believe that we’re already a third of the way through our legislative session. I hope you remain safe and warm as winter weather comes our way again this weekend.
R.E.L.I.E.F. is on the Way!
The Senate passed the Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families (R.E.L.I.E.F.) Act– legislation that will provide funding to address the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than $1.5 billion will go to residents, small businesses, nonprofits, and more. Every Maryland family will receive $500, and individuals will receive $300. There will also be a second round of stimulus payments for those who meet specific financial criteria. Within the R.E.L.I.E.F. Act, my Senate colleagues and I voted to add the “Recovery Now Amendment.” This will help schools to reopen safely and support student learning.
But Wait, There’s More!
The “Recovery Now” amendment shores up our small businesses and nonprofits with sales tax credits. And– the Department of Commerce will be authorized to convert some small business loans into grants.
Those who are still waiting for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits will receive a one-time grant of $1,000. (Note that at the federal level, with the additional $300 for UI set to expire in March, President Biden is pushing Congress to send $400 weekly payments through September.)
Leading the Charge
Maryland’s own Jamie Raskin is the Lead House Manager for the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Since Tuesday, Rep. Raskin has carefully laid the groundwork for the U.S. Senate to decide whether Trump’s actions leading up to and on the day of the January 6th insurrection will have consequences. I am proud to call my former Senate colleague, Jamie Raskin my Congressman and friend!
PS: Flat tires happen anywhere– even while driving a rental car. I was shocked to discover that my vehicle didn’t come with a spare tire, prompting my efforts to identify a legislative solution. My common-sense, consumer protection bill was heard this week in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and was featured in a press release from AAA Mid-Atlantic!