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July 15, 2021
I hope you are enjoying the summer with family and friends. With businesses reopening and more in-person activities, I have been busy in our community! Read on to catch a snippet of the last several weeks…
We Need More Data!
The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) held two hearings in Rockville to hear feedback from members of the community on Governor Hogan’s ill-conceived I-270/495 expansion. Along with a number of constituents, I testified, sharing my concerns about the lack of an Environmental Impact Study; post-COVID teleworking changes in commuting habits; exorbitant tolls; the failure to seriously explore mass transit alternatives; and the possibility of significant federal money through the Biden/Harris Administration infrastructure plan.
As key decisions are approaching, I sent a letter to Comptroller Franchot, urging him to vote to delay this project. We lack adequate information to design a workable solution to our traffic woes. It is imperative that more data is collected before construction on expensive toll lanes begins.
CORONAVIRUS VACCINE UPDATE
Data reveals that only unvaccinated Marylanders died from COVID-19 in June. Almost 7 million doses have been administered, inoculating over 75% of our residents. Those who have been vaccinated have helped to put this pandemic behind us. PLEASE get your shot if you’ve not yet protected yourself and your loved ones!
Gov. Hogan Loses in Court
Governor Hogan’s legal crusade to cut off federal unemployment benefits has finally been defeated. Hogan spent countless taxpayer dollars to hire a private law firm when Attorney General Brian Frosh was unwilling to support the effort to strip struggling Marylanders of their benefits. On Tuesday, a judge announced that federal aid to jobless Marylanders will continue through September 6th (when the program expires).
Hundreds of constituents have contacted my office since last March, frantically needing assistance getting the unemployment benefits they have earned. Unfortunately, the Hogan Department of Labor seems incapable of fixing this broken system, as too many are still waiting…
Creating New Jobs in Our Community
Along with local leaders and the Governor, I recently visited Novavax in Gaithersburg to celebrate the announcement of 500 new jobs! Scientists at Novavax have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to develop an additional vaccine against COVID— proven to be 90% effective. I am proud to represent Novavax and the other life-saving companies in our high-tech and bio-tech corridor in Gaithersburg & Rockville.
Leading on the Eastern Shore
The Maryland Municipal League recently hosted an in-person conference in Ocean City. I facilitated two sessions on election issues, helping municipal leaders navigate tough topics that are too prominent in today’s news. On that day, the Maryland Democratic Party tapped me for their #TakeoverTuesday on Instagram. Check out highlights from my busy day!
Honoring a Nonprofit “She-ro”
It was SUCH a joy to be with my friend, Becky Wagner, as Interfaith Works dedicated “Becky’s House” to recognize her leadership. Serving previously as Executive Director and Interim CEO, Becky played a key role in the success of this vitally important Montgomery County nonprofit. A few days later, I was able to “Kibbitz” with Becky for my podcast! You can learn more about her impressive career in my latest episode.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: Guess what I did at a recent Bethesda Big Train Baseball game? I was given the 100th and final cicada collected by founder Bruce Adams. After dusting it with OLD BAY® Seasoning (of course), I ate it, earning a historic t-shirt and supporting the team!