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March 13, 2021
Beautiful Spring weather is here. The other day, my staff and I were even able to sneak outside for some fresh air between hearings and voting sessions!
Time to Re-Open?
Gov. Hogan announced that businesses could open at full capacity, despite the fact that only 11.4% of Marylanders are vaccinated. You can read about Montgomery County’s modified restrictions and how they differ from other counties’ actions.
At last, more vaccinations are coming! Maryland received its first doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This version is 85% effective in preventing severe disease and provides a reassuring 100% protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization and death. To register for your vaccination, visit the Montgomery County website. While we all believe that MoCo’s large population deserves a mass vaccination site, please remain patient; wear a mask; and continue to social distance.
Celebrating the Diversity of D/17
Wallethub recently studied U.S. cities based on ethnicity, race, language, and birthplace. Gaithersburg (with a score of 71.93) and Rockville (with a score of 68.87) were ranked among the top 10 most diverse cities in the country. It is an honor to represent such a broad melting pot of residents in the State Senate!
Upgrading our 9-1-1 Systems
SB714, my final 9-1-1 bill (5th of 5), was heard in the Senate Finance Committee. I’m grateful to my many talented public safety partners on this journey to help save lives and property as we upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1. This legislation addresses crucial training needs for our “First First Responders” who serve under the headset and suffer disproportionate and significant trauma. Among other items, this Omnibus bill would require notification of 9-1-1 outages and modify membership on the 9-1-1 Board.
Time to Repeal Maryland’s State Song!
Our State Song, “Maryland, My Maryland,” contains offensive lyrics that defend slavery and glorify an era of racial discrimination. As a progressive state, it is imperative that Maryland cut ties with this deplorable ode to the Confederacy. I presented SB8 this week– my latest effort to repeal our State Song. Witnesses for the hearing included former Republican State Senator Howard Denis, NAACP’s Rev. Kobi Little, and former State Archivist Edward Papenfuse.
Did you know that Maryland has 157 cities and towns? In my recent “Kibbitzing with Kagan,” I chat with the Maryland Municipal League‘s Director of Government Relations, Angelica Bailey.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: The Daylight Savings “spring forward” is tonight. In addition to resetting your clocks and watches, be sure to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors!