May 4, 2021
With our 90-day Legislative Session behind us, my staff and I are busy with several important projects. The Next Generation 9-1-1 Commission I chair convenes tomorrow to kick off its fourth and final year of work to enhance our 9-1-1 systems in order to save lives. In a few weeks, I will host a meeting of the National Nonprofit Legislative Caucus. I established this group last year, enabling legislators from across the country to swap ideas that support this vital sector.
Highlighting Some “Invisible” Bills
Many legislative proposals are passed without being spotlighted in news. I thought I’d share a few that you might find interesting:
Supporting Mental Health: In memory of the late Tommy Raskin, we approved the Thomas Bloom Raskin Act, requiring the Dept. of Health to partner with Maryland’s 2-1-1 to establish an opt-in mental health phone call program. Health experts would make periodic check-in calls to those who have contacted 2-1-1. Additionally, if requested, the individual could be connected with a mental health provider.
Banning Balloon Releases: Balloon pollution has a devastating impact on our wildlife and marine life. Beginning October 1, it will be illegal for anyone 13+ years old to release 10 or more balloons at one time into the atmosphere. Those violating this law will be subject to 6 hours of community service and a fine of $100.
Addressing Compost Restrictions: When I served in the House of Delegates, I spent several years working on condo and homeowner association (HOA) issues. This year, Del. Emily Shetty sponsored legislation that will allow homeowners to arrange for compost pick-up without any backlash from the HOA.
For more info on the 2021 Legislative Session,
COVID Vaccine Update
As supply increases across the state, many mass-vax sites are now offering walk-in or drive-thru vaccines without an appointment. To schedule a shot at Montgomery College in Germantown, visit the MoCo COVID-19 Portal. Please consider sharing this link with your local friends and family.
Now that 50% of the County’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, MoCo has started to reopen. If current trends continue, County Councilmembers have advised that we are likely to further advance by mid-May. I am optimistic about these projections and hope that everyone will be vaccinated soon!
I continue to share “Kibbitzing with Kagan” episodes on my YouTube Channel. Check out these chats with people I find interesting, including Holocaust survivor Manny Mandel, Adventure Theatre’s Leon Seemann, MD Department of Disabilities’ Emergency Preparedness Director Cecilia Warren, Senator Mary Washington, American Jewish Committee’s DC Director Alan Ronkin, and many more. Consider subscribing so you’ll know when new interviews are posted!
Spending Time in our Community
Now that session is over, I will send my email updates less frequently. I look forward to seeing you out and about in Rockville and Gaithersburg before too long. Remember to stay safe, stay masked, and get your vaccine.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: If you have not already done so, I hope you will register for the D/17 Virtual Town Hall next Tuesday at 7:30pm to learn more about the 2021 Legislative Session.