Vetoes Amidst the Virus May 12, 2020

May 12, 2020

Dear Friend:

I hope you were able to find some joy while staying safe on Mother’s Day. As we inch toward Stage One of Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery, I urge you to continue practicing social distancing. Acting responsibly while hiking, playing tennis, or otherwise enjoying the outdoors will prevent another spike in our Coronavirus cases.

Vetoing our Future
I am disappointed that Governor Hogan used COVID-19 as an excuse to veto nearly 3 dozen important bills. Among the vetoed bills are the Kirwan Commission’s plan for our public schools; resolving a long-standing court case related to our Historically Black Colleges and Universities; and banning the toxic Chlorpyrifos pesticide. I will join with my colleagues to debate and override these vetoes when the Senate reconvenes.
Committing to Common Sense Legislation
All of my legislation that passed this session will become law! The Coronavirus pandemic placed a spotlight on common sense, bipartisan legislation with minimal cost. My 2020 bills focused on improving transparency; protecting privacy; enhancing public safety; and strengthening State ethics– each with a little to no price tag for taxpayers.

Advancing 9-1-1/ Thanking a Dedicated Public Servant 
As Chair of the State 9-1-1 Commission, I am delighted that 4 of my bills (becoming law) focus on NG911 services. You may know that we are close to implementing text to 9-1-1 across the State. This will make contacting 9-1-1 Specialists easier for people with disabilities; those hiding from harm; and those who need to share photos or videos.
After 15 years of service to our community as the Director of Montgomery County’s 9-1-1 Center, Bill Ferretti has announced his well-deserved retirement. His expertise has been invaluable on the Commission. Though I am terribly sorry to see him leave, I am grateful for his unwavering support and dedication!
Stalling Our Progress on Public Education
Strong Schools Maryland recognized my hands-on effort in helping to shape the Kirwan legislation. I succeeded in expanding access to pre-Kindergarten and providing more resources for English Language Learners. Both are vital for our area and the entire State. HB1300 won national recognition for its wide-ranging impact on our State’s future. We focused on closing the gap in educational inequities between our poorest and most affluent neighborhoods. The economic impact of COVID will weigh heavily as the legislature decides our next steps.

Reading While Relaxing at Home
Each Spring, the City of Gaithersburg hosts the Gaithersburg Book Festival (GBF), which celebrates the power that literature has to enrich the human experience. Since launched in 2010, this festival has become one of the nation’s premier literary events, attracting best-selling authors from around the country.
This year, the GBF will still take place — but as a virtual event! Beginning this Saturday, May 16th, this four-week festival has multiple weekly online events for all ages. Browse the line-up; support your favorite authors; and check out the works of someone new to you!
Supporting Local Restaurants!
Once again, it is Takeout Tuesday! Visit one of our locally-owned restaurants in Rockville or Gaithersburg; snap a picture; and tweet or post with #TakeoutTuesday to show your support. These places need our business to remain open as these times of uncertainty continue.
You can find more resources and stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 news onmy websiteIf you’re having trouble with State Unemployment Insurance, we have created a new resource so that we can help! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for photos and posts. Even during this Global Pandemic, my team and I are teleworking to serve you. Send us your questions or comments via email.
Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
(Gaithersburg & Rockville)
PS: Dawson’s Market donated and distributed 500 meals to Rockville residents who are struggling. Consider doing your grocery shopping in their convenient Rockville Town Square store so they can continue to support our community!