2022 Session Newsletter - 3/21
Dear Neighbors and Friends -
We are quickly moving towards "Sine Die," or the end of the 2022 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly. Each of the bills I have sponsored this session has now had hearings in the House. With today marking Crossover Day, some of my bills will be heading across the street to be heard in the Senate. I am excited to be working with my colleagues in the Senate over these next few weeks to bring these bills to the finish line!
In state news, COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped below 300, and Maryland is reporting the lowest case rate in the country. This is great news as we continue to emerge as a community from the pandemic. The state and county continue to provide free testing, with an updated list of sites and their hours of operation found later on in this newsletter. In addition, the Maryland General Assembly recently passed a 30-day suspension on the state gasoline tax to help Marylanders pay less at the pump. This tax will remain in effect through April 16th, 2022.
As we continue to honor Women's History Month, I wanted to note that the 37th Annual Prince George's County Women's History Month Event will be held on April 26th at the Bowie Center for Performing Arts. This is a great event that is put on each year by our county to celebrate women throughout history who have made an impact.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns.
Celebrating Women's History Month
This month, we celebrate the legacy of women who have paved the way for future generations. I wanted to highlight celebration events that are taking place across the county. The City of Hyattsville will be hosting events throughout the month that you can view here. In addition, the Prince George's County Memorial Library System will be hosting a series of virtual exhibits and events that you can view and register for here. The 37th Annual Prince George's County Women's History Month Event will be held on April 26th at 5 PM at the Bowie Center for Performing Arts. The theme will center around hope and healing, with tickets going live on April 1st.
30-Day Gas Tax Holiday
Last Friday, in light of surging gas prices, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 1486 - Motor Fuel Taxes - Tax-Free Period to declare a 30-day state tax holiday on gasoline sales. This state tax is usually pre-paid for by gas station owners and then added to the sale of gasoline to consumers. With the tax being waived for the next 30 days, you will see a dramatic difference in gas prices. I was proud to join my colleagues to vote in favor of this legislation and help Marylanders save more at the pump! You can learn more about the state gasoline tax and the tax holiday by clicking here.
Housing Data and Abortion Access Bills
Two weeks ago, I had the chance to speak on the House floor regarding two important bills: Delegate Ariana Kelly's House Bill 937 - Abortion Care Access Act and my own House Bill 824 - Landlord and Tenant - Eviction Data - Collection and Distribution. I firmly believe that passing both of these bills would serve to benefit all Marylanders, and was proud to speak in favor of them on the floor.
Racial Justice Essay Contest
The Equal Justice Initiative has partnered with the Prince George's County Lynching Memorial Project to host the Racial Justice Essay Contest. This scholarship contest will be open to 9th - 12th graders attending public high school in Prince George's County. Prizes for winning entry will total at least $5,000, and submissions will be due April 15th, 2022. To learn more and to apply, please click here.
COVID-19 Testing Sites
The state of Maryland has opened several hospital-based COVID-19 testing sites. Those closest to Prince George's County residents include: UM Capital Region Medical Center (testing at City of Praise Family Ministries) 8501 Jericho City Dr. Landover, MD 20785 Mon: 12 PM - 6 PM Tues - Fri: 10 AM - 4 PM Sat: 9 AM - 1 PM Bunker Hill Fire Station 3716 Rhode Island Ave. Brentwood, MD 20722 Mon-Fri: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM Sat: 10 AM - 4 PM First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville 6201 Belcrest Rd Hyattsville, MD 20782 Monday & Thursday: 9 AM - 3 PM Saturday: 9 AM - 1 PM Roseu Medical Center 7350 Van Dusen Rd. Laurel, MD 20707 (Appointment required, click here to schedule) Temple Hills Community Center **Will no longer offer COVID-19 testing services after March 25th** 5300 Temple Hill Rd. Temple Hills, MD 20748 Mon-Fri: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM In addition, every home in America is now eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests through the United States Postal Service. To place an order, visit covidtests.gov. Prince George's County is offering free COVID-19 test kits and KN95 masks at various community centers, branch libraries, testing facilities, and vaccine clinics. For more information on the dates and times these resources are being distributed, please click here. Many pharmacies that have partnered with the state and federal government to deliver COVID-19 vaccines will also be supplying free N95 and KN95 masks. Check your local pharmacy, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Walmart for more information.
COVID -19 Vaccines and Boosters
If you, a friend, or a family member would like to receive the vaccine or booster, please review the county's website for more information. I encourage you all to get vaccinated - my office and I are fully vaccinated and have received our boosters. If you have any further questions, contact my office and someone will be more than happy to assist you.
The Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund offers grants that will go towards helping homeowners with mortgage payments, home repairs, housing counseling, and legal aid services. This fund will help those who were unemployed or underemployed after January 21st, 2020. For more information on eligibility requirements and the application, please click here.