2022 Session Newsletter 4/4
Dear Neighbors and Friends -
This week marks the last full week of the 2022 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly. I am very proud of the progress that the legislature has made this year on issues such as cannabis reform, the right to an abortion, and many more. I want to recognize and thank the collective effort of all the sponsors, co-sponsors, and members of our community in supporting such a progressive agenda!
With Women’s History Month now drawn to a close, I want to take a moment to honor the late former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. As the first female Secretary of State, she paved the way for so many other women to make a name for themselves in politics. The impact of her life and career was and will continue to be a source of inspiration to myself and countless future generations of women in politics.
In state news, Governor Hogan recently signed into law a tax cut that will provide $1.86 billion in relief to retirees, working families, and small businesses. The Retirement Tax Elimination Act will help provide relief to retirees 65 and older for up to $100,000 in retirement income.
Lastly, I wanted to note that the deadline for this year’s Delegate scholarship is this Friday, April 8th at 11:59 PM. If someone you know has at least a 2.5 GPA, lives in District 22, and is attending or applying to a college or trade school in Maryland, please encourage them to apply! More information and a link to the application can be found later on in this newsletter. We are looking forward to recognizing and honoring the hard work of our students here in District 22!
Celebrating Maryland Day 2022
On Friday, March 25th, the Maryland General Assembly celebrated Maryland Day, or the birthday of our beloved state. I was happy to join my friends in the House and Senate on Maryland Day for all of the festivities that were held in our state capital!
Celebrating 50 Years of the Black Caucus
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. The caucus was first founded in 1970 to address the needs of Black communities across our state and to ensure Black representation in Annapolis. Fifty years later, the caucus continues to advocate for policies that promote equity and support Black progress. I am always proud to be a part of one of the largest Black caucuses in the country!
Hyattsville Branch Library
The brand new Hyattsville Branch Library opened last week, with sustainability in mind and a number of resources, including more study spaces and computers and a larger children's area. The new library is located at 6530 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782, and more information can be found by clicking here. I hope to see many members of our community utilizing this truly beautiful space!
2022-2023 Delegate's Scholarship
Applications are now open for the 2022-2023 Delegate Nicole Williams Scholarship! The deadline to submit an application is April 8th, 2022, at 11:59 PM. Any student with at least a 2.5 GPA who lives in District 22 and is attending or applying to a college or trade school in Maryland is welcome to apply. For instructions and the application forms, offered in both English and Spanish, please click here.
30-Day Gas Tax Holiday
Last month, 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. This tax will continue to be waived until Saturday, April 16th, 2022. You can learn more about the state gasoline tax and the tax holiday by clicking here.
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) 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. If you have any further questions on obtaining a vaccine or booster, please contact my office and someone will be more than happy to assist you.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recently authorized a second booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 50 and older. This dose must be at least four months after the first booster of any COVID-19 vaccine. I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with COVID-19 boosters and maintain the highest level of protection against the virus and its variants.
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.