Delegate Nicole A. Williams Newsletter: Governor Vetoes, Re-Open MD and June 2nd Primary
Dear Neighbors and Friends, This week has been a busy week for Governor Hogan. Instead of listening to the scientists he is listening to President Trump and the extremists in his party who want him to reopen the state by accelerating the lifting of restrictions. He finally fixed the Unemployment Insurance website. He finally announced what we have suspected all along, that our public schools are closed for the remainder of the school year. Then to top it all off, he vetoed major pieces of legislation, some of which was passed with bipartisan support. This week Governor Hogan has reminded us of who he really is. That he cares more about protecting big tobacco and big digital companies over our children and that guns and high prescription drug prices are more important than funding our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I was sent to Annapolis to be your voice for the issues that we value and care about and I will continue to do just that. Best, Nicole
Bills Vetoed by the Governor
Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (House Bill 1300)
This bill would have carried out the education reforms recommended by the Kirwan Commission such as expanding full-day prekindergarten, increasing teacher pay, raising the standards for college and career reediness and provide more support such as access to computers for digital learning at schools with concentrations of students from low income families.
Build to Lean Act (House Bill 1)
This bill passed without the Governor’s signature but maybe the Governor did not read that the bill was contingent upon passage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. Since he vetoed House Bill 1300, this bill is also dead.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (House Bill 1260)
This bill would have resolved a 13-year lawsuit pending against the state about inequitable funding and treatment of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the state. Now, the State will continue to spend more money litigating this matter rather than resolving the problem.
Prohibition of the Use of Chlorpyrifos (Senate Bill 300)
This pesticide has been proven to cause brain damage in children, harm to our environment and kill wildlife.
Rifles and Shotguns – Sales, Rentals and Transfers (House Bill 4)
The Governor vetoed this bill which closes the loophole in the background check process for the sale of rifles and shotguns. Currently there is not a law in Maryland that requires background checks for the purchase of rifles and shotguns.
Correctional Services – Pre-release Unit for Women – Facilities and Services (Senate Bill 684)
Requires the Maryland Department of Corrections to provide a comprehensive rehabilitative pre-release facility for female inmates. Currently the state does not have any such facility for women but the State has 9 such facilities for men.
Governor Hogan cancelled the state’s order of masks and ventilators from a company called Blue Flame Medical that was started at the beginning of March by a known Republican fundraiser and a Republican political consultant. The company never delivered the order. The Governor has asked Attorney General Brian Frosh to investigate the matter. It appears that this company entered into a similar deal with the State of California. Now the U.S. Department of Justice is also investigating the matter. Washington Post’s report on the matter.
Contact Tracing Jobs
One of the most important tools needed for us to begin to lift the restrictions is adequate contact tracing. The Maryland Department of Health has entered into a contract with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), which is the nation’s oldest and largest university-based firm operated by the University of Chicago with corporate office in Bethesda. Under this agreement, the State will be able to increase its capacity for contact tracing.
NORC is now recruiting for Contact Tracers in Maryland. Individuals with the following qualifications are invited to apply at this link: https://careers.norc.org/en-us/job/495613/contact-tracer
Qualifications for Contact Tracers include:
We need people who can be empathetic and caring while also being able to work quickly and maintain quality standards.
For those without direct experience in the field, we have found that teachers, real estate agents, and some sales/customer service jobs have skills which translate to data collection positions.
This work does offer a chance to work from home, but people will need to be willing to work set shifts (4-6 hours at a time) and have a quiet space in their homes.
Individuals should have their own computer and access to high speed Internet
A college degree is preferred, but it is not required. Having a good comfort level with technology is more important.
Maryland State Primary
All Voters are encouraged to vote by mail for the June 2nd Primary.
All active voters will automatically receive a ballot in the mail any day now for the June 2nd Primary
The Ballots have the original primary date of April 28th. Please ignore that date, the new election date is June 2nd.
If you recently received a sample ballot from the State Board of Elections you are an active voter.
If you have recently moved or need your ballot delivered to another address, you must request a ballot by mail or by fax by May 26th or you have until May 29th to update your request online.
Request a ballot online, click here
Print request for ballot and mail-in, click here
The deadline to register to vote for the upcoming primary is May 27, 2020.
Mark your ballot, SIGN the oath, postmark by Election Day
You must sign the voter oath that comes with your ballot for your vote to count.
Postage is pre-paid on mail-in ballots.
Vote from home. Only travel to one of the limited polling locations if absolutely necessary.
To check the status of your ballot, whether it was received and processed, click here
Only limited in-person voting opportunities will be available at four (4) locations here in Prince George's County for those that are unable to vote by mail and ballot drop off boxes will be provided at those locations.
There have been several problems with the website. The vendor has made several modifications and I have been informed that it is operating much better and efficient for the large volume of claims received. If you are continuing to have problems, please use this Unemployment Insurance Tracker Form or contact my office directly for additional assistance. To directly access the new BEACON One-Stop, visit
https://beacon.labor.maryland.gov/claimant/ The website will be down between the hours of 1 AM – 3 AM to perform maintenance and resolve any ongoing technical issues.
County COVID-19 Resources
The COVID-19 Hotline If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Prince George’s County Health Department Coronavirus hotline at (301) 883-6627 from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm to receive updated information about the coronavirus disease. *Please contact 911 for medical emergencies only. Food Pantry Locations In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several food pantries have been setup throughout the county and in neighboring jurisdictions. Enter your zip code or address to search for the food pantry nearest you. SNAP Assistance Call Maryland Hunger Solutions at 866-821-5552 for assistance and questions related to SNAP applications. They can assist with completing and submitting SNAP applications over the phone, submit any changes to your active SNAP case, answer questions about your benefits, and direct you to additional food resources Nonprofit Resources Listing of resources and grants specifically for nonprofit organizations in the County. Business Relief Fund The County is accepting applications for County businesses who meet the eligibility criteria for a loan and/or grant to support cash operating expenses. Click here for more information. Hourly Employee Relief Fund The County is accepting applications for its Hourly Employee Relief Fund to assist residents who were laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing $200 cash cards for those in need. Childcare for Essential Employees All child care centers are closed in the State, except for those providing child care for essential workers such as doctors, nurses, police officers, and others. Click here if you are an essential worker that needs child care. To keep track of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the county please click here.
During this difficult time it is important that we come together as a District, County and State to support one another. If you are able, please consider giving to one of the causes below. Your donation could make a world of difference to a family in need. We are stronger together. #PrinceGeorge'sProud
Prince George's County Donations The county is collecting various needed items such as, PPE materials for essential medical professionals, non-perishable food items, paper products and baby items for those in need. Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization: Community Development CorporationGreater Riverdale Cares: CKAR is using donations to provide delicious and healthy meals for families of four from our local restaurants. With your help, CKAR can keep the Greater Riverdale kitchens open, workers employed and provide nutritious food to neighbors in need. CASA Solidarity Fund Countless immigrant families will not receive a relief check during this pandemic. CASA's solidarity fund will provide direct cash benefits to an immigrant family in need.