(ANNAPOLIS – May 4, 2021) – Since the 2021 session began near the peak of the winter surge in the Covid pandemic, much of our work was dedicated to protecting the health, safety and financial well-being of Marylanders struggling to cope with the crisis. And I believe we succeeded in bringing real relief to people across the state.
In fact, the first bill we passed this session was the RELIEF Act, which included an over $1 billion economic stimulus to vulnerable Maryland residents, small businesses, and nonprofits hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to the RELIEF Act, nearly 40,000 Marylanders who were stuck in Unemployment Insurance purgatory have already received a $1,000 direct payment to help them survive this crisis as their cases are adjudicated.
As a member of the Senate Vaccine Oversight Workgroup, I also worked hard to improve access to vaccinations and enhance the equity efficiency, and transparency of our vaccination program.
While the program got off to a slow start, and initially did not do enough to make sure that Baltimore residents and other hard-hit populations across the state had access to the vaccines, the workgroup was able to make the program more effective, more equitable and more transparent. By pushing for mass vaccination sites, holding Secretary Schrader accountable for his actions, urging the governor to implement a state-wide sign up system, and releasing the Vaccine Equity Task Force Operations plan, we made the program work better for millions of Marylanders.
I know this past year has not been easy for anyone. But with vaccinations moving forward quickly now and relief the legislature (and the Congress) have approved now reaching Marylanders in need, I am hopeful that we can begin to Build Back Better (as President Biden likes to say)!
But I need your help to keep moving Maryland toward a brighter, better, more equitable future.
Senator Mary L. Washington
|By Authority: People Uniting to Elect Mary Washington, Joseph J. Palumbo, CPA ,Treasurer|