2020 Legislative Session Update
The COVID-19 pandemic drove Maryland's 2020 legislative session to abruptly end early for the first time since the Civil War. But in the closing days of our shortened session we quickly:
- Authorized $50 million in emergency funding for pandemic response
- Approved new revenue sources to generate millions more for coronavirus-related needs
- Appointed a team of legislators to handle rapid-response to ongoing coronavirus policy issues
These actions are in addition to new measures being continuously implemented by Governor Larry Hogan under emergency powers, including:
- Re-opening hospitals & recruiting health professionals
- Suspending evictions, utilities cut-offs and late fees
We all have a role to play to protect one another, and for most that means staying put. Please abide by government instructions & social-distancing rules. Your community is depending on you.
Below I've provided links to government updates & available resources. Note that due to the rapidly evolving nature of the situation, additional measures are cropping up periodically, so please know that current relief opportunities are by no means the end of the discussion.
Needless to say, we will be facing a cascade of unprecedented policy and budgetary challenges for months to come. Every corner of society will have to step up to protect our neighbors, businesses, workers and institutions. We can do this if we speak up for one another.
As decisions are made, please know that I will continue fighting to ensure we provide relief to impacted residents, workers and businesses -- especially those least able to ride out a shutdown. And as holes in our public health & social infrastructure are exposed, I will be fighting to ensure we have the will to be proactive in addressing these problems.
In the meantime, let's look out for one another. It's a good time to pause and remember what's important. My heart feels pain for those struggling right now, but my eyes see hope for all of us -- together.
Stay safe & united,
Delegate David Moon
State & Local COVID-19 Info
Maryland COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance Info:
COVID-19 Info for Maryland Businesses:
Track COVID-19 Cases in Maryland:
Montgomery County COVID-19 Info:
Montgomery County Public Schools COVID-19 Info:
Maryland Presidential Primary Election Moved to June 2nd:
Takoma Park COVID-19 Info:
Montgomery County COVID-19 Testing Info - If you think you are ill and need medical care, you should seek medical attention. Call ahead before going so the provider can take precautions when you arrive. Testing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) change frequently. Please visit their site for updates on their guidance about who should be tested:
Your physician or health care provider will assess your symptoms and determine if diagnostic testing for the COVID-19 virus is appropriate. If your health care provider suspects COVID-19, THEY will coordinate testing with a commercial lab or the State's public health laboratory. While some commercial labs have the ability to analyze and report results to the patient or provider who ordered testing, the labs currently only perform the analysis and DO NOT collect specimens directly from patients. If you would like to speak with a nurse please call 240-777-1755.
Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Legislation - The Governor signed emergency legislation on March 19, 2020 that includes:
- No Fees or Co-pays for COVID-19 Tests: Ensuring that Marylanders will not be charged fees or co-pays for COVID-19 tests
- No Price-Gouging: Prohibits price-gouging for food, fuel, medicine, cleaning products and other essential supplies
- Workers Cannot be Terminated: Guarantees that Marylanders cannot be terminated from their jobs because they have been isolated or quarantined
- Unemployment Benefits: Will allow the Secretary of Labor to extend unemployment benefits to workers who cannot work because they are quarantined, at risk for exposure, or to care for a family member with COVID-19.
2020 Legislative Session News
Everyday life has changed so dramatically in the last month that it's easy to forget the goals we had just a few months ago. Though our legislative session was cut short this year, a few major bills passed before Annapolis was shut down:
A Blueprint for Maryland's Future (HB 1300) - The Maryland General Assembly approved a long-term education support plan: The Blueprint for Maryland's Future modernizes our schools, expands pre-K and support services & more.
Protecting the Affordable Care Act (HB 959) - This year Maryland approved legislation to codify key provisions of the Affordable Care Act into state law, including allowing youths to stay on their parents' insurance until they turn 26, eliminating co-pays for some preventive services, and expanding coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Background Checks for Private Long-Gun Sales Passes House (HB 4) - After years of delay on this bill, the General Assembly passed legislation requiring background checks on private long-gun sales.
My 2020 Legislative Successes
Erase LGBTQ Discrimination from Our Books (HB 81) - Senator Clarence Lam and I were able to repeal laws previously used to target LQBTQ Marylanders. As The Baltimore Sun noted, "anti-sodomy laws across the country originally targeted heterosexual sex that wasn’t part of procreation. But in the ‘70s, they were aimed specifically at gay people as justification for denying their parental rights, firing them and discrediting LGBT voices, according to an ACLU explainer.... It’s shameful this law is still on the books...."
Automatic Shielding of Marijuana Possession (HB 83) - Maryland has thousands upon thousands of residents with criminal records solely because of marijuana possession. Senator Jeff Waldtreicher and I were able to pass a bill shielding roughly 200,000 of these charges from pubic view on the Judiciary's "Case Search" website.
Require Search Warrants When Police Use Stingrays (HB 499) - After years of controversy, Senator Charles Sydnor & I were able to pass legislation requiring police to get search warrants when using surveillance devices known as "stingrays." Wired Magazine explained: "When a Maryland appeal's court recently ruled that police were wrong to use a secretive cell-phone tracking device known as a stingray without a warrant, civil liberties groups cheered over the clear privacy message the three-judge panel sent to law enforcement. The judges concluded that authorities could not turn the cell phones people carry into real-time tracking devices without a warrant, shooting down the state's assertion that merely turning on a cell phone equaled consent to be tracked."
Country Club Property Tax Compromise (Included in Budgetary Legislation) - Working with Montgomery County Delegation Chair Marc Korman, we were finally able to reach a compromise on reforming the way we assess country club property taxes. Bethesda Magazine reported: "Montgomery County’s state legislators have reached a compromise on a long-running debate over how much country clubs should pay in property taxes.... It comes in the wake of proposals pushed by Del. David Moon (D-Silver Spring) since 2017.... Since 2002, private clubs and courses throughout the state with at least 50 acres and 100 members can qualify for property tax assessments of just $1,000 per acre if they agree not to restrict membership based on gender, race, nationality or religion. The proposed deal would raise this assessment to $5,000 per acre over a three-year period. That level would increase further in subsequent years based on the rate of inflation. The additional revenue would be split proportionately among the county and state share of property tax payments."