May 2020 Updates and Resources

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Updates and Resources

Dear Friend:
 
The coronavirus health pandemic has overwhelmed us in ways we could never have imagined. However, with the onset of spring and the Governor’s plan for recovery, along with his promise to fix the failed unemployment insurance website, I am hopeful change is underfoot. To keep you up to date, I trust the following state and local resources will be helpful. As always, please feel free to email my office if you have questions or need assistance.
 
Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery
 
Governor Hogan unveiled the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” for the coronavirus pandemic based on four building blocks: expanded testing, increased hospital surge capacity, ramped up supply of PPE, and robust contact tracing. The result should be a gradual and safe path forward to re-open our state in broad, multi-staged phases based on low, medium, and high risk activities. For more details, read the 30-page outline of the ROADMAP.
 
 
Unemployment Insurance
 
For Marylanders who continue to experience problems accessing the new BEACON One-Stop Application system for unemployment benefit claims, the Maryland Department of Labor has created a new Login Quick Start to troubleshoot the most common scenarios. Also, four new video tutorials have been posted on the website, social media pages, and YouTube to help Marylanders navigate the BEACON One-Stop Application.
 
Nursing Homes
 
Last week, Governor Hogan issued a new Executive Order that mandated universal coronavirus testing for all residents and staff of nursing homes. Testing is on track to begin this week, and “bridge team” healthcare professionals are being dispatched to cover any shortages in staffing.  Statistics for each facility are shown on the state’s coronavirus website at coronavirus.maryland.gov.
 
Senior Call Check
 
The Maryland Department of Aging’s daily call check is a great idea for seniors who live alone or are in need of assistance. To register for this free service, call 1-866-50-CHECK or go to Senior Call Check.
 
COVID-19 Test Sites
 
In Montgomery County, a new COVID-19 testing site opened at the Upcounty Regional Services Center in Germantown. Testing is by appointment only, as it is at all sites. More information about local testing sites is on the County's website. A list of major test sites in Maryland is at coronavirus.maryland.gov.
 
 
Assistance Resources
 
Small Business Relief
While many of the small business loan and grant programs are no longer available absent new funding, some small business emergency assistance programs are still open. Find out about these programs through the Maryland Small Business Relief Wizard portal.
 
Contact Tracers needed: The Maryland Department of Health entered into a contract with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the nation’s oldest and largest university-based firm, which is operated by the University of Chicago and has corporate offices in Bethesda. NORC is now recruiting for Contact Tracers in Maryland. The required qualifications and an application are available on the NORC website.
 
Maryland Humanities Emergency Relief Grant: Application Window May 1-May 11
 
On May 1, Maryland Humanities opened applications for its $500,000 CARES Act Emergency Relief Grants Fund. Eligible nonprofit organizations include museums, historic sites, preservation and historical societies, and community and cultural organizations with a significant humanities focus. Grants will support nonprofit general operating expenses. A minimum of 50 and a maximum of 100 grants will be awarded. The minimum will be $5,000 and the maximum grant award will be $10,000. Full grant guidelines and eligibility requirements are outlined on the Maryland Humanities website.
 
Montgomery County Resources
 
Workforce Montgomery works with employers that are currently hiring for part-time, full-time, and temporary positions.
 
ThinkMOCO has a comprehensive list of resources including the recently announced telework assistance program.
 
 
Emergency Assistance Relief Payment (EARP) program offers a one-time emergency relief check to qualified applicants. Call 240-773-0311 for questions about the program.
 
 
June 2 Primary Election
 
Maryland’s primary election will be held in a few weeks, and it is important to reinforce that voting will be through mail-in ballot, with limited in-person voting available for anyone unable to vote by mail. The Maryland State Board of Elections will automatically mail a ballot to the address they have on file. Postage on your ballot is prepaid. You do not need to request a ballot to receive one. If you need to register to vote or update your current address, the deadline is Wednesday, May 27. The deadline to mail your ballot is June 2. To check your registration, text CHECK to 77788 or go to Voter Lookup.
 
More information is available from the Maryland State Board of Elections. The Montgomery County Board of Elections has also prepared a helpful list of common FAQs. 
 
 
Feldman Senatorial Scholarships
 
I have designated the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to award my District 15 Senatorial scholarships because I believe it is appropriate to have these monies managed by a State agency that is independent of the political process. To learn more about the application process, please email me at brian.feldman@senate.state.md.us 
 

May Virtual "Breakfast" Meeting, Wednesday, May 6, 7:30 am
 
Please join me for a Zoom morning meeting hosted by the Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce on May 6 from 7:30-8:30am. Sign up on the Chamber’s Facebook page.
 
 District 15 Town Hall Recording,
April 26
 
Over 160 people tuned in to our district 15 virtual town hall Zoom meeting on April 26, hosted by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. My colleagues Delegate Kathleen Dumais, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, and Delegate Lily Qi and I, as well as County Councilmember Andrew Friedson, had an informative conversation with viewers. If you missed it, you can watch the town hall RECORDING.
 
 
As always, I value your feedback and encourage you to contact me with any questions or comments at Brian.Feldman@senate.state.md.us 

 

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