Hogan announces virus health, economic moves

ANNAPOLIS — Governor Larry Hogan on Dec. 8 announced a series of additional COVID-19 health and economic relief initiatives to help struggling Maryland families and small businesses. He was joined by Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz and Housing Secretary Kenneth Holt.

“We continue to take constant actions on a daily basis to fight this virus from all directions, while Congress continues to fail at the one simple thing we have been asking them to do for the last eight months, which is to provide additional relief for our struggling families and small businesses,” said Governor Hogan. “Today, we are immediately taking additional state actions to help businesses struggling to hang on to avoid the prospect of more layoffs right before Christmas, or being forced to go out of business in a matter of weeks.”
The State of Maryland has already announced $500 million in emergency economic relief. While stimulus negotiations in Congress remain gridlocked, the governor announced the following additional measures to help Marylanders weather this crisis:

EMERGENCY TAX RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. The governor has issued an executive order to prevent small businesses from facing major increases in their unemployment taxes. An employer’s 2021 tax rate will be calculated based on their non-pandemic experience by excluding the 2020 fiscal year, and instead by using the last three fiscal years of 2017, 2018, and 2019. This order will provide relief for businesses already operating on razor-thin margins, and help keep more people on their payrolls.

FORGIVENESS OF $75 MILLION IN EMERGENCY LOANS. To provide additional economic relief, the governor has directed the Department of Commerce to forgive the $75 million in emergency loans that the state provided to businesses during the first round of economic relief in March and convert them all to grants.

$37 MILLION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING. The governor announced that the State of Maryland anticipates providing nearly $25 million to finance approximately 2,000 units of low income housing — a new record. The governor also announced that he is releasing an additional $12 million to the Rental Housing Works program to spur more construction and more jobs across the state.

$94 MILLION DIABETES TREATMENT AND PREVENTION INITIATIVE. The governor announced the commitment of $94 million in new investments across Maryland to help people with prediabetes and diabetes prevent or manage their disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes $86.3 million in Health Services Cost Review Commission grants to invest in prevention initiatives with Maryland hospitals and community health partners, as well as a $6.6 million pledge from CareFirst to help Marylanders who experience socioeconomic barriers to diabetes care. Read the release from the Maryland Department of Health.

$10 MILLION FOR VICTIM AND YOUTH SERVICES, LAW ENFORCEMENT. The governor announced $10 million in federal funding to support virtual and multijurisdictional initiatives for law enforcement, youth services, and victim services. A portion of the funding will be allocated to a new initiative, the COVID-19 Safe Futures Collaborative, which will provide emergency assistance to victims of crime and connect them with the services they need. This also includes funding for PPE and protective barriers for district courts, rapid testing equipment and supplies for the Maryland State Police, as well as additional resources to increase internet access in Baltimore City for vulnerable children and youth. Read the release from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Maryland Department of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage

Have a question about the coronavirus? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll ask the appropriate public officials.


WP RSS Plugin on WordPress