Silver Spring & Takoma Park Neighbors:
The Speaker of the Maryland House has launched an effort to reform police accountability laws in the coming legislative session. I've been appointed to serve on this new reform workgroup and will be picking through ideas in the coming weeks, so please feel free to share any thoughts or reform ideas.
- investigations of police misconduct,
- statewide use of force rules,
- body camera policies, and
- independent prosecution of law-enforcement crimes.
Also, another quick reminder -- I know there's a lot going on right now, but please don't forget to mail your ballot back. No postage is required -- just stick it in the mailbox by this Tuesday 6/2, and don't forget to sign it!
Stay safe & stay engaged!
Delegate David Moon
Vote-By-Mail: Ballots Due This Tuesday!
The April 28th Presidential Primary Election has been rescheduled to June 2, 2020 and will be conducted primarily by mail. Eligible voters should already have received a ballot in the mail.
Please postmark your ballot by this Tuesday, June 2, and don't forget to sign it. No postage is required!
You can also drop off your ballot off by Tuesday, June 2 at 8pm at a designated drop box location. The closest ones to us are:
- Silver Spring Civic Building - One Veterans Place
- Wheaton Library - 11701 Georgia Avenue
- Marilyn Praisner Rec Center - 14906 Old Columbia Pike
NOTE: Please ignore the fact that the ballot mailed to you has "April 28, 2020" incorrectly printed at the top.
As a public health measure, the Montgomery County Board of Elections asks that all voters return their ballot by mail. There will be four (4) vote centers on Election Day, but they are intended only for voters who cannot vote by mail.
Here's some more info on the election process & the races on the ballot:
Greater Greater Washington Editorial: Montgomery County School Board
League of Women Voters Guide
Montgomery County Democrats Primary Election Info
Maryland Board of Elections Info
A Few COVID-19 Maryland Policy Efforts
While my office is now fielding numerous constituent service requests (particularly related to unemployment insurance), we're still keeping an eye on policy developments. Indeed, the pandemic has triggered a number of debates. Below you can see a few areas where I've weighed in:
COVID-19 & Racial Disparities
COVID-19 & Incarcerated Populations
COVID-19 & Rent/Mortgage Relief
COVID-19 & Firearm Sales
COVID-19 & Environmental Enforcement
COVID-19 & Wage Garnishment
Please see the list of state & local COVID-19 resources below for additional information about government agencies and their pandemic response.
Governor Hogan's Vetoes
Governor Hogan vetoed a wave of bills this month, including legislation I introduced with Senator Jeff Waldstreicher, that would've automatically shielded old marijuana possession charges for thousands of residents.
Hogan is arguing that some of his vetoes were due to pandemic-related budget problems. To be sure, Maryland will be facing steep revenue shortfalls in the months to come -- but not all of Hogan's vetoes were related to money. Some of the bills he vetoed would've generated revenue, such as a tobacco tax bill he killed. Others (like my marijuana shielding bill) appear to represent unfortunate policy differences.
- background checks for private long gun sales
- ban on toxic pesticide (chlorpyrifos)
- automatic shielding of old marijuana charges & other reforms
- reentry services for incarcerated women
- expanded teacher pay & pre-K
- HBCU funding
My Bills Enacted Without a Signature or Veto
Erase LGBTQ Discrimination from Our Books (HB 81) - Senator Clarence Lam and I were able to pass repealing 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."
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 the problem: "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."
State & Local COVID-19 Info
Maryland Healthcare Enrollment Has Re-Opened - An emergency special enrollment is now open through June 15, 2020 for uninsured Marylanders. The online application is available daily from 6 am to 11 pm:
Maryland COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance Info:
Updated List of Governor Hogan's Executive Orders & Guidance:
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 - Emergency legislation enacted on March 19, 2020 includes:
- No Fees or Co-pays for COVID-19 Tests: Ensures 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: Allows 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