February 2021
In This Newsletter:

  • Tax Hike Veto Overrides - Digital Advertising, Tobacco, Streaming Services, Kirwan Commission Recommendations

  • Marylanders 2nd Amendment Rights Challenged

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Information - Carroll County providing transportation if needed

  • Updates from Governor Larry Hogan - Hospital & Nursing Home Visitations to Resume

  • Delegate Scholarship Applications Now Available
Hello Friends,

In our first full floor session of the 2021 Legislative Session, dozens of bills Governor Hogan vetoed after the abbreviated 2020 Session were overridden along party lines by House Democrats.

Governor Hogan explained in his veto message last year that all legislation that added additional spending was vetoed due to the pandemic and the budget uncertainty that laid ahead. He also vetoed all of the crippling new tax increases supported by the Democrats, including the expansion of the sales tax on digital services (the first-in-the-nation) and on certain tobacco products.

Thank you to the many who contacted my office expressing your support to sustain the Governor’s Vetoes on these “tax” bills. It is beyond belief to me that any legislator could vote to override these bills that will increase taxes at a time when our citizens and businesses are facing a health and economic disaster unlike any in our lifetimes. I voted to sustain Governor Hogan’s vetoes.

I hope you find the information below helpful.

Stay safe,
Susan
Some of the Overridden Vetoes from 2020 Legislation
HB1300 Blueprint for Maryland's FutureImplementation of the Kirwan comes with a huge price tag- estimated to be up to $6,200 per household! It is a plan that we simply cannot afford.

"Blueprint for Maryland" needs a Dose of Reality read link-

NOTE: The "Blueprint for Maryland" is the name of the bill implementing the Kirwan Commission recommendations.

The Blueprint REMOVES families from local control of the education of their children and creates a new ”accountability and implementation board”, on top of the current state bureaucracy, which will have sole power and control over regulations, student data, approval of local schools system plans and many other duplicative powers.
 
Marylanders already fund our public schools 22% over the national average and our teachers statewide are paid 28% over the national average- yet our student performance is in the middle of the pact compared to the national average and our academic accountability measures remain in the bottom 10 in the nation. We are fortunate that our own Carroll County Public Schools are the exception. They consistently rank highest in the state, and remain focused on student achievement and what is best for our students.
 
The Blueprint fails to address the digital divide in our households as teachers and students have been thrust into virtual learning and the achievement gap widens between our disadvantaged and special education students.
New Taxes were proposed to pay for this new education spending was vetoed by the Governor and overridden by the Democrats:
HB932 21st–Century Economy Fairness Act
"21st Century Tax Fairness Act" -- also known as the Netflix Tax. This will now add the 6% sales tax to all video and music streaming services, cable and internet providers, and online news providers. 
HB732 Taxation – Tobacco Tax, Sales and Use Tax, and Digital Advertising Gross Revenues Tax --Democrats in the Maryland House of Delegates voted to override Governor Hogan's veto of first-in-the-nation legislation that creates a new tax on digital advertising services. A major coalition of pro-business advocacy groups tried to defeat this unprecedented and potentially unenforceable legislation. This tax hike is to partially pay for the Kirwan Commission's education recommendations.

Marylanders 2nd Amendment Rights Challenged

Another veto that was overridden was SB208-Public Safety -Rifles and Shotgun- Sales Rentals and Transfers. Starting on March 13th, 2021, Maryland will now require background checks of private sales of shotguns and rifles.  Private sales and permanent transfers between residents will now need to go to a FFL licensed dealer, who can charge “a reasonable fee” to complete an instant federal background check.  This bill does NOT require licensing or involve the Maryland State Police. Unfortunately, it creates an unnecessary and cumbersome process for otherwise law abiding citizens who have a tradition of selling and trading firearms among friends and may not know about the new law and unintentionally violating it – potentially losing their rights to own guns.

The new law will make it a criminal act to permanently transfer ownership of a long gun to another unless a NICS check is performed by an FFL. There are a number of exceptions including certain immediate family members, collectors of antique guns, and certain law enforcement and military.

There is absolutely no data to suggest that this legislation will do anything to curb the gun violence and murders in our urban areas. It is rare for gun violence to be committed by someone with a long gun obtained through a private sale even though they were prohibited from owning one.

I voted to sustain the Governor's veto.
Another consequential bill proposed (2021 Legislation) to impact small businesses:

 HB 581, Maryland Essential Workers' Protection Act is a mandate that will harm employees' jobs, small businesses, and our economy. 

 The bill would require essential employers to:
  • Pay Hazard Pay – An additional $3 per hour for “essential” workers
  • Expand paid health leave 
  • Allow Right to Refuse Work with no clear guidelines 

 According to the fiscal note on the bill (which outlines monetary elements like cost), affected State agencies would pay an additional $26.1 million every three months (averaging $104.2 million per year) to essential workers, and grocery stores would pay an additional $87.2 million every three months (averaging $348.8 million per year) to essential workers. Most businesses are doing the best they can during the pandemic to appropriately compensate their workers. Some big businesses have prospered while many have been put out of business or are struggling. Government one-size-fits-all mandates are not the way to fix these problems

Your taxes and grocery bill will increase to pay for the added costs to the state and grocery stores.  
How to Obtain a COVID-19 VACCINE
Currently, the federal government is giving Maryland approximately 26,000 doses per day (which includes 2nd doses) for over 2 million people who are eligible. SUPPLY IS VERY LIMITED, especially as the vaccine is becoming available to more people. PLEASE BE PATIENT as the available supply of the vaccine in Maryland works to catch up to the demand. The vaccine will eventually be available to all Marylanders. 
Please click on the above link for vaccine information.
Transportation Available to
Vaccine Clinics
Carroll Transit System (CTS) is available and eager to transport residents with transportation issues to Carroll County COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Updates from the Governor

State Ready to Provide 1 Million COVID-19 Tests to Support School Reopenings: This will serve as an additional tool to support schools that are open, or plan to reopen, for in-person learning for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Hospitial and Nursing Home Visitation to Resume: Each hospital will set its own visitation policies, which must be in compliance with CDC guidelines.

Mass Vaccination Site at M&T Bank Stadium to Open February 25: For updates on when appointments for mass vaccination sites become available, text ‘MdReady’ to 898-211. Additional regional mass vaccination sites to open in March.
County Health Departments to Receive Four-Week Vaccine Allocation Projects: This goes above and beyond the two-week projections that the federal government has provided to states.
60 Million Pandemic Relief Grant Program for Child Care Providers: Licensed child care centers and registered family child care providers are eligible to apply for Child Care Pandemic Relief Fund grants to help meet increased operation costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Child care providers have made it possible for front line workers to continue their critical work through this pandemic. These providers have been essential to the State's overall recovery efforts.

Online grant applications are available now and must be completed by March 3, 2021.

Scholarship Application Available for
High School Seniors!
Scholarship Applications are now available

Scholarships are for Carroll County High School Seniors who will be attending a Maryland College or University in Fall 2021.

Deadline is: March 31, 2021
Please note that due to the slow U.S. Postal Service, we will also accept emailed application packets.
COVID-19 Resources
Connect with Susan:

Phone: 410-841-3200

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Website: susankrebs.com

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