60+organizations demand special session from Maryland General Assembly
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – More than 60 Maryland organizations and several state lawmakers are calling on leaders of the general assembly to meet for a special session to address a number of concerns throughout the state.
“While the intention is good, the process would be very difficult to keep focused,” said Delegate Chris Adams (R-District 37B).
1.)To provide emergency COVID protections for workers, homeowners, and renters.
2.)Addressing police brutality and accountability.
3.) Creating a fair and accessible general election.
But eastern shore lawmakers tell 47 ABC discussing these concerns during a special session is easier said than done.
“Usually there is one topic that we come back in that the leadership agrees on,” said Senator Addie Eckardt (R-District 37).
“I’m not at all convinced that leadership is willing to tackle multi-subject, very sophisticated, important issues in a much abbreviated special session,” said Adams.
But legislators say that just because the General Assembly is not reconvening right now, doesn’t mean they’re not already addressing these issues. For example, lawmakers have created a police accountability workgroup, written letters to Governor Larry Hogan to get mail-in ballots for voters, and have even helped to get money through the CARES Act to local organizations to help with rental assistance.
“That’s offsetting some of the angst and the real concerns that people have with needing that rental assistance. I hear them loud and clear,” said Speaker Pro Tem, Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-District 37A).
“As far as providing more relief to tenants and so forth, I truly don’t’ see the need or any reason to meet and even think about it,” said Delegate Wayne Hartman (R-District 38C).
Lawmakers add that if they were to go into special session, they’d need a more concrete plan before giving it the green light.
“If we again were to go into special session and not have all of that information, the data to support it, to hear from the public, then we would be going in again without a full picture,” said Sample-Hughes.
Lawmakers also say that if they were to go into a special session, they’d have to address the veto overrides they planned to make next January including Governor Larry Hogan’ veto of Blueprint for Maryland’s Future act which would take up even more time before they even got to addressing other issues.