MD legislators outline top priorities heading into session
MARYLAND – In a little over two weeks, state lawmakers will head back to Annapolis to begin work.
At the top of many of their lists, help for small businesses.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that a top priority will be assisting our small businesses for both the short term and long term recovery of COVID-19,” said Sen. Mary Beth Carozza (R- D38).
Bill Chambers, President of the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce tells 47 ABC that help is desperately needed.
“We’ve got several dark months ahead of us for those industry sectors and many of them will not be able to climb out of this without official state assistance,” Chambers said.
Another priority Sen. Carozza outlined, will be getting comprehensive liability protections for businesses during COVID-19. Chambers said there have already been several lawsuits filed again employers by both customers and employees.
“This needs to be addressed and it should have been addressed in the federal package and it wasn’t and I don’t think the general assembly can sit around and wait for the feds to do their job because they’ve shown they can’t,” Chambers said.
Meanwhile, an old issue that remains a top priority is broadband access here on the Eastern Shore. A problem that has been accentuated during the pandemic.
“Whether it’s education, telehealth, telework, we found that everyone had broadband access, increasing broadband access as a priority,” Sen. Carozza said.
Looking towards the budget, Sen. Carozza said that although this year’s budget will be tight she wants to fight for funding for the shore, especially for areas such as hospitality and tourism.
“We’ve been an economic driver for the whole state of Maryland, so we need to make sure any recovery assistance is also prioritized for these industries,” Sen. Carozza said.