Lawmakers urging Gov. Hogan to renew State of Emergency
MARYLAND – As the clock struck midnight in Maryland on Sunday, Governor Larry Hogan’s Catastrophic Public Health Emergency came to an end. House leaders are now calling on Governor Hogan to renew it. “If we have this extension, various resources will be given to various communities and populations to have so they can be safe and address this increase in numbers that we’re looking right now,” said Speaker Pro Tem Sheree Sample-Hughes.
Speaker Pro Tem Sample-Hughes signed onto a letter to the governor, along with five other house leaders. In the letter, the legislators wrote “Just as you were able to end the State of Emergency earlier than expected as COVID–19 infections declined, the unknown nature of the virus and its variants requires that we change course once again.”
Lawmakers went on to urge the governor that the State of Emergency will allow the state to continue administrative rates for adult day care centers. They also wrote about the importance of continuing Medicaid reimbursements for some behavioral telehealth services. “We know that our senior population is extremely vulnerable. But, what we’re also seeing now is our younger population – the kids – are now having to be at issue with this variant that’s going around. The Medicaid assistance and the rates are helping those industries stay afloat,” said Speaker Pro Tem Sample-Hughes.
Sepaker Pro Tem Sample-Hughes says aside from that, extending the State of Emergency could help ensure messaging about COVID-19 is consistent across the state. “The government is in the position to make a difference, to do our part, as well as the service industries, restaurant communities, and hospitality. It bodes well when we’re all on the same page, speaking the same message that we want to save lives. We want to keep our communities safe,” said Speaker Pro Tem Sample-Hughes.