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COVID-Related Agenda Expected to Dominate MD General Assembly Session

January 14th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Lawmakers gathered Wednesday at noon to start the new Maryland General Assembly session. WBAL reports physical changes have already been made in each chamber. New issues this session are being driven by the coronavirus, but recurring business includes police reform and overriding Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of the Kirwan education bill.  A lottery determined who out of the 141 members of the House will stay in the chamber and which members will sit in rooms 170 and 180 in the House office building. All legislators and select staff will undergo mandatory coronavirus testing twice a week. Rapid tests will be available on demand daily. Proposed legislation topics included helping tenants at risk of eviction, expanding access to high-speed internet, and more protections for essential workers. A permanent vote by mail option is on the agenda as well as the expansion of voting centers and as always, education will be a priority. Police reform also tops the priority list. Twenty-three bills, including one to repeal the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights have been pre-filed. The Speaker anticipates some significant law enforcement reform legislation will move forward this session…