EMERGENCY COVID-19 LEGISLATION, OTHER STATE ACTIONS: After joining Vice President Mike Pence at the White House Monday morning for a teleconference with the nation’s governors, Gov. Larry Hogan enacted emergency legislation allowing him to transfer up to $50 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to pay for Maryland’s coronavirus response, Regina Holmes writes in MarylandReporter.
- On Monday evening, according to MarylandReporter, Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and Sen. Clarence Lam announced the introduction of emergency legislation to increase access to health care and protect Marylanders during the current state of emergency.
- Both chambers of the General Assembly announced Monday the introduction of emergency legislation to reduce barriers to coronavirus screening tests by restricting and cutting costs, adding access to telehealth, improving access to the COVID-19 vaccine whenever it becomes available, ensuring people under quarantine and isolation cannot lose their jobs, and prohibiting price gauging, Marcus Dieterle of Baltimore Fishbowl reports.
- The governor has created a new Coronavirus Response Team to help guide the state’s response, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes.
- Hogan said he has canceled all out-of-state travel for all state employees and is telling all state agencies to prepare all employees for telework in order to stop the spread of the new disease, Kate Amara of WBAL-TV reports.
6th MARYLAND CASE OF COVID-19: A person in Prince George’s County tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to six people who have contracted the novel virus, McKenna Oxenden of the Sun writes.
- Eighteen more Marylanders are being monitored for the novel coronavirus after being exposed to it on cruise ships, including one that toured the Nile River and another that docked Monday in California after being held off the coast. And as health officials accepted that the virus may have spread beyond containment, Gov. Larry Hogan urged residents over age 60 to avoid large crowds, Scott Dance and Meredith Cohn of the Sun report.
- Six Maryland residents were on the same cruise line as other residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 but not at the same time or on the same trip, Dan Schere of Bethesda Beat reports. Two of the six are experiencing symptoms related to coronavirus disease and four are not, he said. All six are self-quarantined and will be tested.
- Towson University is asking nine students and one staff member who attended an AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., to self-quarantine at home because of coronavirus concerns, Cody Boteler of the Sun reports. There have been at least two reports of COVID-19 cases from that conference.
- A post on an Instagram account featuring a Carroll County Public Schools logo said the school system would be shutting for two weeks to prevent spread of the coronavirus. But school officials said Monday that the post is false and that the account is fake, school officials said Monday, Catalina Righter of the Carroll County Times reports.
VIRUS IS EASILY SPREAD: How contagious are people? When are they spreading the virus? Meredith Cohn of the Sun writes that the virus appears to be easily passed and the two-week quarantine period that has become standard is reasonable, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Johns Hopkins University looking at available data.
STEELE LAUDS HOGAN’s COVID-19 RESPONSE: Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is also the former Republican National Committee chairman, applauded the steps Gov. Larry Hogan has taken to respond to the outbreak of several coronavirus infections in Maryland, Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter is reporting.
BUSINESSMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN DEL. GLENN BRIBERY CASE: A Baltimore businessman admitted in court on Monday to bribing then-state Del. Cheryl D. Glenn with payments totaling $42,500 on behalf of two companies trying to get licensed in the medical marijuana industry, as well as for legislation that would help his computer-training business, Steve Thompson of the Post is reporting.
- Rachel Menitoff of WJZ-TV reports that Lance Lucas worked with two companies trying to get licenses.
- Fern Shen of Baltimore Brew writes that Lucas. sitting in his Porsche with Glenn last year, reassured the “nervous” 45th District delegate about the crime they were committing by reminding her of the milieu he came up in.
- Lucas is now facing up to 20 years in federal prison for the wire-fraud charge and no more than five for the Travel Act violation. He will be sentenced in June, writes Hannah Gaskill writes for Maryland Matters.
EX-DELEGATE STIRS POT OVER TOBACCO BILL: Former Del. Frank Turner (D-Howard) circulated a letter to his ex-colleagues on the House Economic Matters Committee in opposition to the bill that would ban the transport, manufacture or sale of flavored tobacco products in Maryland to reduce the number of youth smokers in the state, Hannah Gaskill reports in Maryland Matters.
IN MO CO: SHRINKING PRIVATE, GROWING PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS: While local private media have been shrinking, funding for Montgomery County public communications has grown by 45% in just five years, Adam Pagnucco writes in Seventh State. More than 60 communications staffers work for county government and Montgomery County Public Schools —and that excludes employees of Montgomery County Media.
REPLACING TANEY WITH MARSHALL? U.S. House Democratic leaders want to remove a bust at the U.S. Capitol of Roger Brooke Taney, the Maryland-born former U.S. Supreme Court chief justice best known for writing the Dred Scott decision holding that black Americans were not citizens, reports Jeff Barker of the Sun. The bust would be replaced by one of Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall — also a Marylander — who became the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court in 1967.