State Roundup: State Senate panel seeks to avert evictions

State Roundup: State Senate panel seeks to avert evictions

The State House in Annapolis ( file photo)

SENATE PANEL SEEKS TO AVERT EVICTIONS: A Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee workgroup released a report on Monday that includes a dozen recommendations that Maryland’s executive and judicial branches can implement to help prevent a housing crisis that could be spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter.

  • Members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee workgroup urged other lawmakers and state officials to take steps to keep an estimated 292,000 Marylanders from losing their homes, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports.
  • Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is seeking a delay on evictions and debt collection actions until Jan. 31, providing additional time for the General Assembly to enact emergency legislation to help residents struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.

LARGE INCREASE IN COVID CASES: Maryland officials reported 1,128 new cases of the coronavirus Monday and six more deaths, the second time in the past three days that more than 1,000 new cases were confirmed, Phil Davis of the Sun is reporting. Monday’s additions bring the state’s total to 84,876 cases of the COVID-19 illness, with 3,315 people dying due to the disease or complications from it since officials began tracking the virus in March.

  • While smaller than Saturday’s increase (1,288), it still represents one of the largest increases in almost two months, Greg Swatek reports for the Frederick News-Post. Saturday’s increase was the largest since May 19 when 1,783 cases were reported. That was Maryland’s largest single-day increase of the pandemic.
  • Allegany County’s cumulative COVID-19 case count rose by 14 to 253 on Monday, according to county health officials, the Cumberland Times-News reports.

MERCY ICU DOCTOR DIES OF COVID: The Sun’s Lillian Reed and Frederick Rasmussen report that Baltimore Dr. Joseph Costa, a health care worker on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, died Saturday after contracting the coronavirus he was working to treat. Costa was the chief of the critical care division at Mercy Medical Center. At least 576 healthcare workers nationwide have died from complications caused by COVID-19.

  • He was attended by his partner of 28 years and about 20 staff members, who placed their hands on him as he died. Costa was 56, Fred Kunkle of the Post writes.

MO CO SHUTS EATERY OVER COVID RULES: Montgomery County’s health department said Monday that it has shut down a Silver Spring restaurant for a second time for not following its own plan for social distancing, Dan Schere reports for Bethesda Beat.

TALBOT CONSIDERS COVID RESOLUTION: The Talbot County Council will take up an administrative resolution to outline pandemic-fueled health safety restrictions at bars and restaurants, set a limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings, and establish a fine for violators of such rules, Candice Spector of the Easton Star Democrat reports.

BASU: TAX SOME INTERNET FIRMS TO CLOSE DIGITAL DIVIDE: Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes that to close the digital divide, Maryland should impose a “hefty tax” on internet companies that don’t offer service to everyone, economist Anirban Basu, the chairman of the Maryland Economic Development Commission, said on Monday.

SCHOOL OPENING PLANS UPDATED: McKenna Oxenden of the Sun updates what school systems around the state are planning for the reopening of school for the fall.

WHAT ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS? Tim Schwartz of the Capital Gazette writes about how school systems’ high school sports programs intend to approach the upcoming season.

CCBC TO OFFER SOME FREE ENROLLMENTS: Community College of Baltimore County will allow some students to enroll in fall courses for free, in an effort to help relieve some of the financial burdens of Covid-19, Morgen Eichensehr reports in the Baltimore Business Journal.

STATE HOPEFUL ON PURPLE LINE FIX: State transportation officials express hope for a resolution with a private consortium that would allow for the completion of the Purple Line transit project, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record. One of the state’s most ambitious public transportation projects is just weeks away from collapse as the state and a private consortium battle over hundreds of cost overruns.

MARYLAND AIMS TO REGISTER 300,000 EVS IN FIVE YEARS: Maryland aims to register 300,000 electric vehicles by 2025. The state currently has more than 25,000 registered electric and hybrid vehicles, up from 6,299 sold in 2018, according to the Motor Vehicle Administration, Nick Stern writes in the Daily Record.

B’MORE POLICE VIEW FOOTAGE OF FOP VANDALISM: Baltimore Police are reviewing video footage but have made no arrests after the police officers’ union building was vandalized by demonstrators Saturday night, Jessica Anderson and Phillip Jackson report in the Sun.

B’MORE COUNCIL MAY GET MORE BUDGET AUTHORITY: Baltimore’s City Council is one step closer to having expanded authority in the budget process, a move that would weaken the mayor’s control over spending. Talia Richman of the Sun reports that Democratic Mayor Jack Young on Monday signed a bill that would place a question on the November ballot asking voters if the council should have the ability to move money around in the city’s budget.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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