State Roundup: Advocates, lawmakers warn of looming eviction crisis as protections are lifted

State Roundup: Advocates, lawmakers warn of looming eviction crisis as protections are lifted

At Monday's groundbreaking for a large flood mitigation pond in Ellicott City were, from left, state Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles, State Sen. Katie Fry Hester, Gov. Larry Hogan, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Del. Courtney Watson. Governor's Office photo by Joe Andrucyk

EVICTION CRISIS MAY BE ON THE HORIZON: An eviction or a foreclosure crisis could be looming in Maryland, according to advocates and lawmakers. Sunday marked the end of the state’s eviction protections for renters and tenants under which they could make an affirmative defense against that course of action provided they could prove their inability to pay rent was the direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, Bryan Renbaum reports for Maryland Reporter.

  • Baltimore City Council members unanimously passed a resolution Monday calling on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to extend the state’s moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.

LAWMAKERS GRILL LABOR SECRETARY ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: Maryland’s top official overseeing unemployment insurance promised skeptical lawmakers on Monday that her team is making headway in resolving issues of people who are stuck in the system without payment, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.

  • Lawmakers were concerned about residents who’ve waited months for unemployment insurance, and others who have a large backlog of unpaid claims due to adjudication issues, Bennett Leckrone reports for Maryland Matters. Sen. Kathy Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County) was particularly frustrated with some of those delays. “Nothing seems to be working here,” Klausmeier said.
  • Del. C.T. Wilson, a Charles County Democrat, said he worries about people who have finally started to receive benefits after months of delays but are still owed back pay, Rachel Baye reports for WYPR-FM. Many of these residents are “very much underwater” with unpaid bills from when their benefits were on hold, Wilson said.

HOGAN: MARYLAND READY TO ACCEPT AFGHAN REFUGEES: Following the collapse of Afghanistan’s government, Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday that the state is “ready and willing” to take on additional Afghan refugees.

  • Social services agencies have been ramping up to assist with the influx of refugees. Many of those arriving are expected to be resettled in the Washington, D.C., area, according to the Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, which has resettlement sites in Virginia and Maryland, writes Laura Olsen for Maryland Matters.

POLL: 23% OF D.C. AREA RESIDENTS CONSIDERED MOVING DURING PANDEMIC: A poll by the Washington Post-Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University finds that nearly 1 in 4 residents (23%) have seriously considered moving to a new community since the pandemic began, including 29% of D.C. residents, 25% in the Maryland suburbs and 21% in the Virginia suburbs, Luz Lazo and Emily Guskin of the Post report.

CENSUS: MARYLAND LESS WHITE: From this graphics-heavy article by the Sun: The newest data release from the 2020 census revealed that less than half of all Marylanders now identify as white, mirroring a national trend. The data will be used to draw new boundaries for congressional and local legislative districts, shaping the political landscape for the next decade. The numbers also help determine how federal dollars are divvied up among states and communities and where new schools and roads are built.

SPORTS BETTING DELAYED: Sports betting will not be a reality in Maryland when the NFL kicks off its regular season in about three weeks. A state panel charged with approving licensees met for the first time Monday but took no action to award the state’s first licenses. Another meeting is not expected until the NFL is three weeks into its 2021-22 season, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.

TU MANDATES INDOOR MASKS: Towson University updated its COVID-19 safety protocols, now requiring that everyone wear a mask in indoor locations, according to an announcement from TU President Kim Schatzel and Provost Melanie Perreault, Cameron Goodnight reports for the Sun Media Group.

HARFORD SCHOOLS REQUIRE INDOOR MASKS: Harford County Public Schools will require that masks be worn inside all buildings and school buses starting Monday, according to a letter from the superintendent and school board president, Wayne Carter reports for the Aegis.

QUEEN ANNE’S SCHOOLS MANDATE MASKS: Queen Anne’s County Public Schools will require masks for all staff and students going into the 2021-22 school year, Superintendent Dr. Patricia Saelens announced Monday afternoon, Luke Parker reports for the Easton Star Democrat.

RESIDENTS INVOKE HOLOCAUST, SEPT. 11 IN PUSH TO REMOVE TALBOT BOYS: Invoking the undying horror of the Holocaust and Sept. 11, attorneys for Black Talbot County residents on Friday defended their call for the court-ordered removal from the Easton courthouse grounds a statue honoring local soldiers who fought for the Confederacy and slavery’s preservation during the Civil War, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record.

OLSZEWSKI TO PICK NON-GOV’T IG WORK PANEL: Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said he soon will pick people to serve on a panel that will propose changes to how Baltimore County’s Inspector General’s office works. While he is not ready to name names, Olszewski said members of the work group will not be part of county government, John Lee of WYPR-FM reports.

OFFICIALS BREAK GROUND ON ELLICOTT CITY FLOOD POND: Gov. Larry Hogan and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, along with other government officials, broke ground Monday on the H7 pond, one of many projects in the Ellicott City Safe and Sound flood mitigation plan, Katie Jones reports for the Howard County Times.

FREDERICK COUNCIL TACKLES ARPA SPENDING: Members of the Frederick County Council on Tuesday will assess the county’s efforts to gauge public opinion and proposals for how to spend the first half of a $50 million American Rescue Plan Act allocation, Jack Hogan of the Frederick News-Post reports.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

cynthiaprairie@gmail.com
https://www.chestertelegraph.org/

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 news outlet, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at: cynthiaprairie@gmail.com

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