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Hogan announces billion dollar emergency stimulus
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Two days ahead of the start this year’s legislative session, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Jan. 11 introduced a measure to provide COVID-19 relief to taxpayers, including families and small businesses. The $1 billion emergency stimulus and tax relief package, will, among other things, repeal state and local income taxes on unemployment benefits.

“With the start of a new 2021 legislative session on Wednesday, we are now asking the legislative branch to assist by immediately passing this stimulus and tax relief package to help even more struggling families and small businesses across our state,” Hogan stated in a press release Monday. “We will be introducing the Relief Act of 2021 as emergency legislation on day one.”

In addition to waiving state and local income tax on unemployment benefits, the proposed measure would provide “direct stimulus payments for low-to-moderate income Marylanders with benefits of up to $750 for families and $450 for individuals,” said Hogan.

The governor’s office estimated the action would provide relief to more than 400,000 Marylanders.

The legislation would give sales tax credits of up to $3,000 per month for four months. The action is expected to aid more than 55,000 of the state’s small businesses.

Other provisions of the legislation would be the extension of unemployment tax relief for small businesses and creating a safeguard for Maryland businesses “against any tax increase triggered by the use of a state loan or grant funds.”

Hogan’s plan has drawn criticism from state Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), who already last year announced a bid for governor in 2022, when Hogan will no longer be eligible to run based on term limits.

“Maryland families need help now, but instead the governor is passing the buck to the legislature,” Franchot stated. “The governor knows he has the power to authorize direct cash payments to those in crisis right now. Over the last several months, I have been advocating for the governor to utilize the $1.5 billion in reserves gathering dust in our state’s treasury for $2,000 direct payments to low-income families and more funding for small businesses. The governor’s plan, regrettably falls woefully short at not only providing the adequate amount families need, but the speed in which it will be distributed.”

Twitter: @MartySoMdNews

MSP marks 100 years of service

The Maryland State Police is proud to announce the 100th anniversary of its founding as a statewide, full-service law enforcement department that has continually provided dedicated and professional police services.

“Every hour of every day for the past 100 years, the men and women of the Maryland State Police have served the people of Maryland with a dedication to duty and a commitment to service that is second to none,” said Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Woodrow W. Jones III. “The stories of their selfless service, their courage and their sacrifice would fill volumes.”

The idea was born of necessity, a news release states. The dawn of the 1920s brought a perplexing problem to the office of Gov. Albert Ritchie as the advent of the automobile was providing criminals with the means to expand their enterprises and the ability to quickly flee and travel out of the area to avoid detection and arrest.

Ritchie proposed a solution that changed the landscape of law enforcement in Maryland. He decided a police force was needed that had statewide jurisdiction and would provide both criminal and traffic enforcement across the entire state of Maryland.

On January 10, 1921, the Maryland State Police became a reality as 36 recruits began training in the first academy class.

One month later, Ritchie presided over the graduation of the first members of the Maryland State Police. He charged them to “protect the men, women and property of the State of Maryland and to preserve law and order.”

The members of the Maryland State Police have proudly done so ever since, the release states.

“The Maryland State Police family is proud of these past 100 years of service to the people of our state. We look forward to the history we will write in the years ahead as we continue to uphold the reputation and tradition of ‘Maryland’s finest,’ Jones said.”

With an authorized strength of just under 2,400 employees, the Maryland State Police continues its mission of purposed policing in every corner of the state, in coordination with and support of local law enforcement agencies in each county, the release states.

Patrol troopers are assigned to 23 barracks and patrol in every county. State police criminal investigators work in every jurisdiction, focusing on cross-border and inter-jurisdictional criminal activity.

Each Maryland State Police function is supported by a dedicated staff of civilian employees. Civilian employees work as police communications operators, scientists, automotive and aviation technicians, administrative officers, helicopter pilots, building maintenance and a variety of other important roles.

“Through the years, thousands of sworn employees who have worn this uniform and thousands who have served in civilian support have built a legacy of excellence in public safety services,” Jones said.

During the past 100 years, 43 Maryland state troopers and one deputy state fire marshal lost their lives in the line of duty. The service and sacrifice of those fallen heroes will never be forgotten, the release states.

Maryland State Police operations have grown over the years, including the addition of Aviation Command in 1970, new barracks and a new crime lab in the 1980s, the establishment of a Computer Crimes Unit in the 1990s and a new Forensic Sciences Division facility opened in 2006.

Jones said while much has changed in 100 years, Maryland State Police’s mission and commitment to serve and protect Maryland’s citizens has remained constant.

“While much has changed in 100 years, the two things that have remained constant are our mission and our commitment,” Jones said. “We continue to have a statewide mission to serve and protect the citizens of Maryland.

“The shield we proudly wear continues to represent help and hope to people who are in danger or in need of care,” he said.

Jones said the dedication of those who wear this Maryland State Police uniform and serve in civilian support has not changed.

“The members of the Maryland State Police family are individuals committed to our core values of integrity, fairness and service. They are willing to set themselves apart from the rest, with a deep and relentless commitment to be the best. We are proud to serve the people of Maryland,” Jones said.

For more information about the Maryland State Police, visit www.mdsp.maryland.gov.

Jackson garners support from three committees for senate seat

Delegate Michael A. Jackson

Delegate Debra Davis (D-Charles)

The name of Delegate Michael A. Jackson (D-Prince George’s, Calvert) will be the only one sent to the governor’s office for consideration to fill Thomas V. Mike Miller’s vacated senate seat. The Democratic central committees of the three counties represented in Senate District 27 — Prince George’s, Calvert and Charles — each held ZOOM sessions over the weekend and Monday. In all three cases, Jackson won unanimous support for succeeding Miller as the district’s senator.

At all three sessions Jackson told the committee members that applying for the vacancy “is both bitter and sweet.” Jackson spoke of how the ailing former senate president had recruited him for his successful run for the District 27B House of Delegates seat in 2014.

During Saturday night’s meeting of the Calvert County Democratic Central Committee, Jackson affirmed his six years of experience as a delegate, a stint as vice chairman of the Southern Maryland Delegation to Annapolis, membership on the house appropriations committee and service on several work groups regarding COVID-19 and education qualifies him to serve in the legislature’s upper chamber.

Speaking on behalf of Jackson, Doris C. Spencer, a former Calvert Democratic Central Committee chair, pointed out he was “born and raised in Southern Maryland” and has served in the U.S. Marine Corps and as Prince George’s County sheriff.

A resident of Brandywine, Jackson, 57, is a graduate of Crossland High School.

During the Charles County Democratic Central Committee meeting Sunday afternoon, another state delegate, Debra Davis (D-Charles), stated that Jackson possessed “strength, character and is a consensus builder. He has always been selected for leadership roles.”

When asked during that session how he would balance representing three counties in Annapolis, Jackson stated that during his time on the house appropriations committee he has discovered, “Maryland has ample resources for everyone.”

“He’s done a yeoman’s job representing our county in Annapolis,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) said of Jackson during that county’s Democratic central committee meeting Monday night.

The Calvert meeting was the only one of the three that included other vacancy applicants other than Jackson. They were Darrell Roberts, executive director of the nonprofit Helmets to Hardhats; Rafael Rubio, a five-year resident of Calvert County; and Phillip Stamper, a higher education and communications professional who told the committee he grew up in Calvert County.

Calvert and Charles’ central committees sent their recommendation of Jackson to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) Monday while the Prince George’s committee sent there recommendation Tuesday. By law, Hogan must make the appointment by Jan. 26.

Twitter: @MartySoMdNews

PGCMLS announces January schedule

This January, the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) presents a wide range of virtual and special events for all ages. Commemorate the Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday at the Interpreting MLK Jr.’s Legacy and Ending Voter Suppression event on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m., featuring Andrea Blackman of the Civil Rights Room at Nashville Public Library and Taos Wynn of The King Center.

Then a week later, join New York Times bestselling author, Kate Andersen Brower as she discusses the presidency and presidential inaugurations on Inauguration Eve 2021, Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.

On Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., the library invites the community to a Virtual Town Hall with our CEO Roberta Phillips. The topic is the PGCMLS Strategic Framework 2021-2024.

Check out these featured author, filmmaker, kids and teen virtual events all free at the library.

Interpreting MLK Jr.’s Legacy and Ending Voter Suppression

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System and Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission commemorate Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday with a discussion of his legacy and its influence on contemporary efforts to end voter suppression against Black Americans as part of the Voting: Democracy in Action series.

Featured speakers include Andrea Blackman, Division Manager for Special Collections, Nashville Public Library (and curator of the Civil Rights Room) and Taos Wynn, a Georgia-based community organizer and director of Nonviolence 365 at The King Center. Supported in part by the Maryland Humanities launches the Voices and Votes Electoral Engagement Project, made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” initiative.

The Academy Stories/Admissions with Ellen Ann Fentress and Neely Tucker

Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. | Adults

Writer-filmmaker Ellen Ann Fentress has spent the last decade capturing ways that the South’s racial past affects its present.

Isabel Wilkerson on Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents — Maryland Libraries Together

Friday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. | Teens & Adults

In her critically acclaimed book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America. She explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative, how America throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Registration required.

Inauguration Eve Special Event: Kate Andersen Brower in Conversation

Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. | Adults

New York Times bestselling author Kate Andersen Brower discusses the presidency and presidential inaugurations for this special event. An expert in White House history and the presidency, her most recent books are “Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump” and children’s book “Exploring the White House: Inside America’s Most Famous Home.”

Kids Events:

ASL Storytelling

Fridays, 10 a.m. | Ages 5-12

Join our weekly ASL Storytelling event for American Sign Language speakers. Voiceover narration is provided.

Biblioniños (Spanish read aloud)

Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. | Ages 5 and under

Se presentarán cuentos, actividades de “Fingerplay,” y canciones en español.

Crafternoon: Salt Painting

Friday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. | Ages 5-12

Create salt paintings using household items and your imaginations.

Crafternoon: Snowy Owls

Friday, January 22 at 3 pm | Ages 12 and under

Join us as we use cotton balls to paint snowy owls for winter!

Teen Events:

Show Me the Money: Understanding Financial Aid and Scholarships

Thursday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. | Teens

Interested in applying to college? Join the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System and the college application specialist for a breakdown of the college financial aid process. Understand what the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is used for, what the CSS Profile is, and how scholarships may impact your financial aid package.

YA Book Discussion: Six of Crows

Thursday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. | Teens

PGCMLS’ robust online offerings include curated content collections for kids, teens, educators, Spanish speakers and more. Virtual events and outreach provide access to the library from the comfort of home or on the go. Special programs include the D.R.E.A.M. Lab, STEM Pals and 3D printing, which offer teens and lifelong learners with special opportunities.

Tech Sgt. Lloyd Tumbaga was hospitalized with COVID-19 for 17 days in July 2020.