The Latest News from Senator Rosapepe's Office: March 2021
Updated: Mar 28
COVID Vaccinations for Beltsville residents
As you know, COVID-19 vaccines are in high demand and short supply. Because of chaotic management by the Trump Administration and the state Health Department, by mid-February, Maryland trailed more than forty states in getting vaccines in people’s arms. And Prince George’s, where the virus has been most dangerous, has trailed the rest of the state.
It’s been inexcusable. That’s why Delegates Peña Melnyk, Barnes, Lehman, and I, together with Councilmember Dernoga, have been pushing the State, the County, and the federal government to clean up their acts — quickly. We’ve convinced them to expand vaccination sites and increase doses in our area. The Biden Administration is untangling federal red tape, increasing supplies to Maryland, and boosting vaccine production nationally.
But we need to do more. The Delegates and I are sponsoring legislation to overhaul vaccine distribution (and COVID testing and tracing) in Maryland. If you have suggestions, please let us know. And our US Senators, Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and US Congressmen Steny Hoyer and Anthony Brown are working hard to pass President Biden’s COVID relief plan by mid-March.
Because the facts on the ground are rapidly changing, feel to contact us if you have questions. Email 21stDistrictDelegation@gmail.com
Maryland General Assembly passes the RELIEF Act and Recovery Now Amendment
In February, my colleagues and I passed legislation to help vulnerable small businesses and our Beltsville neighbors.
• Repeal taxes on unemployment benefits
• Funding 47 new unemployment insurance caseworkers to process claims
• Support small businesses and nonprofits with sales tax credits of up to $3,000 per month for four months. This relief will directly help more than 55,000 Maryland small businesses
• Help local schools reopen safely
• Erase housing debt of about 5,000 people or provides emergency housing for 30 days for 5,555 people
• Job placement for 3,600 Marylanders
Do you need health insurance?
This tax season get connected with free or low-cost health insurance! The Easy Enrollment program for uninsured Marylanders is part of the Maryland income tax form. Answer the new questions on your Maryland state tax return by April 15 to find out your health insurance options at the Maryland Health Connection. Learn more at www.MarylandHealthConnection.gov/EasyEnrollment
Reminder: Scholarships to College
Each Senator and Delegate is allocated funds for scholarships to students in our district who attend Maryland colleges. There are so many deserving students in Beltsville. With college tuition a struggle for many families, we need to do everything we can to help hardworking students get a good education. We can't help everyone with Senatorial Scholarships, but we can certainly help some.
To apply online for a 2020-2021 Senate scholarship, students should visit www.21stDistrictDelegation.com/college-scholarships, and the deadline to apply is Friday, July 9. A separate Delegate scholarship application from Delegates Ben Barnes, Joseline Peña-Melnyk, and Mary Lehman is on that page as well. Information on other financial aid for Maryland college students can be found at www.mhec.state.md.us.
Please let us know if there are other issues you have questions or thoughts about. And, of course, feel free to be in touch if we can be of help to you. Just email 21stDistrictDelegation@gmail.com or call 301.858.3141.