Legislators are also expected to discuss police reform and economic relief
Annapolis, Md (KB) On January 13th, the 2021 Maryland General Assembly will begin its 90-day session where a number of issues will be discussed.
Senator Michael Hough said due to the pandemic, constituents will be able to watch the legislators convene from home.
“We have to be transparent, and I’m glad to see that this session, constituents will be able to watch every floor session on video right at home, so the can see us on the Senate floor or us in committee.”
Hough said it will be more difficult for constituents to make themselves heard this year.
”They’re going to be limiting the number of people that can testify online, so it’s going to be more difficult,” he said. “I would just urge people, though, the best way to make sure that you are heard is to contact your legislators directly.”
The Senator said one issue that will likely be discussed is police reform.
“As there are nationally, there has already been hearings on police reform,” he said. ” And I think we need to be very careful how we do that. I don’t want to see us pass legislation that makes it harder to recruit good police officers, to retain good police officers.”
Hough also said a pandemic relief package is expected to be discussed. State Comptroller Peter Franchot recently said the state of Maryland has enough reserves to pay for a COVID-19 relief package.
“The Governor has already done, through executive action, a great deal of relief,” Hough said. “We’ll have to look at what the Comptroller has proposed.”
Hough also said that even amidst the pandemic, violent crime has continued to be an issue for the state. He said Baltimore City is on track to have over 300 murders again this year.
He said Frederick County has also seen an increase in violent crime.
“So we’re seeing violent crime is up. I think we need to continue to address that in the General Assembly,” said the Senator.