Updated: Feb 11
NEW THIS WEEK House Introduces New Police Accountability Workgroup. Following the outrageous and untimely deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, protesters in every state are demanding more accountability from law enforcement and from their leaders. There has been a pattern of police officers using excessive force against African-Americans, and this has to change. Further steps toward state-wide police reform have to come from the legislature — and more specifically from this House. In March, House Leaders and I committed to narrowing our focus on police accountability during this interim. Last weekend, I announced the creation of the new Police Reform and Accountability Workgroup chaired by Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary. The workgroup will take a closer look at the police discipline process, including the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights; police misconduct; arrest procedures and use of force laws. Yesterday, Attorney General Frosh also asked Congressional leaders to grant broader authority to AGs across the country to get involved in police misconduct investigations. We cannot not wait until the fall to begin this work. Legislators will begin meeting this summer, and I have asked for this work to be completed in time for the 2021 legislative session. The House has been, is and will continue to be the leader on these issues — continuing with the 2021 legislative session. As Speaker of the House of Delegates, I am committed to helping our State work to end systemic racial injustice and look forward to rebuilding the relationship between law enforcement and our communities. I will not stop talking about the need for reform and pressing for change until we have eliminated the structural racism that has gotten us to this place. Maryland Enters Stage II in Reopening. The Governor announced this week that more restrictions will be lifted as the state enters Stage II of its recovery. Now all non-essential businesses, workplaces and personal services are allowed to reopen. The State government will also begin to gradually reopen. Starting Monday, June 8, the Motor Vehicle Administration and other State agencies will begin reopening select branches on a limited basis. Child care centers will not fully re-open but will expand access to services. The Governor must ensure that the State has the capacity to reopen and safely expand child care services. House leaders have reached out to State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to provide updates on their plan to expand child care services. Maryland Department of Labor Extends Hours. Starting this weekend, claimants now have the option to call the Maryland Department of Labor seven days a week. Live claims agents will be available on Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to provide assistance with unemployment insurance questions. To connect with a live claims agent to file a new claim or inquire about an existing claim, call 1-877-293-4125, toll free.
MDOT MVA Update
Customers will be served by appointment only. Appointments for learner’s permits, commercial driving tests, driver’s license and ID card renewal, and title work can be scheduled online at mvascheduling.mva.maryland.gov.
New health and safety procedures include floor stickers to mark safe and proper distances, plexiglass dividers at each station, and required face coverings for MDOT MVA staff and customers.
The non-commercial driving skills (in-vehicle) test will temporarily be modified so that it may occur only on a closed course and not on the open road. For additional information, please visit https://mva.maryland.gov/Documents/prepare-for-noncom-driving-test.pdf.
Customers are encouraged to take advantage of MDOT MVA’s self-service kiosks and online services at https://securetransactions.mva.maryland.gov/emvastore/mainmenu.aspx. All vehicle registrations should be completed through the eStore, kiosk or by mail, and commercial driver license holders will soon have access to duplicate, corrected and renewal driver license transactions online.
Customers with registration flags for non-safety related violations who have a vehicle registration expiring during the emergency period are permitted to purchase a one-year renewal. One-year registration is available through the eStore.
REAL ID The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to October 1, 2021. The one-year extension will allow nearly 300,000 Marylanders to present documents to become REAL ID compliant during the course of their standard driver’s license renewal process, rather than making a separate trip to a branch office. Additionally, all driver record entries alerting law enforcement of a product recall have been removed.