ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland lawmakers promised help for Baltimore and other cities bleeding money since the coronavirus pandemic began.
“These are tough, dark and difficult times,” said Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who is set to be sworn in on Tuesday. “This revenue loss is so astronomical that it will take a long, long time to get back to normal.”READ MORE: Maryland Man Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud Conspiracy
The U.S. Senate is going back in session, and Senator Ben Cardin said a priority of Maryland’s federal delegation is getting funding for local governments.
“The federal government must step up. The health and welfare of the people of our state are directly involved in this,” Cardin said.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger blasted President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, saying it appeared the president’s strategy was cobbled together.
“If we continue to move forward without getting any money to local government, it’s going to affect the basics,” he said. “We have a president that his strategy was, ‘I’m going to be the king. I’m going to take over.’ Well, I’ve seen no comprehensive strategy there, and if that’s not going to be there, we’re going to jump in with governors and do whatever we can to get the resources to do the job.”
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Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young noted the city is “resilient” but cautioned against opening Maryland too quickly.
“We want to make sure to do it in the right way — that we follow exactly what our health care professionals are telling us to do. We will be open when they say we shall be open,” Young said Monday.
Today, I joined @SenatorCardin @ChrisVanHollen @Call_Me_Dutch @RepSarbanes @mfume4congress @hocogovexec @AACoExec @Marc_Elrich in support for flexibility in funding for local governments as we continue to respond to #COVID19. #teammaryland
— Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young (@mayorbcyoung) May 4, 2020
State leaders are facing pressure to lift restrictions. Reopen Maryland held another protest over the weekend demanding Governor Larry Hogan relax some of his orders, nicknaming him “Lockdown Larry.”
A coalition of some business owners and pastors along with four state delegates filed a federal lawsuit against Hogan claiming his stay-at-home order is unconstitutional.
— Mike Ricci (@riccimike) May 4, 2020
Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have been coordinating some of their responses to the pandemic together. On Monday, Virginia’s governor said the first phase of his state’s recovery may begin as early as May 15.
As of now, there has been no such announcement from Governor Hogan, but state lawmakers were presented with a possible scenario last week that the first phase of Maryland’s recovery could begin by May 15. Phase two would start September 3 and last the remainder of 2020.MORE NEWS: Reese, Owusu Lead No. 8 Maryland Women Past Miami