ANNAPOLIS — On Aug. 19, I toured downtown Easton with Governor Hogan, Delegate Adams, Delegate Mautz, Mayor Willey, and other local elected officials. Earlier that morning, I attended his dedication of a portion of MD 404 to Assistant Fire Chief Daniel Lister of the Queen Anne-Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Company, who died in the line of duty while responding to a motor vehicle incident along that highway in September 2018.
$4.6M for Public Safety
The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services has released a Notice of Funding Availability for the Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (BJAG). This grant provides critical resources for organizations and law enforcement agencies to strengthen public safety while also promoting initiatives like officer wellness. More than $4.6 million in grant funds will be available for the FY 2022 fiscal year.
The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services awards funds to support the coordinated efforts of local governments, state agencies, private entities, faith-based and community organizations, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations in achieving realistic goals and carrying out jurisdictional strategic plans that increase public safety and address the needs of Maryland’s communities.
State priorities for providing this year’s BJAG funding were identified by utilizing Maryland’s crime data, stakeholder surveys, federal recommendations, and new state legislation. Priority areas include:
• Crime/Violence Reduction
• Gun Violence Reduction Strategies
• Community Violence Intervention (CVI) programs
• Wellness, Mental Health and Crisis Intervention programs
• Officer Wellness initiatives and law enforcement employee assisted programs
• Crisis intervention teams/mental health/suicide prevention programs
• Prevention, early intervention, crisis and behavioral intervention programs including ACEs
• Law Enforcement Enhancements
• Body Worn Cameras (BWC) equipment
• National Incident-Based Reporting System compliance programs
• Specialized law enforcement training programs
• Planning and evaluation of programs
• Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Launches Emergency Rental Assistance Data Dashboard
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development last week announced the launch of the Emergency Rental Assistance Data Dashboard to track the progress local jurisdictions are making in distributing relief funds for tenants and landlords affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Viewers of the dashboard can select information on specific county programs, see demographic information and get data on department marketing and outreach efforts. To access the information, visit rentrelief.maryland.gov and click on “Data Dashboard.” The dashboard will be updated on a monthly basis to show progress.
The above are items from Sen. Eckardt’s weekly update. To see more, visit baytobaynews.com.
How to Apply:
Tenants and landlords should visit rentrelief.maryland.gov or call 877-546-5595 to get connected to rental assistance programs. All jurisdictions in Maryland are currently accepting applications. In addition to local programs, tenants in eligible properties may qualify for DHCD’s Assisted Housing Relief Program, which serves rental units in multifamily projects financed by the department’s Community Development Administration using state funds or federal resources. Tenants in those properties should contact their property management company for application information.
New Vaccination Protocols
During Wednesday’s COVID-19 Update Press Conference, Governor Hogan announced the following new vaccination protocols:
• Nursing home and hospital staff to show proof of vaccination or adhere to ongoing screening and testing
• Increase of fines and civil penalties for nursing homes that fail to comply with protocols and reporting vaccination data
• Pressing the Federal Administration to make booster shots available immediately for seniors and vulnerable populations
• Pushing for full FDA approval of vaccines, including expediting approval for 5-11 year old’s
• Launching a Statewide antibody testing program for nursing home residents
Van Hollen: $700M for Maryland
USDA Rural Housing Service
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a grant notice on August 4, 2021 for the Healthy Home Production Program. USDA Rural Housing Service – Multi-family Housing encourages current and eligible property owners to consider this funding opportunity.
The purpose of the grant is to:
• Identify and remediate multiple housing-related health and safety hazards in low-income rental housing (including radon testing and mitigation);
• Promote cost-effective and efficient healthy home methods and approaches that can be replicated and sustained;
• Support public education and outreach that furthers the goal of protecting children and other vulnerable populations from housing-related health and safety hazards;
• Build local capacity to operate sustainable programs that will prevent and control housing-related environmental health and safety hazards in low- and very low-income residences and develop a professional workforce that is trained in healthy homes assessment and principles.
Eligible Applicants Include:
• Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized);
$500M Emergency Rural Health Care Grant
USDA is providing up to $500 million in grant funding for eligible applicants and eligible facilities to help broaden access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines, health care services, telehealth services, food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities, and collaborative, evidence-based support for the long-term sustainability of rural health care.
USDA will make this $500 million in grant funding available to be distributed between two tracks of funding to eligible applicants:
• Track One: Provides immediate relief to address the economic conditions arising from the COVID-19 emergency. Grant funds must be used in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and to support immediate health care needs, to help prepare for a future pandemic event, or to increase access to quality health care services and improve community health outcomes. Grant awards range from $25,000 - $1 million.
• Track Two: Impact Grants advance ideas and solutions to solve regional rural health care problems to support the long-term sustainability of rural health care. Long-term sustainability is defined as “improved health outcomes, improved access to quality health care, and creating and maintaining sustainable economic development for small communities.” Grant funds must be used in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant awards range from $5 million - $10 million.
To learn more about the Community Facilities emergency pilot program and the American Rescue Plan, visit their website.
Maryland Insurance Administration
• Wednesday, August 25, 12 pm
Join the Maryland Insurance Administration for a presentation to learn the basics of annuities. This presentation will include: What is an annuity? How does an annuity earn interest? What fees are associated with annuities? Get your questions answered during this free consumer presentation.
For more information: https://tinyurl.com/2xpjd4uj
• Tuesday, September 21, 1 pm
Listening Session: Insurance Considerations for Rural Marylanders
Throughout 2021, Commissioner Birrane and the MIA is holding a series of Listening Sessions to help the MIA more fully understand the experiences of specific communities relating to certain kinds of insurance. In this session, we will take an in-depth at all lines of insurance in Maryland’s rural communities.
For more information: https://tinyurl.com/zw759yvy
• Tuesdays in September, 12 pm
Homeowners Insurance Seminar Series
Join the Maryland Insurance Administration on Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28 for an informative Seminar Series to learn about homeowners insurance and to get your questions answered.
For more information: https://tinyurl.com/26r5xbdn.
• Monday, August 30, 10 am-1 pm
Mental Health Parity Regulations Virtual Public Hearing
The Maryland Insurance Commissioner is required, in consultation with interested stakeholders, to adopt regulations implementing the provisions of § 15-144, which requires health carriers to report on compliance with the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).
For more information: https://tinyurl.com/34jvjjsa
Recent Consumer Advisories
• Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination does not imperil life insurance benefits
District 37 Senatorial Scholarship
The Maryland Higher Education Commission has given my office additional funds to award students in District 37 with my Senatorial Scholarship. If you live in District 37 and go to a Maryland school (or have a unique major out of State), you may be eligible to apply!
If you would like to learn more about this application process, please email my office at Adelaide.Eckardt@senate.state.md.us. My office will accept application up until August 25. If you have received my scholarship within the past four years, you do not need to reapply as my scholarship is renewable for up to 8 semesters.
Ms. Eckardt represents District 37 in the Maryland State Senate.