Sen. Eckardt's Update: The latest from Annapolis

By Addie Eckardt, Special to Dorchester Banner
Posted 7/2/22

ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will begin a paving project Monday, June 27, along MD 341 (Race Street) and MD 343 (Washington Street) in …

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Sen. Eckardt's Update: The latest from Annapolis

Posted

ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will begin a paving project Monday, June 27, along MD 341 (Race Street) and MD 343 (Washington Street) in the Cambridge area of Dorchester County. Continuing through late July, crews will pave MD 341 between MD 16 (Church Creek Road) and MD 343. Additionally, crews will mill and pave MD 343 from US 50 (Ocean Gateway) to Leonard’s Lane.

Work hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, weather permitting. Motorists should expect major traffic impacts with significant delays during work hours. There will be temporary single-lane closures, lane shifts and flagging operations during work hours. At each location, temporary traffic signs, reflective barrels and electronic arrow boards will alert and guide motorists through the work zone.

University of Maryland no longer requires SAT

The University System of Maryland’s board of regents voted Friday to remove the requirement for prospective students to provide their standardized SAT or ACT scores for admission. Although the 12 universities still have the autonomy to set their own admissions standards, Friday’s vote removes the language requiring schools to consider test scores within their admissions practices.

Free School Lunches

Congress took bipartisan action this week and reauthorized free meals for all American school children for the summer and 2022-2023 school year. This program provides all kids with free meals, despite family income and means.

On June 21, Congress voted to extend the meal waivers that were set to expire this month. This move cuts down on the prior meal waiver process, and in turn schools have been able to expand their food distribution methods, such as beginning to hand out curbside meals to students and expanding out-of-classroom meals during summer and holiday breaks.

Project Restore

Project Restore will provide $25 million to fill vacant retail and commercial buildings and support business investment, job creation, and economic growth in Maryland’s communities. Businesses opening or expanding into vacant retail and commercial properties may be eligible for Project Restore grants from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Project Restore grants can help new and growing businesses with rent payments and operating costs in their first year.

Project Restore provides two grant opportunities for businesses, including nonprofits, that are expanding, moving to or opening in a property that was previously vacant for at least six months:

Property Assistance Grant:  Provides up to $30,000 for one year to support costs associated with rent, mortgage payment or property improvements as applicable.  

Business Operations Grant: For businesses that generate sales and use tax, provides up to $250,000 per calendar year to support capital (property improvements, equipment etc.) and operating (staff salaries, marketing, inventory etc.) costs associated with business operations in the vacant property. 

Visit dhcd.maryland.gov/projectrestore for more details and how to apply.

Addie Eckardt represents District 37 in the Maryland State Senate.