Categories
Montgomery County State

Pandemic likely contributed to overdose fatalities in Montgomery County, Maryland

Opioid-related deaths in Montgomery County increased 34% through the first quarter of 2020. Experts attribute the increase to pandemic related stressors and lack of access to treatment due to pandemic shutdowns.

According to preliminary data provided by the Vital Statistics Administration (VSA) of the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), there were significant increases in unintentional intoxication fatalities related to nearly all major drug categories in Maryland through the second calendar quarter of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has very likely contributed to and compounded these trends. Taken together, the associated social isolation, disruptions of support, impeded access to care, and economic distress have helped to create an extremely dangerous environment for those suffering from substance use disorder (SUD).

Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center – 2020 Second Quarter Report

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Categories
Federal Montgomery County State

Montgomery County Restaurants join Restaurant Association of Maryland’s lawsuit against Montgomery County

According to Bethesda Beat reporting, 35 restaurants in Montgomery County have signed on to the lawsuit brought forth by the Restaurant Association of Maryland. RAM successfully reversed a similar order in Anne Arundel County so they have moved to reverse orders in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

I am very sympathetic to small businesses and how they are barely surviving during the pandemic, but to risk more lives is unconscionable. County health officials have analyzed contact tracing data to determine that enough cases of the coronavirus were transmitted during indoor dining to warrant suspending indoor dining. What we need is federal funding for small businesses, not corporations, and pandemic assistance to individuals so that they can afford to support small businesses. Montgomery County is facing a budget deficit due to funding several grants and programs related to the pandemic. I’ve argued previously that tax hikes are needed instead of austerity measures.

While 35 restaurants in the county have signed onto the lawsuit as Plaintiffs, only a few are currently known: Tommy Joe’s in Bethesda, Duck Duck Goose in Bethesda, and Seibel’s Restaurant and UpTown Pub in Burtonsville.

If you feel that this helped you in any way, consider buying MoCo Local a coffee or beer. You can do so through Venmo (@Vito-Anastasia).

Categories
Montgomery County State

Maryland SNAP Recipients can now use their EBT card to purchase groceries through Instacart

In October, Aldi and Instacart announced that they would begin accepting grocery orders for SNAP recipients through Instacart’s app.

If you receive SNAP benefits in Maryland, you can now use the service. You will need to have a debit or credit card attached to your account to pay for taxes, any non SNAP-eligible items, the delivery fee, and any driver tips.

To successfully use your EBT card, a credit or debit card must also be linked to your Instacart account to cover fees, bottle deposits in some states, taxes, delivery tips, and any other non-EBT SNAP-eligible items you may want to purchase.

Instacart

In addition to Instacart, you can purchase groceries online for delivery via Walmart’s app, Amazon, and ShopRite.

Categories
Government State

COVID-19 Exposure Notifications are now available in Maryland on iOS and Android devices

COVID-19 Exposure Notifications are now available for Maryland. The notification system is an API developed by Apple and Google in conjunction with health departments to help alert individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. For privacy reasons, these alerts are turned off by default but you can turn them on if you’d like to be notified.

On iOS, go to Settings -> Exposure Notifications

On Android, go to Settings -> Google -> COVID-19 Exposure Notifications

Categories
Elections Montgomery County State

2020 General Election Voting FAQ’s

Have questions about voting in Montgomery County in 2020? Here’s a guide with some of the frequently asked questions I’ve been getting. If you have a question that isn’t below, feel free to reach out to me!

I didn’t receive my mail-in ballot. What should I do?

Call the Montgomery County Board of Elections at (240) 777-VOTE (8683) as soon as possible. They can sort it out and let you know how to proceed.

I requested a mail-in ballot but want to vote in person. Can I?

Yes! But! You will need to fill out a provisional ballot (to make sure you didn’t also send in your mail-in ballot).

My mail-in ballot arrived but the envelope and/or ballot was damaged or destroyed. What can I do?

Call the Montgomery County Board of Elections at (240) 777-VOTE (8683) as soon as possible.

My mail-in ballot still shows are “received” when I check the status of my ballot. When will it move to “accepted”?

The Montgomery County Board of Elections has confirmed that mail-in ballots won’t move to “accepted” until at least Election Day. They do not start counting ballots until then. Be patient, it could take several days after the election to count them all.

Don’t see your question? Ask below!

If you feel that this helped you in any way, consider buying MoCo Local a coffee or beer. You can do so through Venmo (@Vito-Anastasia).

Categories
Elections Government Montgomery County State

First Day Early Voter Turnout Surpasses 2016

Marylanders turned out on the first day of in person Early Voting. Over 128,000 stood in line to vote as of 5:30pm.

Mail-in ballots are also being returned at record rates. So far in Montgomery County, 219,852 ballots have been returned. In Maryland, 947,941 total ballots have been returned.

Update

Early voter turnout in Montgomery County also broke 2016 records. A total of 24,359 votes were cast in person on the first day of Early Voting. This is about 3,000 more votes than the first day of Early Voting in the 2016 General Election.

Categories
State

Bills to Repeal the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights Drafted in Both MD House and MD Senate

Last week, State Senator Jill P. Carter of Baltimore announced that she had drafted the bill to repeal the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights in the Maryland Senate.

One of Montgomery County’s Delegates, Delegate Gabriel Acevero, has submitted the draft request for the House.

Maryland was the first state to enact a Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights and has one of the strongest bills that protects cops, on par with states like Mississippi. Repealing LEOBR would end several protections that prevent law enforcement from being held accountable for their actions and would allow disciplinary records to be made public, which currently is not the case.

Categories
Government State

Governor Hogan Extends Eviction Moratorium Until January 4th

Governor Larry Hogan today extended the eviction moratorium until at least January 4th through Executive Order.

The Executive Order is below.

Categories
State

Governor Hogan Votes for Reagan

The Washington Post reported today that Governor Larry Hogan wrote in Ronald Reagan instead of voting for anyone alive…or actually a candidate.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he “voted for Ronald Reagan” in this year’s election, writing in the name of the late president and conservative icon after concluding that he could support neither President Trump nor Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Turned off by Trump, Maryland’s GOP governor casts write-in vote for Ronald Reagan

Several local and state politicians were critical of the move, as well as residents. State Delegate Vaughn Stewart rightly called out Ronald Reagan’s history as destructive:

Delegate Vaughn Stewart on Twitter

Delegate Eric Luedtke likened Hogan’s performative ballot write-in to a vote for Trump:

Delegate Eric Luedtke on Twitter

The Post’s report also noted that Hogan considers Ronald Reagan a political hero:

Hogan, 64, called Reagan “my hero in politics” alongside his late father, Larry Hogan Sr., whom he wrote in for president in 2016 after deciding that he could not support Trump or then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Turned off by Trump, Maryland’s GOP governor casts write-in vote for Ronald Reagan

Let’s take a look at some of the things that Reagan stood for:

  • Tax cuts for the rich
  • Cutting social safety nets
  • Increasing military spending
  • Deregulation of markets
  • The murder of hundreds of thousands of gay men in the United States, millions throughout the world, during the AIDS epidemic
  • Expanding the war on drugs which started the mass incarceration of Black Americans
  • The invasion of several Latin American countries under the banner of “anti-communism” (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala)

If Reagan is Hogan’s political hero then you’d think he would also really love Donald Trump who has basically the same policies as Reagan.

Categories
State

51 House Delegates ask Hogan for Rent and Mortgage Relief

51 House Democrats have asked Governor Larry Hogan to provide rent and mortgage relief to Marylanders that have been effected by COVID-19. Read the letter below: