Here are highlights from the press conference on April 10th held by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. These highlights are from tweets by Kata D. Hall (Deputy Communications Director & Senior Speechwriter for Governor Hogan):
1) Governor Hogan is holding a press conference from the state house in Annapolis. I will thread his announcements and new actions.
2) STRIKE TEAMS. After his announcement earlier this week, the governor says MD strike teams have responded to 9 nursing homes across the state and 15 *group homes for medically fragile children.* Will now be sent to assisted living facilities as well.
3) The governor announces new $2.5 million state investment in joint partnership with UMD School of Medicine to provide technology for large-scale #COVIDー19 testing initiative, which in the future will enable up to 20,000 tests per day.
4) @MDOTNews, in coordination with @FEMA, is setting up a decontamination site for PPE at @BWI_Airport. Will give us the ability to clean and sterilize up to 80,000 N95 respirator masks per day.
5) COVID CONNECT. The governor announces the launch of a new registry for those who have RECOVERED from #COVIDー19: “Each of the recovered coronavirus patients in Maryland has a story to tell and a role to play in our efforts to save lives and slow the spread of this virus.”
5a) COVID CONNECT will serve as a community platform to share experiences and to lend support to others who are coping with the recovery process. To become part of this new registry, recovered patients can visit: http://health.maryland.gov/covidconnect.
6) STATE BUDGET OUTLOOK. The comptroller announced the state of Maryland is projecting a potential revenue loss of $2.8 billion for FY 2020. In response, the governor announced an IMMEDIATE BUDGET FREEZE on all state spending across all agencies.
6a) The governor announced a STATE HIRING FREEZE, effective immediately. In addition, the MD Dept of Budget and Management will make recommendations for budget cuts across all state agencies.
6b) LEGISLATION. “I want to be clear that it is unlikely that any bills that require increased spending will be signed into law.”
6c) According to the governor, the state will be tapping into and spending much, perhaps all, of the Rainy Day Fund balance. “Responding to this crisis will likely create a multi-year budget issue which will require further substantial budget reduction actions.”
7) UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS. Governor calls current process “completely unacceptable.” Directs @MD_Labor to use every resource at their disposal, detailing additional employees from other agencies to Labor, and activates full weight of state government…
7a) …to assist @MD_Labor in ensuring that all unemployed Marylanders, no matter how or when they file, will get the help they need and receive every single penny they are entitled to as quickly as possible.
8) JUN. 2 PRIMARY: Gov. Hogan is ratifying the State Board of Elections’ plan for VOTE BY MAIL. Board’s plan requires some polling places available for voters unable to vote by mail or with special needs. HOWEVER, he urges those who can vote by mail to cast their ballot by mail.
8a) Governor Hogan: “Our ultimate goal must be to do everything possible to ensure that the voice of every Marylander is heard in a safe and secure manner.”
8b) Read the governor’s ELECTION PROCLAMATION: https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Proclamation-Renewed-4.10.20.pdf
9) IMPORTANT PROCLAMATION. Governor Hogan announces that he is declaring the EASTER BUNNY an essential worker in the state of Maryland.
9a) Gov. Hogan: Easter Bunny therefore “will be able to proceed with his hopping across the state, delivering Easter baskets to Maryland children.”
10) EASTER MESSAGE from Gov. Hogan: “There have been other times in our history that events and conflicts have prevented us from celebrating holidays in the way that we are accustomed to…
10a) “The way we celebrate this weekend will be very different, but that in no way should diminish the promise of Easter, which celebrates a resurrection after a period of suffering and sacrifice…
10b) “…Easter really is a day of hope, which is something all of us desperately need right now. This weekend, I ask all Marylanders regardless of your faith to reflect on that spirit of hope, and to carry it forward, in the difficult days and weeks ahead.”
Watch the press conference from Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/GovLarryHogan/videos/563426530955290/
By far my favorite announcement made today: