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Commentary

Bishop: Returning to ‘normal’ is among the worst things we could do post-pandemic

While it still feels like normalcy is a long way off, given the abysmal start to COVID-19 vaccine distribution, there is finally an end to the pandemic in sight — even if it’s months down the road. The question is: What will it look like? It’s very easy to imagine a return to exactly what we had before — in-person-only school, rush-hour backups, booming business travel. And, of course, the American standard of going to work while ill (and maskless), because we need the money or have been trained to believe we’re somehow valued more by our employers when we sacrifice our health and that of others.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Editorial: Federal officials are rethinking Union Station’s redevelopment plans. That’s good news.

Federal transportation officials have announced they will go back to the drawing board before proceeding with a multibillion-dollar redevelopment of Union Station. That is welcome news. This once-in-a-generation project in the heart of D.C. needs to be done right, and plans developed by the Trump administration ran counter to the desire of local officials and residents for a transportation hub that not only served the needs of travelers but also would be fully integrated into the life of surrounding neighborhoods.

Michaels: With Senate Debate Set to Resume, Waste-to-Energy Industry Says Its Fuel Is ‘Clean’

I read with interest the article in Maryland Matters last week describing Senator Hough’s crusade against waste-to-energy’s participation in the state renewable electricity portfolio standard (RPS) and wondered if there was a more misunderstood environmental issue in Annapolis. At a recent state legislative hearing, supporters of Senator Hough’s position testified that waste-to-energy (WTE) was not “real renewable energy” and should not participate in the RPS because it was not “clean.” This could not be further from the truth as WTE is modern, clean, and renewable despite Senator Hough’s protestations.

Protective masks, normally used for surgery, are now in use to fight the Corona Virus SARS-nCov-19.
Frank DeFilippo: Masks Become a Staple, Impeachment Was an Education

One by one, and two by two, they come, in all sizes, shapes, colors, genders and manner of dress, most of them masked and ready to distance – in supermarket lines, on parking lots, at stadiums and in queues hoping to score a scarce vaccine shot. It’s no longer necessary to ask the comic-book question, “Who is that masked man?” Nearly everybody’s masked, or should be. Maryland is all mask and no vaccine.

It’s time to expand affordable high-quality higher ed at places like UMBC that have a proven track record

President Joe Biden stood on the inaugural platform at the Capitol and pointed to urgent challenges that we must “step up” to address, from the pandemic to systemic racism and growing inequality. Tackling those challenges will take hard work, innovation and a new generation of diverse leaders. From our experiences, we know higher education is essential to this goal — especially public higher education, where most graduates receive their degrees.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Opinion: State’s Essential Workers Deserve More Protections on the Job

As a technician in the emergency department of a busy hospital in Prince George’s County, I thought I had seen it all over the years. But things changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Our emergency department has seen a dramatic increase in patient loads, including a surge in cases of people testing positive for the coronavirus. As the first wave hit last spring, we did not have the protective gear we needed.

Our Say: Maryland’s swift passage of Relief Act a win for Hogan and bipartisanship

When Gov. Larry Hogan signed The RELIEF Act Monday, exactly five weeks elapsed since the day he announced the package of more than $1 billion in aid to Marylanders suffering the worst economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Another 10 days passed before it was introduced in the General assembly. By legislative standards, 3 ½ weeks is a sprint of epic speed.

Bill seeks to break down barriers to voting by mail in Maryland

As former chair of the Election Law Subcommittee in the House of Delegates, I focus much of my policy energy on improving our voting experience. Our dynamic system must move toward a place where everyone who is allowed to vote can vote in a convenient, safe and transparent process. The fact is that extensive barriers remain on the journey to the ballot box, serving as roadblocks to civic activism. House Bill 274 ensures that every legal voter in the state gets a ballot in the mail that they can choose to take to the polls to vote or mail in at their convenience.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Covid-19 Vaccine Bottle Mockup (does not depict actual vaccine).
Editorial: COVID relief should be provided to all working Marylanders regardless of citizenship status

Recently, Gov. Larry Hogan and Democrats in Annapolis found themselves at an impasse over the $1.2 billion COVID-19 RELIEF (Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families) Act designed to help keep individuals and businesses afloat during the pandemic through a variety of refunds, tax credits and tax deferrals. On Friday, their contentious battle went away — for the weekend. Instead of insisting that a planned expansion in benefits under the federal earned income tax credit (EITC) include taxpayers who file their returns without benefit of a Social Security number, House and Senate leaders have decided to take that matter up under separate legislation.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
VP Kamala Harris: The exodus of women from the workforce is a national emergency

Last September, I had the chance to talk with culinary workers at a virtual town hall. One of those workers was M. Rocha, who used to work at a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. When the pandemic hit last March, like so many in the tourism and hospitality industry, she was furloughed. She’s still not back on the job today. She has a wife, son and elderly mother she takes care of, and they all depend on her paycheck.

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