News From Speaker Jones
House Introduces New Police Accountability Workgroup. Following the outrageous and untimely deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, protesters in every state are demanding more accountability from law enforcement and from their leaders. There has been a pattern of police officers using excessive force against African-Americans, and this has to change. Further steps toward state-wide police reform have to come from the legislature — and more specifically from this House
In March, House Leaders and I committed to narrowing our focus on police accountability during this interim. Last weekend, I announced the creation of the new Police Reform and Accountability Workgroup chaired by Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary. The workgroup will take a closer look at the police discipline process, including the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights; police misconduct; arrest procedures and use of force laws. Yesterday, Attorney General Frosh also asked Congressional leaders to grant broader authority to AGs across the country to get involved in police misconduct investigations.
Maryland Enters Stage II in Reopening. The Governor announced this week that more restrictions will be lifted as the state enters Stage II of its recovery. Now all non-essential businesses, workplaces and personal services are allowed to reopen. The State government will also begin to gradually reopen. Starting Monday, June 8, the Motor Vehicle Administration and other State agencies will begin reopening select branches on a limited basis.
Child care centers will not fully re-open but will expand access to services. The Governor must ensure that the State has the capacity to reopen and safely expand child care services. House leaders have reached out to State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to provide updates on their plan to expand child care services.
Maryland Department of Labor Extends Hours. Starting this weekend, claimants now have the option to call the Maryland Department of Labor seven days a week. Live claims agents will be available on Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to provide assistance with unemployment insurance questions. To connect with a live claims agent to file a new claim or inquire about an existing claim, call 1-877-293-4125, toll free.