2021 session update: Fighting COVID — and more

Since the virus crisis hit Maryland, we’ve been focused on protecting everyone from the health dangers and the economic downturn.

During our 2021 legislative session, we took major action to help fight the crisis — as well as on education, climate change, small business, and police reform.

Below is a summary of major legislation we passed this year.

Please let us know if you have questions or there are ways we can be of help.

Jim, Joseline, Ben, and Mary

Vaccination on demand

Help for working families

Fighting the virus


It’s been our top priority for the last year to:

— Push the Governor (who has broad power when we’re not in Session) to provide free testing on demand, as well as allowing Prince George’s and Anne Arundel to protect our citizens from exposure and the University of Maryland to test all students and staff.

— Bring more vaccines to our neighborhoods, creating waitlists to simplify the sign up.

— Make sure seniors and people with preexisting conditions can get vaccinated.

Protecting our incomes, jobs, and small businesses:

This year we passed legislation to 
expand unemployment insurance for working people, help small businesses survive, help struggling families pay rent, mortgages, and utility bills, and help the unemployed find new jobs.

Other Key Priorities

Helping our kids learn at school – and online: This has been a tough year for our kids. That's why making our schools safe, expanding tutoring to help students catch up, and ending the digital divide were top priorities for the Biden relief funds Maryland is getting.

Police Reform: To protect all of us from police misconduct and rebuild community trust for law enforcement, our police reform plan expands body cameras, boosts mental health services to help police, and overhauls officer discipline rules.

Protecting senior citizens: To reduce strain on seniors and their families, the new telehealth law improves access to quality diagnoses, consultation, and care. We also provided $2 million to renovate Attick Tower Senior Apartments and $250,000 for Meals on Wheels.

Lower taxes for working families: Working families and small businesses carry too much of the tax burden. Big corporations like Amazon and Facebook pay too little. That’s why we gave county governments power to cut local income taxes for working people – and why we overrode the Governor’s veto of the Big Tech Tax.

Fighting Climate Change: Since clean energy is critical to protecting our planet, the legislature boosted investment in electric buses, geothermal, and other innovative technologies.

Supporting our communities

— Boosted state funds for local schools in Prince George's by $48.8 million and Anne Arundel by $11.4 million.

— $8.9 million for rebuilding Route One in College Park and $6.1 million for modernizing and expanding Route 175 in Odenton.

— To fix potholes and improve local roads, we approved $14.4 million for Prince George's and $8.1 million for Anne Arundel.

— $2.5 million for Laurel to build transitional housing for the homeless and help them get on their feet.

— More than $800,000 to improve the Trolley Trail and the bike paths under Route One and the CSX Tracks.

— $5 million for flood control in the Guilford Run watershed.

We worked together on all these initiatives:

— Enacting groundbreaking legislation to reduce health disparities, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and expanding access to care, sponsored by Delegate Peña-Melnyk, Vice Chair of the House Health Committee.

— Allowing family members safe visits to their relatives in nursing homes during emergencies like the COVID crisis, Delegate Lehman wrote the new law with rules for all nursing homes.

— Delegate Barnes, Chair of the House Education Subcommittee, worked to direct Biden Rescue Plan funds to bring kids back to school safely and end the digital divide.

— Getting vaccines to our neighborhoods, doctors and drug stores, as well as hospitals, schools, and local health departments, championed by Senator Rosapepe, member of the COVID and Vaccine Oversight Workgroups.

Find a testing site in your community.

The State, County, and private providers are offering COVID 19 testing on demand. Testing is important for each of our families and for our whole community. It's about our physical health and about our economic health. For our children to go back to school safely, and for all of us to go back to work sites safely, we need to make sure that we are not exposing others to the virus. 

Click here to find a test site near you.

Update on unemployment insurance

If you have still not gotten your unemployment insurance, please let us know. Email us at 21stdistrictdelegation@gmail.com. We will contact the right people in the Department of Labor and do everything we can to get your money ASAP.

We want to hear from you!

In recent months, we've been working hard to represent you on many important priorities, such as improving our schools, protecting our environment, making our neighborhoods safer, and fighting increases in electric rates and health insurance costs.

There's much more to be done, and we want to hear your ideas. Just contact us at 301-858-3141 or 21stDistrictDelegation@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/21st-District-Delegation/129804430366643?ref=hl  https://twitter.com/District21st


Senator Jim Rosapepe
Delegates Mary Lehman, Joseline Peña-Melnyk, & Ben Barnes

invite you to share your concerns
on the virus crisis and other community issues

Virtual Laurel Town Meeting

Tuesday, May 18th

Zoom link provided before the meeting
Click here to RSVP

We look forward to seeing you!

Where to register for   the COVID 19   Vaccine 

We’ve been working for months to get vaccines to College park residents. The good news is that everyone 16 and older is now eligible.

Everyone should sign up as soon as they can – even if it takes time to get an appointment.


or Dial 311#
or call 410-222-7256