|PLEASE READ: URGENT CALL TO ACTION|
Dear Members,We hope this message finds you safe and well. We’re reaching out to issue an urgent call to action this morning asking you to submit written testimony to the office of Delegate Dan Cox and contact the Health and Government Operations Committee in SUPPORT of House Bill 17 – The Emergency Powers Limitations (Consent of the Governed Act).
|*PLEASE NOTE: Rules for submitting written and oral testimony have changed this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, and can be viewed here. We’re asking members for written testimony only at this time.*|
ALL TESTIMONY FOR THIS BILL MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE OFFICE OF REP. DAN COX ON MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2021.
HB 17 – Consent of the Governed Act is a bill seeking to protect our constitutional and human rights. The bill would:
- Require the Governor to seek a vote by the legislature in order to extend a state of emergency beyond 14 days
- Require additional hearings after the initial 14 days that allow the legislature to debate the need for an ongoing state of emergency
- Require the Governor to notify the legislature within 72 hours of issuing an emergency order, and allow the legislature to vote in certain cases
- Exempt members of the Maryland Judiciary and General Assembly from those emergency orders
HB17 would also protect citizens by prohibiting any emergency order issued under this title from:
- Requiring citizens to close or limit businesses, churches, or schools under certain circumstances
- Requiring an American citizen to stay at home
- Require that an American citizen wear a face covering, receive a vaccine, or be forced under penalty of law to make certain health decisions
In addition, HB17 aims to reduce the penalty for violating emergency orders from a misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $5,000 to a civil infraction with a maximum fine of $50.
Testimony and communications to legislators deliver the greatest impact when expressed in your own words. Below are several key points you may want to include:
- The Covid-19 mortality rate for Maryland residents under 70 years old is 0.2%, approximately equivalent to seasonal influenza. Asymptomatic infections, the majority of Covid-19 cases, have a contagion rate under 1%. Maintaining a State of Emergency is no longer warranted
- The only wide-scale randomized controlled study conducted on mask use found no reduction in Covid-19 among masked subjects
- States and countries which have locked down and restricted commerce, education, and religious services do not have significantly lower hospitalization or mortality rates than states with limited or no restrictions
- Hospitalization has not exceeded capacity in the state of Maryland over the past year. Concern that critical Covid-19 cases would exceed hospital capacity was a fundamental premise for declaring and maintaining the state of emergency
Please share this message widely, and email your written testimony, including your full name and email address, directly to firstname.lastname@example.org Monday January 25, 2021. (New rules this legislative session require that all testimony be submitted 48 hours prior to the hearing.)
PLEASE NOTE: MyMGA accounts are required for all citizens who submit written testimony! Please create your account here – the process takes only a few minutes, and minimal information is required.
*Please contact us directly if you’re interested and available to submit oral testimony live via Zoom. Oral testimony is limited to four witnesses per bill in support and four in opposition, and witnesses are selected in advance. See the new rules for the 2021 session here.
Call the offices of the Health and Government Operations Committee members:
Bailey, Jack410-841-3673 | 301-858-3673Carozza, Mary Beth410-841-3645 | 301-858-3645Ellis, Arthur410-841-3616 | 301-858-3616Gallion, Jason C.410-841-3603 | 301-858-3603Hester, Katie Fry410-841-3671 | 301-858-3671Kagan, Cheryl C.410-841-3134 | 301-858-3134Lam, Clarence K.410-841-3653 | 301-858-3653Pendergrass, Shane410-841-3139 | 301-858-3092Pinsky, Paul G.410-841-3155 | 301-858-3155Simonaire, Bryan W.410-841-3658 | 301-858-3658Washington, Mary410-841-3145 | 301-858-3145
Maryland citizens have suffered tremendous hardships over the past year, living under restrictions which lacked supporting evidence. Now is the time to act! Please contact the HGO committee members using the links above and ask them to SUPPORTHB17!