May 14, 2020, 6 pm

While Governor Hogan announced on Wednesday that Maryland was easing the stay at home order, he ultimately left the decision on whether or not to reopen up to the localities. Today, County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced that Baltimore County will continue to keep most of the current restrictions in place, with things being reevaluated in the coming days and weeks.

One change being made, however, is retail stores are now approved for curbside pickup and delivery. Beyond that though, the restrictions will stay in place. But as it stands, the County Executive, after consulting with the Baltimore County Department of Health, does not feel as though we have enough personal protective equipment, testing kits, or contact tracing to move forward with easing restrictions elsewhere. This was undoubtedly a difficult decision to come to, but until we see improvements in the aforementioned areas, it will be tough to move forward.

In the meantime, my office has been handling constituent complaints regarding issues with Beacon One. The Secretary of Labor, Tiffany Robinson, updated the General Assembly on Wednesday and listened to concerns from legislators, all of whom have been fielding hundreds of calls and emails from constituents needing help.

As it stands, 66 percent of claims have been paid, with 27 percent still pending and seven percent denied. Secretary Robinson acknowledged that having 27 percent of claims pending was too high and assured legislators that she and her team are working as best they can, but with a 5,000 percent increase in call volume it’s quite difficult to immediately get back to people or field calls.

If you continue to have issues with unemployment filing, please reach out to my office. We will continue to help in any way we can.


Harry Bhandari

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