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Beginning today, Maryland Senate no longer allowing remote testimony

House of Delegates still allowing witnesses to testify remotely
Redistricting-Maryland
Posted at 2:42 PM, Feb 14, 2022

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Beginning Monday, February 14, the Maryland Senate stopped allowing remote testimony during committee hearings.

This update was announced just under a week earlier, in a memorandum sent out on February 8.

According to the Marylanders for Open Government twitter account, there are more than 160 organizations across the state that are calling on Senate President Bill Ferguson to keep the virtual access open.

The groups that have signed on to this letter include the ACLU of Maryland, CASA, the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition, the Innocence Project and the NAACP Maryland State Conference, among many others.

WMAR-2 News reached out to Sen. Ferguson for his response to the #KeepMDSenateVirtual campaign on Twitter.

"From the beginning of the 2022 Legislative Session, the Senate President has believed that a core part of the democratic process is having the public in person when safe to do so. Key health metrics are returning to pre-omicron levels, and as such, the Senate President is moving forward with the plan. After careful consideration of many perspectives, the Senate resumes in-person testimony, with masking, beginning Monday, February 14. Voting sessions will be live-streamed, and the public may submit written testimony electronically if they cannot participate in a hearing."

- Spokesperson for Senator Bill Ferguson

The current House of Delegates guidelines say that all committee hearings for this legislative session will be conducted virtually.