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2020 legislative session to end on Wednesday

Posted at 4:33 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 17:51:27-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Lawmakers are a little more than a day away from completing the 2020 session.

The coronavirus and its concerns are responsible for this.

The budget is legally all law makers have to approve each session. This abbreviated session has lawmakers laser focused on passing the budget since the new deadline is Wednesday instead of April 6. Lawmakers are poised to finalize the budget Wednesday and when they come back tonight they are set to complete the Kirwan education bill.

"Kids are going to missing on learning time because of the coronavirus," Luedtke said. "It's essential that when they get back to school, they have the resources they need to catch up."

The Kirwan bill is a multi-billion dollar education budget increase bill. Taxes were raised to cover the bill but they have put some provision in the bill to lessen the impact of the pandemic.

"We've reduced the budget to allow for some cushion for the economy because we are going to see a major hit to the economy and we freed up some rainy day money to insure that we have all the resources necessary for the response to corona should we become what we are concerned about."

Both chambers quickly approved emergency coronavirus legislation. The bill will provide free testing, prohibits price gouging and extends unemployment benefits for those that have no more paid sick leave. The bill to require background checks for personal long gun sales passed as well.

"But ultimately we are going to get this budget done so that we can just focus on this coronavirus," Kipke said.

The last day of the session ends at midnight on Wednesday.