Md. community leaders hold virtual rally calling on Gov. Hogan to release rainy-day funds for coronavirus aid

Maryland leaders are calling on the governor to use rainy-day funds to assist with pandemic relief.

Comptroller Peter Franchot said Maryland has the funds to help those struggling with food and rent and that money needs to be made available now.

“I’m just kind of at the end of my rope because we thought the feds would come through,” Franchot said.

With state and local aid blocked by Congress in the recent stimulus package, community leaders from the Maryland United for COVID Relief NOW Coalition held a virtual rally on Sunday to call on Governor Larry Hogan to release aid from the Rainy Day Fund.

Franchot said he wants it to be used for $2,000 stimulus checks to qualifying Marylanders and aid for local businesses.

“There is a light, there’s a better day ahead for Maryland but could we please help out our friends and neighbors right now?”

Franchot says there’s over $1 billion available and if he’s given the green light by the governor, he will get that money in the hands of locals in need as soon as possible.

“I, as comptroller, will immediately — within three days or so — put $925 million into the accounts of these very needy, suffering Marylanders,” Franchot said.

Senator Chris Van Hollen said the state can’t wait for another package and that they need these funds now.

“If a COVID-19 global pandemic is not a rainy day, I don’t know what is. We are in a torrential downpour and worse,” he said.

Van Hollen said that this fund was made for situations like a global pandemic.

“This money has been put in the rainy-day fund for this kind of crisis, to help people who are in desperate need at this moment.”

The Maryland United for COVID Relief NOW Coalition is collecting signature on an online petition to deliver to the governor.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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