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Council President to Introduce Health Equity Resource, Transgender, and World Cup Resolutions at Tonight’s Council Meeting

Council President to Introduce Health Equity Resource, Transgender, and World Cup Resolutions at Tonight’s Council Meeting

Three additional bills expected to pass and be sent to the Mayor for signature.

BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, November 16, 2020) -- At the second to last Baltimore City Council meeting of the term, Council President Brandon M. Scott will introduce three resolutions for immediate adoption. Additionally, three bills sponsored by the Council President — Landlord-Tenant Right to Counsel in Eviction Cases (20-0625); Water Accountability and Equity Act - Modifications (20-0626); and Excise Tax - Electronic Smoking Devices (20-0631) — are expected to pass at tonight’s meeting, sending them to the Mayor’s desk for a signature. 

The first resolution to be introduced, 20-0259R: “Request for State Action - Health Equity Resource Communities,” calls on the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation to create Health Equity Resource Communities. These communities would be an extension of the Health Enterprise Zones Program, allowing communities in need of additional healthcare services to compete to join the Health Enterprise Zones Program and receive new grants and tax incentives to expand care in their areas. The Health Equity Resource Communities program will be funded with a one cent per dollar increase in the state alcohol beverage sales tax. 

“Ensuring the public health of our communities is paramount, especially in the midst of a public health pandemic,” said City Council President Brandon M. Scott. “I encourage my colleagues in Annapolis to pass this legislation and Governor Hogan to sign to create Health Equity Resource Communities for the benefit of residents in our city and across the state.” 

The second resolution, 20-0256R: “2020 Transgender Day of Remembrance,” recognizes November 20, 2020, as a day to commemorate and mourn the loss of transgender Baltimoreans. Over the last eight years, at least one transgender person has been murdered in Baltimore City per year, including two transgender women in 2020. 

“Too many in Baltimore’s transgender community suffer from stigma and transphobia, which far too often results in violence,” said Scott. “While we remember those transgender individuals who have lost their lives, we know it is not enough just to mourn and remember. We must work to ensure that our transgender brothers and sisters can live freely and safely, and truly thrive in our city.”  

The final resolution, 20-0257R: “Bring the World Cup to Baltimore in 2026,” expresses the Baltimore City Council’s unequivocal support for Baltimore’s bid to be a host city for the 2026 World Cup. The United States, Canada and Mexico will be jointly hosting the 2026 FIFA Soccer World Cup, Baltimore being one of 17 possible host cities in the U.S. FIFA will select just 10 of these locations to serve as host cities.

“This is a huge opportunity for Baltimore. With our boisterous sports reputation, rich culture, diverse history, and welcoming residents, Baltimore is the perfect location for the 2026 World Cup.” 

Additionally, Council President Scott’s critical housing and water justice legislation are both expected to pass tonight on third reader, as well as a public-health focused bill establishing a tax on electronic smoking devices. 20-0625: “Landlord-Tenant - Right to Counsel in Eviction Cases,” establishes a program led by the Housing Department to provide certain tenants with legal counsel in eviction proceedings and 20-0626: “Water Accountability and Equity Act - Modifications,” will modify the effective date of the Water Accountability and Equity Act, delayed by executive order, and suspend water service cut-offs and the imposition of service restoration fees until the Water Accountability and Equity Act is fully implemented.

 20-0631: “Excise Tax - Electronic Smoking Devices,” establishes a 30% excise tax on the distribution of electronic smoking devices and repeals Baltimore’s previous tobacco tax, which has since been preempted at the state level.

Tonight’s City Council meeting is the second-to-last meeting before the end of the term. Monday, December 7, 2020 will be the last City Council meeting before a new Mayor, Comptroller, and City Council are sworn in. 

Members of the public and press can stream the meeting online, watch live on CharmTV (channel 25), or call in to listen live at 408-418-9388 (Access code: 173 053 0528).

Information and an agenda for tonight's City Council meeting can be found here.

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