“If we don't educate our children, we won't have to worry about our future, because there won't be one!”

JOIN TEAM BENSON

Unbossed and Standing on Principle

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Greetings Constituents and Friends:

With pleasure I welcome you to the 24th Legislative District website. I am pleased to be your Senator as we continue to “raise the bar” of prosperity.

Our goal is to keep you informed regarding those issues which impact our community and state. If you wish to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. In addition, I am available to visit your meetings to provide information or assist with any problems you may have.

You may contact my office at 301-858-3148 or by emailing me at joanne.benson@senate.state.md.us. Thanks for your unwavering support and attention.

Yours truly,

Joanne C. Benson

Upcoming Events



  • WHEN: Every Fourth Monday Of The Month - COVID-19 Restrictions

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions and to safeguard our constituents, the Greater 202 Coalition has suspended its “Every Fourth Monday of the Month” meetings until further notice.   Instead, we will reach out to you around the 4th week of each month by U.S. Postal Service mail or by email. Contact my office at 301-858-3148 for more information or email dwitcher@senate.state.md.us to be added to our mailing list.

    The 202 Coalition - 2021 November Newsletter

News

Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

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INVESTING IN EDUCATION

On Wednesday March 24, 2021 at 2:45 pm Maryland Governor Larry Hogan along with Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones completed the official signing of the legislation that would end the 15- year Maryland HBCU lawsuit. The bill establishes a special fund and dedicates $577 million over the next 10 years to Maryland’s four historically black colleges and universities. This funding will assist in implementing and eliminating the duplication of programs and help schools in creating new academic programs, expanding scholarships, recruiting new faculty members, and developing marketing strategies to attract students.

Historical Funding for HBCUs (HB0001/SB0001)

In The Community

Food Pantries in Prince George’s Maryland

Food pantries and distribution centers in Prince George’s County Maryland administer several assistance programs. The locations may have meals, free food, gift baskets and items such as clothing available to the low income seniors and disabled in the community. Resources offered by these centers can range from groceries and boxes of food up through limited amounts of financial help for bills, housing, or basic needs such as diapers or baby formula.

Download List Food Pantries

Utility customers to receive $83 million in much-needed energy assistance

On June 15, 2021, the Maryland Public Service Commission ordered the distribution of $83 million in energy-assistance funds to residential customers’ bill arrearages, as required by the recently enacted Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families Act (RELIEF Act).

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Residential Eviction In Maryland Information For Tenants

Eviction is a complicated process, and the COVID pandemic has made it even more difficult to understand the eviction process, your rights, and your responsibilities. This information is designed to help you, the tenant, understand some basic information about residential evictions in Maryland:

Can I be evicted?
Yes, evictions may take place. The statewide pause on evictions was lifted on July 25, 2020. There are some limitations listed on the reverse side of this flier.

Are the courts holding hearings on new eviction cases?
Yes, Starting April 26, 2021, the Maryland Courts moved to Phase V of the reopening plan. During Phase V, courts will continue holding hearings in eviction cases. Cases which were pending may proceed to a hearing. The court will set hearings on newly filed cases.

What happens in cases that already had a hearing?
Cases where a hearing has already been held and judgment entered in favor of the landlord can proceed to eviction. The landlord may file a Warrant of Restitution. The court will consider Warrants of Restitution on a case by case basis.

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Maryland Senate Recovery Now Amendment

Maryland Senate Recovery Now Amendment Benefit Charts

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Vaccination Locations


While the County Health Department now operates only one standing vaccination clinic in the County, in addition to nine mobile vaccination units, there are a number of vaccination sites available in Prince George’s County that are not operated by the County.

Prince George’s County Health Department

Locations: The Sports & Learning Complex and Mobile Vaccination Units.

Appointments: Individuals who live or work in Prince George’s County should visit mypgc.us/COVIDVaccine to view clinic hours or schedule an appointment directly. Individuals who cannot schedule an appointment online on their own should call 311 and press # for assistance.

Residents can also view a calendar of mobile vaccination clinics here.

Additional Non-County Operated Sites

Please use our County Vaccine Locator to find additional vaccination sites operated by pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare partners.


County to Offer Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Booster Shots


Booster shots of all three COVID-19 vaccines in the United States are available at Health Department clinics and other health care providers regionwide.

Following the FDA’s emergency use authorization and the CDC’s official recommendation, individuals in the following groups who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after completing their initial series:

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings
  • Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
  • Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

Individuals 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for booster shots if they were vaccinated two or more months ago.

The FDA and the CDC now allow for mix and match dosing for booster shots. Eligible individuals who have a preference for a vaccine brand may choose which vaccine brand they receive as a booster dose.

For more information, please visit mypgc.us/COVIDvaccine.



Registering for Selective Service Opens Access to Student Aid, Government Careers


The Selective Service System (SSS) has launched a campaign to inform and remind young men of the requirement to register for the Selective Service. Thousands of men each year fail to register because they remain unaware of the requirement and are therefore at risk of not receiving key benefits.

"We want to educate young men so that they are aware, exercise their civic duty and register and most important, protect their benefits," said Selective Service Director Donald M. Benton. "Forty-five seconds online at sss.gov can potentially save you 45 years of headaches due to lost opportunities."
For more information, please click here.

Do you need help to afford food right now?

You may be eligible to apply for financial assistance to purchase food for your household through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Click here to see current income guidelines.

Apply online at mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us
Apply by Phone: Call 1-800-332-6347 Mon-Fri, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm if you need help with an application by phone.
Apply by Mail: No internet access? Call 1-800-332-6347 Mon-Fri, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm to request an application by mail.



Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs

Easterseals Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs (HVRP) help homeless veterans build a foundation for finding and keeping long-term employment.
Our Services: - Job training
- Counseling and placement services
- Assistance with Veterans Administration benefits, health issues, and housing

Our Services:
Ensures that homeless veterans receive the support and services they need to address the more complex needs they often face. HVRP also connects incarcerated veterans with appropriate employment and life skills support as they transition from correctional facilities into the community.

For additional information, please contact: veterans@eseal.org

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‘A triumph of hope’: Maryland leaders welcome home man sentence at age 15 - The Washington Post

Rachel Chason - Monday, July 8th 2019

Curtis Brooks had been out of prison in Colorado for one week when he arrived at a church in suburban Maryland on Monday, doling out hugs and posing for pictures with U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and state Sen. Joanne C. Benson (D-Prince George’s).

He’d spent the past 24 years behind bars, after being sentenced to life without parole for his involvement at age 15 in a carjacking that led to a fatal shooting in Aurora, Colo. Another boy pulled the trigger.

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Maryland state Sen. Joanne C. Benson (D-Prince George’s) gives Curtis Brooks, her former pupil, a pat on the head as he returns to Maryland after serving 24 years in prison in Colorado. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
Maryland state Sen. Joanne C. Benson (D-Prince George’s) gives Curtis Brooks, her former pupil, a pat on the head as he returns to Maryland after serving 24 years in prison in Colorado. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
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Benson’s Bio

Joanne C. Benson was elected in 1991 to The House of Delegates

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End of Session Letter

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