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Maryland Lawmakers Convene For Last Day Of Shortened Session, Approve Coronavirus Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- The coronavirus pandemic has forced the Maryland General Assembly to cut its session short by more than two weeks.

The 2020 sessions will end Wednesday with a budget being passes, record-setting education funding and money to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Maryland.

Lawmakers passed the most important legislation of all, a nearly $48 billion operating budget.

"We are working as quickly as possible to make sure we get the budget done," Senator Bill Ferguson said. "That's our main constitutional duty."

The money will be used to eliminate co-pays as more people get tested for the coronavirus, and to help healthcare workers. 

That emergency legislation will also focus on blocking price gouging. One of the sponsors also wanted to focus on Marylanders who may be hit hard.

"So that people who are under a government-mandated quarantine will not lose their jobs," Delegate Clarence Lam said.

Another significant piece of legislation lawmakers tackled was the Kirwan Commission Bill, a $4 billion legislation that's intended to overhaul the state's education system.

There will be higher salaries for teachers and better preparation for students from Pre-K all the way to high school. 

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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