Eighty advocacy groups in Maryland are mounting a campaign to press the General Assembly to reconvene in a special session to tackle the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, including an expected surge in evictions and massive cuts to the state budget.

The groups, which sent a letter to Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) last month, said they are stepping up their efforts with plans that include rallies, marches, digital ads and text messaging.

The leaders of the groups, which include CASA of Maryland, Progressive Maryland and the Maryland Center on Economic Policy, say it is imperative that state lawmakers meet before their normal 90-day session in January to consider emergency protections for renters and workers and a settlement of a lawsuit over inequitable funding at historically Black colleges and universities.

“Since Day One, Maryland essential employees have been showing up every single day and performing their duties,” Ricarra Jones, the political director for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said in a statement. “We are urging the members of the General Assembly to do the same, as essential workers.”

Spokesmen for Ferguson and Jones declined to comment.

Several states have planned special sessions amid the pandemic, including Virginia, where lawmakers will meet on Tuesday.

Del. Julian Ivey (D-Prince George’s) has been calling for the Maryland legislature to reconvene to focus on the coronavirus, evictions, foreclosures and police brutality, but there appears to be a slim chance of a special session being held. A majority of delegates and senators would have to sign a petition calling on the governor to hold one.

Maryland’s last special session was held in 2012 when the legislature reconvened to consider votes on taxes and an expansion of gambling.