Politics

  • Hogan blasts RNC for ‘unprecedented’ steps to shield Trump from a primary

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who is flirting with a 2020 White House run, on Thursday accused the Republican National Committee of taking “unprecedented” steps to shield President Trump from primary challengers. Hogan, who is being courted by Republican dissidents seeking an alternative to Trump, told Politico in an interview that he was disgusted by RNC efforts to close ranks around Trump and troubled by reports that Republicans in South Carolina were considering scrapping their primary altogether. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Reboot Likely for Anne Arundel Legislation Limiting Developer Contributions

    A top legislative priority for new Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) is being significantly retooled, county officials said Thursday. Pittman, who made fighting the influence of developer money a major component of his upset win in November, said the county’s legislative delegation is going to amend a bill designed to prevent real estate interests from contributing money to the Anne Arundel executive if they have development projects pending before the county government. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • Senate yanks study on free rides for legislators

    There will be no free rides on state public transportation services for legislators and staff or employees of the Judiciary. And definitely no study to change on the feasibility of such a benefit after the Senate Thursday voted to strike language snuggled into a bill that would have done just that. A bill sponsored by freshman Sen. Malcolm Augustine, D-Prince George’s County proposes codifying an 18-year-old executive order that provides state executive branch employees free rides on public buses, subway and light rail services. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Lawmakers openly debate right to carry concealed handguns

    How concealed handgun permits are administered in Maryland could change substantially this year. Who can carry a concealed handgun, how the permit can be paid for and who gets to rule on an appeal if a permit application is denied will all be scrutinized again in the 2019 General Assembly session. The state Senate offered a preview of what the debate may look like on Thursday on what should have been the most bipartisan question: how to pay. (News-Post) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Marty Rosendale: Trump Administration Takes a Positive Step to Lower Drug Costs, but More Action Needed from the Maryland Legislature

    The rising costs of healthcare and patient out-of-pocket costs that jeopardize access to care for Maryland families have rightly been a major area of focus for policymakers at both the federal and state level.Read Full Article

  • Dave Anderson: How to break the government shutdown impasse

    The impasse in the dispute over the government shutdown and the border wall is an immensely complicated policy and political problem that pits two sides against each other who have diametrically opposed perspectives about the best path forward for the country.Read Full Article

  • Peter Auchincloss: The Wizard and The Werewolf - A Reminiscence From Damian O’Doherty

    Peter Auchincloss rolled into my office 20 minutes early for a meeting, carrying several giant, black 3-ring binders. “Peter, the infrastructure team can’t handle another set of binders,” I said sardonically. “You are the only guy that reads, ranks, and prioritizes anymore. The rest of us just Facebook.”Read Full Article

  • Don Mohler reflects on Kevin Kamenetz, Gone Too Soon

    There were two months to go until the election. On May 8, 2018, Kevin Kamenetz had just finished filming 14 hours of television commercials that we were all sure would propel him to the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on June 26. And then two days later on May 10, the phone rang shortly after 2 a.m.  When the phone rings at that hour, it is never good news.Read Full Article

Business

  • Johns Hopkins exceeds goals for supporting local businesses, hiring Baltimore residents

    Johns Hopkins University and its health system surpassed its three-year goals for bolstering local companies and residents. The HopkinsLocal initiative — launched in 2015 to promote economic growth and inclusion in Baltimore — has worked to encourage the institution to hire more Baltimore residents, buy more local products, and support more minority-owned and women-owned contractors. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Some at Under Armour see Kevin Plank's relationship with TV journalist as 'problematic,' newspaper reports

    Under Armour CEO and founder Kevin Plank has sought business advice from MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle and flown the TV journalist on the private jet he leases to the Baltimore-based sports apparel company, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Citing current and former Under Armour executives, the newspaper said Plank and Ruhle developed a close relationship over the past few years and that Ruhle’s involvement in the company was seen as “unusual” and “problematic.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Comptroller Franchot, Maryland lawmakers tangle over how to best enforce state's alcohol laws

    An ongoing dispute over regulating the alcohol industry in Maryland bubbled up Thursday, with the state’s comptroller and lawmakers offering dueling views of a bill that would change how liquor laws are enforced. Comptroller Peter Franchot said a proposal to move his inspectors and investigators to a new, independent commission was political payback for his decision to side with local craft brewers instead of “out-of-state beer cartels.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Parrott: Let counties set minimum wage

    Although people were lined up across the street to speak in the Senate Finance Committee on a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, Del. Neil Parrott spoke Thursday about what he called an alternative. Parrott filed legislation to scrap the state’s minimum wage altogether and let Maryland counties set their own minimums. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

Education

  • Senate President Miller urges resolution of HBCU lawsuit against Maryland over state's treatment of schools

    Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has proposed a number of ways to settle a long-running lawsuit over how the state has treated its historically black colleges and universities. Speaking Thursday from his seat in the Senate chamber, Miller suggested that the state give Bowie State University money to establish a law school, help fund the purchase of additional land for Morgan State University in Baltimore and reward the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore for a successful physical therapy degree program by creating another sought-after academic curriculum there. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Closure of schools in Howard County due to snow could add wrinkle to academic calendar

    The closure of Howard County schools on Wednesday due to the snow storm could complicate the system’s academic calendar, especially since officials already announced last week that school year would be extended four days because its inclement weather make-up days had been used up. The 2018-2019 school calendar had four make-up days built into it. The school board voted last year to not cut into spring break if additional make-up days were needed. “It is hard to say what will happen at this point,” said Brian Bassett, a county schools spokesman. “At this point there is no intention on using [spring break] days.” (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • MICA president apologizes for school's history of racist admission policies

    Maryland Institute College of Art president Samuel Hoi apologized publicly Thursday for the school’s history of racist admission policies, a move that was prompted in part by a student’s recent exhibit on the often hidden experience of black artists at the college. For nearly 60 years, MICA excluded people of color from admissions, Hoi said in the memo. The president was moved to apologize for the policy following his visit to photography student Deyane Moses’ senior thesis project exhibit “Blackives,” which included a demonstration on campus Thursday. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Frederick Community College budget proposes $3 per credit tuition increase

    To offset declining enrollment, the Frederick Community College board of trustees approved a $56 million budget on Thursday that includes a $3 per credit tuition increase for in-county students. The budget proposes raising tuition from $122 per credit to $125 per credit for in-county students, and a 2.46 percent increase in per credit tuition rates for all students beginning in fall 2019. Dana McDonald, vice president for finance at the college, said the increases are based on conservative predictions about future enrollment. After a decline in enrollment last year, the revenue from tuition and fees is expected to decrease by $70,039. (News-Post) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Head of Baltimore City social services named to top post in Baltimore County

    The head of Baltimore’s social services department has been named administrative officer for Baltimore County, a top position that oversees day-to-day operations of county government. Stacy L. Rodgers is the first African-American and second woman to be appointed to the post in Baltimore County. County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. announced his pick Thursday. “Stacy and I share a vision for where we want to go here in Baltimore County,” Olszewski said at a news conference in Towson. Rodgers, a former chief of staff at the Social Security Administration, said she was overjoyed to be nominated. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Howard County bill would allow private property access in Ellicott City to help mitigate flooding

    A bill that would allow Howard County public works employees access to stream areas on private property is set to be filed Thursday. The bill would empower the Department of Public Works to enter properties to inspect streams and other waterways for debris and remove obstructions that could impede the flow of water during storms, county officials said in a news release. Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said Thursday that the county is still studying alternatives to demolishing structures on lower Main Street in Ellicott City to mitigate flooding, and will host a series of public meetings to present ideas and design options after costs have been analyzed. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • Multiple convictions challenge Mosby’s plan to erase pot possession cases

    Announcing a plan to vacate marijuana convictions, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has won praise in many quarters for moving the city away from a war-on-drugs law enforcement approach that put thousands in jail for pot possession. But her office’s petition to vacate 1,050 Circuit Court cases is easier said than done, according to a review by Courthouse News Service. That’s largely because many convicted of pot possession faced other charges in the same prosecution.(Brew) Read Full Article

  • ‘Holistic Approach’ To OC Homeless Issue Achieving Results

    One of the takeaways from the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) annual report presentation this week was that strides have been made in addressing the resort’s growing homeless issue. For years, multiple state and local agencies attempted to assist the growing homeless population in Worcester County and in Ocean City, where the problem had become particularly acute in and around the Boardwalk area, with varying degrees of success. However, the various state and local agencies lacked a certain amount of cohesiveness as they attempted to address the homeless issue in and around the resort. (O.C. Md. News) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • David A. Plymyer: In Debate Over Hopkins PD, It’s Time for the Gloves to Come Off

    A significant number of Baltimore City residents and their politicians are fighting a pitched battle to prevent Johns Hopkins University and Hospital from gaining approval from the Maryland General Assembly to establish its own police department. Former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg described resistance to the proposed campus police department as “ridiculous.” To a relative outsider like Mr. Bloomberg, the concept of a declining city waging war on its largest private employer and last remaining institution of national prominence is unfathomable. Then again, an outsider can’t be expected to appreciate the penchant of Baltimoreans for self-defeating behavior. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • Michael Pinard: Gun Trace Task Force preyed on African Americans because they're 'disposable' to Baltimore police

    During the most recent court hearing on the consent decree designed to transform the Baltimore Police Department, U.S. District Court Judge James Bredar, who is overseeing its implementation, spoke of some impediments to the process thus far. He lamented the lack of a permanent police commissioner for much of the time the decree has been in effect and described the BPD’s training facility as antiquated and inadequate. He then turned to the now infamous Gun Trace Task Force, the corrupt and criminally convicted band of officers within the BPD who committed some of the worst crimes imaginable — and unimaginable. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Kenneth Lasson: Learn from history, don't whitewash it

    A brief glance at the barely known racial attitudes of the presidents we celebrated earlier this week would surely cause the current crop of historical revisionists to blanch and hyperventilate. Those seeking to cleanse the culture of politically incorrect views might find that the outrage they feel about blackface scandals would pale in comparison to the way the founding fathers actually treated people they deemed inferior. No fewer than a dozen American presidents owned slaves. George Washington kept over 300; although he preferred to call them “servants” and conceded that human bondage was “a wicked, cruel, and unnatural trade,” by today’s standards his attitudes were decidedly racist. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Police owe fuller explanation of rape investigation waiver policy

    To its credit, Anne Arundel County ended a decades-long policy of having sexual assault victims sign waivers if they weren’t interested in an investigation days after the policy was made public through an investigation by The Baltimore Sun. To its discredit, the policy existed years past an improved understanding of the impact of trauma and sexual assault. County Executive Steuart Pittman did the right thing by ordering his police chief to stop the practice, although we’re not sure why it took a phone call from state Sen. Sarah Elfreth to get him there. (Capital)Read Full Article