Politics

  • Dems blast Hogan’s silence on Bay cleanup cuts; administration fires back

    Democrats in Annapolis Thursday railed against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan for not doing enough to protect the Chesapeake Bay under the Trump administration’s  proposed cuts to the Bay cleanup plan and under a new EPA administrator historically hostile to environmental regulations. “The Bay can’t speak for itself obviously and needs a spokesperson,” said Senate President Mike Miller, leading a press conference of House and Senate Democratic leaders. “Obviously the person in the highest office in the state is not speaking out for the Chesapeake Bay, so we’re here to say this Bay is ours, it’s the largest estuary in the world…and we’re going to protect our Chesapeake Bay.” (Md. Reporter) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Senate OKs bill to create redistricting commission - if other states do the same

    The Maryland Senate approved a bill Thursday that would require the state to create a nonpartisan commission for redistricting — but only if five other states agree to do the same. Senators were divided between those who see the bill as a hollow gesture and others who say it's a first step toward fixing Maryland's confusing, gerrymandered political districts. Proponents of the bill say that requiring five other Mid-Atlantic states to shift to nonpartisan redistricting is a regional solution to the problem. Opponents countered that the measure would simply delay any meaningful action. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Senate OKs state budget

    The state Senate approved its revision of the state's $43.5 billion budget on Thursday, though some senators expressed concern that the plan doesn't resolve long-term spending imbalances. While the budget must be balanced each year, the state's finances project a structural deficit in future years. Several Republicans noted the need to make lasting changes to reverse the structural deficit. "We're where we need to be for right now," said Sen. Adelaide C. Eckardt, an Eastern Shore Republican. Sen. George Edwards, a Garrett County Republican, added that "it's a good budget for this year." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Washington County lawmakers stand against Md. 'sanctuary' bill

    Every Washington County delegate voted against it, but a bill to curb Maryland authorities from detaining immigrants to ask about their status is awaiting a hearing before a Senate panel after clearing the House of Delegates this week. Gov. Larry Hogan has called the bill "outrageously irresponsible" and said he will veto it if it reaches his desk. If the bill clears the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and comes before the full Senate, Sen. Andrew Serafini, R-Washington, said he will vote against it. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Gene Ransom: Opioids Talking and Hope

    The Maryland General Assembly is considering countless measures to attack the opioid crisis in Maryland.  Many are with merit and some need work. Two proposals stand out as comprehensive real solutions to the problem, and have the support of MedChi, The Maryland Medical Society, other public health groups and officials. Those proposals are the Start Talking Maryland Act and the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017.Read Full Article

  • Carl Szabo: Merriweather Memories: Why I support a Ticket Rights Resale Act in MD

    I have many fond memories of growing up in my hometown of Columbia MD – several of them are of the times I had with friends and family at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. I remember using the money I earned from delivering the Columbia Flyer to buy tickets to its concerts. I remember my Wilde Lake High School wrestling team providing security for its events. I remember seeing the Symphony of Lights and my high school graduation ceremony at Merriweather.   Read Full Article

  • Dr. Leana Wen: Six reasons to fight the ACA replacement plan

    For months, I have received questions from concerned residents about how repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would impact their health. My patients were worried about whether they could still get medications to treat their heart disease and diabetes, whether they would they lose coverage for mental health and addiction services, and whether they would continue to get basic preventive services such as mammogram, pap smears and blood pressure screenings.Read Full Article

  • Chris VanDeHoef: Protecting Maryland Consumers from Restrictive Ticketing Practices

    When MGM opened a new performance venue at National Harbor in December, Maryland residents gained another opportunity to enjoy internationally-renowned artists and entertainment productions. But sometimes this excitement comes with costs and risks, and there is growing concern that the live entertainment industry is quietly imposing anti-consumer burdens that can surprise Marylanders and cost us hundreds of dollars. Read Full Article

Business

  • More medical marijuana licenses would be awarded in deal reached by Maryland legislative leaders

    General Assembly leaders have coalesced around a plan to issue an additional five medical marijuana growing licenses and increase the likelihood that several of those lucrative deals go to minority-owned companies. The consensus emerging in Annapolis about how to revamp the state's fledgling medical cannabis industry also includes creating a "compassionate use" fund to help poor patients and veterans pay for the drug. The deal, though, falls short of demands lodged by the influential Legislative Black Caucus, which wanted to disband the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and put the licensing process on hold. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland delegation to President Trump: Get involved in the FBI HQ project

    Suburban Maryland's congressional delegation has staked out a conciliatory tone in its latest message to President Donald Trump regarding the FBI headquarters project. In fact, it asks the president to step in personally and advance the $2 billion effort to relocate the nation's law enforcement agency from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to the suburbs — specifically one of two sites in Prince George's County. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Future uncertain for Md. salary history bill

    A bill seeking to close the wage gap between men and women in Maryland must overcome an unfavorable report from a Senate committee if it has any chance of becoming law. Senate Bill 404 would require employers with 15 or more employees to include salary information in job announcements. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • David Cordish is preparing another bid to redevelop Bard Building site

    David Cordish said Wednesday he is preparing a new bid to redevelop the former Inner Harbor campus of the Baltimore City Community College. It will be the second attempt by the Cordish Cos. to redevelop the prime downtown site, after a failed attempt by the downtown-based company five years ago. In an email, Cordish affirmed his interest in submitting a new proposal for the redevelopment of the site at 600 E. Lombard St. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • Hogan proposes additional spending, but none so far for Baltimore schools

    Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed additional spending for police, colleges and economic development but so far is putting no additional money in his budget to help the Baltimore school system with its $130 million budget gap. Hogan's new spending proposal, including its full price tag, will be detailed Friday when he releases the first supplemental budget of the 90-day General Assembly session. It may not be the last. "There are funds available in the budget for other priorities," Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer said Thursday. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Hogan visits Montgomery County school with U.S. Education Secretary DeVos

    Gov. Larry Hogan popped into a Montgomery County elementary school Thursday morning to read some Dr. Seuss. He shared the job with one of the Trump administration's most divisive figures: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The Republican governor and DeVos greeted second graders from Carderock Springs Elementary in the school's library before sitting down to read "Oh The Places You'll Go," Seuss' ode to pluck. (Balt. Sun-AP) Read Full Article

  • Howard school board, Merriweather bills among those to cross over

    Bills changing the way Howard County's school board is elected, creating tax credits for properties damaged by flooding and bulking up noise regulations around Merriweather Post Pavilion have all cleared one chamber of the General Assembly with less than three weeks to go before the end of session. The legislation, along with other local measures, got favorable votes from the House of Delegates by crossover day, the deadline by which proposals must be voted out of one chamber to get the best chance of being considered in the other. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • Hogan steps back from harsh comments on Montgomery’s handling of alleged rape

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan moved Thursday to smooth the sharp edges from his criticism of Montgomery County officials earlier this week after two undocumented immigrants were charged with raping a 14-year-old at Rockville High School. Hogan demanded Tuesday that the county “fully cooperate” with the investigation, implying that Montgomery’s policy of limiting communication with federal immigration authorities could interfere with the case. The comment angered county officials, who said their policy requires full assistance in any serious criminal investigation. They accused Hogan of exploiting public fears of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Baltimore population falls, nearing a 100-year low, U.S. Census says

    Baltimore leaders have celebrated signs that the city appeared to have stopped hemorrhaging residents — and might even be gaining people. But new federal estimates show the city population falling to near a 100-year low. Baltimore's population fell by more than 6,700 people in the 12 months that ended July 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday, as the number of people leaving the city for other parts of the United States doubled. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Mosby may overturn convictions in cases involving seven indicted Baltimore Police officers since 2015

    Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby on Thursday said her office will begin working to vacate any criminal convictions since 2015 that relied solely on the word of seven Baltimore police officers recently indicted on federal racketeering charges. "Understanding and recognizing that the credibility of these officers has now been directly called into question, it is incumbent upon us as ministers of justice to do what's right and to pursue justice over convictions while simultaneously prioritizing public safety," Mosby said. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Treatment-plant grant bill could help Boonsboro

    Last-minute legislation in the Maryland General Assembly could offer Boonsboro some relief from the cost of upgrading its wastewater-treatment facility. The bill would authorize the Maryland Department of the Environment to set aside $2 million from the Bay Restoration Fund to be divided between about a half-dozen communities, including Boonsboro, that upgraded municipal-wastewater facilities to "enhanced nutrient-removal" technology before July 1, 2013. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Long-term plan for county infrastructure needed, Zaleski says

    As the fiscal year 2018 budget process begins, the Board of County Commissioners discussed some possibilities for addressing aging infrastructure in future years. Carroll County Director of Management and Budget Ted Zaleski talked to the commissioners Thursday about the county's infrastructure and the lack of long-term planning and funds set up for future projects. Zaleski said the goal is to create a comprehensive inventory of infrastructure in the county and to understand the expected lives of, and costs of, the infrastructure. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Maryland threatens to reverse its progress in education

    Among the factors that have helped Maryland develop a national reputation for its education system is the authority the State Board of Education enjoys to set policy and make decisions that best serve student interests without political interference. Sadly, that may soon become a thing of the past. The General Assembly is set to gut the board’s power to establish key educational standards in a move that threatens to cripple efforts for further school improvement. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Dr. Leana S. Wen, Hank Greenberg: 4 Ways that the Proposed Federal Budget Hurts Baltimore’s Older Adults

    Among the numerous cuts in the Trump Administration’s proposed federal budget plan are critical services that are used to support older Americans. As leaders who, respectively, safeguard the health and well-being of 620,000 residents in Baltimore, and represent the interests of the 50-plus community and their families across Maryland, we are deeply concerned how the proposed budget’s significant cuts will devastate the health and well-being of older adults. (Daily Record)Read Full Article

  • Allan H. Kittleman: Balancing budget priorities

    I visited New York City Wednesday, March 29 with Council Chairman Jon Weinstein and Council member Greg Fox to present Howard County's financial picture to the nation's top bond rating agencies. This annual trip is critical to assure Moody's, Standard & Poors and Fitch Ratings that we are on strong financial footing and should retain our AAA bond rating. This rating is critical to helping us keep capital projects, such as schools and infrastructure, affordable for taxpayers. For the last two months, we have been reviewing budget requests, revenue forecasts and weighing priorities to develop the capital and operating budgets for the next fiscal year. This is always a tough process. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • Navigating the bumpy road toward changing boundaries for schools

    Nearly a third of Howard County's public schools have more students than they should – they are deemed over their rated capacity – and the school system is embarking on a review of whether to change boundaries. School planners follow well-oiled protocols in studying attendance areas, population projections, long-term construction plans and listening to the community. Howard County has a well-deserved reputation of doing the process well. The last redistricting took place in 2013 and a new report due this summer is expected to suggest changes that would shift students in northern and southern areas, where space is tight, to schools in the county's western reaches where there is more room. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article