Politics

  • Hogan calls special session to elect new House leader

    Maryland lawmakers will return to Annapolis on May 1 for a brief special session to elect a new House speaker. Gov. Larry Hogan issued a proclamation Thursday calling lawmakers back to the State House. “It is my solemn duty to call a special session of the General Assembly in order to elect a successor to Speaker Busch,” Hogan said in a statement. “As we close a significant chapter in our state’s history, we will continue the critical work that Mike Busch dedicated so much of his life to doing.” The order calling for a special session was not unexpected. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Acting Baltimore mayor puts another aide to Mayor Pugh on leave

    Baltimore’s acting mayor has put another aide to Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh on paid leave, according to sources familiar with the move, adding to the number of her staffers now not currently on the job. The aide is Stephanie Hall, who is on the staff of the Baltimore Women’s Commission, three City Hall sources said Thursday. She is a former campaign chairwoman for Pugh. Pugh put herself on paid leave April 1, saying she needed to time to recover from pneumonia. She left work as she faced questions over her sale of her “Healthy Holly” children’s books to entities with business before the city. (Bat. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Democrats say Mueller report tells 'only part of the story' of Russia's role in Trump's 2016 election

    Robert Mueller’s report represents “only part of the story” of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to Maryland lawmakers who say Congress must now question the special counsel and subpoena his report, minus the redactions. “We must continue to follow the facts,” said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, who is a former assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore County. Ruppersberger, like many in the state’s mostly Democratic delegation, considered the report an invitation to delve further into the activities of Republican President Donald Trump and his associates in the 2016 campaign. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Van Hollen announces bill for Veterans of Color

    Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced Thursday, April 18, at the Octavine Saunders Empowerment Center on historic Pine Street, the World War I Valor Medals Review Act, new bipartisan legislation that will ensure minority veterans who served during World War I get recognition for their heroics. The bill would require the Department of Defense to undertake a review of valor medals awarded to minority veterans during World War I to determine whether any should receive the Medal of Honor. (Star Democrat) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Cailey Locklair - MDRA Op-Ed

    The Maryland Retailers Association supports the firm stance Governor Hogan and the Maryland legislature took against selling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS,” to minors. Maryland retailers provide adult smokers access to healthier and safer alternatives to cigarettes, and these products were never intended to encourage teen smoking. We believe ENDS products should not be marketed towards children, and will continue to fight for common sense measures against this practice.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Nick Mosby - No More Taxpayer Money Until Stronach Replaces Laurel Park Housing

    On Friday, March 29, I had the opportunity to tour the worker housing at the Laurel Park racetrack with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, as the Maryland General Assembly considers taking the unusual action of mandating that MEDCO provide a $120 million loan to the Stronach Group.Read Full Article

  • Consumer Energy Alliance Supports the Independence Energy Connection Project

    Washington, D.C - As Maryland legislators consider the future of energy infrastructure and regulatory changes in the state’s electric market, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Mike Butler reinforced the consumer group’s support for an energy policy that can bring affordable and reliable power to the region for consumers.Read Full Article

  • Dr. Michael Kapsa - To Address Drug Costs, Annapolis Should Look North to Trenton

    Health care spending is the domestic challenge of our time. America is on track to hit $4 trillion in annual expenditures. And while a figure this large can seem daunting, the price tag should hit home: $11,000 each year—and rising – if we translate it to a per person cost.Read Full Article

Business

  • Announcing the Baltimore Business Journal's 2019 Tech 10 honorees

    From a record-breaking year in venture capital and a massive biotech deal to the growing presence of cybersecurity and a big IPO, the tech scene is booming in Greater Baltimore and we're honoring the people making it happen with our 2019 Tech 10 awards. These awards honor 10 area professionals working to put the region's technology industry on the map by making noteworthy contributions to the community. This year, we've chosen 12 honorees, as we're counting the co-founders of two companies as a single entry. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Under Armour's head of North America is leaving apparel maker

    The head of Under Armour’s North America division will leave the Baltimore-based sports apparel maker at the end of the month, the company said Thursday. Jason LaRose, president of the division, moved into that role in October 2016. LaRose will leave the company on April 30, according to a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Under Armour said its president and chief operating officer, Patrik Frisk, will lead the North American business until a replacement for LaRose is found. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Belvedere Square market in North Baltimore up for sale

    Belvedere Square in North Baltimore is up for sale as its owner said it will focus on “other important initiatives.” In a statement, owner War Horse Cities said now “is the logical time for a retail specialist to take the helm” after it has managed the property for nearly seven years. War Horse Cities is owned by Scott Plank, a former Under Armour executive and brother of founder and CEO Kevin Plank. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • New opportunity zone guidelines expected to loosen regulations

    The Trump administration’s second set of proposed guidelines for opportunity zones aim to make it easier to invest in business and real estate in distressed areas throughout the country and encourage economic impact. The highly-anticipated guidance brings clarity to investors who were looking for opportunities within the zones but were likely holding back on any spending.   (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • Anne Arundel sees rising number of student mental health problems. Students blame schools.

    Alana Czarnecki debated skipping a school assembly. Not because she’s lazy or didn’t want to go, but because a student made a threat on Snapchat to “shoot black kids” the night before the last one. The Chesapeake High senior said she’s experienced school-related struggles since moving from Kentucky to Pasadena one year ago, including racism. On top of that, there are pressures to succeed academically in a system where class rank is emphasized. That pressure has catapulted rates of anxiety and depression among young people to unprecedented levels, experts say. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore schools' proposed budget reflects growth in immigrant population

    As more immigrant families move into Baltimore, the public school system plans to pump additional money into programs that help children learn English. Schools CEO Sonja Santelises asked for $25 million dollars — 2% of the system’s operating dollars — to support students who speak English as a second language in her budget proposal released earlier this month. That’s up from $15 million just four years ago, reflecting just how rapidly this population of students has grown. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland leaders focus on job training during Hagerstown Community College celebration

    Saying that Maryland businesses need “homegrown talent,” Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford praised local job-training programs Thursday. Rutherford and Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz were at Hagerstown Community College to help celebrate milestones in two training efforts. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • 'You learn by doing things': State school superintendent briefed on Tech Center during tour of Carroll

    Most of her school visits probably don’t require safety glasses, but State Superintendent of Schools Karen B. Salmon had no problem donning them to tour the Carroll County Career and Technology Center. There, she saw many of the programs training students hands-on and saw how ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) programs are being meshed into classes for English learners. On a second stop Tuesday, she traveled to Runnymede Elementary School to meet a class of gifted and talented students. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Pimlico flooded with calls from Preakness ticket holders looking to change seats located in closed section

    Pimlico Race Course has been asking for patience from ticket holders calling to exchange Preakness seats they purchased that are among the nearly 7,000 in a section that the Maryland Jockey Club has closed because it is no longer safe. A call to the number listed for exchanging tickets – 877-206-8042 – was greeted by a message warning callers of extended waits. “We are currently experiencing an extreme volume of calls,” the greeting stated Thursday. “If you are calling about a ticket exchange we ask you to please remain patient as we are currently speaking individually with all affected customers to determine the best seating solution for everybody. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Census estimates show Tri-State area's growth

    Population estimates released Thursday show continued growth in the Tri-State region, particularly in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. The statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau provide population estimates, rankings and components of change (births, deaths and migration) for the nation’s counties, metropolitan statistical areas and micropolitan statistical areas. The estimates put the nation’s population at 327,167,434, up 6% since 2010. Counties and cities in the South and West are the fastest-growing. Counties in Texas took four of the top 10 spots in terms of percentage growth since 2010. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Cardin hears about power, progress at Volvo plant, C&O park

    U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin spent a good part of his Thursday in a hard hat and a bright yellow vest. The Maryland Democrat wore the attire over his usual suit as he got an up-close look at two integral parts of Washington County’s economy. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore's public housing sees improvement in inspections — nearly 50% now passing

    Although they aren’t anywhere near the honor roll, the inspection grades for Baltimore’s public housing improved last year — from 35% of inspections earning a passing grade in 2017 to nearly 50%, according to inspection data provided to The Baltimore Sun by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. Public housing in Maryland ranked second to last in a Government Accountability Office report published in March. The federal audit agency reviewed the grades of public housing inspections performed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development across the country. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Del. Maggie McIntosh should be the next House speaker

    When members of the House of Delegates reconvene next month for a special legislative session, they won’t vote to replace the late speaker, Michael E. Busch. He is irreplaceable. But delegates will vote on the leader for the next chapter of the House’s history, and among the three announced and universally well qualified candidates, Del. Maggie McIntosh is the right choice. We have tremendous respect for both of her competitors, Del. Dereck E. Davis, who chairs the Economic Matters Committee, and Del. Adrienne Jones, the speaker pro tem. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Fraser Smith on Busch, Miller, leadership and mortality in the State House

    Through the extraordinary 2019 legislative session, the most frequently asked question was, “How do they look? The answer: Not good. “They” were Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch. Both ran their chambers determined to finish the job but not knowing if they could. Mr. Busch, who had prevailed over serious medical issues for several years, died of pneumonia one day before the final gavel. Mr. Miller had disclosed early in the session that he was being treated for advanced prostate cancer. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article      

  • Politicians lie low until scandals blow over

    Is anyone else concerned about, bothered by or even aware of what seems to be the latest tactic by politicians accused of what would normally be considered, were it you or me, career-ending debacles? That tactic is: lie low, let the dust settle and refuse to resign. Let it pass because, today, all that seems to matter to voters is the current news cycle and the latest tweet. Exhibit One: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. After he won the governorship, it was revealed that Dr. Northam had appeared in blackface in his medical school yearbook, on the single page dedicated to him. His initial response was to apologize. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Guns beget violence

    The conversation about firearms flows back and forth with regard to whether we need more gun control or whether such measures contradict some constitutional or inherent right for gun owners. What can be lost in the argument are two of the reasons that can make a gun so dangerous. The simple presence of a firearm can dramatically escalate feelings of hostility in almost any given situation. Depending on the intensity and setting, the propensity to make use of a gun can be essentially dictated by its presence. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article